UBS Online Assessment 2021: 3 Steps to Ace It - JobTestPrep
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All You Need to Know About the UBS Online Assessments

The UBS online assessment, also known as the Junior Talent Online Assessment v2, is the first and most comprehensive screening stage.

In order to pass on to the next step of the application process, you must score above the predetermined benchmark.

It is comprised of two tests:

These two tests, and especially the UBS Cultural Appraiser, are designed by Korn Ferry (Talent Q) specifically for UBS. Their sole purpose is to test if you are suited for the UBS culture and work environment.

At first glance, they might seem rather simple. That is not the case, as I have heard from candidates numerous times.

You can even hear it firsthand from a UBS graduate:

Play

As Rosanna says, the best way for you to pass the UBS online assessments is to practise.

Start practising now with accurate questions that simulate the actual UBS online tests.

 

Note: Once you get the email invitation to take the tests, you will have 4 days to complete both of them.

UBS Cultural Appraiser

The UBS Cultural Appraiser will give you 15 realistic yet hypothetical work scenarios faced by current analysts. The scenarios are designed to assess how well you align with the UBS culture and values.

Every scenario is presented as a mixture of a short video and a textual description. For each scenario you will be given a list of actions, from which you will have to rank the most and least effective responses.

Note: The test is not timed, so you can relax and read through everything calmly. Weigh each response before you choose. It should take you around 20 minutes to complete the test.

Each question will assess at least one of your primary competencies or values.

For you to choose correctly, you first have to know what type of candidates UBS is looking for.

To get an idea, familiarise yourself with the UBS 7 core values and competencies:

  • Problem analysis
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Innovation
  • Communication and impact
  • Drive and commitment
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Planning and organizing

Let’s see how a question in the test might look like:

It is 9 a.m. on Monday morning, and you are checking your inbox, where you find three new e-mails.

The first e-mail is from your team manager asking you to complete a report started by another intern, which must go to the client by the end of the day.

The second e-mail is from the department manager requesting all personnel to attend a meeting regarding new department regulations. This meeting will take place between 10 and 11 a.m.

The third email is from James, your teammate, with whom you are working on an important project due to be finished by the end of the week. You are in the data analysis stage and James wants to set a time for a meeting today to go over the data you have collected.

You just remembered you have also been asked to attend a meeting today with your team manager between 4 and 6 p.m.

What would you do and why? Choose ONE option.

  • Response #1: Start working immediately on the first e-mail you have received. You don’t like to waste time and feel that it is important to be productive.
  • Response #2: Spend some time prioritising all your tasks for the day and plan a time frame for each of them. If necessary, you will postpone the least important task till the following day.
  • Response #3: Contact your manager and inform him that you won't be able to complete all your obligations for the day. It's best that he be informed as soon as possible to readjust your schedule.
  • Response #4: You feel you cannot attend all three meetings today, as well as finish the report, so you cancel the only meeting not scheduled at management level. You expect James to understand the situation.
Solution and explanation

This is a classic question that focuses on your ability to prioritise tasks. In general, positive responses in this type of question will include the word 'prioritising' or the idea that you need to take time to prioritise.

Negative responses will include rejection of tasks without preliminary consideration and/or immersing yourself in the workload without any prior thought.

Let's consider each response separately:

Response #1: Consider the phrase 'start working immediately'— the last word can serve as a clue to the negativity of this response.

Although you display a high work ethic, you don't show any ability to re-evaluate your priorities.

Response #2: Consider the phrase 'spend some time prioritising'— the last word can serve as a clue to the positivism of this response.

Not only do you display an ability to prioritise, but you are in no hurry to postpone any of your obligations.

Response #3: This is a negative response. Consider the phrase “it's best that he is informed as soon as possible”— Although you seem to act in a responsible way (by contacting your manager), you in fact display hurriedness without due consideration.

Response #4: This is another negative response, for two main reasons:

(a) You decide that you will not be able to complete all your tasks without further consideration, and

(b) Your decision as to which task to postpone is not based on the company's priorities (The relative urgency of each task), but on your own priorities (You would rather cancel a meeting with your colleague than with your superior).

Thus, the best answer is: response #2.

Tip: When facing an elaborate and confusing scenario, try to describe the essence of the situation in one line. Examples include 'coping with workload' or 'working with a difficult client'.

You can do the same with the answer choices if they too are highly detailed.

When working with the answer choices, try to determine how they might affect the basic situation (the short description you extracted), and the competencies they represent.

This solving tip, as well as a lot of others, is available in our preparation pack.

Why is the UBS Cultural Appraiser Hard?

  • The responses are usually confusing and similar to one another. There are no obvious right and wrong answers.
  • Unique question structure – Ranking the responses from the most to least effective is not something you are used to doing in a test. ALL rankings are under evaluation.
  • The information in each scenario is presented in a text as well as in a video. It is a unique kind of presentation and could be hard to navigate.

To pass this test, you have to understand both what UBS is looking for and what every question is measuring.

These skills are something you can acquire through proper practise.

Start preparing now to familiarise yourself with a variety of scenarios and learn how to react correctly.

 

Numerical Reasoning Test (Elements Numerical)

The numerical reasoning test will ask you to solve 12 mathematical problems based on business scenarios. This section is designed to assess your ability to extract and interpret statistical information organised in tables.

Let’s see it in an example:

Train Transportation Patterns Over Time

Numerical Reasoning test sample question

By what percentage did the use of the daytime PE line increase between 1930 and 2005?

The answer will be anywhere between 350% and 620%.

Explanation

The correct answer is 440%.

To find the answer, you should find the percentage change in daytime PE passengers between 1930 and 2005.

In 1930, the PE daytime line had 111,000 passengers which was considered at 100% capacity. In 2005, it rose to 601,000 passengers.

The percent of passengers travelling in 2005 on the daytime PE line in comparison to 1930 is:

The increase in number of passengers in terms of percentage, is the difference between the two dates = 541.4% – 100% = 441.1% ≈ 440%.

Alternatively, you can find the percent change by dividing the difference of daytime passengers between 1930 and 2005 by the number of 1930 daytime passengers, and then multiplying by 100 to convert to percentages.

 

Tip: Each question consists of one or two tables and numerous answer choices. There is only one correct answer.

As a result of the great number of answer choices, it is not recommended to solve the questions using the method of estimation.

You can find this tip, and many more solving strategies, in our preparation pack.

Why Is the UBS Numerical Reasoning Test Hard?

  • The test does not have an overall time limit as normal tests, but each question is timed individually. The first question for each table has a 90 second limit, while the subsequent questions have a 75 second limit.

    This means that you can’t even out your weak spots with your strengths. If you answered one question quickly, you would NOT accumulate the remaining time for a later question that you might have trouble with.
  • Another challenge is the large number of answers you need to choose from. A standard test has four possible answers. Here you have dozens of possible answers, so you can’t go by elimination like you are used to.
  • The UBS numerical reasoning test is more complicated than similar numerical tests in other banks.

In our preparation pack you will find practice question with identical attributes, so you can get comfortable with this kind of test.

Start practising now and ace the difficult UBS numerical reasoning test.


UBS Programmes

UBS is hiring on a rolling basis. This means that once they have filled all available spots, they will stop looking at new applications. Apply as early as possible to secure a spot!

UBS Spring Week

The Spring Week is a 3-day insight programme, eligible for 1st-year students in a 3-year course, or 2nd-year students in a 4-year course.

This is considered by UBS as a pre-internship programme, which purpose is to give you a glimpse of the UBS culture and work environment.

During these 3 days you will rotate between different divisions of the bank, such as global banking, global markets, risk, technology etc. You will have a chance to see up-close what every division does.

This is meant to help you figure out what do you like in investment banking, and to guide you through the beginning of your career.

One of the most important benefits of the spring week is that you will be fast tracked to the final stage of the summer internship application process.

UBS Summer Internship

The UBS summer internship is a 9-week programme with a specific team in the bank. It is offered ONLY for students in their penultimate year.

The internship usually starts in late June, and the applications are usually accepted from September through December.

Note: If you missed the summer internship deadline, try the UBS off-cycle internship. It is offered in a different schedule from the regular summer internship and might suit you.

UBS is roughly structured out of five business divisions. three of which offer a summer internship:

  • Investment Banking
  • Group Functions
  • Asset Management

Each of these divisions offer an internship at a specific team.

Differences between the programmes
Business Division Team Name Team Expertise
Investment Banking IB COO You'll join a team who shapes the future direction of the bank. As one of the few banks that hire COO Interns this role is a unique opportunity to explore our Investment Bank, meaningfully contribute and lead change.
Investment Banking Global Markets You’ll be looking after professional investors like asset managers and fund managers. You’ll give them advice and do everything that’s needed to buy and sell securities for them. From start to finish.
Investment Banking Global Banking You’ll work closely with the GB country and sector coverage teams, as well as the other product teams. You will provide coverage, advisory, capital markets and financing solutions for corporate, financial institutions and sponsor clients.
Group Functions Group Risk Control As a part of the risk function, you will help identify, assess, advise, decide, monitor and report on credit, market and operational risks, recommending appropriate mitigating actions. As part of the compliance function, you will focus on the regulatory and compliance framework applicable to the global compliance and operational risk control function of the UBS investment banking division.
Group Functions Operations You'll manage processes for performance, control and efficiency. The team’s role is to deliver best-in-class post trade services across Investment Bank, Wealth Management and Asset Management.
Group Functions Technology You will be working in IT, helping to source, develop, implement, maintain and support world-class technology solutions.
Group Functions Group Research You’ll analyse company financials, perform fundamental analysis and explore scenarios with the objective of making stock recommendation to professional investors like asset managers and fund managers.
Group Functions Human Resources HR supports the business strategy by helping achieve sustainable business performance and global recognition for developing leadership. HR is made up of central and divisionally aligned teams that touch every aspect of an employee’s experience, from recruitment to retirement.
Asset Management Asset Management You’ll help manage large-scale assets with well-diversified businesses across regions, capabilities and distribution channels. You’ll be part of one of the largest hedge fund and real estate investment manager team in the world, one of the leading fund houses in Europe, and the largest mutual fund manager in Switzerland.

Note: You can only apply for one team, so choose wisely which programme is best suited for you before you apply.

UBS Graduate Scheme

The UBS graduate programme is actually a full-time analyst placement.

In this 18-24 months programme, you will be assigned to one specific business area, in one of three divisions:

  • Asset Management
  • Corporate Center
  • Investment Bank

Whatever division you choose, you will have to apply to one area:

Asset Management
  • Client Coverage
  • Chief Operating Office
  • Investment Area
  • Investment Solution
  • Real Estate & Private Markets

 

Corporate Center
  • Chief Operating Office
  • Group Risk Control
  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • Technology
Investment Bank
  • Global Banking
  • Global Markets (Sales and Trading)

 

No matter what specific programme you apply to, your training will always start with UBS Discovery – a basic training to teach you what you need to know to work for UBS.

After completion, you will start your journey in your specific business area, with occasional rotations in different parts of the bank. This is meant to give you a broad perspective on what UBS does.


FAQ

Last year I did the online assessments when I applied for the UBS Spring Week. Do I have to complete them again for summer internship?

All test results are valid for 6 months. Since this is a new year and a new application cycle, you would have to take the tests again.

How long do I have to complete the tests once I get the email?

The email links are valid for 4 days and are expired automatically.

Only target-school students get accepted for a UBS programme?

Absolutely not. If you are a top candidate, it doesn’t matter which university you come from.

I haven’t decided which area of the bank I am more interested in. Can I apply for several summer internship programmes?

No, you cannot. UBS limits you to one application pre academic year, so you should research and choose one team only.

 

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