The BCG Potential test is a written case interview, very similar to the McKinsey Problem Solving Test or PST. They both serve the same purpose and test the same skills:
- Determine whether you have the analytical skills to become a strategy consultant
- Screen candidates before conducting ‘real’ case interviews
The similarity of the BCG Potential Test to the McKinsey PST means that the preparation for both can be done at the same time and with the same material.
What is the BCG Potential Test?
It seems that BCG is still running trials with written cases and we’ve had reports of different versions being in tested in the field. What can you expect?
- 50 or 23 questions spread over multiple cases
- Limited time to answer all questions (50 minutes)
It differs from the McKinsey PST in how answers are scored: correct answers net you 2 points, unanswered questions 0 and wrong answers will decrease your score by -1. So no last minute guessing, as with the PST.
BCG Potential Test: how to practice?
If you’ve been invited to do the test by BCG, you’d probably want to prepare. Luckily there’s a lot of material available and we’ll zoom in on the specific skills required by the BCG Potential Test as well as sample tests you could take.
The BCG Potential Test requires you to do a lot of calculations in a short amount of time. To make sure you calculate quickly and correctly you should practice your quantitative skills. There are plenty of sites and apps to test your mathematical prowess, and we’ve listed some in our article on case interview math. Don’t be put off by your initial performance: your skill will improve rapidly with daily practice.
You’ll have to parse a lot of text and (financial) data during the test, and it helps when you can quickly decide which piece of information is important and which not. It also helps to know the “business jargon” and read up if your background is not in Business or Finance. Good ways to get up to speed quickly is reading The Economist or Business Insider articles.
Since the BCG Potential test features a lot of reading questions combined with math, it helps to use GMAT/GRE training material as well.
BCG Potential Test: sample
If you want to practice the BCG Potential test, you should take a look at the BCG website: the BCG Netherlands office offers a sample test online. These are only a few questions though. Luckily the BCG Potential Test and the McKinsey PST are much alike and we offer a lot of practice material to start right away:
- 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.