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PwC Game Based Assessment : PwC Career Unlocked ({YEAR})

PwC Game Based Assessment : PwC Career Unlocked (2024)

A List of PwC Tests Available for Practice in 2024

What Is PwC Career Unlocked?

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a multinational professional services network, ranking second in professional services organizations globally, and is one of the 'Big Four' accounting firms.

Alongside fellow Big Four organizations Deloitte and KPMG, PwC has embraced the growing trend of using game-based assessments as part of their recruitment process.

PwC Career Unlocked is the PwC game-based assessment of choice, developed by Arctic Shores and is available as an app for mobile devices.

PwC Career Unlocked tests your suitability for the role you have applied for by assessing your personality traits and cognitive reasoning.

Should your application to PwC be successful and you pass the PwC Career Valuation situational judgment test, you will be invited to sit the PwC Career Unlocked test.

What Is the Format of the PwC Game Based Assessment?

The PwC Career Unlocked test is designed for use on mobile devices, such as a mobile phone or tablet. It can be used on a computer, but it is recommended that you use a mobile device.

The Career Unlocked app tends to run at a delay when used on a PC, which may affect your results because reaction times are one of the elements assessed.

Equally, the app does not work on older models of mobile phones or tablets, so it may be necessary to update your current model or borrow a newer phone or tablet to take the test.

There is no overall time limit for the test but spending too long on it may count against you. The recommendation is to complete the test in 75-85 minutes. It should take at least an hour to complete.

Career Unlocked is designed to challenge you with assessments of high difficulty. As such, it is advised that you have a separate calculator to hand, as using the one on your phone/tablet will require you to go out of and back into the app, potentially breaking your concentration and definitely slowing down your answering times.

Also, have a pen and paper handy for note-taking.

The test has three sections:

  • 18 numerical reasoning questions
  • 20 logical reasoning questions
  • Nine games to assess cognitive reasoning and personality traits

The logical reasoning questions may not always be required, depending on the role you apply for, but you will be informed of this before you begin the test.

What Does the PwC Assessment Test Include?

The PwC Career Unlocked assessment includes four types of games and additional questions:

1. Memory Game

There is one memory game in the test. In this game, you must remember in what order a series of leaflets is stamped, with the complication of an additional stamp which you must disregard.

This is one question where pen and paper are a definite must.

Improving your memory is all about practice and strategy.

One strategy that may help with the memory game is to find a pattern in the order in which the leaflets are stamped.

You may also wish to improve your memory using puzzles and online memory exercises in the run-up to taking Career Unlocked.

Here is a sample memory exercise:

Look at a random list of ten words and memorize them for 30 seconds. Try finding connections between the words, for instance, tiger and orange, or window and glass. After the 30 seconds is up, turn over the paper or close the screen and write down as many of the words as you can remember.

2. Adapting Strategy Game

There are two adapting strategy games in the test.

These questions assess how well you can adapt to a new or changing scenario or when presented with unexpected and/or new information.

The first game asks you to inflate balloons of different sizes, increasing their value as they grow bigger.

But they burst at a certain size. You must assess when the balloon has reached as high a value as it can manage without bursting and then ‘bank’ it.

The second game asks you to balance the input/output of four generators to arrive at the highest level of power possible. However, the generators may at any point begin to lose power.

Consider this sample adapting strategy scenario to feel how it can get stressful and think about dealing with such things:

You are in charge of a steam train running from station A to station B at a set speed to guarantee arrival at a specific time. The train starts and it becomes clear how much fuel is used to maintain the set speed. However, as the route proceeds, it encounters hills of varying gradients. Consider how you would balance the amount of fuel used at each point to make sure you could get up the hills while not burning up too much to fail to get to the destination at the set time.

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3. Fixed Strategy Game

There is one fixed strategy game in the test.

In this game, you are a member of one of two sales teams. The aim of the game is to make as much money as possible. You must decide whether your team will sell electronic devices for 50or50 or 300 with no knowledge of what the other team will decide until you reveal your answer.

Here are the possible outcomes:

  • Both teams choose 50.Eachreceivesthatamount.50. Each receives that amount. 100 also goes to PwC.
  • One team chooses 300andtheother300 and the other 50. The team who chose the higher amount receives $300. The second team receives nothing.
  • Both teams choose $300. Neither team receives anything.

This question asks you to develop a strategy based on a balance between risk-taking and teamwork. It is a ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’-based scenario, where the ‘betrayal’ and ‘co-operation’ options are replaced with higher or lower amounts of money.

Read up on Prisoner’s Dilemma scenarios to help with this game.

There is no right or wrong answer overall in Prisoner’s Dilemma scenarios; this game is to help PwC understand your priorities.

4. Reaction Games

In the test, there are five games designed to assess how you react under pressure and within time constraints.

These are:

  • Open the safe – You are asked to enter the correct series of numbers to open the safe.
  • Emotions – Match the correct emotion to the face. For instance, are they happy, afraid, or surprised?
  • Bulbs and Spanners – A bulb or a spanner pops up at the top of the screen. Click on the corresponding letter displayed at the bottom of the screen.
  • Arrows – You are presented with an image of multiple arrows, but you must only concentrate on the central arrow. Press the corresponding letter to denote what direction the central arrow is pointing, regardless of the arrows around it.
  • Moving Numbers – A shape and a number will appear at the top or bottom of the screen. If the image appears at the top, answer a question on the number. If the image appears at the bottom, answer a question on the shape. This test increases in speed as it progresses.

The best way to prepare for these game questions is to improve your reaction time and hand-eye coordination.

Playing sports can be a great help, especially tennis, badminton or squash.

Equally, playing first-person shooter games can improve your reaction times.

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Numerical Reasoning

In addition to the games, there are 18 numerical reasoning questions.

Each multiple-choice question will present you with information that you must analyze.

The questions are all GCSE level and relatively simple to calculate. However, with less than one minute to answer each question, only a few people manage to answer all 18 questions.

The best way to prepare for this section of the Career Unlocked test is to brush up on your math skills.

It is possible to source practice questions online:

But in general, any numerical questions will help you prepare.

Here is a sample numerical reasoning question:

Look at this table and answer the questions below.

(PwC) ‘Career Unlocked’ Game-Based Application Test
(PwC) ‘Career Unlocked’ Game-Based Application Test
Example Question

Give an approximate percentage of the above sample who are self-employed.

a) 7%
b) 8%
c) 5%
d) 9%

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This article can help with understanding percentages and fractions if you need more explanation.

PwC Assessment Test - The Report Card

Once you have completed Career Unlocked, you will receive a report card.

This measures your performance against a comparison group using indicators.

The report card is split into five sections:

1. Personal Style

This section has one indicator that expresses how well you recognize facial expressions and interpret emotions.

2. Cognition

This section has two indicators:

  • The first measures the speed that you process information, compared to other candidates.

  • The second indicator examines whether you are more confident handling small or large amounts of data.

3. Drive

This section has three indicators:

  • The first indicator measures how motivated you are by reward.
  • The second indicator measures your resilience, which is how quickly you recover after setbacks and how well you maintain your focus in stressful situations.
  • The third indicator measures how motivated you are by thoughts and feelings as opposed to values and goals.

4. Interpersonal Style

This section has four indicators:

  • The first measures how adaptive your working style is or if you consistently prefer your own.
  • The second indicator measures whether you care more about your own needs or the needs of others.
  • The third measures whether you tend to be thoughtful and passive or assertive and dominant.
  • The final indicator measures your reaction to social situations, such as if they energize or drain you.

5. Thinking Style

This final section has the most indicators, with eight in total:

  • The first indicator measures if you trust your instincts or think things over before acting in risky situations.
  • The second measures whether you are realistic or optimistic.
  • The third measures your preference for consistency and familiarity, or change and variety.
  • The fourth indicator is similar and measures whether you prefer new, experimental approaches or tried-and-tested, familiar ones.
  • The fifth is similar to the first and measures whether you are impulsive or deliberate more.
  • The sixth measures your use of intuition or rational thinking in your decision-making.
  • The seventh indicator measures your levels of comfort regarding uncertainty and unpredictability.
  • The final, eighth indicator measures if your thinking style is more creative or more precise.

How to Prepare for the PwC Game Based Assessment in 2024?

As with any job interview or recruitment-related test, the best way you can improve your performance is to prepare in advance.

Here are some top tips that will help you pass the PwC game based assessment:

Step 1. Inform PwC If You Have a Disability

PwC will account for your disability in the assessment of your PwC game based assessment's performance, but they can only do this if they know about it.

If you feel that your disability may affect your PwC career unlocked performance, tell PwC as soon as possible.

Step 2. Use a Compatible Mobile Phone or Tablet

It may be tempting to take the PwC game based assessment on your computer, but due to the delay often experienced, this can be to your detriment.

The delay will make it seem like your reaction times are slower than they actually are.

The PwC Career Unlocked app also does not run well on older mobile devices so make sure you use an up-to-date mobile phone or tablet.

This may mean that you have to borrow one from a friend or family member.

Step 3. Set Up a Distraction-Free Zone

Give yourself the highest chance possible of completing the PwC game based assessment well by setting up a distraction-free zone.

Turn off notifications and turn down the volume on everything on your device, both media and phone calls.

If your device has a Do Not Disturb setting, turn that on. Make sure the vibrations are off too.

Tell people who may contact you when you are going to take the test, so they do not interrupt.

If you take the test on your phone or a tablet, close everything else down except for the PwC Career Unlocked app. This means more of your device’s processing power can be used for the app and it will run more smoothly.

Try to take the test somewhere quiet, where you will not be distracted. If you feel that someone may walk in on you, phone or send a text, let them know in advance that you must not be disturbed for this time slot.

Use headphones without music as noise-canceling devices.

Step 4. Set Aside at Least an Hour and a Half

The PwC game based assessment should take you at least one hour, but you will probably need up to an hour and a half to complete it.

Remove the stress of fitting the test in between other tasks by setting aside plenty of time in your day.

Step 5. Read the Instructions Carefully

Make sure that you have fully read any pre-test instructions before you begin. Continue to read each question so that you fully understand it before you answer or react.

This will help you avoid silly mistakes because you misread a question or answered based on an incorrect assumption.

Step 6. Devise a Strategy

Once you have read the instructions for each game or question, quickly decide what your strategy is for it before you answer or start, and keep it in mind as you go.

This is one of the reasons that you should develop your strategic and decision-making skills before you take the Career Unlocked test.

Step 7. Be Yourself

PwC uses game based assessments to get to know you, your personality and your skills to decide better whether you are a good fit for the company and the role you have applied for.

Therefore, it does not serve you to act unlike your real self.

On the day, be the best possible version of yourself.

Where you feel you may be lacking in some way, do not be tempted to let another person take the test in your place. This will send PwC false information and cause problems further into the role when it transpires you are not who they thought you were.

Step 8. Remember: There is a Job at Stake

Because most of the Career Unlocked test is based on games, you may be tempted to not take it seriously and treat it as you would a game played for enjoyment.

Do not fall into that trap. The test uses games to reduce triggering exam anxiety, but it is still an exam for landing the job you want. Try your hardest.

Step 9. Relax and Enjoy the Experience

Having said that, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy it. These are games, after all, and when people relax into playing games and enter a flow state they show faster reaction times and speedier, effective decision-making.

Relax as much as you can and try to enjoy the experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After completing the PwC Career Unlocked Assessment Test, you'll receive a successful outcome, leading to the asynchronous Career Conversation video interview or an automated response indicating your application is under review.

The video interview will require you to respond to questions and case studies on PwC's portal, typically with a few days for preparation. Applications under review may stay in this status until the job application deadline to comprehensively compare all candidates.

The difficulty of the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) game-based assessment can vary from person to person. It typically involves assessing cognitive abilities and how candidates approach problem-solving in a game-like format. Adequate preparation and practice can contribute to better performance.

The specific score required to pass the PwC game-based assessment may not be disclosed publicly. Focusing on performing to the best of your abilities rather than aiming for a specific threshold is essential.

PwC usually allows only one submission of the game-based assessment per candidate. It's crucial to take the assessment seriously and make the best effort on the first attempt.

The pass rate for the PwC game based assessment can vary, and the exact percentage is not typically disclosed. Success depends on individual preparation, problem-solving skills, and navigating the game scenarios effectively. Practicing and understanding the assessment format can improve the chances of success.

Practice is essential to achieve a good score on the PwC Career Unlocked Assessment Test. Familiarize yourself with the game format, hone your problem-solving skills, and practice under timed conditions. Understanding the rules and requirements of each game scenario is crucial for success.

Tricking the assessment is not advisable, as it aims to evaluate your natural cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. While you cannot study in a traditional sense, practicing similar game scenarios can enhance your performance.

Yes, PwC encourages candidates to practice the game-based assessment. Utilize practice materials provided by PwC or similar online resources to familiarize yourself with the assessment format.

Prior experience with computer games is not a prerequisite. The assessment is designed to evaluate general cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. Practice and familiarity with the format can compensate for a lack of gaming experience.

The specific retry policy may vary, but generally, candidates can attempt the assessment once. Preparing thoroughly and performing your best on the initial attempt is crucial.

Access to the game-based assessments is typically provided through the PwC recruitment platform or portal. Follow the instructions provided during the application process to access and complete the assessments.

The number of times you can take practice games may vary. PwC or other practice platforms may have specific policies. Check the guidelines provided to understand the practice limitations.

The difficulty level of game-based assessments varies. They are designed to challenge candidates and assess their problem-solving abilities. Regular practice and understanding of the assessment format can improve your performance.

Practicing with GF (Game-based Assessments) can provide a simulated experience, helping you become familiar with the assessment format and improve your skills. GF platforms may offer tailored resources for adequate preparation.

Practice games may be specific to the test provider, allowing candidates to become accustomed to the assessments used by employers like PwC. Tailored practice resources can enhance your readiness for the actual assessments.


There is no doubt that the Career Unlocked test is challenging and not intuitive for everyone who takes it. It has certainly left many applicants disappointed with results that they feel do not match their true potential.

However, it is an important step in the PwC recruitment process and unlikely to be changed in the near future. The best way to provide yourself with a good chance of success, therefore, is to prepare thoroughly, recognize the test for the new learning experience that it is and go into it with an open mind. When you know more about yourself, you can take the best advantage of any opportunity.

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