Since roughly 66% of candidates fail to make the McKinsey PST cutoff, it is a good idea to practice with a McKinsey PST sample test. One of the reasons many applicants fail the McKinsey Problem Solving Test is because they underestimate the pressure generated by:
- the amount of (financial) data they have to parse
- the difficulty of the PST questions
- the 60 minute time limit (meaning only 2 minutes per question)
- the stakes at play (failing the PST means you’re out)
By making sure your skills are up to par and by knowing what you can expect, you can increase your odds of acing the McKinsey PST significantly.
How can you practice the PST?
If you want to make sure that you make the cut, you have 2 options: train the underlying skills required and practice with a McKinsey PST sample. To be able to train, you need to know the two basic skills involved in doing the McKinssey Problem Solving Test. We’ll cover them below:
- (Business) reading: during the McKinsey PST you’ll be reading a lot of information on the cases, not all of which is relevant. Knowing what is important and what is not or being able to quickly determine this helps a great deal. Since you only have 2 minutes per question, you’ll also want to make sure that you “know your lingo” and have basic knowledge of all business & finance terms. Especially if you’re not from a Business or Finance background, it helps to do some background reading (start with Business Insider, the Financial Times or The Economist).
- Math: since calculators are not allowed, you’ll have to do all computations by hand. If you cannot calculate in your head quickly (and correctly), don’t fret: it’s a skill and can be trained easily. Being able to do basic calculations on paper will help, but will cost significantly more time than being able to do these in your head. Read up in this article on case interview math if you want some sources of practice material.
But the best way to train yourself for the McKinsey PST might be to practice with a McKinsey PST sample. Before you take the sample PST on the Mckinsey website however, make sure that you practice your skills first. When you’re confident you can ace the test, set a timer for 60 minutes and take the sample PST. We recommend practicing more however: in our experience it takes 2 to 3 practice PST’s to really get a confident feeling during the real McKinsey Problem Solving Test. If you want to practice with more McKinsey PST sample tests: we’ve got you covered.
McKinsey PST Sample
If you want to make sure you’re well prepared and confident that you can ace the McKinsey PST, these 2 sample tests will help you improve your performance. Nothing beats extra practice!
- 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.