How do Analysis Exercises work?
During an assessment day, it is common that you will need to undertake an analysis exercise. They are often taken at a centre, rather than online, as they typically involve many paper documents. The exercise is to work through various documents and analyse their contents. The documents include company reports, inside memos and more. Remember, some documents may not contain any useful information towards the problem being asked to resolve. Tasks may include making decisions, prioritising and justifying reasonings.
Why are analysis exercises used?
Analysis exercises are a helpful way of predicting how a candidate could perform in the workplace in the role being assessed. Therefore, they can be quite common in assessment centres. If the role you're applying to involves creating reports and written documents then it's likely a written analysis exercise will be used at the assessment centre. The exercises often bare resemblance to the kind of situations that people in the workplace face. The exercise attempts to recreate the potential stresses and problems that can occur in the role and assess how the candidate might therefore act in real life. Depending on the organisation you are applying to analysis exercises can be bespoke to the organisation to make them specifically relevant to the role at that company. Or, they can be purchased off-the-shelf, which would make them not specific to the company, but still relevant to the role.
What will an analysis exercise assess?
An analysis exercise will assess your ability to look through information and data and be able to create evidence-backed proposals/conclusions. You will have to be able to understand what parts of the information are the most important and be able to succicntly write your analysis.
One key element to remember, is who the report/exercise is for. You must be able to tailor your writing to be appropriate for whom it is addressed to. Something for an external client may need to be more professional and complelling than something for a colleague.
It's important that you allow enough time to re-read and check it at the end. You will want to plan what you will write about in the first minutes so that your writting is most compelling and structured well, this will reduce the chance of your writting being disjointed and allow for better clarity.
Analysis exercises are typically quite popular with employers alongside a presentation exercise that will follow on with the similar situational information given. So be prepared to have to give a presentation at your assessment centre.