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How to prepare for McKinsey SHL Test?

Anonymous A asked on Apr 30, 2018 - 8 answers

Hi everybody, I am qustioning if you know where to find additional material to prepare for the SHL test that MCK requires to do before starting the selection process.

Than you

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updated his answer on May 01, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

As covered by other answers, McKinsey has started using SHL for some offices (I know for sure Italy and London), as a pre-screen test before inviting candidates to the PST.

Agree that practice is key. Beyond some of the resources suggested below, a very useful practical tip to practicing SHL tests: the tests are the same as the ones used at almost all the investment banks (in London, at least), so to practice you can just apply to all the banks and receive multiple tests in real conditions. Most banks send the tests immediately after applying, so very little wait time. The tests also reuse a lot of the questions, so I had friends that after applying to 15+ investment banks knew all the questions by heart.

Hope this helps!


replied on Apr 30, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

feel free to reach out to me with a private message. I have a pack of about 15 entire mock PSTs (Problem Solving Tests) specifically designed in the "McKinsey way" (they do not use SHL style!). Best possible prep for the McKinsey PST...



Originally answered:

McKinsey SHL Test

Matteo replied on Sep 24, 2017

Dear Claudia,

I completed the SHL a couple of weeks ago. Regarding the numerical one i had 25 questions in 18 minutes, while the simulation was 25 for 25. So my suggestion is to do the simulation faster than the time provided. The verbal one was the same as the simulation.

With regards to your other question, i am sorry i don't have have anything more than the simulations on the website you mentioned.

Hope it helped

Thank you :) I was really confused by the different timings provided! — Claudia on Sep 24, 2017

PS: Once you submit the test, do you know the results? — Claudia on Sep 24, 2017

Hi Matteo, does the real SHL provided by McK show a different graph-data set for each question as well? I think this really makes a lot of difference. Thanks! — Edoardo on Sep 24, 2017

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replied on May 01, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

McKinsey indeed started to use CEB SHL in some offices since 2016 (Italy is one of them) for general recruiting. I would not recommend using PST to prepare for the test since the two of them are pretty different.

The McKinsey SHL test is normally divided in two areas. Please note that some countries have different time/questions so you should clarify with HR the numbers below to prepare accordingly.

  • Verbal: 30 questions, 19 minutes to solve them. This is designed to assess logical, verbal and comprehension skills.
  • Numerical: 18 questions, 25 minute to solve them. This is designed to assess your analytical and graph interpretation skills

The best way to prepare is to practice on several tests, understand why you are making mistakes on a particular area and work to improve that particular part. Below you can find a free simulation, on graduatemonkey and jobtestprep sites you should also be able to find additional resources (notice the questions/minutes may be different in the tests from the one you will have to do in your country thus you should adapt accordingly).



replied on Apr 30, 2018
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For some specific roles like New Ventures, etc. McKinsey indeed uses SHL tests.

PST test is not the best benchmark here, so I don't recommend using them as a proxy to assess your performance, however, they are pretty good to prepare for solving the test in a short amount of time.

The additional resource can be GMAT Integrated reasoning from the official guides and apps


Originally answered:

McKinsey SHL Test

Anonymous B replied on Jan 21, 2018

Hi Claudia,

Can you please describe the test you took, timing, difficulty compared to practice on shl or jobtestprep and if it's the questions follow each other (3-4 questions for the same math problem or paragraph).

Originally answered:

McKinsey SHL Test

Stefan replied on Nov 07, 2017
Actively preparing for MBB case interviews - Looking for solid case partners

Hi All,

For the verbal reasoning section the practice questions I have been doing have been structured in the following way:

1 passage with 3-4 questions on that passage. Is the McKinsey SHL the same format or does each question come with a new passage?


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