McKinsey Problem Solving Test The Problem Solving Test Experience

What A Good Test Taker Know that You Don’t Know?

One of our team members has just taken the
 McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST) last week. He has many interesting updates, insights, and tips on his experience. These are the notes coming straight from his keyboard to your screen.

1. Imperfect Testing Condition

My PST took place in a newly established office building. So there were people coming in and out of the room while I was taking my PST. To make matters worse, I was the only one taking the test at that moment. So it was extremely distracting and annoying for me.

My Tips: Don’t expect a perfect testing environment! This does not happen everytime, but it can happen (as it happened to me)! Practice taking tests in any environment so you are well prepared no matter what!

2. Skip the Hard Questions

I knew that I had to skip hard questions and focus on those that I could score on. I knew it! But in the real PST, I still spent too much time on hard questions. In the end, I gave up 5 questions. If I really applied what I was taught well, I could have scored 1 or 2 more questions.

My Tips: Apply what you were taught whenever you practice. Otherwise, you will forget in the real test like I did.

3. Don’t Panic

When I reached the 50 mins benchmark with only 17 questions done, I thought to myself: Shoot! I am going to fail this. But I didn’t!

My Tips: Relax. Don’t worry about the results, keep your head in the test and do your best!

4. Difficulty Level

I don’t think it was any harder than the Practice PST on the McKinsey website. Yes, there are extremely hard questions, but there are some “15-second” questions also.

However, I admit that taking the real PST is a lot more stressful than doing the Practice PST.

My Tips: When you take the official McKinsey Practice PST, do it as if you were taking the real PST.

5. Miscellaneous Things

  • When I headed to the room, I was given 5 minutes to read the instructions. They had a sample case introduction and a sample question. Even though it doesn’t count, I suggest you to do it as if it were a real question! It is a really valuable warm-up for your mind! Bring your watch! In my PST room, there was no watch. The lady proctor was so nice to bring me a watch. If not for that, it would have been chaos!
  • I only had 59 and a half minutes. Expect that!
  • Don’t worry about practicing to fill in the circles! The McKinsey answer sheet has very small circles. It is very easy to fill those in!
  • Don’t worry about flipping pages! All pages in the test are separated and one-sided! That was nice!

Good luck on your PST! Remember that in-depth PST practice materials on the McKinsey Problem Solving Test are always available on our website!

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