McKinsey Problem Solving Test Master Study Plan For McKinsey PST Question Types

If you are stuck with your McKinsey PST Question Types, this article is for you. It is not because you are not smart enough to solve PST, but it can be due to your inappropriate study plan, which fails to utilize your time and your ability.

Let's find out how we can change that!

A quick glance

    1. Understanding the test
      • Why does it exist?
      • What is PST like?
      • What are the common myths?
    2. Mastering the PST

1. Firstly, understand the test

A. Why does PST come to exist?

The normal recruitment process typically involves two processes: CV screening and Interview. CV screening proves efficient in sorting potential candidates with low-usage of resources, however does not 100% correctly assess the candidates’ ability. In the case of an interview, it is time-consuming to devote to interviewing all who pass CV screening.

Therefore, it happens to be a gap between two processes. That is why McKinsey creates Problem Solving Test.

B. What is PST like?

It has 26 multiple choice questions, divided into 3 cases with time limitation of 60 minutes

Often the test includes 6 types of questions:

Which of the following values is the best estimate of ABC’s revenue in Year 4?

Which of the following is TRUE based on the data presented in Exhibit 2?

Which of the following reasons, if TRUE, would best explain the increasing trend in X, Y, and Z?

Assuming a machine lasts for five years, the center is opened 5 days per week all year round, what minimum volume of maintenance supply …?

Which of the following best summarizes the CEO’s concerns?

Which of the following formula calculates the dollar value of goods produced by ABC?

C. What are common myths of PST?

#1. The PST is a Case Interview on paper.

This assumption is probably wrong. While the PST places heavily on logic, numbers, Case Interview focus on actual person-to-person work.

#2. PST is similar to the SAT Math section.

SAT Math section does help in quantitative section of PST, however the context is different. SAT Math section includes only simple calculations in simple context; meanwhile, logic in business problems is highly emphasized in PST.

#3. The ability to pass the PST has to be something you are born with.

The fact is: PST can be learned. But you probably wonder how?

2. Secondly, a rigorous study plan is key to master the PST.

The perfect plan for PST is a 2-step approach:

Step 1: Answer the questions correctly.

Step 2: Answer the questions quickly


Step 1: Answer the questions correctly.

You are recommended to first answer all the test question correctly without time pressure. Before, you need to break down all the questions into questions types as I mentioned in the previous section. Besides, it is necessary to understand how these questions are constructed, what are their logical foundation, and even how the wrong choices are made.

Step 2: Answer the questions quickly.

There will be no turning point that indicates you it is about time to move to the second step, but you should gradually try to answer the questions both correctly and quickly. If you don’t know how to increase your speed, you have better to start with 3 steps below:

#1. Increase your reading speed.

Princeton intensive program is helpful to increase your speed by 2 times faster without difficulties.

#2. Increase your calculator speed.

Half of the test involve maths, which have no way to improve but practice rigorously. The more you practice, the better you gain.

#3. Embrace test-hacking tips.

You can go to to find out more!

Finally, you need to put all together into a complete case and take it like in real testing environment.

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