McKinsey Problem Solving Test – PST.pdf

# McKinsey Problem Solving Test – PST.pdf - McKinsey...

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McKinsey Problem Solving Test – PST The Definitive Guide to the McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST) (Part 1 of 2) (Hint: Bookmark This Page – It’s Long) The McKinsey Problem Solving Test (also known as the McKinsey PST) is a math computation, data interpretation and logical thinking test used by McKinsey to determine which candidates are granted a first round case interview. In general, candidates whose resumes McKinsey deems acceptable are invited to take the test. Based on feedback from hundreds of test takers, you must pass the test in order to get the interview. There are few to no exceptions to this rule. Why the McKinsey PST Exists The reason McKinsey uses the test is because there are a certain set of numerical computation and logical thinking skills required to be successful in consulting. While standardized math tests like the quantitative sections of the SAT, GRE, or GMAT do test math computational skills, it is possible to get perfect scores on these math tests but fail on the job in consulting. It’s my interpretation that McKinsey developed the McKinsey Test in order to test those skills that regular math tests do not adequately evaluate. In particular, these skills involve data interpretation and critical numerical reasoning. Now when I hear the words “data interpretation” and “critical numerical reasoning”, it always reminds me of those college entrance exam tests that were challenging, seemingly arbitrary and pretty much not useful in the real world. But, it turns out these skills actually have a very practical purpose while working as a consultant. These skills allow you to: 1) Read a graphical chart (or the data spreadsheet that was used to create the chart) 2) Grasp what the “data is conclusively telling you” and separate from what the “data is suggesting (but not definitively so)”

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