Last semester, the Bloomberg Assessment Test (BAT) was offered to Elon students for the first time. The online test is a standardized aptitude test and serves as a recruiting tool used by more than 20,000 financial institutions worldwide.
“It is a business-driven test that requires a lot of knowledge and experience,” said senior Tim Johnson, a business fellow and Bloomberg ambassador. “I recommend it to people that are very comfortable with what they have learned in upper-level business classes.”
Comprised of 11 sections, the BAT is a three-hour exam consisting of questions primarily regarding finance, economics, math and analytical reasoning. Test scores are automatically submitted to an anonymous database accessible to potential employers through the Bloomberg Institute Talent Search. Only the university name and test score are included in the search listing, ensuring that all participants are considered objectively.
Companies can further narrow their searches to yield candidates with specific strengths, as measured by each section of the BAT. This feature benefits both potential employers and potential employees by increasing the likelihood that candidates will excel in a given position.
“A (student) may be weak in some categories but really strong in others, and that might be attractive to certain companies because (those strengths) apply to the position they’re looking for,” Johnson said.
After interning at Bloomberg L.P. during the summer of 2011, Johnson assumed the ambassador position upon returning to Elon in the fall. Marketing and administration of the test are among his responsibilities on campus.
The BAT is entirely separate from the Bloomberg Certification Test, which is also offered to students. The Certification Test is for use of the Bloomberg Terminal and appeals mainly to students interested in careers in investment analysis, while the BAT is more business-driven and appeals to students with a wider range of interests.
“The two tests are fairly similar, but the BAT requires a broad knowledge of investment terms while the Certification Test is more in depth and (more specific),” said Gary Tsarsis, director of the William G. Reed Finance Center and Elon lecturer.
Sixteen Elon students took the BAT last semester, and it will be offered again for free later this semester.
“This standardized test is a good way to even the playing field (between schools),” Johnson said. “It also helps Elon as a whole because if Elon produces great scores, that will show to recruiters that Elon is producing well-educated students who are prepared for the business world.”