McKinsey online test - Imbellus

McKinsey
Edited on Feb 27, 2021
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Jean Marc asked on Feb 01, 2021

Hello,

Could you please tell me a little more about the current McK online test? Is it still Imbellus and there are other types of online tests?

Any tips / guidelines would be much appreciated.

Best

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 02, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Jean Marc,

Most countries are using the Imbellus today.

Right now, there are 3 main variations of the game (this may change in the future though):

  1. Ecosystem Management
  2. Plant Defense
  3. Disease Management

In Europe you will mainly find the first 2. However in recent months Disease Management was also used in the US.

If you want to prepare in the best possible way, I created a guide exactly for that.

This guide will:

  • Show you the perfect strategy for each of the 4 Game Scenarios
  • Explain every single part of the Game with ad-hoc pictures
  • Detail the exact steps to improve in the 5 Skills tested in the game
  • Provide you insider information from previous applicants who succeeded in the game
  • Reveal the must-know answers to the most common questions on the Imbellus
  • Offer you a ready-to-use Excel template to maximize results in Ecosystem Management (Scenario 1) with a detailed tutorial
  • Give you a proven template to build the food chain in Ecosystem Management (Scenario 1)

This guide will cover every single part of the Game, so you can be 100% confident the day of the assessment, without worrying “I should have prepared better for this”.

You can download the guide instantly here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/mckinsey-imbellus-game-secrets-48

As an extra bonus, I am offering for a limited time the Consulting Industry Cheat Sheet (worth $29) for free with the guide. You will get access to the key insights of the 17 most common industries in case interviews.

If you need additional support or have any questions on the guide please feel free to PM me, I am happy to provide extra tips for free.

Best,

Francesco

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Jean Marc on Feb 03, 2021

Thanks a lot. Do you kniw if Imbellus is live in France?

Francesco on Feb 04, 2021

Hi Jean Marc, yes, it is used in France now. For other questions please feel free to PM me. Best

Florian
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updated an answer on Feb 01, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Yes, it will be the Imbellus.

There are two games you will have to play (95% of candidates I interviewed in the last 2 months reported these two, for the other 5% the games or game variations that were played instead were just for internal calibration and did not count towards their performance)

1. Ecosystem creation

Build a food chain, consisting of 8 species and place it on a map.

  • Start your food chain top-down with the predator first
  • Calculate that kcal produced in one layer of the food chain > kcal depleted by the layer above
  • On top of kcal, ensure that the food chain works from a conditional perspective (not every animal or top predator can eat every plant or other animal, etc.). I have heard often from candidates that optimize kcal and then neglect this factor, leading to a rejection
  • Make sure that all 8 animals in your chain can survive in the given location (check quickly for each variable)
  • Check if your food chain and location fit with any additional boundary conditions (e.g. additional rules you need to consider when building your food chain and matching it with a location) which have been implemented mid-last year to make sure candidates have a harder time preparing and some uncertainty of what to expect

Allocate 5 minutes at the end of the scenario before pressing submit to check for these 4 elements. If you can confirm all, you can be sure to have created a sustainable eco-system.

2. Plant defense

You need to defend a plant species from invaders using several tools at your disposal in a static, round-based tower defense-style game. The tools consist of barriers that slow down invaders and predators that damage and eradicate them.

There are several rounds you will play with increasing complexity and stress levels as the maps become bigger and the invaders more numerous. Your goal is to have the plants survive each of these increasingly difficult rounds.

The game is static and turn-based in nature and not dynamic like many other tower defense games. Before each turn, you can devise or revise your strategy and select a number of animals and barriers to protect your plant.


A few general tips

  1. Prepare using Plants vs. Zombies, Kingdom Rush, and Tower Duel
  2. Move swiftly through the selection of your barriers and predators and use they symbiotic power of both (e.g. slow attackers down with a barrier and place your predators next to them slow-down --> its a called a choke point in tower defense games)
  3. Be mindful of the attackers (how fast do they move, what is their path)
  4. Be mindful of the stats of your predators and barriers (how much damage do they inflict? how big is there is their sphere of influence? how much do they slow down the attackers?)
  5. Always think 2 steps ahead (about the route of the attackers and adjust your strategy as you see fit)

Source: I interviewed more than 160 test-takers from November 2019 onwards and constantly devise(d) new strategies to beat the game.

Cheers,

Florian

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Feb 01, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Jean Marc,

It will almost certainly be the Imbellus test. That said, make sure to get complete confirmation on this as it could be the PST.

Plenty of great information on the Imbellus by other coaches here, so I won't add to it.

That said, it is does end up being an online test (i.e. PST), I have the following advice:

Think of it as a merge of a case and the GMAT/GRE.

You need to be clear on some key case-related and account formulas (margin, growth, breakeven, etc) as well as be good at critically understanding the question (including nuance to questions) and parsing through complicated text with a fair amount of distraction.

You'll also need to be good at chart/graph reading.

The McKinsey PST, BCG Online Test, Bain SOVA test, etc. are all quite similar so leverage resources across all of them.

https://www.myconsultingoffer.org/case-study-interview-prep/bcg-online/

https://www.shl.com/shldirect/en/practice-tests

https://www.psychometricinstitute.co.uk/Free-Aptitude-Tests.asp

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Luca
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updated an answer on Feb 27, 2021
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

I agree with Antonello, it depends on the geography, but 80% of the offices are currently using the imbellus.

I have had the chance to follow several candidates taking this test and I have written (together with them) a detailed guide on how to successfully approach Imbellus test.


The guide includes:

  • Detailed hands-on strategy to ace the Imbellus
  • Excel model with an algorithm to solve the first scenario
  • Hands-on example and practical tips to crack the game

On top of that, you will receive an interesting paper on Imbellus valuation metrics and a coupon code for a session with your purchase!

Feel free to text me if you are interested. You can find a screenshot of the excel model below.

Best,
Luca

Best,
Luca

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Feb 01, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Have a look at PrepL´s library, since you will find interesting material.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
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replied on Feb 01, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, it depends on the geography. Where are you applying for?

The Imbellus test is a gamified test for which different environments are been developed. It's pretty easy and no preparation is needed: only pay attention to time and instructions. It's usually divided into 2 games and you have 1h to complete both of them (you can decide when passing to the next game).
- In the first one you are going to create a balanced ecosystem based on the rules of the environment you choose (e.g. in a mountain scenario you fix a point with certain values of elevation, humidity, wind, ... and then you have to choose animals and plants that can survive each other and in the environment).
- In the second game, you have to defend an object (usually a plant) from the enemies (usually rodents) with the help of slowers (barriers) or killers (predators).

I developed some good strategies to handle it, feel free to text me.

Here the introductory McK video about it: https://www.mckinsey.com/careers/mckinsey-digital-assessment



Hope it helps,
Antonello

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Gaurav
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replied on Feb 03, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Jean Marc,

Yes, McKinsey switched to Imbellus in 2019.

As it was mentioned before, that this game test is designed to check you problem solving skills and there is no special preparation needed. Below some general tips that will help you to go through:

  1. Focus on the process

  2. Follow time tracking. It is easy to get lost in the details and the sheer complexity of information overload the test presents.

  3. Look into the key skills that are being assessed by Imbellus and if you find any weaknesses - then work on them in advance.

  4. Get ready to make 80/20 decisions based on incomplete information. Likely you won’t reach the best answer within 60 minutes, however, you should reach a good answer, demonstrating a clever problem-solving strategy along the way.

  5. Take notes of your observations on the mechanics of each scenario so that you can analyze it.

  6. Get comfortable to calculate with pen and paper math.

  7. Enjoy

Hope it helps! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Happy to help!

Cheers,

GB

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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