Graduate Assessments

Assessment Centre Exercises for Recruiting Graduates



Graduate Assessment Centre Exercises

Our Graduate Assessment Exercise Suite is designed to allow you to gauge a candidate's suitability for a role with you by assessing them against key competencies, through a variety of engaging and insightful activities.

As well as the traditional paper and pencil format, designed to be used in face-to-face assessment centres, these assessments are also available in a virtual assessment centre format, which would allow you to run your assessment centre in a remote way.


Why use graduate assessment centre exercises?

Our extensive experience of creating graduate assessment centre materials has taught us that there are a variety of key principles organisations look for.

These exercises are designed with some of these key principles in mind:

Engaging Candidate Experience

Our exercises are designed with a candidate first philosophy. They include gasified elements to cut through impression management, ensure high face validity and create a positive candidate experience. 

Rigorous Assessment

The suite comprises high standard assessment exercises appropriate for graduate level. Accurately assess against key competencies and assess potential from multiple angles.


Designed to be suitable for all graduate roles, regardless of industry. Current and relevant themes allow the exercises to be relevant across multiple organisational environments. Thorough materials and assessor guidance are provided, allowing you to pick up and use the assessments with ease.

Minimise bias

Ensuring assessments are accessible for all, and minimising the potential for subjective bias in the assessment process. Care is taken in exercise design to minimise personality differences that are known to unfairly impact the assessment of candidates suitability (e.g. in group activities)

What’s in the Graduate Assessment Centre materials?

The exercises all take place in a fictional workplace, Novelix.

A Diversity & Inclusion task force has been put together to help build and implement the organisations Diversity and Inclusion initiative. Each candidate is told that they have been asked to join the D&I task force, and will be getting involved in a variety of activities to support the group.

Alongside the assessment centre exercises themselves, the suite offers you the following additional resources, which help to prepare your candidates and ensure they are in the right mind frame to do their best:

  • Candidate preparation guide: Sent out before the assessment event, this gives candidates an overview of what they can expect from the day, and how they can do their best
  • Case study pack: Regardless of the exercises chosen, this is given to candidates to set the scene and gives some background information on the context of the organisation and the D&I task force. Candidates are given time to review this information before starting any of the exercises.
  • Ice breakers and energisers: These are short, game like activities that help to re-energise candidates and help to ensure a positive and engaging candidate experience.

Choose your exercises


You can choose to include any number of the following activities. Your decision on which exercises to include should be guided by the competencies you are looking to assess.



Candidate is given a variety of data and resources to analyse and review, before collating this into a report to present back to a senior manager. This can be presented in the written form, or through an interactive ‘pitch’.



Working in pairs, and then a larger group, candidates are asked to review a set of possible D&I initiatives, and create a shortlist of recommendations for investment.



Candidate is given a variety of tasks to review, including emails, phone messages and project work. They must outline what action they need to take to complete each task, and organise the tasks in order of priority.


Coaching role play:

Candidate meets with an individual that they are ‘mentoring’ to help support them to resolve an issue they are experiencing. Influencing role play: Candidates meet with a senior colleague to discuss a certain issue. They are required to present an influential case, and gain buy in.


Graduate Assessment Centre Exercises


What does a Graduate Assessment Centre measure?


Different exercises assess different competencies, so using a combination of exercises will enable you to tap into those skills essential for your role and organisation. The suite of graduate exercises is designed to assess against the following eight competencies:


Ability to identify and extract key information from reference materials; evaluating information to make links between issues and form logical arguments.


Demonstrates a willingness to work openly and cooperatively with others, be part of a team and work together to achieve common goals.

Commercial/business awareness:

Demonstrates an understanding of the commercial aspects of the organisation and a clear understanding of the environment. Understands the importance of developing a business case for initiatives and ideas.


Ability to convey complex ideas succinctly and give reasoned arguments to persuade others around to their point of view. Balances their share of the listening and the talking.

Creativity and Innovation:

Challenges existing ways of doing things in order to improve performance. Produces new ideas, approaches or insights. Demonstrates good judgement about which creative ideas and suggestions should be implemented. Effectively manages and nurtures the creative process of others.

Developing others:

Offers tangible support and encouragement to others. Effectively uses probes and open ended questions to fully understand others.

Drive for Results: 

Demonstrates a preparedness to throw themselves into the demands of a task. Takes personal responsibility for moving things forward and getting things done. Demonstrates a passion for producing a high standard of results and engaging others to do likewise.


Ability to plan and organise work and activities; prioritising work appropriately to meet wider organisational objectives.


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