A bodybuilder’s secret to pass the McKinsey PST

Whether you admire them, despise them or could not care less about them, you have to admit bodybuilders have got pretty big muscles. When he was a bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed more than 120kg (260lbs) for 188cm (6’2’’). Had he not become Mr. Olympia, he would have probably weighed about 90kg (200lbs). Schwarzenegger and other bodybuilders are not born with huge muscles, they build them.

In some regard, preparing for the McKinsey PST is an accelerated version of getting ready for a bodybuilding contest. You have to build a lot of mental muscle and technique in a very short period of time to pass the test without difficulty. At IGotAnOffer, we like to study successful approaches developed in high-performance disciplines to find out how they could help you pass the PST.

There is a particular technique apprentice bodybuilders use to grow their muscles that we do recommend you take on board: LOOPS.

Bodybuilders do loops when they are stuck in their training.

Imagine you are a bodybuilder (yes!) working through a training program with 10 levels. For level 1, your objective is to do 10 push-ups in a row, for level 2, 20 push-ups, etc. Each time you manage to reach a target, you move to the next level.

When apprentice bodybuilders are stuck at a certain level and can’t reach their target, they do a LOOP. Instead of repeatedly trying and failing to hit the target, they change strategy. For example, if they are stuck at level 6 of their training programme, they loop back to level 1 and rework through all the levels. When they get back to level 6, they almost invariably break their record and make it to the next level. 

Doing the same PST multiple times can help improve your score.

If you are taking PSTs one after another and cannot manage to improve your score anymore, we recommend you do a LOOP. Start back to PST #1 and do them all again. This will increase your confidence, strengthen your technique and give your brain some down time. Once you have completed your LOOP, take a PST you have never taken. You’ll probably be happy to see that your score has improved. 


Many of the candidates preparing with us have now started using this technique and it works well for them.You can read Mary's McKinsey PST success story as an example. She reveals how taking the same test several times has helped her and gives other tips.

Additional resources

Join our McKinsey PST Training Programme and learn how to crack the PST directly from ex-interviewers. More than 80% of candidates who use the programme are successful. As a result, we’re now recommended by consulting clubs at Universities including Harvard, Columbia and Berkeley. Learn more below.

McKinsey PST Training Programme


Any questions about the McKinsey PST?

If you have any questions about the McKinsey PST, do not hesitate to ask them below and we will be more than happy to answer them. All questions are good questions, so go ahead!

The IGotAnOffer team

Photo: Mark Sebastian / IM