McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Oliver Wyman, and others - if you are planning to take consulting tests or written cases, this post will help. Free McKinsey PST sample with 9 questions, their detailed answers and tips to increase your score. Download the PDF now and start training right away!. A free McKinsey PST Practice test (McKinsey Problem Solving Test) in PDF format with detailed guidelines and best practices included!.
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This practice test has been developed to provide a sample of the actual McKinsey. Problem Solving Test used for selection purposes. This test assesses your. Print out the test in A4 format, double-sided. Remember, when you are sitting in front of the actual McKinsey PST, you will not be allowed to use scrap paper or a . tests such as McKinsey's Problem Solving Test (PST), Boston Consulting Group's The PST is a paper-based test all potential McKinsey employees must take.
Some generous guys have taken pictures of most questions and put them online. You cannot appreciate the complexity of the test until you take one. Eliminate A typical multiple-choice strategy: The PST is the big differentiator in the recruiting process between McKinsey and its main competitors. CardOnline both in dollars and growth rate. The CEO did not call the team to advise him on branding or design, but on understanding the causes of the downturn. It was initially targeted to young holidaymakers who are particularly price sensitive but, over the past few years, an increasing share of its passenger tickets has been sold to professionals as an economic crisis has hit Europe.
This free sample gives you a glimpse of our official PST package. The material I bought from you was great!
I'd go as far as to say that you have the best prep material available online. You guys do a great job in breaking down the test into different question types. I was able to isolate specific skills and logic to train myself. That makes all the difference! Haven't take the test yet, but I do feel much more prepared with your guides!
I just took the free PST practice case on TOYO piano, it has certainly one of the more comprehensive and well-written answer sections of all the different practice tests I've done - great job! You are welcome to share it with whomever interested!
Thorough Quality Control with a large review committee of over 10 ex-McKinsey consultants. We place a very high priority on taking feedbacks and continuously working on improving our products. Even the smallest details count! Download Now. What forms are the materials available in? All of our exercises and tests are in the form of PDF eBooks. How long does it take for my materials to arrive? As all transactions and access are electronic, it should only take a few seconds after completing your purchase before you can access your materials.
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Conclusions should always be true, not just most of the time. When dealing with ranges of numbers, select them so as to keep them as close as possible to the situation described in the statement, but do not comply with it. What would make it wrong? Word problems questions ask you to solve business problems using data provided in the question and data from tables and exhibits.
If an average employee is paid 12 hours per month, which of the following formulae accurately calculates the average number of items handled per employee, per month?
Whilst on most questions you get all the relevant data and information from exhibit or introductory paragraphs, in word problems part of the data is contained in the question itself, while another part in the exhibits or introductory paragraph. Ardito, a leading fast fashion retailer, has 3, branches with 79, employees at these branches.
Maison operates on approximately 25 FTE per retail branch. Approximately, how many more branches than Ardito should Maison have to sell as many clothes in Menswear as Ardito? Go through the answers to quickly assess the level of precision you will need in your calculations. Since all answer options are quite far apart, you will be able to estimate rather than calculate precisely. Hence, calling x the additional branches, Maison needs to sell as many clothes as Ardito:. Thus the result must be between 1, and 2, Answer B.
You plug numbers from the answer options in the equation and see which result would make the equation work. This method is by far our preferred way of solving this king of problems. Which of the following most accurately describes the reason for the team's project?
In consulting projects, you will engage every day with various stakeholders from the client. Essentially, client interpretation questions are about understanding:. Topstar is a leading fashion retailer of clothing, shoes, make-up and accessories.
It has around shops worldwide, of which are in the UK. Topstar operates through a franchising model, where shops are run by private independent companies and pay a royalty fee to Topstar. In exchange, Topstar designs the shops and supplies them with updated clothing lines, manages branding, sets advertising and promotions, and provides shop-owners with guidance on all standard operating procedures for running the shops.
Even if this strategy enabled Topstar to dramatically grow in scale, boosting shop opening and customer base, customer numbers have recently plateaued, and this has resulted in slower sales and profit growth. The CEO of Topstar has engaged your team to help better understand whether the recent changes in revenue and profitability trends are related to unsatisfactory shopping experience.
He is convinced that the recent growth in scale came at the expense of a consistent shopping experience across all shops.
I recently visited 5 shops in different countries and 3 of them did not fully apply our policies ensuring consistency in shop layout and pricing policies. Approach these questions using our established method. Two aspects of our method are particularly relevant:. Read the question. Pretty straightforward, asks for the reason of the engagement.
Scan the answers and underline key words. Do not spend more than 10 seconds doing this step. The purpose is just to be as quick as possible in finding the right part of the introductory paragraph. Go back to the text and quickly jump to the relevant part. Precisely reading the essential sentence will be enough to answer the question. This answer may be true, but it does not illustrate the purpose for the engagement of your team.
The CEO did not call the team to advise him on branding or design, but on understanding the causes of the downturn.
The purpose for the engagement of your team is not understanding the causes of the poor shopping experience, but the causes of the downturn. The purpose of this engagement is finding out whether inconsistent shopping experiences across stores led to the current downturn. Again, this answer could be true, but it is not the purpose for the engagement of your team. The CEO did not call the team to redesign policies, but to understand the causes of the downturn.
Highlight keywords in all answers. Prioritizing the right words and sentences will save you a lot of time. Cross out wrong answers. You will often find that at least 2 answers look correct or almost correct.
Sometimes answers contain implications that look rational and sensible. However, if the client did not say it, they are not the valid answers. Formulae questions will ask you to express a quantitative word problem as a symbolic formula. Which of the following formulae calculates the share of non-performing loans out of total loans? Formulae question test your abstraction capabilities.
Are you able to extrapolate a trend or a result from a set of data? Are you able to break down problems, identifying drivers and directions of causality? Forman Fisheries is engaged in packaging shrimp and other fish.
There are four grades of shrimp, from A to D, reflecting their size and taste. Below are some key productivity indicators for Forman Fisheries in the shrimp packaging activities:.
Assuming that all boxes contain the same quantity of shrimps, which of the following formulas best approximates how many boxes of non-grade A shrimps were packed in the last month? Homogenize your measuring units. Break down the problem into smaller steps that help you get to the ratio, in this case:. Formula questions are about extrapolating a formula that should work with all numbers.
However, sometimes answers are presented through formulas with numerous simplifications that might make it difficult to tell whether the numbers are correct. A trick that could work in order to double-check results is replacing numbers in the table with simple ones, coming up with a solution and then plugging it into the answer options to see which one gives the right result.
For example in this case, assume:. Since all boxes have the same size, non-grade A boxes will be. If you know that all your results should be 9, plug in the numbers above in the answer options above and check in which of them you get 9. This trick works very well when the formulas involve high degrees of simplification. Devising a solid preparation plan and test strategy is essential to be successful. In the following sections we will guide you through a very efficient preparation plan and will give you some very important advice on test strategy.
Don't be fooled by those who say "Practice,practice, practice". While practicing is very useful, brute force practice can be quite ineffective. You need to see where you stand and what your improvement areas are. The best way to do this is to do a test.
Don't worry about your score, you will simply need it to see where you stand. You can use a McKinsey test or one of ours. Then categorise questions and see where you are lacking. If you purchase one of our packages, we do that for your already so you will not have to go through it. Work on your improvement areas. In particular, you should focus on the following:. Identify root causes and draw fact based conclusions We provide 10 specific questions each in our Test Ready and Beyond Test Ready packages; our case academy also features 2 exercise sections where you will be able to find 15 questions each 30 in total.
Numerical agility An essential skill for the PST. The math video in our case academy efficiency tools will provide all the fundamentals and tips and tricks to be fast with numbers. Being able to make estimates in the PST is very important. This includes understanding the required degree of approximation and performing the calculations fast. Our mental math tool can be very useful to practice. Reading charts and solving problems This one is again very important, covered in our case interview course as well, both theory and practice.
Extensive drills are included in our Beyond Test Ready package. Once you feel comfortable with the skill level you are at, you will then have to start practising on actual test questions. There are not many quality questions online so you need to be efficient.
Since there are not many quality questions online, it is important to use available material efficiently in this stage. We advise to do a test, identify your improvement areas, then work on the specific questions provided in in our Beyond Test Ready package and go back to the fundamental skills if you need so.
Once you have practiced enough it is time to simulation the real test. In this phase you need to replicate the test environment. Print the test, staple it and print the answer sheet out. Find an empty quiet room and do the test in the allocated time without a calculator. Following this simple procedure will help you familiarise with the test environment. It may seem useless but replicating the exact conditions can actually help you, especially when it comes to test strategy, such as reporting your answers on the answer sheet, only using the booklet for notes and so on.
More on this in the strategy section. Again, you should identify your improvement areas and target your weaknesses. The more simulations you do, the better it is. You can download the tests here: A very important part of your strategy is keeping an error log.
It is so important we decided to write a whole section on it. When reviewing your mistakes, everything looks clear and easy. However, 2 weeks later, you encounter a question with the same structure as another one that you previously got wrong and you become puzzled: This is what the error log is for: An error log is a continuous method of analysing practice problems to identify WHY you answered them incorrectly. Error logs are a very effective tool for preparing to GMAT or other exams, but we recommend you to use them also for the Problem Solving Test.
There is no single right or wrong format for the error log. Some people like using detailed spreadsheets, while others simply use a paper, a pen and a symbol guide for marking and tracking certain answers. Another reason why an error log is pivotal to PST success: While the official McKinsey test provides excellent preparation and we too have invested a lot of money in making and testing content, the number of available tests is still limited.
By keeping an error log and completing the necessary analysis, you will take full advantage of each question. Extra practice is always the best way to improve, as being exposed to different questions can help you identify your improvement area.
Visit our PST practice page to find out more about extra practice. The majority of PST questions is not very conceptually difficult; the real challenge comes from the time constraint. In this section we will go over a test time strategy and a consistent method to answer questions to make sure you don't waste any time.
Some questions in the PST look exceedingly complicated. Sometimes it may even look like if you give each such question the time it seems to require, you might run out of time on a single one! Spending excessive time pouring over hard questions often prevents candidates from leaving enough time for other, more straightforward questions.
And, since you do not need to answer all of the questions right in order to pass the test, this strategy is dangerous and counterproductive. The strategy we suggest is all about allocating the right amount of time to all the questions and to copying answers at the end:. Keep at least 5 spare minutes at the end of the test to copy your answers on the answer sheet.
Break down the remaining time in minutes per question - in this case about 2 minutes per question. Ensure that you do not exceed the time allocated to the cumulative number of questions reached at your point in the test.
If, for example, you've just completed question 5, it should be no later than minute 10 from the beginning of the test. If you realize that you are spending too much time on a single question and the time from the beginning of the test is twice the number of the question you are working on, circle the question and the most likely answers you were trying to answer but could not finish, and proceed to the next one.
At the end of the test, if you are left with some time excluding the time for copying answers on the answer sheet , you will go back to the questions and the circles will inform you about your choices. If, instead, you are left with no time, while copying the answers on the answer sheet you will randomly choose one of the circled likely answers.
Two minutes per question is an extremely challenging time horizon by itself. Successful candidates tend to develop a structured and consistent approach to answering PST questions over the course of their training. Whilst we advise to adopt a slightly different approach based on kind of each questions, these guidelines provides a simple and straightforward approach that can be applied to any question, allowing you to quickly build good habits. Do not take this advice as a rigid framework to follow but rather as a starting point to develop the strategy that suits you best.
Carefully read each question. Read the question in detail, understanding what kind of answer the test is looking for. By reading the question, you will scope out what the question is looking for in the introductory paragraph. Even if starting by quickly skimming the test may sound tempting, refrain from doing so: Quickly skim through the answers and underline key words.
Going through the answers will give you additional information about the question and the possible alternatives for answering it. Such information is be very important when dealing with qualitative answers, but even more so when dealing with quantitative answers:. Qualitative answers: Quantitative answers: If, for example, all answers are very close and distance themselves by few units or percentage points, you must be accurate in your calculations.
Identify and understand relevant text and data. Read it carefully, underlining, if necessary, key words and try to figure out the answer to the question in your mind.
Pick the best solving technique. Basing on the question's type, choose which technique is more appropriate:. Follow an iterative process of eliminating wrong answers by going back and forth between the relevant section of the introductory paragraph and the questions. If, while scanning through answers in phase 2, you underlined key words, your work will be simplified.
Even if you feel like you've identified the right answer, always go for the elimination strategy: The reasoning behind this strategy is that often at first sight some answers look less straightforward or more complicated, but on closer inspection they turn out to be the right ones.
Quantitative answers. Identify the best technique by choosing between:. Identifying relevant data and solving the problems directly by running all calculations on paper and ascertaining which answer matches with the results of your calculations. Building a framework of the calculation and plugging in the suggested answers until you find the one that works. Enough theory for now! Time to start practicing with our free test.
We suggest printing it out to replicate a real test environment. Take our test for free. McKinsey PST: A comprehensive guide. All you need to know about the McKinsey Problem Solving Test in 6 facts 26 questions, paper and pen The McKinsey PST is a multiple choice paper test made up of 26 questions distributed over three business cases.
Make it or break it No matter how outstanding your resume is, if you fail the McKinsey PST, you will not be invited to the first round of interviews. Not the GMAT Although scoring is not on a curve, unofficial surveys tell us that about 1 out of 3 candidates passes the test and progresses to the interview round.
What kind of questions will you get in the PST?
These are: Which of the following values is the best estimate of ABC revenue in Year 4? What is it? Question Formats Which of the following values is the best estimate of? Which of the following statements is valid, based on the data? What is the current ranking of options 1 to 5? Example The table below shows the sales development of the Topstar business unit across the main markets. US Germany Italy Japan Method Read the question - pretty straightforward, as you are asked to identify the country with the highest growth rate.
Read the answers - there are 4 countries to be compared. Now, you need to first define the calculation you need to solve in order to get market growth, which will be: This leaves the US answer A as the right answer. Here are just two of the most useful techniques to avoid useless calculations: For example, the question below asks you to rank the effectiveness of 5 solutions: Multiply the yearly growth rate by the number of years during which it will apply and you will get an estimate of the compounded growth rate: There are few caveats to bear in mind when using this technique: Which of the following does NOT help to explain why?
Which of the following, if TRUE, would best challenge the sales manager's decision? Example Zapclothing is a global fast fashion retailer catering to teenage girls, which owns shops all over Europe. Consumers quoted price consistently among the top 3 quality attributes for mid and high-level fashion brands in surveys over the last 5 years. Female teenagers aged consider price among the top three criteria for deciding whether to make a purchase.
Method Read the question carefully and make sure you understand what is being asked.
Go back to the answers, crossing out the wrong ones: FALSE If consumers consider a higher price to be a signal for superior quality for mid and high-level fashion brands among which Zapclothing is positioned , reducing prices could have a neutral or counterproductive effect on revenue growth.