For those not in the know, BAT is a test which Bloomberg is trying to popularize as THE test to measure a student's finance concepts, skills and aptitude, in relation to his peers. Designed as an undergrad test, it has however been offered to post grad students as well(a different version I guess). They are field testing the BAT, so they offered it free to all qualified test takers. At IIM-A, nearly 200+ applicants gave the test. A 165 question test of 3hrs, most students elsewhere completed the test within 2.5hrs. While the practical/conceptual part of the test was quite good, the 'aptitude' portion(verbal/quant/logic) was probably based on the easy(easy to Indians) GMAT level. Unlike a conventional test, this one did try to measure situational judgement and ethics as well. Also, the questions did give a good idea of the types of tasks a person would do on the job during internship and beyond. Tweaking valuation models, describing a graph within a slide, understanding fund manager pitches, calculating portfolio risk metrics-all these were tested.
So who would 'ace the test'? Well, people would perform differently based on prior experience, internships and education. But a person with some prior finance exposure and oodles of interest in the subject, would have performed quite well. The level was around that of CFA L1, except that very few numerical problems were asked. We students were used as guinea pigs but did not mind it, because we shall get to know our relative standing, and also (more importantly) sub area wise performance.
Why would BAT give the test free only to certain campuses, and not any online test taker? Well, having the test proctored on campus ensures invigilation and test integrity. And like higher education, tests are a network good and a club good, meaning that the results are more robust and visible with more and better quality test takers BUT those test takers would only be willing with a catchet of exclusivity. Hence this exclusivity.
Right from telephone plans to newspaper/magazine subscriptions, competitions and freebies, IIM(and other top college) students have a huge choice. It is for them to make good use of it.