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How to prepare online test in different consulting firms?

Anonymous A asked on Sep 06, 2018

I'm currently practicing online tests, but find that each company has its own style. For example, McKinsey has problem solving tests, BCG has potential tests and big four have their own aptitude tests. I know they have something in common but don't know what exactly they are. Is there anyone to share experience of those tests and the way to prepare at the same time?

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Francesco replied on Sep 06, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

have you already received invitations from the firms you mentioned? There is no much sense in starting with the preparation in advance for multiple tests otherwise, since:

  • as you mentioned the tests are not the same for different firms and tests different skills (although the quant one is common for all of them)
  • I doubt you can improve significantly investing more than 20 hours working on the right material (ie - good sample tests). Since you will get at least 1 week notice before the test and you can postpone, I would start working on that once secured an invitation, unless you cannot dedicate 20 hours of preparation in 2 weeks, and dedicate the time to case prep before, which instead is critical to master in advance

The only exception to that is if you are particularly week in math. If that's the case, then it could make sense to train math specifically, and doing some type of tests could be used as part of the preparation (however be sure not to use all the tests sample you have in advance).

As general suggestions for specific tests, you can look at the following links:

McK PST: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hi-what-is-the-best-way-to-brush-up-on-quantitative-skills-for-the-mckinsey-pst-and-overall-math-calculations-used-during-case-interviews-at-bain-and-mckinsey-thanks-1531#a3369

BCG Potential test: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bcg-1-round-interview-in-germany-online-case-1234#a2506

General tests: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/online-analytical-tests-483#a992

Best,

Francesco

Vlad updated his answer on Sep 06, 2018
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Hi,

I believe McKinsey PST is the hardest one, so I recommend starting and tracking your prep using PST materials. If you have good results with PST, other tests are not a problem.

Thus I suggest the following:

Do one full case from the mck website in 60 min. Check your score. Target score is 22 out of 26 correct. If you do 17-18 correct you have great chances to improve it quite fast. If lower - it will take a couple of months

If your score is high:

  • Buy Viktor Cheng test prep program - best materials I've seen so far. Works also for express prep.
  • Practice your math. Learn how to multiply double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo). Learn the division table up to 1/11 (i.e. 5/6 = 83.3). Learn how to work with zeros (E.g.: 4000000 = 4*10ˆ6)
  • Do the 2nd test and check the score

If your score is low you need fundamental prep:

  1. Understand where you have problems (Math, speed, critical reasoning)
  2. Work on them:
  • PST-like tests available online, GMAT IR part with the proper time tracking - for speed and math issues
  • GMAT CR and IR parts - for critical reasoning issues
  • Speed reading if English is not your native language and you need to improve the speed

Best,

Vlad

(edited)

Guennael
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replied on Sep 06, 2018
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You can start with PrepLounge's PST material, it will give you a solid start (and they are rapidly expanding the current offering, so have another look if you haven't recently); obviously the various companies should also have some mock tests on their websites.

Most tests will challenge you to quickly figure out what information is relevant and make you do some quick math. Beyond this, there will indeed be variations (data sufficiency, triangulation/inference, restatement of hypothesis...). All of this are skills you would need in consulting, so hopefully you find the questions fun and exciting :) good luck!

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