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Bain Screening Test: Overview & Official Sample Tests

By June 27, 2018Bain and company

A. Overview

Recently, I have been receiving emails concerning the Bain’s test. Rumor is that several Bain offices have employed test to screen out candidates before inviting them to case interviews, and since little is known about the test, anxiety is very popular.

When I get anxious, I have the habit of writing down what I have known about the situation as well as what I haven’t. Then, I would try to figure out the best ways to cope with both the known and the unknown. That habit walked me well through life. Today, let’s use that methodology to handle the Bain test.

  1. What we already know about the Bain test

There are 2 separate sections of Bain screening test currently available: the business case and the analytical test.

* Business Case, whose format is very similar to that of PST and BCG, includes:

  • 6-7 charts/case
  • 3 question types, 2 of which are similar to that of PST:

– Fact-based conclusion, comprises ~25% of the section

– Reading facts, comprises ~50% of the section

– Solution/Recommendation, comprises ~25% of the section

  • 3 minutes allowed/question

* Analytical Test in GMAT style includes:

  • 3 types of question from the GMAT:

– Critical Reasoning, comprises ~40% of the section

– Data Sufficiency, comprises ~30% of the section

– Problem solving (Math), comprises ~30% of the section

  • 1.5 minutes allowed/question

* Multiple answer choices, with only 1 correct answer

* No calculator allowed

  1. What we don’t know about the Bain test

Since no full sample test available, we don’t know how the whole full test really looks like and how it is held exactly, which probably varies by the office hosting the test:

  • Total number of questions/full test
  • The total time allowance for the full test
  • The portion of each section in the full test. Some offices actually choose only one of the listed section to test their candidates, while others omit the screening test from their recruiting process.
  • The portion of each question type in the full test
  • Held online or offline
  • How much each section contribute to the overall score
  • Passing score
  1. How to best prepare for the Bain test, given those knowledge

  • Ask the office you’re applying whether they employ the screening test, and which section they are going to test so you can prepare ahead.
  • Prepare for the Business Case section: The Bain test is heavy on chart interpretation (there are very few words in the test; most data are conveyed in graph form), as well as numerical computation and reasoning (with reading-fact – pure numerical questions – comprise half of the section). It’s critical that you are familiar with this question type and practice consulting math regularly. Here are a few things to do:

Read articles and watch videos we made about how to approach Reading Facts and Fact-based conclusion question on our website:

Practice regularly with consulting math and question types on available prep materials:

We will soon publish articles and videos about Solution/Recommendation question. Subscribe to our Website and YouTube channel to get the material as soon as we post them.

  • Prepare for the Analytical Test

Check out available prep materials for GMAT

Practice with GMAT’s critical reasoning, data sufficiency, and math problem-solving questions. You can find free sample GMAT test here:

B. Bain practice Test

Below are the 5 sample tests from Brazil office. I recommend that you take Test 1 of each section as a diagnosis, then practice with other materials until you feel confident. Use Test 2 and 3 to check for further improvement.

2 Business cases:

3 Analytical sample test:

That’s it. If you have any other question or feedback, drop us a message.

  • Nicolás Hernandez

    The context test solutions dont match with the real solutions. For instance sometimes the solution is E, but you only have 4 options (a,b,c,d). Please, review it! Thanks

    • Manuel

      Hey Nicolas, are you preparing for strategy consulting applications? I am also in the procces and maybe we could help each other.