PwC Verbal Reasoning Test
PwC looks for employees with a high verbal ability. Applicants have to pass a verbal test before being offered a position.
PwC use the following tests in their selection process:
- Verbal reasoning test
- Numerical reasoning test
- Logical reasoning test
About PwC Verbal Reasoning Tests
Largely recognised for its status as one of the Big Four auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a renowned multinational professional services firm that originated in the UK. Securing employment or a place on one of their graduate programmes is extremely competitive and candidates must be prepared to undergo a lengthy selection procedure. Once an online application form has been completed, candidates are required to undertake online psychometric tests, which will be either numerical, verbal or logical reasoning depending on the job role. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
PwC use a combination of SHL tests and Saville Consulting assessment exercises throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. PwC assess candidates in terms of their 10 Global Competencies, which are listed at relevant points throughout “The PwC Process”.
Verbal reasoning tests are a fair and objective way for PwC to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised verbal reasoning test, PwC are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so they use professional psychometric tests.
Often, PwC will ask applicants to take a verbal test online, which you can take from home. When the verbal test is used early on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required however this does vary role to role). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit a verbal test again. This is so PwC can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.
PwC Application Process Stages
Your process guide will vary depending on the role you're applying for and other factors. To see a detailed description of the application process with advice from PwC applicants about each stage, check out our PwC assessment guide.
The following is a rough layout of what to expect:
Application and Online Tests
Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. After submitting their application, candidates are invited to undertake online psychometric tests, this is where you will face the verbal test and also numerical or logical reasoning, depending on the position applied for.
Successful candidates are then invited to attend an initial interview either in person or via telephone, this is competency based and will last approximately 45 minutes. The Global Competencies assessed at this stage are; communicate with impact and empathy, acquire and apply commercial and technical expertise, lead and contribute to team success, be open minded agile with change and practical, manage projects and economics, and demonstrate courage and integrity. It is recommended that applicants use this interview as an opportunity to provide evidence of their skills, as well as presenting a considered approach to their chosen career.
Candidates are then invited to attend an assessment centre, during which they will undergo further reasoning tests, a written communication exercise and a group or individual exercise. At this stage, candidates are required to produce an original government issued photo identification such as a driving licence or passport.
The final interview is more in-depth than the previous interview and will be conducted by partner or director from the applicants chosen area. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be made an offer of employment or a place on a graduate programme with PwC.
Excellent variety of practice tests ranging in difficulty levels. Really helped me feel prepared for, and pass, my actual online tests.
PwC Verbal Reasoning Test Questions
Like most verbal tests, the one used by PwC looks at your ability to interpret written information and answer questions which require verbal analysis of the content provided. The verbal test will be assessing your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit, but also accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. Sometimes you will find that you can make a best guess estimate by deducing that some of the answer options are incorrect. This approach to verbal tests will come with practice, and you will become familiar with the type of verbal tests used by companies such as PwC.
Verbal reasoning tests and who uses them
Companies are using verbal reasoning test more and more in their application process that candidates must go through. verbal reasoning tests are favoured when the role being recruited for requires assessment and generation of written content on a regular basis. A person's score in a verbal reasoning test is a good indicator of their ability to work well with written information. This is very important in a variety of roles, especially those in which communication with colleagues and clients is routine.
PwC use verbal reasoning tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.
So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at PwC you might feel like the verbal reasoning test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that PwC are asking you to complete the verbal test as much for your own benefit as theirs; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by PwC, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.
What you should know before taking your verbal reasoning test
The passage of text given to you in a verbal reasoning test will contain the necessary information to answer the questions accompanying it. The passages are usually brief, often a paragraph, or two at most, made up of a few short sentences. Take the time to read the passage well. Skim-reading can lead to missing out details. The passage will be short enough that you can read it comfortably in the time limit given. You don't need to be a super-fast reader to pass a verbal reasoning test. One of the most important things to remember is that the test will not assume that you have specialist knowledge. All questions can be answered from the information given in the passage.
Different types of verbal tests
Most questions in most verbal reasoning tests follow a standard format displaying written information, the question and answer options on screen. These can be arranged differently, but each test will stick to the same layout throughout. The written information will be a blurb of text, but might not be adapted to suit a particular style. The language may be technical and succinct, or colloquial and informal, or may appear to be more like a section of prose. The question text may contain extra information which adds to what's already given, which might also be necessary to answer the question correctly. Lastly, the answer options are almost always a multiple choice of True / False / Cannot say. Multiple choice answers can vary, however. You may have 5 options to pick from, which include the standard 3, but with a Probably False and Probably True added. The more answer options to pick from, the slimmer the chances are that you can obtain the correct answer by guessing.
Some publishers will have less subtle variations in their test from what's described here. Cappfinity for example, will ask you to rank the answer options by a particular criteria, or categorise different passages of text according to the style. Sometimes, in Saville Assessment tests, you may be asked to select which phrase from the options is true, or false, or referred to in the passage.
Are these tests suitable for PwC?
Yes. PwC use verbal reasoning tests to assess applicants in the recruitment process. The practice tests we provide have been designed to mimic the verbal reasoning test's style to create an environment similar to the real assessment. This provides you with confidence that the questions you practice with us now are an accurate reflection of the real assessment.
How difficult are your tests?
The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.
Are they compatible with my Mac / Tablet / Phone?
Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!
How many times can I take the tests?
Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.
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