Over 70% of applicants get rejected by Morgan Stanley Investment Bank solely on the basis of online aptitude tests!

You need to score above 90th percentile in their online aptitude tests to move on to the next recruitment stage.

If you want to start your career in investment banking, Morgan Stanley is among the best choices.  If you are a professional or graduate looking for a job, internship or a graduate scheme, we want you to succeed. In the article below, we will provide you with a step-by-step overview of the best tips for successfully passing a very thorough Morgan Stanley’s candidate assessment process during recruitment:  job application, online aptitude tests, assessment centre, and a set of interviews.

If you decide to apply, you can practice online aptitude tests with us to improve your results and get scores above 90th percentile.

We are a team of experienced organisational psychologists and recruiters who worked for major aptitude test publishers, banks and multinationals. We share proven tips and examples of psychometric tests to help you pass Morgan Stanley’s assessment.

This is your 2019/ 2020 guide to passing investment bank aptitude tests, assessment centre and interviews.

Do not miss this opportunity. Enjoy the learning and best of luck!

The article below will give you insights to help you be among those who have made it and got a job at Morgan Stanley, first time. You will get a step-by-step overview of the most useful tips to successfully pass their recruitment and assessment process. If you apply for a professional job or internship at Morgan Stanley, this text is for you.

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. It is a top destination for graduates seeking jobs in investment banking, so you need to expect very fierce competition. There are hundreds of applications made for each available spot – so you need to prepare well and smash every stage of the recruitment process. This article provides you with a step-by-step overview of the best tips to successfully pass Morgan Stanley’s assessment process.

To simplify the process, Morgan Stanley has divided their recruitment process into five stages.

  1. Online application
  2. Online aptitude tests
  3. Telephone interview
  4. Assessment centre
  5. Final interview


Morgan Stanley’s
Online application

The online application form will be used for any future reference relating to your career experiences, main achievements and education. Make sure to fill in all of your personal details accurately and always double-check your inputs.

Depending on the area you apply to. you might also be asked to answer a few motivational questions.

Tip: Always start by doing a lot of research about the company’s: current deals, structural changes it might be going through, and any exceptional awards it has received. Refer to these to show your interest in the company.

You will be asked to upload both a CV and a cover letter. You should by no means underestimate the importance of these two items. These will be used to obtain a first impression of you as a candidate, so you should use them to your benefit if you are to differentiate from the crowd. Take your time to think through all of your achievements and skills that make you a dream candidate for Morgan Stanley. Both your CV and cover letter need to be precise and to the point.

Tip: Apply as early as possible, as some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Make written notes/copies of what you have put in the application. You may be asked for details during the interview.


Morgan Stanley’s assessments
online aptitude tests

These will include Morgan Stanley’s

  • numerical reasoning test
  • verbal reasoning test
  • checking test
  • logical reasoning test


a. Morgan Stanley’s Numerical Reasoning Test

In this aptitude test, you will be presented with a few passages with tables, charts and other types of data presentation, and will be required to quickly analyse the information given and answer questions.

Do not worry if you have not done maths in a while! All you need is a quick recap of basic GCSE calculations, such as ratios, percentages and reading data off charts. Morgan Stanley’s numerical reasoning test is difficultnot because of the knowledge tested, but because of the time pressure and stress.

Tip: You need to manage your stress and time pressure. The most successful way to achieve this is through numerical test practice in a safe environment, before your real aptitude assessment.

  • For more hints on how to pass a numerical reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel

Learn more about numerical reasoning tests and tips to pass them.

Morgan-Stanley-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

Morgan-Stanley-style Numerical Reasoning Test Exampl

Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Morgan Stanley’s assessment tests, register with Graduates First and take your FREE numerical reasoning test now!

Morgan Stanley’s Verbal Reasoning Test

This test examines a candidate’s ability to accurately extract relevant information from a previously unseen passage of text; it involves critically analysing statements and deciding which of them are true, false – or whether this is impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.

Verbal reasoning tests tend to be more difficult for non-native English speakers, but we recommend that everyone practices verbal reasoning test questions as much as possible, as this allows them to understand the specific ways in which texts are structured – and precisely what the questions are asking for.

Tip: Always read the whole passage before attempting the question. Do not jump to conclusions about whether the statement is true or false until you have carefully examined the statement, and found sufficient evidence in the passage to support your claims.

For more hints on how to pass a verbal reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel.

Learn more about verbal reasoning tests and tips to pass them

In the real assessment, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following:

Morgan-Stanley-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example


 Morgan-Stanley-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example

Morgan-Stanley-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example


Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Morgan Stanley’s online aptitude tests, register with Graduates First  and take your FREE verbal reasoning test now!

c. Morgan Stanley’s Checking Test

In this test you will be presented with an array of numbers and you will be asked to compare the given numbers to another sheet of numbers very similar to yours. You will then need to make 32 comparisons within 2 minutes of time allowance.

This test will examine your ability to work under pressure. Although the task is pretty straightforward, it requires high levels of concentration to spot what are often small differences between different sources of data.

Tip: Make sure you are in the right mindset before taking this test. Remember that the only obstacles in this test are your stress and the time limit. What you need to do is calm down, and then work quickly through the examples.

 d. Morgan Stanley’s Logical Reasoning Test

This test will not examine any particular area of your knowledge. You will be presented with 5 diagrams of varying shapes and spatial arrangements, and then will be asked to identify the right pattern to determine what comes next in the sequence.

The main difficulty with Morgan Stanley’s logical reasoning test, is that there is no pre-requisite knowledge required and there is no limit to how abstract these patterns and trends can be; both two- and three-dimensional shapes will differ in: size, arrangement, movements and colours.

However, the test is not as difficult as it seems. By having a look at Morgan Stanley’s-style logical reasoning tests, offered by Graduates First, you will get familiar with the format and level of difficulty of the questions. A lot of patterns are repetitive and follow similar logic, so by practicing you will grow in confidence and be better-suited to take your real test.

Morgan-Stanley-style Logical Reasoning Test Example

Morgan-Stanley-style Logical Reasoning Test Example

You will have ONLY around 45 seconds to notice that:

  • the arrow moves around the diagram
  • shapes change from triangle to circle to square and
  • the long line is either horizontal or vertical, and then to find the right answer! There is a lot of time pressure which often leaves candidates anxious and harms their performance.

Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.

Learn more about logical reasoning tests

  • For more hints on how to pass a logical or deductive reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel

Tip: Some people find it easier to cross out all the answers that do not follow the pattern you have identified, in order to find the right answer. It might also be helpful to try to follow the pattern with your fingers on the desktop, to save time drawing the diagrams on paper.

If you are looking for a Morgan-Stanley-style logical reasoning test with answers, worked-solutions, progress tracking and professional score reports including personalised tips based on your performance, then Graduates First has it covered. Have a look at an example below.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to Morgan Stanley’s aptitude tests, register with Graduates First and take your FREE deductive reasoning test now!


Morgan Stanley’s
Telephone Interview

If you have successfully passed the online tests stage, you will be invited to a telephone interview which will last approximately 45 minutes.

This interview will be competency based (CBI) and questions will be focused around your CV and personal motivations. Review your CV and prepare examples of situations where you demonstrated the key skills that Morgan Stanley will be looking for, such as: determination, integrity, independence, excellent teamwork skills, initiative, a proactive approach, etc.

Morgan Stanley’s telephone interview tip: Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Leave a note in your sight to be reminded about the acronym STAR – Situation, Task, Action and Result. Every time you answer a question, make sure to talk precisely about each of these points. Make sure there is a logical flow between situations you describe under S, T, A, R.

Think about the projects you have previously worked on – whether they are from your professional experiences, education, passions, sports or personal experiences.

Examples of Morgan Stanley interview questions you might be asked:

  • Why do you wish to work at Morgan Stanley?
  • Why are you interested to work for this particular department?
  • Tell us about a team project you worked on with a difficult team member, and how you dealt with them.
  • Tell us about the time when you made a mistake and had to take responsibility for it.
  • Tell us about the hardest challenge you were faced with and what you learned from it.
  • Tell us about a time where you had an idea, and took measures to implement it into your work.
  • What key skills could you bring to Morgan Stanley?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Learn more about the most common types of interview questions

Our proprietary tool will help you identify questions that are likely to come up during your interview. Check out our Question Identifier Tool (QIT).


Morgan Stanley’s
Assessment centre

Depending on your position and line of business, in this final stage of the Morgan Stanley’s assessment process, you might be asked to complete these two assessments.

A. Group exercise

This exercise will examine your ability to work as part of a team. Throughout this task, various employees will observe you and how you solve problems when working with others under time pressure.

It is important that you are confident enough to share and argument your ideas, but also be ready to contribute to somebody else’s input. Most importantly: speak clearly and never interrupt anyone!

Tip: Try to persuade others towards your ideas and also ask critical though-provoking questions, but only do so when it feels natural. You need to appreciate that other people are just as important on the team.

Learn more about the Group Exercise.

B. Presentation

In this exercise you will be provided with a candidate brief which will tell you what is required of you, including any relevant extra information you might need to use. You will then be given strict time limit to review the information and prepare a presentation.


  • Watch the time when you present – it is your responsibility to not overrun your allowance. Do not finish too early either – it might mean that you had very little to say.
  • Ensure good body language and maintain relaxed eye contact. Speak clearly and vary your style, speed and tone. Try to stand still and remember that smiling always helps too.
  • Make sure to pick up any key facts from the information provided and be confident to speak about it if you are asked questions.
  • Involve your assessor. At the end of a sub-topic or flipchart you can ask your assessor if they have any questions. You can also start by asking if they would like to see anything specific in your presentation, other than what is outlined in your agenda.

Learn more about the Presentation exercise


Morgan Stanley’s
Final interview

This will consist of two separate interviews with an experienced senior member of staff at Morgan Stanley, or a HR specialist. One of them is likely to be more skills-based, and the other competency-based.

Morgan Stanley’s final interview tip: Remember it is imperative that you refer to a variety of experiences from different areas of your life (professional, personal, community, etc.) – so do not get stuck on one project you previously worked as an example in all of your answers. Your goal here is to demonstrate your ability to excel in different circumstances. Prepare a couple of examples before the interview, and draft your answers using the STAR model.

Tip: Prepare and write down a couple of projects or initiatives that you did exceptionally well in. The interviewer will be interested in understanding: how you approached the problem, what analysis you did, any data gathered, insights and actions taken, results achieved and what your role was.

If you reach this stage of the recruitment process, you should already be aware of: the industry Morgan Stanley operates in, its competitors, the company structure and corporate culture, and any recent development that could be affecting the business. Be comfortable to discuss these and refer to your skills throughout the interview.

Do you want to pass Morgan Stanley’s assessments first time? Sign up for tools offered by Graduates First, the only aptitude practice test experts that provide tests to over 70 UK universities and their students, and also across Asia and continental Europe.

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Correct answers to example questions:

Numerical Reasoning Test – D

Verbal Reasoning Test – B

Logical Reasoning Test – C



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