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How to prepare for the Bocconi Test?

Bocconi Test conducted by MISB Bocconi

With a lot of tests being conducted over the MBA season, candidates have to prepare separately for each one of them. To make sure that the test-takers know the interface and what to expect, I have penned down a review of the aptitude test conducted by MISB Bocconi.

The test is divided into 3 parts: Verbal Reasoning Test, Numerical Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning Test. Each section has a couple of practice questions that you might want to take before you start the actual test. These will give you a feel as to what the interface would look like, where the relevant buttons are and the kind of content you are dealing with. You can also practice the sample test available here.

Verbal Reasoning Test

The Verbal Reasoning Test part of the exam has 30 questions to be solved in 19 minutes (the countdown timer is in the form of minutes only and so, will start from 19 minutes). The questions are completely based on comprehending short passages and drawing conclusions from the given data. The upside of having such a section is that candidates are tested purely on the basis of their aptitude and not extensively on the basis of technical content. There were 10 passages that had 3 questions each. The passages range from 100-120 words in length and are pretty easy to read and understand. The key thing to do here would be to keep a track of time and move ahead quickly. The average time taken to move through a passage would be less than 2 minutes and so, you need to make sure that you don’t get stuck on some question.Also, you will not be able to go back to a question once you have attempted it and you will not be able to move to a fresh question unless you answer the existing question or give it a pass. Not seeing a few questions in the given time period is bound to hurt you as there is a fair split of questions on the basis of their level of difficulty and you might have a few easy questions towards the end.

The basic format of a question-set is a passage followed by 3 statements each of which has to be categorized under True, False or Cannot Say. The best thing to do here will be to look at verbs carefully and understand the difference between could, may, might, will, must, should and so on. If the passage talks about a possibility, the conclusion cannot be a certainty. Also, pay attention to the facts mentioned in the passage: the chronology, the data in the form of percentages, ratios, studies, etc. and the persons involved in the activity.

Numerical Reasoning

This is probably the toughest section of the test. You will have 25 minutes to answer 18 questions that are in the form of data interpretation sets with 5 answer options. There are 3 questions per set and almost everything is calculation intensive. There isn’t an on-screen calculator present and so, you would have to be pretty good at guesswork if you have to save some time while solving the section. The key thing would be to read the table/chart properly before jumping on to the set or else, you might find yourself revisiting the set a few times before you get the hang of it. Considering that you have around 4 minutes per set, it makes sense to be fluid throughout the section and only allot time to a set if you feel that you will be able to crack it within 3 odd minutes. The focus is not so much on remembering mathematical concepts and formulas but in reading data quickly, understanding it and arriving at the required conclusion. Polish your ratios and percentages comparison techniques before you take this section.

Logical Reasoning Test

This is probably the only section for which you can prepare mentally and in terms of content. The section has 24 visual reasoning questions to be solved in 25 minutes. The questions are based on which diagram would come next in a series and has a set of 5 question figures in a pre-decided order. The questions have five options and again, the impulse would be the key in this section. The faster you are at eliminating options, the better off you would be in terms of attempts. Clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation, addition or deletion of images/parts of images and mirror reflection/water reflection are the concepts you would need to be thorough with. As is the case with the other two sections, you cannot afford to not see the last question of the section and so, need to plan your time accordingly.

Final thoughts

The test is certainly different from what you have been preparing for and would reveal your aptitude level fairly. The ideal attempt in the Verbal Reasoning section would be around 25 questions, in the Quantitative Reasoning section would be around 10 questions and in the Logical Reasoning section would be around 15 questions. So, a score of around 40-45 out of 72 should be a good representation of your aptitude. Not getting stuck or surprised by the test (which would lead to a lot of students giving up because it is out of their comfort zone) is the key and if you keep the above things in mind, you should be able to perform well.

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