Have your been invited to a nearby McKinsey office for your go at the McKinsey Problem Solving Test and are you looking for practice cases to make sure you ace it? Or are you considering a career in (strategy) consulting and want to make sure you know what is coming in advance? In either case: you’ve come to the right place for McKinsey PST practice.
How to practice the McKinsey PST?
The McKinsey PST is basically a written case interview: a series of questions on a company or non-profit firm to test your analytical skills. The questions are multiple choice, so you don’t have to write out your answers and can sometimes get away with educated guesses instead of exact calculations. There are lots of ways to practice the PST: both by brushing up the skills required during the Problem Solving Test itself as well as doing real practice PSTs (including the one you can download from the McKinsey website).
McKinsey PST practice: underlying skills
The McKinsey Problem Solving Test is meant to test your analytical and problem solving skills on paper. Since you cannot bring a calculator, it helps to train your mathematical skills as well. Though some practice is PST-specific, many of the skills necessary to ace the PST are also needed during the case interviews in later rounds.
- Analytical skills: during the McKinsey PST you will be buried by facts and numbers, some of which are not relevant to answer the questions. You need to determine what is important and what not and analyse the important data. GRE and GMAT questions cover part of the skills required, as does practising real life case interviews with a partner.
- Business Reading skills: you have to consume a lot of (financial) data on each case and it helps if you have a business “sense” that helps you discard the unimportant pieces of information and focus on what is truly important. Reading Business Insider, The Economist and similar magazines gives you the right mindset and increases your understanding of how business operate.
- Mathematical skills: since you cannot bring a calculator, all computations have to be done by hand. The fastest is way to do these is by calculating in your head instead of on paper, but this required practice. For some great resources on how to improve your quantitative skills, click here.
McKinsey PST practice: practice PST’s
Another way to practice the McKinsey PST if by doing real practice Problem Solving Tests. Since 66% of candidates fail the McKinsey PST, it makes sense to prepare by doing real practice PSTs:
- The Key to the PST: a fully-fledged practice PST with 26 questions and an extensive answer guide. In addition, it also features tips on how to ace the McKinsey PST both when preparing and during the actual Problem Solving Test.
- The Second Key to the PST: an additional practice PST with a fresh set of cases and the same extensive answer guide.