The answer is yes. The McKinsey Solve game (the McKinsey PSG) is extremely important since it is a mandatory assessment for every candidate. The game has been in use by every McKinsey office since the start of 2021, replacing the old problem-solving test (PST).
This article provides information on what the McKinsey Solve game includes, how important it is for candidates and the firm, and how to prepare for it.
In the McKinsey Solve game, you need to finish two mini-games within the time limit of around 60 to 80 minutes. McKinsey has introduced 6 mini-games for the PSG:
- Ecosystem Building
- Plant Defense
- Disease Management
- Disaster Management
- Migration Management
- Redrock Study (released 2022)
The two main games of the McKinsey PSG are Ecosystem Building and Plant Defense. The four others are alternatives and appear to be less common. For more information on the play styles and suggested strategies for approaching them, check out our detailed explanation of the McKinsey Solve game.
Ecosystem Building game
Plant Defense game
The PSG has 2 scoring criteria: the product score and the process score. The product score reflects the quality of your answers, for example, the final number of species surviving in the Ecosystem Building game. Meanwhile, the process score analyzes your cognitive behaviors by tracking mouse strokes throughout the games.
Yes, the Solve game matters for every McKinsey applicant in any position or location. It is a compulsory test that candidates have to pass to get to the interview round. It is extremely rare to see anyone get spare from the PSG.
The PSG has become more important than academic qualifications or professional experience in McKinsey’s hiring process. In the past, some MBA holders or experienced hires might get to skip the Solve game. However, it has now been declared by McKinsey to be a mandatory assessment.
The main goal of the PSG is to test 5 skills of candidates as stated below:
- Critical thinking: the efficiency in analyzing a big amount of data
- Decision making: the ability to make the best decisions under time pressure
- Metacognition: the strategies for approaching problems and applying tactics
- Situational awareness: the ability to understand situations and predict scenarios
- Systems thinking: the ability to recognize causal relationships between components in a system
The 5 mentioned skills would show how similar the candidates’ cognitive behaviors are to real McKinsey consultants. From that result, McKinsey recruiters will decide whether they are suitable for working at the firm or not.
Furthermore, McKinsey uses the game format for its digital assessment to expand the applicant pool. The PSG, unlike the PST, does not require knowledge or skills related to business. Therefore, candidates from non-business backgrounds have the same opportunity of getting into McKinsey as any other.
Ultimately, McKinsey uses the Solve game to filter candidates from its huge number of applicants. In this way, the game saves time and costs for the firm from having too many expensive and lengthy interviews.
The first thing that helps you get ready for the McKinsey PSG is an overall understanding of its format and gameplay. You should go through all of the mini-games involved and learn their goals, how to play, and basic tactics for each of them.
That leads us to the second thing you need to prepare for the PSG: frequent practice. It is better to actually play them rather than just reading wordy instructions. So far, PSG simulations are the best tools for this type of preparation. They can help you get familiar with the games and even build personal strategies for them.
To bring you a better visualization of the real Solve game, MConsultingPrep offers a McKinsey PSG Simulation package. In this package, you would find simulations of 3 mini-games and in-depth guidebooks for each. The mini-games included are the 2 core games Ecosystem Building and Plant Defense and the newest game Redrock Study.
Our PSG Simulation package is guaranteed to have the most updated, effective, and interactive materials for all McKinsey candidates. The simulations have a 95% resemblance to the real PSG and an infinite number of practice scenarios. Hence, they will give you great insights into the game as well as your own strengths and weaknesses.
Check out our PSG Simulation package for exclusive discounts and a guarantee of an 80% pass rate: