What is the P&G switch challenge?
P&G stands for Procter & Gamble. Procter & Gamble is a global consumer goods company that was founded in America in 1837. P&G's brands include Always, Fairy, Olay, Pampers, and Pantene among many others.
As you'd expect from such a high-profile global corporation, the recruitment process for P&G is rigorous and involves many different assessments, including the switch challenge.
The switch challenge is often thought to be the hardest P&G assessment. Designed to assess your deductive and logical reasoning skills, the test measures your ability to spot patterns and identify rules from limited amounts of information.
The test is multiple choice and requires a swift response to complete all the questions on the test in the allotted time of just six minutes.
The switch challenge is not easy, and the best way you can prepare for it is just to take as many practice tests as you can. Doing so will help you familiarize yourself with the question format, improve your speed and hone your accuracy.
Who can take part in the P&G switch challenge?
The P&G recruitment process always starts with a series of online assessments that are used as screening devices. Those who do well on the assessments and show promise will then be invited to interview and take part in any additional stages of the process.
The switch challenge is usually set for people looking to work in finance, or other roles within the company that require strong logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
When you submit your online application for a role at P&G you'll receive a response letting you know if you have the experience and qualifications needed to move to the next stage of the process. If you do, you'll be told which assessment or assessments you're required to take next.
The format of the P&G switch challenge
The P&G switch challenge is an online assessment that you need to pass to move to the next stage in the recruitment process for specific roles at P&G.
Part of the challenge of the switch test is that you only have six minutes to answer as many questions as you can.
The test is adaptive, which means if you get a question correct it gets harder, and if you get one wrong it gets easier. You need to reach a certain level of questions on the test to pass, so it's important you don't get too many questions wrong or you won't meet the required standard within the timeframe.
The most complex questions involve two layers and certainly require prior practice and preparation.
While there isn't a definitive pass mark that's been published, it's safe to say that getting 20-30 questions correct is good and would usually constitute a pass (or 10-15 questions correct if you take the shorter three-minute switch challenge).
Types of P&G switch challenge questions
Each question you're presented with on the switch challenge will have four different symbols that change according to a specific rule. The overall aim is to convert the 'input' sequence into the 'output' sequence by using the 'operator' to work out the changes in the order of the symbols according to the rule.
In practice, this means you'll be asked to select the multiple-choice answer displaying the sequence of numbers that you think is correct, by looking at the set of symbols at the top of the image and the numbers (or 'operators') in the middle.
As well as considering the input shapes you'll need to look at the operators and eliminate possible answers as you work through the information you have in front of you.
If you're doing well on the test you'll reach the most complex questions, the 'double layer' sequences. Similar in style to the questions at the start of the test, the double-layer questions involve two strands of possible operators to consider.
The test is designed to assess your logical and deductive reasoning skills— which is essentially how good you are at taking general information and working through it to arrive at a specific conclusion. The test is also good at showing employers how well you can keep calm under pressure, and whether you're a natural problem solver.
How do I get a high score in the P&G switch challenge?
The best way to succeed at the P&G switch challenge and get a high score is to practice past tests and work on your logical reasoning skills.
As the test itself is so specific, it's most beneficial to practice past P&G switch challenges until you feel comfortable with the question format and the speed at which you need to work.
If your logical reasoning skills need some work, more generalized practice tests can be helpful, as can reading and researching logical reasoning and the art of how to find patterns or rules in seemingly random sequences.
As with all test practice, it's beneficial to consider the environment you're working in and try to ensure it's as quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions as possible. Make sure you're always taking a timed test, or timing it manually, to simulate the experience of the real test and ensure you're working on your speed as well as your skills.
As the test is adaptive, you can't return to any questions you're unsure of as your answer being correct or incorrect determines the complexity of the next question. This means that speed and accuracy are both equally important on the switch challenge, and while making an educated guess is ok if it's your only option, ideally, you want to be in a position where you feel confident with the answer you've given.
What happens if I fail?
If you fail any of P&G's assessments, including the switch challenge, you'll need to wait at least another 12 months before taking it again.
Only those that are successful at the assessments(s) they're set will be taken through to the next stage of the recruitment process, so it's important to try and score as high as you can.
The best way to set yourself up for success and pass the test the first time is to take as many online practice switch challenge tests as you can until you feel confident.