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3 Steps to Beat the McKinsey PST

The McKinsey PST is a 1 hour, 26 question test that focuses on 3 different business cases. The questions are divided into math and logic questions and are then subdivided into questions with graphs, charts, tables, and exhibits.

No electronic devices (i.e. calculators, smartphones, or computers) are allowed, so all calculations need to be performed either mentally or on the blank space on the test booklet. No scratch paper is allowed.


Some people might tell you that there is no way to prepare. We think that is nonsense. The best place is to start is with the answers. The button will below covers everything that McKinsey are looking for in this test.

So those are the basics. In order to succeed, you need at least 18/26 or 70%. This is achievable with a hell of a lot of preparation. Your educational background won’t help a huge amount and almost no-one is good at this naturally. Just remember to make your application great! So many brilliant students fall before the test…

Step 1

Get your analytical skills to a satisfactory level. This may take hours of crunching numbers doing verbal logic problems and staring at graphs. Use all of our suggested resources and maybe even use some free examples from the GMAT or GRE, which have similarly structured problems.

Step 2

Make sure you can get at least 18/26 on the test in under an hour. For many candidates who have never struggled with timing on a test, this will be a problem for the first time. We advise going through these three tests over and over again. There are alternatives out there, but you will notice that they aren’t quite the same. After a bit of time you’ll forget the right answers, so doing it again won’t be a problem! Getting your time under an hour means you have to think in the right way.

Step 3

Take the test! Remember you can only take it once every 12 months in most countries, so it is worth putting everything into your preparation. This could be north of 70 hours in preparation. It is worth it, just check out some of the exit opportunities! That means that your prep might be as least as long as your case study prep. Grit your teeth and get going!

More Resources

If you’re also interested in learning about McKinsey’s Virtual Assessment, click here! Ours is the most up-to-date guide for cracking the application process in 2020.

If you are also interested in learning more about the PST, check out our page that we update with all the latest advice, tips and tricks.

For more on how McKinsey think about their new recruits, check out Ethan Rasiel’s The McKinsey Way.

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