The Optiver Test – Practice for Optiver’s Online Assessments [2024]
Shir Enzer

Shir, Finance Sector Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_the_team@jobtestprep.com

What Is The Optiver Test?

The Optiver Test (or the Optiver Assessment) refers to five online assessments used by Optiver to screen candidates for trading and research jobs. They include four cognitive sections and one personality section. The most famous section is the Optiver Math Test.

The Optiver Test is notoriously tricky and challenging, as Optiver aims to recruit only the best. You will be facing off fierce competition.

The cognitive tests are primarily focused on numerical ability. The Optiver Mental Math Test in particular is built to evaluate your ability to complete numerical tasks in your head as quickly as possible. For this reason, calculators are not allowed on the Optiver Test.

The Optiver Test includes:

  • Note: some Optiver candidates are asked to take the SHL Verify G+ assessment. We have a separate page about it.

Let’s take a deep dive into every one of the five Optiver Test sections:


Optiver 80 in 8 Test, AKA the Optiver Math Test

The first obstacle on your journey to joining Optiver, this test is exactly as it sounds: 80 arithmetic questions in 8 minutes. It is also known as the Optiver Numerical Test or the Optiver Math Test and is characterized by a pressing time crunch.

Regardless of how good you believe yourself to be, we advise against taking the Optiver Math Test without practicing beforehand, as it will be a shame to find your candidacy terminated after the very first assessment.

Being able to perform mental arithmetic is important in trading roles, as you will be required to make split-second decisions regarding financial instruments. This is what the Optiver Mental Math Test is designed to assess.

Let’s take a look at a few examples from the Optiver Numerical Test:


  • Optiver Math Test Practice Question - Easy:

Solve the following as quickly as you can without help from a calculator:

8 ÷ 0.4 = ?

A. 2
B. 20
C. 0.5
D. 40
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

One way of thinking about this is that 0.4 goes 10 times into 4 (move the decimal point one position to the right), and therefore twice as many times into 8. 

Another way of thinking about this is realizing that dividing by 0.4 is the same as multiplying by the reciprocal of 0.4, which is 2.5.  

8 * 2.5 is 20. 

The correct answer is 20

  • Optiver Math Test Practice Question - Medium:

Solve the following as quickly as you can without help from a calculator:

5/20 * ? = 1/5

A. 1⁄5
B. 2
C. 1⁄4
D. 4⁄5
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Fractions complicate things. In this case, the first step towards a solution is to mentally replace 5/20 with ¼, which is its simplified version. Now, isolate the question mark by multiplying both sides of the equation by the reciprocal of ¼, which is simply 4. 

This will leave you with the answer: 

? = 4/5 

The correct answer is 4⁄5

  • Optiver Math Test Practice Question - Hard:

Solve the following as quickly as you can without help from a calculator:

198 ÷ 9 = ?

A. 22
B. 21
C. 28
D. 29
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

This seemingly simple question can slow many people down. There are mental strategies that can help you solve it (like breaking 198 down into two chunks of 90 with a remainder of 18), but these are often time-consuming.

Additionally, the multiple-choice answers are close to one another, and can’t easily be eliminated. The absolute best way to get through questions like these is simply to have products of 9 memorized.  

This type of question is why practice and preparation are essential for the Optiver 80 in 8 Test. There is no substitute for simply remembering products and factors of numbers. 

The correct answer is 22

The scoring for the Optiver 80 in 8 works as follows:

You will be awarded a point for every question answered correctly. A point will be deducted every time you answer incorrectly or skip a question. A passing score is higher than 55, but you’ll want to achieve around 70 or above to stand a chance.

Optiver 80 in 8 is a multiple-choice test, so the elimination of obvious wrong answers may be a good strategy, but being able to do the math is the best path to success. Make sure to practice your mental math: addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication with whole numbers and fractions up to 2 decimal points. Additionally, basic algebra is needed.

Optiver 80 in 8 Practice

The Optiver 80 in 8 is a challenging task, especially when your competition tends to be no less mathematically apt than you. Finding an accurate platform to practice Optiver Math Test questions can make a lot of difference. 

You can find that, as well as study guides and test tips, all included in our Optiver 80 in 8 PrepPack. We offer an accurate simulation, as well as practice tests that build your mental math skills gradually and expert advice that will come in handy on the real test. 


What is the Optiver Zap-N Test?

This hour-long assessment consists of nine games, ranging between two minutes to 15 minutes each. These games assess a variety of cognitive skills and abilities. 

Using a computer with a mouse is recommended, but the system asks you what controls you are using (touchscreen, trackpad, or mouse) and takes this into account when calculating your score. 

Attitudes towards the Zap-N among Optiver test takers vary.  

On the one hand, games are lighter and more fun, as compared with the Optiver math test. On the other hand, it is not always clear what these games have to do with being a trader, and candidates are often frustrated after being rejected due to a seemingly banal game. 

For this reason, it is a good idea to take the Zap-N seriously. Sit the assessment when you are feeling sharp and alert, just like any other part of the Optiver Online Assessment. 

Unfortunately, we don’t currently offer Optiver Zap-N practice. However, we are working on it! Until then, here is a rundown of the Zap-N games, so you can be mentally prepared for what you are about to face: 

The Balloon Game

The objective is simple:

Earn as much money as you can by pumping air into a balloon.  
The bigger the balloon gets the more it’s worth, but if you burst it – you get nothing (in the second round, money is taken off your total as a penalty).  

Optiver uses this game to test your risk-taking and learning. How far will you be willing to inflate the balloon before banking what you’ve made and starting over? Will you learn from your previous mistakes? 

Optiver Zap N Balloon Game

CodeCompare

This is a simple recognition game.

At the top of the screen, you will see a 7-character code consisting of letters, numbers or both. You must select the exact replica of that code out of four similar options, and do so within a time constraint that grows increasingly shorter. 

note

Tip: come up with a sound to represent numerical digits. This will make 7-digit sequences easier to remember because you can rely on your auditory and visual memory. 

Digit

This is essentially a memory game.
Digits between 0 and 9 will flash on your screen in a specific order. You must enter the digits in the same sequence as they appeared. As you progress, the sequences will grow longer. In round 2, you will have to enter the digits in reverse order.

Figure It Out

The title of this game is a wordplay alluding to a certain hidden figure that changes every round. It will be represented by a facedown card, which will flip only at the end of the round to reveal the figure.

What you must do is create an exact copy of the hidden figure. You will be able to choose properties for your facsimile, such as shape, color, pattern, and more. Once you’ve created a figure, you can press a button to see if you are close. The game will tell you how many properties you got right, and how many you got wrong. This will inform your next try.

The goal is to guess the figure in as few moves as possible, with the number of properties growing between rounds. Optiver uses this to evaluate your forward planning and problem-solving abilities, so take your time and think about your strategy.

Grill Master

Possibly the most notorious of the Optiver Zap-N games and the Optiver Assessment in general, this one simulates a barbeque. Each piece of meat on the grill has a progress bar showing how cooked it is. The bar changes color based on whether the meat is raw, cooked, or burned. All you must do is take the meat off the grill when it is no longer raw, but not yet burned.

The challenge, of course, is that the amount of meat on the grill grows with time. This short game is quite taxing and stressful, and is designed to evaluate your attention, response speed, and ability to cope with a “full plate”.

Number Box

In case the 80 in 8 left you wanting more mental math, this game will deliver:

The Zap-N Number box shows players a screen with four numbers on it, as well as an additional “destination” number. You simply have to use the four numbers and the four basic mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to arrive at the destination number.

The catch?

You must use all four numbers. This game is designed to evaluate your problem-solving and mathematical abilities.

Shapeshift

This Optiver Zap-N game is a simple test of your response time. Circles and squares will flash alternately on the screen. You must press the right arrow key for a circle and the left arrow key for a square.

Sounds simple?

The challenge here is to balance between a quick response time and the least possible number of errors. Don’t be hasty. Start slow and pick up the pace when you feel that you have gotten the hang of it.

Skyscrapers

In this game, which resembles the famous Towers of Hanoi assessment, you will be shown “towers”, which are just differently colored “floors” stacked on top of each other.
You will then need to rearrange a separate set of towers, such that they match the ones in the example.

You can only move the top floor of a tower, and you can only move it to the top of a different tower. This game requires strategizing, which is exactly what Optiver is testing for. Think ahead and complete the task in as few moves as you can.

Optiver Zap N Skyscrapers

The Switch

As made evident by its name, this game assesses a concept in cognitive psychology known as task-switching, or the ability to shift between two different types of tasks.

Each round, you will be shown two prompts: a simple addition equation, and two sets of arrows. Then, you will be asked a question about ONE of these. For example: is the sum of the addition odd or even? Are the two sets of arrows identical? You need to answer the question using the relevant prompt, while ignoring the other. Essentially, this is a test of your capability to move back and forth between mathematical tasks and visual tasks.


The Optiver Sequence Test

If you’ve made it this far in the process, you’re doing quite well.

The next step is all about number patterns. On the Optiver Sequence Test (officially known as Optiver NumberLogic), you will be shown sequences and asked to identify the pattern and to predict the next number.

The difficulty level rises with each sequence.

note

Tip:  as with the other Optiver tests, particularly the mathematical ones, there is no substitute for practice. However, it is usually worth starting out by calculating the difference between adjacent numbers and looking at the ones digits.


The Optiver Beat the Odds Test

By even reaching this stage you’ve already beaten the odds. However, the title of this Optiver test refers to probability. This test requires not only reflexes and quick thinking, but also knowledge and understanding of probability theory.

The questions on Optiver’s Beat the Odds are timed, as is the entire. In 15 minutes, you will need to answer questions pertaining to probability theory. It’s likely you’re familiar with the basic concepts of probability if you graduated with a STEM degree. Still, we recommend going over the material, and answering questions from your old textbook, or any resource you can find online.

We are working on a Complete PrepPack for Optiver Test practice, which will include practice questions for this section.


The Optiver Zap-Q Test

The final test of the Optiver Online Assessment, this one is all about your personality, traits, and inclinations.

If you have built up muscle tension from the stress of the last four tests, you can take a deep breath and ease up for this one. You will be asked questions about yourself, and your answers will be processed into a comprehensive personality profile that your recruiters at Optiver will see.

Don’t be fooled, though.

Just because this Optiver test is easier, doesn’t mean there are no stakes. Your answers will be important during the interview stage of your Optiver hiring process. Be authentic and genuine but remember to present your most professional self. Your recruiters don’t need to know what you are like in a family-and-friends setting. They need to know that you are reliable, capable, and in line with company values. There are wrong answers.

Want complete and comprehensive practice for the Optiver tests?

Our team is working on it. At the moment, we offer prep for the Optiver mental math test (80 in 8) and we hope to expand this in the future. If you have questions, thoughts or suggestions regarding what a complete Optiver Tests Preparation Pack should look like, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Optiver Test General Information

Here are some important things to keep in mind ahead of the Optiver Test:

  • Depending on how you applied, some of the tests may be taken online through Skype or a similar platform. You will receive all the information you need from your recruiter. Contact us if you are not clear on any of the instructions, and we’ll help you figure them out.
  • All five sections typically take an aggregate of two hours and 45 minutes to complete.
  • If you fail any of the sections, you will not move on to the next one.
  • If you pass one section, you will be able to pause for as long as you like before starting the next test. You cannot pause mid-test.
  • There will be a time limit to complete all the tests, usually 3 days.

What comes after the Optiver Online Assessment?

There are three steps following the Optiver assessment, which you have to complete before receiving an offer.

The first is an HR interview. You will speak telephonically with an HR representative from Optiver who will ask you questions about yourself and invite you to ask questions about the company.

Secondly, you will go through the technical interview. This is another phone interview, but this time – you will need to demonstrate your knowledge. You will be asked to answer questions and solve problems that pertain to the position you are applying for. The important thing to know is that less importance is placed on right and wrong answers, and more on your thought process and perseverance in the face of a challenge. To get through this stage, brush up on your knowledge and approach it in a calm and relaxed manner.

Lastly, there’s the Optiver Interview Day. Just like its name suggests, this is a full day of assessments and interviews. You will have to clear your schedule and travel to the chosen Optiver office. Optiver has been doing this for years, and they will take care of accommodation and travel expenses.

For aspiring traders, the interview day consists of another technical interview, another HR interview, and a competitive group assignment – a market-making simulator. This day is also a great opportunity to meet your potential coworkers!

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