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How much Problem Solving Test Prep – Last minute tips

How much Problem Solving Test Prep – Last minute tips

Dear Kim,

I have been invited to take the McKinsey PST, due to the short notice of 5 days I asked for it to be postponed a day before. My preparation wasn’t that much and I’m still struggling with the test as my background was in Medicine and business isn’t my strongest point.

I was wondering given my situation:

  1. What would be the most appropriate preparation package in order to optimize my results?
  2. What’s the average time needed to prepare? Because I need to pick an alternative date for the test.

* * *

Hi Hassan,

Let me tackle your questions one by one, I re-arranged the order a bit to make my points a little more clearly.

How much time is needed for McKinsey PST prep?

I wish I can give you a more precise answer, but it really DEPENDS. Some people need years. Others need months. Some need days. And I even know guys who still pass the test with no preparation.

Of course, the more time you spend, the better chance you’ll have. I always suggest to my students to pick up their prep process as soon as possible. But most of the time, people (including yourselves) don’t have that luxury.

My advice is to not worry about the prep time factor and focus on things that we can control … knowing that, we can still pull it off no matter how much time is left for preparation. I say that because I know people have done it before!

That leads to the second question:

What are tips for last-minute prep?

If you follow my materials closely, you would know that I divided the McKinsey PST test into question types and teach students special techniques for each rather than just talk about generic and vague tips (a.k.a.: do math, do reading, practice, etc.).

For last-minute prep, I would still suggest you to follow that spirit of learning. The only difference is that you may want to prioritize which question type to tackle and how deeply you want to go into each. If I were in your shoes, I would use this prioritization table:

Question Types Weight in PST Difficulty Prioritization No.
Reading Facts 38% Low 1
Root-cause Reason 13% Medium 2
Word Problem 12% Medium 3
Client Interpretation 8% Medium 4
Formulae 5% Low 5
Fact-based Conclusion 14% High 6

In addition to the above, I would suggest you practice your math in these last days. The learning curve at the beginning is usually high for anything, including Math. Doing better math can significantly improve your test score. It reduces simple mistakes (which can still cost you points) and allows you to have more time for other questions.

So what premium package should I try?

We have the full money-back guarantee program so there’s no risk of picking up the Double Comprehensive package (including the Comprehensive PST and Comprehensive Math packages). If you haven’t used the whole thing before the test, we are happy to issue partial refunds upon your request (just simply email us and tell us what portion of the package you haven’t used). We trust that management consulting is a prestigious field and candidates like you are respectable people. You will not abuse this generous policy.

Once you get the Double Comprehensive package, you will find practice sets specifically for each question type, math drills of various types, and much more. Then you can proactively adjust your studying accordingly.

* * *

I hope this answers your questions.  Best of luck on your test! And feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

If you would like to see even more good material, check out our Youtube Channel or subscribe to our emailing list.


Tags: Case Interview

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