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IBM please!!!!!

#1 IBM please!!!!!
04/11/2005 19:28

Serena Obhrai

Hey guys, I've applied for Business Dynamics at IBM and have been asked to take the IPATO test. Because I've been working all week I've only got the weekend to do it. I've heard something about a matrix manipulation section and how you have to switch letters and symbols!!!?? I've never studied matrices before so does this mean I'll have to study a maths book???!! Could someone provide me with an example question so I know what to study or expect! Really really appreciate your help. Many thanks in advance! Ser

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#2 Don't do it !
04/11/2005 22:01

Why would you want to join IBM ?? Have you not been reading any of the commentary here ?

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#3 Re: dont worry...
05/11/2005 10:28


The IPATO is pretty simple, don't worry too much about it. If you've got an eye for patterns and numbers and apply a little logical thought, its a walk in the park. I interviewed for the first round of BD - well, I say interviewed, but after 4-5 hours of testing and presentations in South Bank, they failed me on one test - the verbal reasoning - as I apparantly had missed the benchmark by a few points. Thus I wasn't even given an interview with a 'very busy' partner. In fact none of my group of four made it thru to actually speak to someone in the practice. I found the IBM interview process (for BCS also) very mechanical and score-driven, not much attention is paid in the early stages to your actual personality and skillset, just how well you meet their testing proceedure. The best prep you can do for the BD interview day is be ready to work hard all day -find yourself some past papers of your degree subject, say, and go through a couple to get your brain working quickly. Jon (now a very happy PA'er)

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#4 Re: dont worry...
05/11/2005 11:12


Jon, what rank and practice are you in at PA. Im about to join...

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#5 Re: dont worry...
06/11/2005 13:26


hey anon, (if that is your real name......)

I'm in ISI (part of Global Systems Integration and Solutions Group) based in London at 123. Graduated in Physics from Bristol Uni this summer and I'm at Analyst level.

Where are you joining?

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#6 Re: dont worry...
06/11/2005 15:46


Hey there, joining at analyst level within SMP. Perhaps if you leave your email we could converse offline, I would like to ask you a few questions if I may.

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#7 Re: dont worry...
06/11/2005 21:31


happy to help, mail me at (remove the NOSPAM)


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#8 To answer the original question
07/11/2005 09:51

Recent IPAT passer

The IPAT is spilt into 3 parts and the key to passing it is to TAKE YOUR TIME to avoid the easy pitfalls.

The first part asks you to manipulate a grid and swap columns/rows etc.. with a view of presenting 'what is now in cell B2?' Simple only if you keep your columns and rows swapped and read the QUESTION CAREFULLY-I had time to check my answers and had made a couple of mistakes by swapping rows instead of columns etc...

The second part is number series work adn if you're quick and do some pracice it is really quite straight forward. ie , what is next 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, ?

The third part involves 'real life' problems and you have to find the answers to certain mathematical problems. A few of these are a bit tricky so I would recommend practising basic scenario based psychometric test and number series work and taking your time on section A-you'll be fine.

As for whether to join IBM, i got an offer for a BTO role but the interview process was a joke and I didn't feel comfortable with the people I met and the rushed and hurried manner in which they dealt with me (I got no time to ask any questions at all).

However, they are a massive firma dn alot of people are arguijng they are on teh way back up from a post merger balls up. Make up your own mind and don't follow the masses.

Good luck

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#9 So did you take the offer?
07/11/2005 13:49


If not, who did you go to, and why ? From my sources, things in BCS and BTO aren’t getting any better. People are still leaving faster than they can hire them.

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#10 Re: So did you take the offer?
07/11/2005 16:40

recent IPAT passer

No didn't take the offer-had one from Cap anyway but went to IBM to see if the fit was better. Many folk told me to start at IBM and weather the storm-they'll be plenty of fast track places available for good grads with such turnover higher up the ladder adn if you prove good they'll be alot to offer apparently but thought it was too risky. Will let them sort it out over the next two years and keep my ear to the ground further up the ladder. CG pay a hell of a lot more anyway!

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#11 Re: So did you take the offer?
10/11/2005 00:48

Willy Wonka

That advice to weather the storm was very poor - if it was valid then more IBM'ers would have stayed around waiting for the storm to clear. Three years post-takeover and BCS is an increasingly bad place to work: limited promotions, poor quality work, training almost non-existent. You did the right thing in joining a good quality Management consulting firm, rather than a huge SI.

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#12 RE: IBM please!!!!!
14/04/2016 08:03

Sourabh to Serena Obhrai (#1)

Hey guys,

Just cleared my IPAT and progressed to the next stage. I practiced for the test for about 4 days before the real test. It's tough but not too tough. Here is my experience and advice -

I was given two sections -


You can expect some easy questions like

1,3,6,10,...? ( Consecutive difference of 2,3,4...)


some rather tricky ones,

1,7,2,2,1,3,2,2,4,7,? (notice the 2,2 pattern repeats every two terms hence the next term is 2)

One of my senior friends(who also passed the IPAT) created this website - to help in IPAT preparation and it really helped me especially for the numeric series problems.


These were basically word problems,

For example -

If Ann can complete a work in 3 days and George can complete the same work in 5 days. Now, If Ann works every alternate day and George works every consecutive day. How many days will it take for them to complete the work together?

I could roughly classify them into one of these topics-

Time and Work

Basic Probability

Ratio and Proportion

Interests - Compound and Simple

It's important to keep a clear head during the exam as it is timed and there is a 2 min 15 sec cutoff for each question. Get adequate rest before the test, practice and you will be fine!

All the Best!

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#13 RE: IBM please!!!!!
14/04/2016 08:49

Phil to Sourabh (#12)

It took you a while but congrats mate! Please let us know how the final round goes when you get there in 2027.

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#14 RE: IBM please!!!!!
14/04/2016 10:05

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Phil (#13)


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#15 RE: IBM please!!!!!
14/04/2016 12:32

detoilet Consultant to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#14)

Yes and also noticed in that period one of the posters is now a freelancer. Left PA after nearly 6 years as a consultant "Decision Science and IT Solutions Consultant"

Decision science and joining PA - tee'd it up for Mars to come out with a witty comment.

Suppose we could debate whether 6 years to reach consultant level is good :-)


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#16 RE: IBM please!!!!!
14/04/2016 15:45

marsday to detoilet Consultant (#15)

Decision science and joining PA

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


wipes a tear..

Derision Science and joining PA.

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