Companies Ask for SAT/ACT Scores

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Proving the adage that every one of life is like high school, plenty of companies still care about a job candidate’ ersus SAT score. Consulting firms such as Bain & Co. and McKinsey & Co. and banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ask new college recruits for their scores, while other companies request them also for senior sales and management hires, eliciting scores from job candidates in their 40s and 50s. (See an interactive of how your own SAT score compares. )

The SAT, originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test and taken throughout junior or senior year of high school, is a common element of college applications. The exam is have scored on a scale of 2400, with up to 800 points each with regard to critical reading, math and composing sections. The average SAT score last year was a combined 1498. (Before 03 2005, the test had just two sections and was scored on the 1600-point scale — and will go back to the 1600-point scale in its new iteration)

A low rating doesn’ t necessarily kill the person’ s chances, hiring managers say; instead, they say they think SATs and other college entrance exams like the ACT help when comparing candidates with differing backgrounds or determining whether someone has the raw brainpower required for the job.

But some companies do set targets, particularly on the math section. Mark Wealthy, managing director of consulting-industry recruiting firm Whitehouse Pimms, says clients often tell him to screen with regard to candidates whose SAT scores placed them in or above the 95th percentile. Investment firm Deb. E. Shaw Group asks candidates to break out their math plus verbal results.

Birkenstock boston Consulting Group Inc. has lengthy used SAT scores as a element in its hiring process. The firm doesn’ t set a minimum rating for applicants, said Jennifer Comparoni, head of Americas recruiting. Yet candidates with weak math results would need to demonstrate other strengths, such as subject-matter expertise or leadership capability, she added.

BCG managers won’ t say that SAT results predict job performance, yet Ms. Comparoni said the company utilizes the test as a standard measure of “ the basic building blocks of success, ” such as critical thinking, problem-solving abilities and quantitative abilities.

How They Read Your Résumé

Recruiters like to see candidates with the right mix of education, experience plus skills, but certain companies put added weight on particular résumé lines for recent college grads:

GPA: Accounting companies and other professional services companies usually set minimum grade-point averages with regard to college hires; at service business Teach for America, the average undergrad GPA for the 2013 corps was 3. 55.

PASSIONS: Law-school graduates generally have near-identical transcripts and little work encounter. Quirky interests, such as 19th one hundred year French poetry or a stint as being a sports team mascot, can distinguish candidates for law firms.

WORK EXPERIENCE: Time at an early-stage startup excites recruiters at little tech firms.

Cvent Inc., CVT +1. 64% the McLean, Va., event management software company, asks all job applicants to provide SAT or ACT scores, results from graduate-school entrance tests and grade-point averages along with their work history. Scores count most heavily for candidates in their first years out of college, although the company has received scores from applicants well into middle age group, said Eric Eden, Cvent’ ersus vice president of marketing.

“ When you’ re hiring people and they don’ t have a lot of work experience, you have to begin with some set of data points, ” he said, adding that he loves to hear about recent graduates’ extracurricular activities, too.

Cvent, which usually employs more than 1, 400 individuals, hasn’ t tested whether its best employees are also its best SAT scorers. “ Knowing it’ s a standardized test is absolutely enough for us, ” Mr. Eden said.

SATs as well as other academic artifacts remain relevant simply because they are easy—if imperfect—metrics for employing managers to understand. This despite the fact that improved use of personality tests, data analytics and behavioral interviews have given employers more information about a candidate than ever before. Academic research has proved that cognitive ability can predict job performance, but there is scant evidence backlinking high SAT scores with employee success.

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