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Bloomberg Assessment Test given at Rice to test financial aptitude

By Ellen Liu     2/7/12 6:00pm

Students interested in landing financial service internships have a new opportunity to showcase their knowledge with Rice's first Bloomberg Assessment Test, which will be administered on campus twice next week.

The BAT is an aptitude test created by the Bloomberg Institute, the educational division of financial news corporation Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg Student Ambassador Kenneth Misner described the exam as geared toward students looking to enter the financial sector and related fields, testing their skill levels in 11 areas – corporate valuation, economics, financial markets, financial statements analysis, investment banking, investment management, analytical reasoning, math skills, modeling abilities, situational judgment and verbal competence.

The BAT is a three-hour, online test that will be proctored on iPads by Bloomberg employees, Martel College freshman Misner said. It will be offered in Sewall Hall Room 100 from 3 to 6 p.m. next Wednesday and in Sewall Hall Room 309 from 8 to 11 p.m. next Thursday. If many Rice students take the exam, Misner said that Bloomberg might offer another session next fall.

Students who sign up for the BAT need to submit some basic demographic information to Bloomberg, including their name, university, major and year, Misner said. Employers use this information to compare students' performances to their majors, but scores will be anonymous unless students agree to release personal information to employers, according to Misner.

"The test is completely risk-free," Misner said. "There are no prerequisites and nothing to prepare for, so if you know it, you know it."

The BAT costs nothing to take, and students can take it as many times as desired to improve their scores, providing greater incentive, Misner said.

According to Misner, Bloomberg keeps it free-of-charge, asking companies to pay a subscription fee to connect with students.

"Companies are really invested in us and are looking for the best students in the world," Misner said.

Furthermore, students who perform well could be contacted by financial companies – such as banks and consulting firms – for interviews and other opportunities, he said.

"Bloomberg has an extensive network of employers who want to recruit talent from universities like Rice," Misner said. "Other universities across the world also take this test."

Some of these other universities include MIT and Harvard, which held the BAT on their campuses last month. Misner noted that students there and elsewhere have expressed interest in the exam, with around 50 students attending each test session.

"The BAT has been out for a little over a year," Misner said. "In that short time, [the number of students taking it] has grown to about half the size of the GMAT."

Duncan College senior Jonathan Stewart said he thinks Bloomberg's new test is an interesting idea.

"Lots of companies have tests and interviews, but this is meant to branch outside of just one company," Stewart noted. "It's a standardized test for the private sector from the private sector."

Students who want to take the BAT can register online at www.takethebat.com.

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