The following is a field report from a CIB who has recently taken the AT Kearney Analytical Skills Test. Unlike the McKinsey Problem Solving Test (McKinsey PST), the ATK test is mainly a test of excel skills and speed. See below for more details:
--- Field Report ---
I have taken the test and have summarised my experience for the benefit of the Group although its likely that most of the Group members are not targeting this practice of ATK.
1. The test is for the 'Procurement and Analytics Solutions (PAS)' practice globally
2. Its not like the McKinsey PST
3. Its spreadsheet based and tests (1) Excel functionality including pivot tables, vlookup and hlookup functions, (2) comprehension skills, demonstrated in the understanding of questions, (3) analytic skills, demonstrated in the use of data and (4) communication skills, demonstrated in the responses
4. The case I got:
-- 1 hr for the test - you are given a Excel workbook which has the data, questions as well as space for the answers
-- Analysing the client's spend data for XXXXXXXXX.
-- The core data table (spend data) had ~2000 records along with 3-4 other smaller tables with reference data
-- There were 6 questions to answer
-- The questions get harder as you progress in terms of Excel skills required (e.g., text manipulation, dealing with '#NA') and knowledge of business terminology
5. My key takeaways:
-- Significant time pressure unless you are extremely proficient with advanced Excel functionality
-- Version of Excel you are used to: I was slowed down being used to a later version of Excel on Mac
-- Don't get caught up too much in the formatting (of tables and charts), ensure that you complete the analysis of the data and get the answers to all questions. May be a better strategy to crunch the data and get all the answers first before you start to pretty things up and document non-critical assumptions.
Good luck to anyone taking the test!