McKinsey PST advice from a successful candidate January 23 2015

Candidate filling in a multiple-choice questionnaire

We recently had a phone chat with Mary, a successful candidate at the McKinsey PST, who trained with IGotAnOffer. In this article, she shares her experience preparing for and taking the Problem Solving Test.

Learn from Mary’s experience:

“I started my preparation two weeks before taking the test. I first took the tests available on the McKinsey website but I soon realised I was doing quite poorly. In particular, I hadn’t done maths for almost 12 years, so long divisions for instance seemed really tough to me. 

Watching the videos of the McKinsey PST Training Programme helped me get back on track with maths. I also followed the methodology and tips, and took the training tests.

I found it useful to keep a record of how I did at each test. With it, I was able to see that, at first, I was actually pretty bad and scored below 25%. But after using the training programme and taking the training tests, I scored higher. My highest score has been around 70%.

I worked for almost two hours a day during two weeks, so basically between 20 and 30 hours in total. 

In the end, I found the PST I took at McKinsey’s office a bit easier than the training tests, which was a good surprise.

If I had one piece of advice to give to future candidates, this would be “keep practicing and do repetitions”. I took some of the sample tests twice and I found it really helpful. I got to understand the terminology, got exposed to how the tests were structured. After a while, taking a test became quite familiar which enabled me to score higher at the end of my preparation.”

Congratulations for passing the McKinsey PST, Mary! We are glad to see that the McKinsey PST Training Programme made a difference in your preparation and helped you succeed at the test.

Mary’s advice on taking the same tests several times is an important one. We discussed the benefits of doing this in a previous article and have since heard back from several candidates who followed this tip. They told us that, when they felt they were not improving anymore, coming back to the first tests they took helped them progress further.

You might think that, because you already did a test, you will remember the answers if you take it again. As surprising as it may sound, you will probably have forgotten most of the answers by the time you redo the test. Doing the same test several times is therefore a great way to see if you are making progress.

In addition, this will also enable you to check whether you are making the same mistakes multiple times and you will be able to focus on studying specific questions. When taking new sample tests afterwards, your score should improve!

Additional resources

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The IGotAnOffer team