E-Tray Exercise

Updated 28 May 2020

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An e-tray exercise is a computer-based simulation of an email inbox that lasts for and must be completed within a fixed amount of time. During the exercise, emails will arrive into your inbox e-tray and you will be required to:

  • Make basic calculations
  • Extract information from data provided
  • Make judgement calls on how to deal with demanding managers/unhappy clients, etc.

An e-tray exercise is the electronic equivalent of the in-tray exercise.

Normally the answers to this exercise are multiple-choice. Be careful with calculation questions. Typically, the wrong answers listed will be common errors for that problem and can be misleading. You do not always necessarily need all the information provided, and sometimes more information than is necessary will be provided, to distract you.

Emails in an e-tray exercise will often arrive slowly at first and then get faster as time progresses. It is important that you do not begin to select random answers at the end as they will be testing to see how you perform under pressure.

E-Tray Written Exercise

Some e-tray exercises will have a written part as well, where you will be required to respond to an email. Typically, no spell-checker is provided, so you must be certain to use words that you can spell confidently. Make sure you respond in a style appropriate to the email you have been sent and ensure that it has a clear, logical structure.

Keep watch over time, and make sure you proofread what you have written before the time is up.

Who Uses E-Tray?

Recruiters well known to use e-tray exercises include:

  • Deloitte
  • KPMG
  • Ernst &Young
  • The Civil Service fast stream scheme

Practice E-Tray Exercises

For further practice, simulated training and practice in-tray and e-tray tests are available here.