ABLE® Critical Business Planning

Target groups: fast-track graduates, management trainees, business consultants, middle managers, administrators.

The ABLE (Aptitude for Business Learning) Series of exercises combines the richness of a work simulation with the objectivity of a psychometric instrument. Ground-breaking contextualised exercises teach and then test, giving a dynamic measurement of the candidate's ability to learn.

Critical Business Planning tests the ability to discover the concepts underlying critical business decisions and apply them in new settings.
BPS Test User, Occupational: Ability

Critical Business Planning has been designed as an alternative version of the ABLE Series’ Business Decision Analysis, catering for candidates whose interests lie in the area of business administration rather than product development, production and marketing.

The Critical Business Planning test is set in business demerger scenarios. An information file provides the candidate with details about different processes of demerger in different fictional companies. The facts provided explain how long the process lasted and whether it was smooth or had complications. From this information the candidate is expected to build up a pattern of knowledge that he or she must then apply in a new setting, with a new collection of fictional companies in the process of a demerger. The task is completed by answering questions, in a separate question and answer booklet, about the demerger in the new collection of companies.

The information file’s data is presented in either a written, graphical or tabular form in the different tasks. There are 12 questions in the question and answer booklet and 12 separate information sheets within the information file. Candidates are assessed on their skill in reading and understanding concepts embedded within the information file and correctly applying the concepts to questions from a variety of different settings.

The test assesses learning and does not assume prior knowledge of the current business scenario: candidates with knowledge of this sector will not have an unfair advantage. A preparation leaflet is available, briefing candidates on what to expect.

  • Ability to discover concepts and acquire skills without being taught
  • Ability to discern apparent patterns masked by complexity
  • Ability to analyse and reason with data in graphs, tables and charts
  • Aptitude for finding structure in data

In occupational testing we interpret individuals’ scores by comparing them against samples of applicants, incumbents, etc. The following samples or norm tables are available:

  • Undergraduates and graduates registered in recruitment agencies
  • Graduate applicants tested for technical roles with a UK Government agency
  • Internal applicants for senior management positions within a large public service organisation
  • Information system trainee candidates and internal staff
  • Internal applicants for promotion to the rank of Chief Inspector within a UK police force
  • Internal applicants for senior management positions in a public service organisation
Critical Business Planning highlights candidates who show a considerable degree of intellectual curiosity and independence in their work, finding effective concepts to operate with rather than working to pre-set patterns. It is likely that Critical Business Planning will typically be used with candidates for administrative and staff functions. The test is useful in recruitment and selection, or with a more developmental focus to highlight personal strengths and pinpoint areas in need of development.
The test itself is timed and lasts for 40 minutes. Practitioners should allow up to 15 minutes beforehand to brief the candidate as part of the administration and to account for the two practice questions which the candidate is asked to work through before the start of the exercise. A suggested allocation time for the full assessment process, including briefing, completion and collection of the timed test, would be one hour.

For the practitioner:

For the candidate: