Morgan Stanley Summer Internship 2021: Ace the Online Tests - JobTestPrep
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Why a Morgan Stanley Summer Internship Is Important and Is It Hard to Get?

An investment banking (IBD) summer internship (summer analyst) is like an 8-10 weeklong job interview.

Your best chance of getting a full-time offer at Morgan Stanley is to secure a Morgan Stanley internship.

Problem is, it is not that easy. The acceptance rate for a Morgan Stanley internship is less than 2%. With tens of thousands of applicants per year, you have to stand out to get in.

If you score lower than the benchmark on the online tests, your application will be automatically disqualified.

But don’t worry, we are here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Note: There is a Morgan Stanley Sophomore internship and a junior internship. Both have the same application process, but the deadlines are completely different. For juniors the deadline is usually around July and for sophomores it is around September.

All You Need to Know About the Morgan Stanley Summer Internship Online Tests

Important note: Morgan Stanley ONLY uses online testing for the Investment Banking Division (IBD) summer internship. If you are applying for a different division, the application process relies mostly on interviews, and there are no online tests involved.

In 2019 (2 application cycles ago), Morgan Stanley started working with a test provider called Cut-e (AON).
They administer 4 online tests for the Morgan Stanley Investment Banking Summer Internship application process:

Usually you will be administered 3 out of the 4 test options mentioned above. From our experience, ALL applicants get the Numerical Reasoning Test and the Situational Judgment Test.

The 3rd test could be either the Switch Challenge or the Inductive Logical Reasoning Thinking (ix). In the invitation email you get from Morgan Stanley to complete the tests, or in the home screen of the online test platform, it will clearly state the tests you are going to take.

These tests are much more difficult than in past years, and the Morgan Stanley Switch Challenge and Inductive Logical Thinking test are two of the hardest and most confusing tests out there.

Note: Once you receive the invitation email you will have 48 hours to complete the tests.

Preparing yourself for the tests in 48 hours might be stressful, so you are advised to start your preparation prior to sending the initial application.

If you already got the email, no worries. Try clearing your schedule and dive into the preparation material.

Switch Challenge

The Switch Challenge is actually a specific and unique Logical Reasoning Test.
This is where most candidates fail, as the questions are both objectively hard, and nothing like you have ever seen before – which makes it that much harder.

In each question, there are 4 symbols that change position according to a specific rule. You need to choose the correct operator (out of three alternatives) to change the order of the symbols according to that rule.

Each operator consists of four digits. Each digit represents the previous position of each symbol before it was changed by the operator. The new order of the symbols’ position matches the position of the digits.

For example:

Switch Challenge Example

Let’s see how a question might look like:

Which operator is needed?

Switch Challenge Sample Question


Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is (C).

In this question there are two rows of symbols and a missing operator. The operator changes the order of the symbols that appear in the upper row to a new order in the lower row.

The digits of the operator represent the symbol according to its position in the upper row before it was changed by the operator. In order to solve this question, you should look at the first symbol of the lower row.

Search the position of that symbol in the upper row. This position is the first digit of the operator.

In this example, a triangle is the first symbol on the lower row. Its position in the upper row is second, so the first digit is 2.

You can now mark answer 2341 because it's the only answer that starts with the digit 2.

In case you can’t rule out the other alternatives, you will continue by checking the second symbol in the lower row- a heart. Then check its position in the upper row.

Its position is third, so the second digit of the operator is 3. The third symbol is a star, its position in the upper row is fourth, so the next digit is 4.

The fourth symbol is a circle, its position in the upper row is first, so the next digit is 1.
The correct operator is 2341.

Why Practicing for the Morgan Stanley Switch Challenge Is So Important?

  • On the real test, you will only have 6 minutes to answer as many questions as possible.
  • The higher the level, the harder the questions get.
  • You can get as many as 3 layers of operators in the same question.
  • If you make a mistake, you will be dropped to a lower difficulty level, which is probably worth fewer points.
  • This is not a typical test, and the question type is like nothing you have seen before.

Tip: When you are presented with a 3-layer question, your best strategy is to first work top-bottom to find the first operator and then work bottom-top to find the 3rd operator.

Once you have both, you can find out which is the 2nd operator (the one in the middle), which is usually the answer you are looking for.

This strategy and many more are found in the full Switch Challenge study guide in our preparation pack.

Start practicing for the Morgan Stanley Switch Challenge and ace the test!


Inductive Logical Thinking (ix) Test

Each question in the test consists of a row of nine objects. All objects but one conform to the same rule, and your task is to select the object that does not fit this rule.

There are numerous sets of rules that might be applied and you have to identify the rule quickly, as you will have only 5 minutes for 20 questions. That is 15 seconds per question.

See if you can handle the time limit in the following example.

Which object doesn't fit the rule?
Inductive Logical Sample Question

The correct answer is object #6.

The objects form a numerical series: When moving from one object to the next, the number of shapes decreases by 1 and then, from the 5th object onwards, increases by 1. The only object that does not fit this rule is object #6, which contains 3 shapes instead of 2.

Note: The varying types of shapes serve as a distraction; the only thing that matters is the number of shapes in each object.

Why Practicing for the Morgan Stanley Inductive Logical Thinking Test Is So Important?

  • You have only about 15 seconds per question.
  • Every question consists of 9 objects, that is a lot of information you must decipher in very little time – it could be very confusing and overwhelming.
  • Points will be deducted from your score for every wrong answer.
  • Rules are changed from question to question, and in some cases, questions seem very similar but are actually governed by different rules. If you know the main rules in advance, you will be able to quickly identify the correct rule without confusion.

Tip: If the rule is hard to discern, examine the objects carefully, focusing on one characteristic at a time. For instance, you can start by counting the number of shapes in each object while ignoring their colour.

If you do not find a rule concerning the number of shapes, you can examine their colour.

Solving strategies for every situation can be found in the preparation pack.

Start practicing for the Morgan Stanley Inductive Logical Thinking test and beat the time limit!



Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to retrieve information and draw logical conclusions from numerical data presented in tables and charts. In this test, you will get 6 different documents with data, on which you will be asked 18 questions.

You will also get only 6 minutes to complete the segment.

Let’s see an example.

Numerical Reasoning Sample Question

Arclight's dividend per share in fiscal year 2 was 25% higher than in fiscal year 1.

Cannot say
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The word "dividend" implies that the answer to this question is under the "Dividend" tab. The graph reveals the different dividends per share for three companies across a five-year period.

Look at Arclight's area (blue). Dividend per share was 2 Euros in FY 1, and 2.5 in FY 2. Indeed, 2.5 is 25% higher than 2:


Therefore, the statement is true.

Note: If you wish to avoid decimals, you can multiply the figures by multiples of 10 (simply by moving the decimal point to the right) until they are integers. In this case you need to multiply the figures by 10 (move the decimal point one place):



These numbers are easier to work with. The difference is 25-20=5, and we know that 5 is a quarter of 20 (20/5=4), and that a quarter is equivalent to 25%.

Why Practicing for the Morgan Stanley Numerical Reasoning Test Is So Important?

  • You will have 6 different documents with data. For each question, you will have to figure out which document is relevant and retrieve the right data.
  • You will have only 6 minutes for 18 questions. It might not seem like a problem right now, but on the test, you will have A LOT of information to sort through in order to answer each question. You need to learn how to do it very fast.
  • The cut-off score for this test is probably around 13 right answers. To stand out you need to score higher than that.

Tip: Before you even read the first question, look at the titles of the tabs (each tab contains one document filled with data) and very quickly scan through their contents.

Note the axis titles of the charts and the column titles of the tables. Do not spend too long doing this; it is only meant to provide you with a very basic knowledge of the information you have to sift through during the test.

All the strategies you need to solve all question types are found in our preparation pack.

Start practicing for the Morgan Stanley Numerical Reasoning Test and improve your score!



Situational Judgment Test

This test is designed to see how you will handle yourself in a real Morgan Stanley work environment. You will have 30 minutes, during which you will be presented with messages from different authorities in the firm.

For each message you will have to respond, choosing from a list of options. You will have to imagine you are in an actual job situation, as an analyst, and respond as you would have in real life.

You will have to figure out what to do in various situations like an error you made in a report, a client complaining or your boss asking you to do something that you don’t have time to do.

It might sound easy enough, but the responses presented are really similar and the answer is not obvious.

Here is an example:

During your lunch break, Mark, your colleague, tells you that he was watching you work and knows a better way for you to file and organize documents.
How would you respond?

'We aren’t supposed to change our filing system without consulting the supervisor first'.
'If your filing method is really so good, then why isn’t our supervisor advising us to use it?'
'Show me your system after we finish lunch. If it’s good, I may discuss it with my supervisor'.
'According to reviews I read, our current system is the best on the market. Changing to a new filing system would be time-consuming, and I don’t think there is any need for change'.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Primary competency: Communication skills
Secondary competencies: Adaptability; Social intelligence; Working under authority
Best response: C
This is an ideal response. On the one hand, you don’t dismiss Mark’s comments, whilst on the other, you are not going to initiate any change prior to consulting with your superiors. The ability to respond appropriately and sensitively to your colleague demonstrates effective communication and social intelligence. This response also demonstrates your adaptability by showing that you are open to change.

A. In this scenario, you are dealing with a form of criticism from a work colleague. The way you respond to criticism indicates something about your social and communication skills. Choosing this response shows a lack of these skills, as you are being dismissive of Mark's criticism. You are also showing a low level of adaptability by not being open to potential change.

B. You are responding to Mark’s criticism in a very defensive and suspicious way. Not being able to accept criticism in positive and constructive manner demonstrates a lack of social and communication skills. This response also indicates poor social intelligence as the comment made has the potential to create antagonism. Additionally, the content of the comment shows that you are neither adaptable nor open to potential changes.

D. It is difficult not to choose this response as it provides a rational argument for why not to accept Mark’s criticism. However, the fact that you are dismissive of his opinion may damage your ability to build rapport with him, thus showing poor social intelligence. In addition, you are not open to change in your work environment, thus indicating a lack of adaptability.

Why Practicing for the Morgan Stanley Situational Judgment Test Is So Important?

  • The dilemmas presented are unique to MS and must be familiarized to get it right.
  • The responses are all in the gray area. It is hard to choose the right one.
  • It seems that there are no wrong or right answers, but there are. You need to know what stands behind each response, and what personality trait it emphasizes in you.

Tip: For each character in the test you will have a sort of I.D. with important information.

This information might change the way you respond to each individual, so it is wise to read it carefully and know who you are dealing with before responding.

More tips and strategies for this specific test can be found in our preparation pack.

Start practicing for the Morgan Stanley Situational Judgment Test now!

The 3-step Practice Formula to Ace the Morgan Stanley Summer Internship Online Tests

As you have seen already, the Morgan Stanley online tests are very unique and hard to get through.

You have only one chance to get it right!

Our foolproof 3-step method will make sure you improve and get a high score:

  • Step 1: Practice with accurate questions, designed specifically to match the type and level of questions you will encounter in the real test.
  • Step 2: Analyse your performance with a detailed report. It will show you exactly what you got wrong and where you need an extra push.
  • Step 3: Get a full, detailed explanation for each and every question, including solving tips and strategies. This will enhance your understanding of the test, strengthen your weak spots, and ensure a high score.

Start practicing for the Morgan Stanley internship now!


I heard from friends that they didn’t have to complete online tests while applying for a Morgan Stanley internship. I am confused.

Morgan Stanley uses online tests only for the Investment Banking Division. If you apply for other divisions such as Fixed Income, Global Markets & Acquisitions, Quantitative Finance, etc, you will have only interviews.

How is the Coronavirus affecting the application process and the internship itself?

Morgan Stanley is adapting to the COVID-19 crises by making everything they can virtual. The interviews in the application process are either HireVue (pre-recorded video interview), phone interview, or live video interviews. If the current situation will continue through the summer, the internship will be virtual as well, as they have done last summer.

When should I apply for the Morgan Stanley Summer Internship?

As early as possible. Applications are usually looked at on a rolling basis, which means that once they have filled all the spots, they will stop looking at applications.

I go to a non-target or semi-target school. Do I have a chance?

Of course, you do! Work hard, score high in the tests, and ace the interviews. They will not be able to ignore you, regardless of what university you come from.

Can I get a full-time offer without getting a Summer Internship?

You can, but your chances are much lower. A Morgan Stanley Summer Internship is the safest way to become a full-time analyst.

I am a sophomore, can I apply for a Summer Internship?

Yes, you can. Morgan Stanley offers an internship to juniors as well as sophomores. But pay attention, the deadlines are different, so you are advised to check the MS website for accurate information.

I am applying for multiple locations. Do I have to take the online tests every time?

No, you don't. You have to take them only once, and your scores will be saved for further applications. So get it right the first time, you only have one chance!

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