How to Master BCG Pymetrics: A Comprehensive Guide

In the fast-paced world of consulting recruitment, BCG Pymetrics has emerged as a groundbreaking tool that revolutionizes the hiring process. If you're eager to understand and master this test, our comprehensive guide is your ultimate resource!

Posted March 12, 2024

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BCG pymetrics is a revolutionary tool that aims to enhance the recruitment process by using neuroscience and AI-based games and exercises to assess candidates’ cognitive and emotional traits. In this article, we will delve into the essential steps to mastering the BCG pymetrics test and increasing your chances of success during this important step of the consulting application process.

What Exactly is Pymetrics and Why Does BCG Use It?

Founded by Dr. Frida Polli and Dr. Julie Yoo in 2013, pymetrics aims to move away from traditional resume-based assessments. Specifically, the platform uses a series of exercises and games that are designed to measure over 70 skills and traits such as attention, memory, decision-making, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and many more. The assessment consists of 12 mini games, each taking approximately 2-3 minutes to complete.

The firm uses pymetrics with the goal of “learning more about you, above and beyond what’s on your resume and application form. It provides unbiased, multi-dimensional insight into your potential for success…” (BCG). Pymetrics’ scientific foundation and game-based assessments provide BCG with objective data about a candidate’s cognitive and emotional traits, helping them identify individuals who align with their specific job requirements and company culture. Ultimately, the use of pymetrics allows BCG to make more informed and fair hiring decisions, ultimately leading to a more diverse and talented workforce.

What Do the Pymetrics Mini Games Look Like and What Are Good Pymetrics Results?

Achieving strong pymetrics results goes beyond simply excelling at the games. In other words, it’s not about getting to the solution, but about how you reach the solution. Take a look at the complete list of mini games below, paying particular attention to the key skills being tested; although the exact scoring method is based on an algorithm that is not publicly disclosed, being able to effectively showcase these skills is what will get you a high score.

Balloons

  • Description: In the Balloon game, your objective is to pump balloons to earn money. Each pump contributes to your earnings, and you have the flexibility to stop and collect your accumulated money whenever you decide. However, be cautious not to pump too much, as the balloon has a limit, and if you exceed it, the balloon will burst, resulting in the loss of all the money you earned for that particular balloon.
  • Strategy: The challenge lies in the variety of colors the balloons come in, each displaying distinct behavior. As you play the game, the key is to analyze and understand the behavior of each color, quickly recognizing the pattern that leads to their explosion. During the game, it's crucial to closely observe the colors and make informed predictions about when each balloon is likely to explode. Each explosion presents an opportunity to gain insights into the patterns, enabling you to make more informed decisions with the next balloon. Embrace the learning process and use your observations to continually improve your strategy as you progress through the game.
  • Key Skills Being Tested:
    • Pattern Recognition
    • Decision Making
    • Risk Tolerance
    • Learning

Towers

  • Description: The pymetrics Tower Game is a variation of the popular Hanoi Towers game. In this version, you'll encounter three towers, each holding differently colored disks stacked upon one another. Your objective is to rearrange the disks to match the given example configuration using the fewest moves possible.
  • Strategy: The game records two essential factors – the total number of moves you make and the initial time it takes for you to execute the first move. Demonstrating the ability to wait a bit longer before making the first move highlights your capacity to plan ahead and develop a thoughtful strategy, which is a valuable trait to showcase during the assessment.
  • Key Skills Being Tested:
    • Planning
    • Logical Reasoning
    • Attention and Focus

Money Exchange 1

  • Description: In the first pymetrics Money Exchange game, you are randomly paired with another “participant.” The game commences with you earning $10. You will then be given the choice to transfer any amount you desire to your fellow participant, which will be tripled upon transfer. Subsequently, your partner can decide how much they want to give back to you. Finally, you will be asked to rate how fair you believe your partner was in this transaction.
  • Strategy: BCG recognizes that there is a correlation between trust and cooperation; individuals who demonstrate trust in others are more inclined to engage in group tasks, highlighting their potential as strong team players to employers.
  • Key Skills Being Tested
    • Fairness
    • Trust
    • Risk Tolerance
    • Cooperation

Money Exchange 2

  • Description: The second pymetrics Money Exchange game appears similar to the first one but has distinct differences:
  • 1) Both you and your “paired partner” begin with $5, but only one of you receives an additional $5.
  • 2) You have the chance to transfer some of your extra earned money to your partner and rate the fairness of that transaction.
  • 3) In contrast to the first game, there is a second round where only you receive an extra $5. During this round, you must decide whether to transfer any of it to your partner or keep it for yourself.
  • Strategy: The second Money Exchange game grants you full control over the outcome for both you and your partner. Therefore, your decisions will directly influence the final amounts exchanged. As you evaluate the fairness of the transaction, it becomes crucial to remain consistent and confident in the choices you make, sticking to a similar decision you made in the first Money Exchange game.
  • Key Skills Being Tested
    • Critical thinking
    • Altruism

Keypresses

  • Description: The Keypress game is quite straightforward – almost deceptively so! Your sole task is to press a key on your keyboard as many times as possible within a specific time frame.
  • Strategy: Follow the instructions, that’s all! The key is to initiate pressing the key when specifically prompted to and cease precisely when instructed to do so.
  • Key Skills Being Tested
    • Ability to follow instructions

Digits

  • Description: Here, your objective is to memorize a sequence of digits that quickly flash on the screen. After the flashing stops, you must accurately recall and type the digits in the correct order. With each round, the number of digits increases by one, posing a greater challenge as you advance through the game.
  • Strategy: As the digits appear on your screen, make an effort to read them aloud. Your memory tends to perform better when you actively engage rather than passively observe. Embrace an active approach to enhance your memory retention during the task; avoid simply sitting there and watching the numbers fly by.
  • Key Skills Being Tested
    • Memory
    • Attention and Focus

Cards

  • Description: Your objective is to draw cards from four decks, with each draw resulting in either earning or losing money. The ultimate goal of the game is to finish with the highest amount of money possible.
  • Strategy: When drawing a card in the pymetrics cards game, outcomes can result in either winning or losing money. While it may initially seem random, as you advance, you should begin discerning the underlying patterns to maximize your earnings. Pay close attention to these patterns and act thoughtfully. Develop a strategy for determining which deck to draw from, and refrain from making random choices. By doing so, you can increase your chances of accumulating a larger amount of money throughout the game.
  • Key Skills Being Tested:
    • Risk tolerance
    • Learning
    • Pattern Recognition

Arrows

  • Description: Here, various sets of flashing arrows will appear. For blue or black arrows, you must indicate the direction of the middle arrow, whereas for red arrows, you need to indicate the direction of the side arrows.
  • Strategy: This game is composed of 135 rounds and spans over a duration of 3 minutes. As it is a considerably lengthy game, be prepared to maintain your focus for an extended period.
  • Key Skills Being Tested:
    • Attention and Focus
    • Learning
    • Pattern Recognition

Lengths

  • Description: During each round, you will be shown a face drawing with either a short mouth or a long mouth, and your task is to discern which one it is and respond accordingly.
  • Strategy: Arguably the hardest task in the pymetrics set, this game poses a significant challenge since the lengths of the short and long mouths are extremely similar, making it nearly impossible to distinguish them unless you view them side by side. Although you may earn money for correct answers in certain instances, it is important to note that this doesn't happen every time. Consequently, learning from your earnings is only a probability and not a consistent rule.
  • Key Skills Being Tested
    • Pattern Recognition
    • Attention and Focus
    • Adaptability

Easy or Hard

  • Description: In this game, you will encounter two options: a relatively easy task with a higher likelihood of completion or a more challenging task that may be harder to accomplish. Opting for the easier task will yield less money compared to choosing the harder task.
  • Strategy: The challenge lies in the varying probabilities of earning money in each round. Consequently, you might put significant effort into a difficult task, yet end up with no earnings. If the winning probability is low and the reward for the hard task is also minimal, it makes more sense to opt for the easier task. You may feel tempted to go for the harder option to show that you don’t shy away from a challenge; however, the strategic decision demonstrates your ability to think critically and allocate your efforts wisely.
  • Key Skills Being Tested:
    • Critical thinking
    • Project management
    • Decision making

Stop Game

  • Description: Similar to the Keypresses game, this game has one rule: press the spacebar only when a red circle comes up on the screen.
  • Strategy: Follow the instructions, and keep focused – don’t get distracted!
  • Key Skills Being Tested
    • Attention and Focus
    • Ability to follow instructions

Facial Expressions

  • Description: Throughout the game, you will be presented with pictures of faces displaying various expressions, some accompanied by brief situational descriptions. Your task is to discern the emotions experienced by the individuals in the pictures and match the most accurate description with the face.
  • Strategy: This game stands apart from the others as it focuses on your emotional capabilities rather than cognitive skills. Pay extra attention and really be sure the facial expression matches the text description!
  • Key Skills Being Tested:
    • Emotional IQ
    • Awareness

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Strategies to Prepare for BCG Pymetrics

  • Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is key to mastering pymetrics. Utilize sample games or mock assessments to familiarize yourself with the types of tasks and challenges you might encounter. Regular practice will enhance your performance and boost your confidence.
  • Analyze Your Performance: After completing practice assessments, review your results and identify areas of improvement. Focus on understanding patterns and tendencies in your responses to align with your authentic traits.
  • Develop Consistency: Pymetrics emphasizes consistency in responses to ensure genuine traits are measured. Train yourself to provide consistent answers and avoid overthinking or guessing what the platform may be looking for.
  • Time Management: Pymetrics assessments are timed. Practice working under time constraints to develop efficiency and accuracy in your responses.
  • Embrace a Growth Mindset: Approach the assessments with a growth-oriented mindset. View challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement, rather than fearing failure.
  • Get a coach: Leland has countless coaches who have gone through the BCG recruiting process themselves and understand the pymetrics test like the back of their hand. Check out some of our top coaches below, and sign up today to receive personalized strategies, practice tests, industry insights, and so much more!

FAQ: Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: Are the pymetrics games really tests?
    • No. The methodology involves a series of games, or exercises. Unlike tests, there are no inherently right or wrong responses. And, most who play find them to be pretty fun!
  • Q: I messed up, can I replay the game?
    • A: You may not replay the games, however, don’t worry! This is not a standardized test, nor is it an IQ test - there is no right or wrong way to play the games.
  • Q: I’ve played these games already for a different recruiting process. What should I do?
    • A: If you already have a pymetrics account, you should follow the steps in your invitation email, logging in via the link provided. Please log in with your existing account details, and you will then be able to submit your existing pymetrics results for your BCG registration. If you apply to BCG with a different email address than the one associated with your existing pymetrics account, please reach out to support@pymetrics.com to merge your accounts.
  • Q: How will my results be used?
    • The pymetrics games are just one of several components of our overall candidate evaluation process, and your results will always be considered alongside all other elements of your application. The pymetrics results are never used as a “filter” to eliminate candidates from consideration; rather, BCG views pymetrics as an inclusion tool. The games help us identify candidates with a range of backgrounds, education and work experiences who share the behavioral and cognitive traits of successful BCGers.
  • Q: By using pymetrics, won't BCG end up hiring people who share the same behavioral profile?
    • A: No. In fact, pymetrics will help us avoid this. At BCG, we highly value diversity — of gender, race, ethnicity — as well as diversity of experience and thought. It's fundamental to how we bring unique perspectives to clients, and help our people grow and grow together. There are many different traits that contribute to being a successful BCGer, and not every candidate who is considered a strong fit with BCG will have the same traits or combination of traits in their pymetrics profile. Using pymetrics helps ensure that we identify a range of candidates who will help us unlock the true power of diversity in our work and culture.
  • Q: Can my gender or race/ethnicity impact my pymetrics results?
    • A: No. All pymetrics models are thoroughly vetted to ensure that their use in the recruiting process will not bias results for any gender, race, or ethnicity.

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