Ace the Standard Chartered Online Assessment

Table of Contents


Standard Chartered Bank Application Process

On the SC application process, you must pass every assessment test before moving on to the next assessment or interview.

That means that even if you are a math genius, it won’t give you an advantage on the logical reasoning section. That’s why it is crucial to prepare properly and ace every test of the application process: 


  1. Initial online application

  2. Online strengths assessment

  3. Numerical reasoning test

  4. Logical reasoning test (aka abstract reasoning test)

  5. Video interview 

  6. Face-to-face interview with the early career team 

  7. Face-to-face business interview


Let's see how each step of the process actually looks like.

Standard Chartered Strengths Assessment

The first stop of your application process is the Situational Strengths Test (SST). The SST is a type of situational judgment test (SJT), created to assess your behaviour in the workplace.

This type of test is designed to gauge the particular skills or strengths that Standard Chartered are looking for in you. On the strength assessment you’ll be given a series of 18 work-related scenarios, each question will require you to rank order your responses.

Most candidates don’t focus on studying for personality assessments, and think that “there are no right or wrong answers”. Sadly, that’s not true - the online strengths assessment is used to select the best candidates for a particular job at SC, and that could be more challenging than one might think.

See if you can get this one right:

You are an accountant in a small firm.

You are in the final stages of producing a financial report for an important client when your manager contacts you.

Although he initially instructed you to work directly with the client and produce the report based on the client’s demands, he has now decided an additional service should be offered, whereby the report will break down sales and the associated cost of sales into functional groups.

This will allow the client to identify more profitable areas of operation and help his business increase performance and profitability. He is keen to secure more business with this client and confident this is in the best interest of the client's business.

You fear that, at this stage of the report, it is too late to make any changes as you are already working hard to ensure you meet the agreed upon deadline, and if postponed, it may lead to the firm being viewed in an unfavourable way.

Please rank the responses below on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 represents what you are most likely to do, while 5 indicates what you are least likely to do.


Response #1: You decide not to offer your client the additional service. You feel you understand the client's needs better, as you have worked on this project consistently. You will explain this to your manager once you finish producing the report.

Response #2: You initiate an online conversation with your manager, where you voice your concerns. You listen to his arguments and reach a mutual decision.

Response #3: You initiate an online conversation with both your manager and the client. You present your manager's offer to the client and let them discuss it between themselves.

Response #4: You agree to offer the client the additional service. Although you are not sure about this decision, you feel your manager has additional considerations that you are not aware of.

Response #5: You disagree with this last-minute change to the report; however, you will offer the additional service as instructed.

Solution and Explanation

The correct order is: 2 > 4 > 5 > 3 > 1

Explanation: This scenario is an uncomfortable situation in which you and your manager hold different opinions on a certain matter. On the one hand, he is your superior, and you should listen to his opinion, and follow his requests. On the other hand, your opinion might be of value to the company, and you should not give up so easily on your ideas. So, the most favourable response here considers both your role in the company and your ability to negotiate your ideas regarding your superiors.

Check out the full explanation for this scenario at the bottom of the page.

Take a couple of hours practising these questions, improve your skills and don’t be caught off guard.  


Standard Chartered Numerical Reasoning Test

The Talent-Q numerical reasoning test measures your ability to understand and analyse numerical data. It involves math skills, algebraic understanding, and an aptitude for problem-solving (calculators are allowed).

The test includes 12 questions in 4 sections. Each section presents you with information arranged in tables or graphs, followed by multiple-choice questions.

Test yourself with a sample question:


Reports Given to 18-Year-Old Drivers

Type A - £300 Type B - £200 Type C - £100

standard chartered numerical reasoning sample question


Which offence generated the second highest revenue for the month of May?

1. Drunk-driving
2. Speeding
3. Failure to stop at a stop sign
4. Not wearing a seatbelt
5. Driving in a dangerous manner
6. Using a mobile phone
7. Failing to comply with traffic light signals
8. Stopping in a prohibited area

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is speeding.

Solving Tip: In order to save time, since all fine types are percentages of the same total number of tickets (27.5 million), you can eliminate that part of the calculation to quickly determine which fines generated the most revenue.

Check out the full explanation at the bottom of the page.

Golden tip - Use a hand-held calculator - It is easier to use and faster than the calculator on your computer or smartphone. Try using the calculator’s memory functions, that could give you a significant advantage.


What Makes the Standard Chartered Numerical Test So Hard?

  • Each question is timed individually: 90 seconds for the first question of each table, and 75 seconds for subsequent questions.
  • You can’t skip questions or manage your time by focusing on easier questions first.
  • It doesn’t matter how fast you answer the question – as long as you answer it within the time frame.
  • The test is adaptive. That basically means – the better you are, the harder it gets. If you answer correctly, you’ll face an even harder question (and vice versa). Meaning it's crucial to ace the first questions of the test.
  • The exam is multiple choice. But unlike most multiple-choice tests, there could be 12 or 16 possible answer choices – which makes it nearly impossible to guess.

I know that answering these questions on such tight time limit might seem impossible. But a few hours of practise could cut your solving time and reduce anxiety during the actual test (which means - saving valuable seconds for each question).


Standard Chartered Numerical Reasoning Test


Standard Chartered Logical Reasoning Test

The Talent-Q logical test evaluates your ability to discover abstract rules and patterns and apply them to find the continuation of a sequence.

The logical test includes 12 questions with a time limit of 75 seconds per question. You will be presented with a series of symbols, that follows a logical sequence. Your task is to identify the logic behind the sequence and choose the symbol that completes the logical sequence.

Check out this question: 

standard chartered logical reasoning sample question

The correct answer is alternative (B)

Check out the full explanation at the bottom of the page.

Just like the numerical section, there’s a tight time limit and the test is adaptive. That means you need to practise all difficulty levels to feel confident in the actual test.

Our PrepPack includes abstract reasoning tests with thorough explanations for each question. That way, you can improve your skills and build your confidence during practise.


standard chartered logical reasoning test


Standard Chartered Interview Questions

If you pass the Standard Chartered online assessments, you'll get an invitation for a HireVue video interview (like most top investment banks). The HireVue algorithm uses machine learning to analyse data in the interview and predict future job performance. That means you'll be assessed based on your answers as well as non-verbal cues, like facial expressions, eye movements or nuances of voice.

The questions of the video interview will most likely be generic fit questions (like – “why are you interested in working for our bank”, or “tell us about how you deal with failure”).

I know it could be quite stressful, but try to relax, prepare, and schedule the video interview to your best time of the day.


Valued Behaviours Assessment

If you are not applying for a graduate\internship programme, it is possible that you’ll be asked to complete a valued behaviour assessment, that’s based on Standard Chartered’s core values and valued behaviours. We are currently developing a valued behaviour assessment test preparation, so stay tuned.


Standard Chartered Coding Test

if you are applying for a coding position, the recruitment process is basically the same. You will be required to take the same Standard Chartered online assessment tests (strengths, numerical and abstract reasoning). The only difference is that you will be required to take a coding test after the numerical & abstract reasoning tests.


Standard Chartered Programmes

Note: Standard Chartered allows only one application per candidate, which means you can only apply one region and one stream. If you change your mind about the Standard Chartered stream you want to apply for, you can discuss it with your interviewers and check for other options (you’ll need to pass all the assessment tests first).


Standard Chartered Spring Week

Standard Chartered has a Spring Insight Programme that takes place in London and New York. This programme is designed to give you a taste of what a career in Standard Chartered feels like. To apply for the programme, you must be in your first year of study.

Best part is – if you excel the Standard Chartered spring week, you’ll get an immediate offer for the Summer Internship Programme the following year.


Standard Chartered Global Internship Programme

The global internship programme could be your gateway to the banking world. To apply for the summer internship, you must be in your penultimate year of study, and have a legal right to work in the country you’re applying for (you will not get a work permit from Standard Chartered)

You can apply to any of the following streams:

  • Commercial Banking
  • Global Banking
  • Transaction Banking
  • Financial Markets
  • Corporate Finance
  • Retail Banking
  • Wealth Management
  • Risk & Conduct, Financial Crime and Compliance
  • SC ventures

The Standard Chartered global internship programme is 10 weeks long. The last week of the internship will be the evaluation week, during which high performing interns could be considered for the international graduate programme, or other full-time positions.


Standard Chartered International Graduate Programme

The Standard Chartered international graduate programme could be the starting point of your banking career. To apply for the programme, you must have an undergraduate degree, and (just like the internship programme) Standard Chartered doesn’t sponsor work permits, so you’ll have a legal right to work in the country you’re applying for. You can apply to any of the following streams:

  • Financial Markets
  • Global Banking
  • Corporate Finance
  • Transaction Banking
  • Commercial Banking
  • Wealth Management
  • Retail Banking
  • Risk & Conduct, Financial Crime and Compliance (RCFCC)
  • Trust, Data & Resilience (TDR)
  • SC Ventures
  • Technology & Innovation (T&I)
  • Global Business Services (GBS)

The Standard Chartered international graduate programme is approximately 18 months long - 12 months of training rotations and 5 months of business rotations.


Do I Need Any Financial Background or Work Experience?

No. Standard Chartered believes in encouraging candidates from all disciplines and backgrounds. That is great for applicants that want to get their first work experience or want to try a different career path, but that also means that the application process for Standard Chartered is the time to show what you got and let Standard Chartered know that you are the right fit for the programme.

What's the Time Limit for Standard Chartered Assessment Tests?

Numerical reasoning – 16 minutes, Abstract reasoning – 15 minutes. The strength assessment is not timed, but usually takes 30 minutes approx.

What Do I Need to Take the Test?

All the Standard Chartered assessment tests require a computer with internet access. The numerical test requires a calculator, pen, and paper.


Explanations for sample questions

Strengths Assessment

Let's consider each response separately:

Response #1: While you may feel you are correct in judging the situation, you must not forget your position in the company. This response neglects to take your manager's viewpoint into account. Disobeying a manager and acting behind their back portrays you in a negative way. This is a negative response choice.

Response #2: This response offers a reasonable compromise between following your manager's request and voicing your opinion. This is a positive response choice.

Response #3: It might not seem so at first glance, but this response is a passive response, and it is a negative response choice. Instead of dealing with the conflict of opinions between yourself and your manager, you avoid it by suggesting your manager and client talk it out.

Response #4: In this response, you do not try to convince your manager; rather, you passively accept his opinion. However, your rationale reflects trust in your manager’s judgment and acceptance of the chain of command. This response is not the best response, but it isn’t a negative one either. Although you show no negotiation skills or people skills, you demonstrate an understanding of company hierarchy and an ability to accept authority.

Response #5: In this response, you demonstrate respect to authority as you comply with your manager's requests. However, you do not voice your concern regarding meeting the set deadline, and you demonstrate no negotiation skills.

Responses two, four and five are good responses, as they show you understand company hierarchy and your ability to work under management. But response two is the best response, as it is the only response that balances respecting your manager's authority and voicing your concerns, in the best interest of the company.

Response four is better than response five. Although you do not voice your concerns in both these responses, response four reflects trust in your manager’s judgment and acceptance of the chain of command, whereas in response five, you are simply following instructions.

Responses one and three are both negative responses, as you bypass your manger's authority and do not show respect for his decision. However, response one is worse, as you not only believe you know better than your manager, you also disobey him and go behind his back, demonstrating negative behaviour.

Golden Tip: try checking Standard Chartered Valued Behaviours, and express them throughout the test.

Numerical Reasoning

Type A:

Drunk-driving: 0.07 x 300 = £21

Speeding: 0.12 x 300 = £36

Driving in a dangerous manner: 0.1 x 300 = £30

Type B:

Failure to stop at a stop sign: 0.07 x 200 = £14

Not wearing a seatbelt: 0.2 x 200 = £40

Using a mobile phone: 0.16 x 200 = £32

Type C:

Failing to comply with traffic light signals: 0.08 x 100 = £8

Stopping in a prohibited area: 0.20 x 100 = £20

The offence that generated the second highest revenue for the month of May is speeding.

Logical Reasoning

Examine the matrix:

This question is what’s called a “matrix within a matrix”.

As such, it requires that you shift your focus from the relations between cells as wholes to the relations between the symbols comprising the different cells. 

Formulate the logic:

Each column/row can be divided to 3: left arrows, middle arrows, and right arrows.

Each of these triplets contains 1 vertical arrow, 1 diagonal arrow and 1 horizontal arrow.

For instance, if we look at the middle column, and then focus on its left arrows, we can see that the top arrow is vertical, the middle one is horizontal, and the bottom one is diagonal.

Reduce choice options using elimination:

According to this logic, the left arrow in the missing cell must be vertical, the middle arrow must be horizontal, and the right arrow must be diagonal.

The only alternative that fulfills this requirement is (B).

Note: What makes this question so difficult is the load of irrelevant information.

For example, it may seem that the exact orientation of the arrows (i.e., left/right, up/down etc.) has a meaning, or that the arrows follow a certain logic based on their clockwise rotation.

However, these are only distractions and no such logic actually exists.

Tip 1: When all the symbols in the question are of the same kind, try to divide them into categories.

For example, in this question, make a distinction between vertical arrows, horizontal arrows, and diagonal arrows.

Tip 2: If this does not bring any patterns to the surface, go deeper.

For example, in this question, make a distinction between vertical arrows, horizontal arrows, and diagonal arrows.



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