Morgan Stanley Assessments

Prepare for the Morgan Stanley recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Careers at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is an American investment bank and financial services company that is headquartered in New York City but has local headquarters across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The Morgan Stanley European, Middle East, and Asia (EMEA) headquarters has been in London since 1997, and there is also a well-established office in Glasgow that has been offering Morgan Stanley services since 2000.

Morgan Stanley offers the following services to EMEA clients:

  • Institutional securities for the corporate, sovereign, investor, and others
  • Strong investment banking services, including financial advisory, equity, debt underwriting, and other financial services
  • Sales, trading, research, content, and technology for equities, fixed income, and commodity investment
  • A lucrative range of actively managed investment strategies for private and corporate clients

While many people start their careers at Morgan Stanley straight from college or university, there are a lot of options for experienced professionals to come aboard. Morgan Stanley is led by their core values:

  • Do the right thing
  • Put clients first
  • Lead with exceptional ideas
  • Commit to diversity and inclusion
  • Give back

For potential employees at every level, demonstrating personal competencies that match these values is part of what is needed to progress through the application process.

For graduates and students, there is a wide range of opportunities for work experience, insight programmes, apprenticeships, and internships as well as a strong offering of full-time graduate placements.

Applications for graduates open for the following year in the last year of study, and internships are on offer for students who are in their penultimate year of study. For other students, insight programmes are offered to first-year students who are interested in becoming part of an investment banking company that has technology at the heart of the business.

Morgan Stanley Application Process

The Morgan Stanley recruitment process is straightforward at all levels - there are several distinct stages to the process which do not change much for both experienced professionals and interns/graduates.

The exact content of each stage is what will change, depending on the level of the role and the location. The below details are related to the graduate and internship process. Morgan Stanley representatives often attend campus recruitment events, especially in US colleges - so these are a great opportunity to meet current employees and begin networking before you get started. In the UK, Morgan Stanley offers 'Step In, Step Up' events at their offices that offer insights into banking, their diversity opportunities, and how technology is improving client experiences.

Morgan Stanley Online Application

There are generally two types of graduate and internship opportunities that are advertised on the Morgan Stanley careers site - the first are the 'normal' opportunities that are advertised to coincide with the beginning of the university year. The second type of opportunity is known as 'off-cycle' and these do not follow the educational calendar.

The first part of the online application is to choose the opportunity that you are most interested in. As a graduate or a student looking for an internship, you can apply for up to nine opportunities in a calendar year - but you are likely to be asked why you have chosen that role to apply for during the recruitment process.

The online application includes uploading your CV, where you need to ensure that you have good academic credentials, including an actual or expected 2:1 degree in your chosen subject. While the majority of interns and graduates come from a maths or other financial background, there is no specific requirement for your degree to be directly related to banking.

There is also space to upload a cover letter, and this is where the recruitment team wants to understand why you have chosen Morgan Stanley in general as well as the specific business area you have applied for - and is an opportunity to demonstrate your passion and ambition.

Depending on the business area, you might also be asked a few open-ended questions related to your competencies - with 150-200 words to respond.

It is always best to get applications in as early as possible - there are 1500 students recruited every year, but many more applications. Applications are reviewed as soon as they are received so get in early to ensure that you get proper consideration. Waiting until the deadline could mean that you miss out.

As part of the application, you are likely to receive a link to complete online aptitude tests which are used to assess your inherent abilities that relate to workplace achievement.

Morgan Stanley Aptitude Tests

Morgan Stanley Numerical Reasoning Test

The Morgan Stanley numerical reasoning test is an assessment that evaluates your ability to read, understand and assess data presented in graphs and tables, and then use that information to choose the right answer to a multiple-choice question

Numerical reasoning assessments are not testing mathematical ability. The content of the questions are based on basic GCSE-level maths operations like multiplication, division, addition and subtractions, as well as fractions, decimals and ratios. The difficulty comes from the combination of the time pressure in the test, and the way the data and questions are provided.

Morgan Stanley Verbal Reasoning Test

Verbal reasoning assessments test a candidate on their ability to quickly read, understand, and analyse information presented in text. This information is then used to answer a multiple-choice question.

Verbal reasoning is often presented as a block of text on a specific subject, most often related to the job role that you are applying for. There is no previous knowledge needed or assumed, and it can actually be detrimental to your performance if you do not take the information presented as truth. Verbal reasoning is not complicated, but you do need to be able to quickly read and understand the information so that you have enough time to complete all the questions.

Morgan Stanley Logical Reasoning Test

Logical reasoning is one of the more challenging parts of the assessment, as it might not be a skill that you have a lot of experience with. That being said, much like the other aptitude tests, the content of a logical reasoning test is not difficult, it is the format of the questions and the time pressure that makes it tough.

In a logical reasoning test, you will be required to take the given information and follow it logically to a conclusion. Logical reasoning tests can include two statements that are related, and you must form a conclusion based on them. Sometimes logical reasoning can relate to finding the rules for a pattern of numbers or images, and then using that rule to find the next number or image.

All the information you need to get to the correct answer is provided, and all you need to do is apply that knowledge in a logical manner to reach a conclusion.

Morgan Stanley Checking Test

Error checking is often a part of aptitude tests - and this checking test is about being able to quickly and accurately spot errors between two documents. You will be presented with two sets of information, and you will need to highlight the mistakes on the second sheet.

Checking tests are about speed and having a good eye for detail - no revision of complicated content, just a well-practiced method of checking for and highlighting mistakes. It sounds simple - and it is - but candidates are under time pressure which can make it much harder. Practice 'spot the difference' puzzles to hone your skills.

Morgan Stanley First-round Interview

The initial interview can take place in one of three ways. It can be a telephone interview with one (or more than one) member of the recruitment team,it can take place via video conferencing, or it might be a live face-to-face interview.

During this first-round interview, you can expect that your answers to the aptitude test, your CV, cover letter and the other questions on the online application will be discussed.

This might be the first time you will have spoken (in person or on the phone) to the recruitment team, so it is the ideal time to demonstrate that you have taken the time and the effort to learn about the business, and have answers to common competency questions ready.

If you are successful in the first-round interview, you will be invited to the last stage, which is the assessment centre. It can take many weeks to get to this point, so patience is a virtue throughout the application process.

Morgan Stanley Assessment Centre

The assessment centre will take place at the Morgan Stanley office, and is usually a full day of recruitment activities designed to see what you are like in a workplace situation. You are being continuously assessed throughout the day using a number of different activities and exercises.

During the assessment centre you are likely to complete a combination of the following:

  • One-to-one interviews
  • Panel interviews
  • Written tests
  • Individual presentations
  • Group exercises

Assessment centres often bring together candidates who have applied for many different roles in the organisation - so although there will be competition for the role you want there, not everybody will be after a single position. However, you are under assessment through everything, so remember to be positive, thoughtful and confident throughout.

Sample Morgan Stanley Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

When presented with a potential conflict of interest in a merger deal, what is the most appropriate initial action to take?

  • Proceed with the deal without disclosing the conflict.
  • Disclose the conflict to all affected parties before proceeding.
  • Ignore the conflict since it is only potential and not actual.
  • Resign from the deal team immediately.

Spot the error in the following financial statement extract: 'The total revenue generated in the second quarter was $3,200,000, an increase of 15% from the previous quarter's total of $2,950,000.'

  • There is a mathematical error in the percentage increase.
  • The dollar amount for the second quarter is incorrect.
  • The dollar amount for the previous quarter is incorrect.
  • No errors are present in the statement extract.

If an investment portfolio increased by 12% in its first year and by 9% in its second year, what was the total percentage increase over the two years?

  • 21%
  • 23.08%
  • 19.80%
  • 22%

What conclusion can be drawn from a decision by a financial services company to diversify its investment portfolio?

  • The company is looking to maximize risk.
  • The company is seeking to reduce potential losses through diversification.
  • The company is concentrating its investments in one sector.
  • The company will only invest in high-yield bonds.

A team of analysts is working on a quarterly report. If the lead analyst can review 12 pages per hour, and the report is 96 pages long, how many hours will the review process take if it is evenly distributed among a team of 4 analysts?

  • 8 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 4 hours
  • 3 hours

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Morgan Stanley Assessments Tips

Understand the Arena

Before diving into practice exams, take a moment to familiarize yourself with Morgan Stanley's domain. Understanding the financial services landscape—not just broadly, but the specific contours of investment banking—will help you approach the tests with the right mindset. It gives you context for the types of questions you're likely to encounter and will make your practice sessions with Fintest more productive.

Mimic the Test Environment

Creating a test environment that's as close to the real thing as possible can do wonders. Set a timer, find a quiet space, and use the same kind of technology (like a calculator or spreadsheet software) you expect to use during the actual test. This tactic will not only help you get comfortable with the pressure but also refine your ability to manage time effectively on exam day.

Analyze Your Results

Each Fintest practice exam is an opportunity to learn, so don't let it go to waste. Detailed review of your answers, especially the incorrect ones, is crucial. Read the explanations provided to understand where you went wrong and why the correct answers are right. This reflection turns a mere practice test into a powerful learning tool.

Stay Consistent and Persistent

Prepping for Morgan Stanley's hiring process is a journey, and it's one that rewards consistency. Set a regular schedule for your practice exams with Fintest, and stick to it. Don't let a bad day discourage you; use it as fuel to come back stronger and more determined. Your ability to bounce back will not only improve your test results but also show potential employers you have grit.

Sleep, Eat, Repeat

Last but not least, take care of your body and mind. A well-rested brain performs significantly better, so make sure you get plenty of sleep before you practice—and, of course, before the actual test day. Similarly, nourish your body with good food and stay hydrated. These may seem like simple things, but they can markedly improve your cognitive function and overall test performance.

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Morgan Stanley Assessments FAQs

What tests does Morgan Stanley use?

Morgan Stanley uses a variety of tests like numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and logical reasoning, which may last around 20-30 minutes each. These are aimed to assess your skills and help Morgan Stanley shortlist candidates based on test-score performance.

Where can I practice Morgan Stanley questions for free?

You can practice free Morgan Stanley test questions to get familiar with the format and improve your test score using our online platform - no credit card required.

What are Morgan Stanley's core values?

Morgan Stanley's core values are:

  • Do the right thing
  • Act with integrity
  • Put clients first
  • Lead with exceptional ideas
  • Commit to diversity & inclusion
  • Give back