A lot of the McKinsey application process is shrouded in mystery, including most of the information surround the McKinsey Problem Solving Test or PST. Many applicants (both those who succeeded in getting to the first round of case interviews, and those who did not) wonder where the cutoff score for the McKinsey lies. Though there’s no official word from McKinsey on how many correct answers you need to pass the McKinsey PST, we do have information from our own experience and the candidates we’ve helped through the years.
How many pass the McKinsey PST?
It is estimated that roughly 66% of all applicants who take the McKinsey PST fail. With the average level of intelligence and ambition that applicants exhibit, the bar is set pretty high. Many applicants underestimate how difficult it is to ace the PST and do not prepare sufficiently. Don’t forget: with only 60 minutes to answer 26 questions (and read through 4 cases), you have just slightly more than 2 minutes to answer each question.
What is the McKinsey PST cutoff score?
When talking to applicants who both aced the McKinsey PST and those failed, we estimate that the cutoff score is 19 or 20 correct answers. This also matches our own experience with taking the test. There’s no penalty for wrong answers, so of all the answers you give, there need to be 20 correct ones. This also means that you should answer all questions, especially if you run out of time.
There is no difference in cutoff scores in different McKinsey offices: everywhere the cutoff score for the McKinsey PST is the same. The cutoff score is also independent from the position you’re applying to: from summer intern to Business Analyst, you get the same PST and the same cutoff.
Practice the McKinsey PST
Luckily, you can increase your chances of making the cutoff score by practicing the PST. You can do this by brushing up on your math skills, but also by taking practice McKinsey PST tests provided by caseinterviewhq.com:
- 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.