Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Regine

0 Meetings

74 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

5

PST Prep

Hi all,

I am preparing for the PST and I still have a lot of time to prepare. I just wanted some advice on how to best use this time to prepare and what exactly should I focus on to pass. Some people told me that effective skimming through long paragraphs is an important skill. What else should I study/focus on to pass?

Thank you in advance :)

Hi all,

I am preparing for the PST and I still have a lot of time to prepare. I just wanted some advice on how to best use this time to prepare and what exactly should I focus on to pass. Some people told me that effective skimming through long paragraphs is an important skill. What else should I study/focus on to pass?

Thank you in advance :)

5 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Regine

0 Meetings

74 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hi Omar,

Great to know that you have started your preparations. Some tips that worked for me when I was preparing for the PST (YMMV if you have a different learning style):

1. The first and most important tip is to try out different practice tests! Not just the official three on McKinsey website (though that would be the best representation), but there are a couple of other free tests around e.g. MConsultingPrep, IGotAnOffer, and other sample questions e.g. GMAT! You can also practice with the BCG sample tests online too which also test similar problem solving skills. Don't just practice them once! You can work through each paper a couple of times (2-3), identify how you can improve, and try to go through the various practice tests in a rotational manner so that you can get the best out of each paper. A "safe" target score would be 22 and above out of 26 (don't expect to get that in the first practice!).

2. Also, it'll be good to practice doing mental math fast! Some great tools include Victor Cheng's math training tool, GMAT tests, and just general day-to-day practices. For example, you can incorporate mental math into your daily routines, like estimating how much it would cost if you bought a plate of chicken rice and coffee for each of your 26 classmates (within 5 to 10 seconds). The key is to be fast and fairly precise (+/- 5 to 10% margin, the closer the better). Just right before the test, you can try out a few simple calculations and times table in your mind (what is 7 x 15, 9 x 14) just to get your brain prepped for the number crunching later!

3. Lastly, given that you have a lot of time left, it is important to give yourself and your brain some time for rest, and not overwork yourself, so that you do not burn out right before the PST. You should plan a schedule that allows you to do that. It is very important to do this, because you'd want to feel confident, happy, and energetic when you step into the PST testing room, to perform your best :)

Good luck!

Hi Omar,

Great to know that you have started your preparations. Some tips that worked for me when I was preparing for the PST (YMMV if you have a different learning style):

1. The first and most important tip is to try out different practice tests! Not just the official three on McKinsey website (though that would be the best representation), but there are a couple of other free tests around e.g. MConsultingPrep, IGotAnOffer, and other sample questions e.g. GMAT! You can also practice with the BCG sample tests online too which also test similar problem solving skills. Don't just practice them once! You can work through each paper a couple of times (2-3), identify how you can improve, and try to go through the various practice tests in a rotational manner so that you can get the best out of each paper. A "safe" target score would be 22 and above out of 26 (don't expect to get that in the first practice!).

2. Also, it'll be good to practice doing mental math fast! Some great tools include Victor Cheng's math training tool, GMAT tests, and just general day-to-day practices. For example, you can incorporate mental math into your daily routines, like estimating how much it would cost if you bought a plate of chicken rice and coffee for each of your 26 classmates (within 5 to 10 seconds). The key is to be fast and fairly precise (+/- 5 to 10% margin, the closer the better). Just right before the test, you can try out a few simple calculations and times table in your mind (what is 7 x 15, 9 x 14) just to get your brain prepped for the number crunching later!

3. Lastly, given that you have a lot of time left, it is important to give yourself and your brain some time for rest, and not overwork yourself, so that you do not burn out right before the PST. You should plan a schedule that allows you to do that. It is very important to do this, because you'd want to feel confident, happy, and energetic when you step into the PST testing room, to perform your best :)

Good luck!

Thanks a lot Regine :) — Omar on Apr 14, 2019

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,473 Meetings

17,100 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

Hi Omar,

as general practice for the PST, I would recommend the following approach:

  1. Try to find at least 5-6 practice cases online. There are several available for free, if needed you can purchase additional ones
  2. Do one of the tests immediately to check your score. As the passing score is around 70% and you have 26 questions, your target score should be 18+ (keep in mind you are likely to score a bit less in the actual test than your average score at home due to time pressure/nervousness). In the first test you are likely to score lower than that - don't worry, that's pretty normal.
  3. Identify the type of questions where you made more mistakes. There could be different reasons why you are doing mistakes and there is probably a predominant type of mistake you are doing (eg slow math or weak critical reasoning). You have to identify the reasons for the mistakes and a way to fix them.
  4. Continue the preparation with the remaining tests. After you have identified the main reason for mistakes, you can continue the preparation with the other tests before the interview - I would allocate them at a regular time distance, with an increase in frequency closer to the day of the test.
  5. Go again through the questions where you did mistakes at regular intervals. Be sure to keep a "failure" spreadsheet, where you report all the mistakes and classify the reason for them each time.

The key areas where you may do mistakes and may need to practice are the following:

  1. Time management. Commit to an amount of time for each question, and go on if you surpass that time. If you do not set discipline, you will end dedicating too much time to some questions (these tests are sometimes structured with questions which are supposed to be skipped and reviewed at the end). If time and test allow, you can then go back to the questions at the end.
  2. Quick math. I would recommend practicing with online tools on a daily base to improve. It is better to allocate a small amount of time daily rather than to practice intensively few days only before the interview
  3. Quick reading. Get a Harvard Business School case or an equivalent long one, give yourself 2 minutes and check how much information you can absorb. Then repeat until you get a sufficient level of accuracy. You can also check speed reading tactics (eg Tim Ferriss ones) and see if they work for you.
  4. Graph interpretation. You need to practice on how to derive quickly insides from graphs. Take some random graphs, give yourself 30 seconds and check if you can get the main insides from them. Then repeat until when you get a sufficient level of accuracy
  5. Critical reasoning. The GMAT critical reasoning section should be a good support as practice

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Omar,

as general practice for the PST, I would recommend the following approach:

  1. Try to find at least 5-6 practice cases online. There are several available for free, if needed you can purchase additional ones
  2. Do one of the tests immediately to check your score. As the passing score is around 70% and you have 26 questions, your target score should be 18+ (keep in mind you are likely to score a bit less in the actual test than your average score at home due to time pressure/nervousness). In the first test you are likely to score lower than that - don't worry, that's pretty normal.
  3. Identify the type of questions where you made more mistakes. There could be different reasons why you are doing mistakes and there is probably a predominant type of mistake you are doing (eg slow math or weak critical reasoning). You have to identify the reasons for the mistakes and a way to fix them.
  4. Continue the preparation with the remaining tests. After you have identified the main reason for mistakes, you can continue the preparation with the other tests before the interview - I would allocate them at a regular time distance, with an increase in frequency closer to the day of the test.
  5. Go again through the questions where you did mistakes at regular intervals. Be sure to keep a "failure" spreadsheet, where you report all the mistakes and classify the reason for them each time.

The key areas where you may do mistakes and may need to practice are the following:

  1. Time management. Commit to an amount of time for each question, and go on if you surpass that time. If you do not set discipline, you will end dedicating too much time to some questions (these tests are sometimes structured with questions which are supposed to be skipped and reviewed at the end). If time and test allow, you can then go back to the questions at the end.
  2. Quick math. I would recommend practicing with online tools on a daily base to improve. It is better to allocate a small amount of time daily rather than to practice intensively few days only before the interview
  3. Quick reading. Get a Harvard Business School case or an equivalent long one, give yourself 2 minutes and check how much information you can absorb. Then repeat until you get a sufficient level of accuracy. You can also check speed reading tactics (eg Tim Ferriss ones) and see if they work for you.
  4. Graph interpretation. You need to practice on how to derive quickly insides from graphs. Take some random graphs, give yourself 30 seconds and check if you can get the main insides from them. Then repeat until when you get a sufficient level of accuracy
  5. Critical reasoning. The GMAT critical reasoning section should be a good support as practice

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Thanks a lot Francesco :) — Omar on Apr 14, 2019

Book a coaching with Vlad

98% Recommendation Rate

413 Meetings

11,461 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

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 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. Check exercises on Cheng website. Key things - multiplication of 2 digit numbers, operations with zeros and division (Learn division table, ie. 1/8 = 12.5%, 8/9 = 88%, Learn up to 8/9)
  • Do the 2nd test and check the score

If your score is low you need fundamental prep:

  • GMAT IR, quant and verbal parts
  • PST-like tests available online

Best,

Vlad

Hi,

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 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. Check exercises on Cheng website. Key things - multiplication of 2 digit numbers, operations with zeros and division (Learn division table, ie. 1/8 = 12.5%, 8/9 = 88%, Learn up to 8/9)
  • Do the 2nd test and check the score

If your score is low you need fundamental prep:

  • GMAT IR, quant and verbal parts
  • PST-like tests available online

Best,

Vlad

Thank you Vlad for the helpful information :) — Omar on Apr 16, 2019

Dear Omar,

I would follow the complex approach:

• Practice case interviews.

• Take some GMAT tests .

• Practice calculations

That is how you can prepare to the test problems. And of course you have to remember about time speed, so keep in mind while practicing it.

Best,

André

Dear Omar,

I would follow the complex approach:

• Practice case interviews.

• Take some GMAT tests .

• Practice calculations

That is how you can prepare to the test problems. And of course you have to remember about time speed, so keep in mind while practicing it.

Best,

André

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

59 Meetings

16,343 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

I would practice leveraging GMAT.

GMAT unfortunately only gets better with practicing. Good news is that there are many ways of doing so!

There are free exams in the internet that you can use for practice (the one of LBS MBA page, Verits prep, as well as some free trials for courses such as the one of The Economist (https://gmat.economist.com/)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

I would practice leveraging GMAT.

GMAT unfortunately only gets better with practicing. Good news is that there are many ways of doing so!

There are free exams in the internet that you can use for practice (the one of LBS MBA page, Verits prep, as well as some free trials for courses such as the one of The Economist (https://gmat.economist.com/)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 39.9k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 865
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 18.6k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 648
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 4.5k times
Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews:   Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not in their region Why this particular specialized business function *Only relevant when not applying for a general role (e.g., McKinsey Advanced Analytics, BCG Gamma, etc.) *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Motivational" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB
4.5 5 62
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews: Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not ... Open whole case

Introduction and CV questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 4.0k times
Introduction and CV questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 3 of the most common Intro & CV questions asked in FIT interviews:  1. Walk me through your CV 2. Tell me about yourself 3. Tell me about the thing that makes you most proud on your CV   *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Intro & CV questions" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB    
4.6 5 60
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 3 of the most common Intro & CV questions asked in FIT interviews: 1. Walk me through your CV 2. Tell me about yourself 3. Tell me about the thing that makes you most proud on your CV *See Graph 1 – Note: "Intro & CV questions" are one of the 4 ty ... Open whole case

Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market

Solved 2.1k times
Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initiative to return to the core of the business. She is looking to increase free cash flow and cash reserves in order to prepare the business for evolving future trends.   The following can be verbally provided to interviewee if asked: Energy England is made up of assets across the energy-generation space. These include coal, gas, nuclear, and wind We are looking to divest from just one of our previous acquisitions (i.e one target is sufficient) There are no specific goals/metrics – the client trusts our judgement
4.3 5 43
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initi ... Open whole case