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Expert with best answer

Henning

100% Recommendation Rate

66 Meetings

2,388 Q&A Upvotes

USD 169 / Coaching

7

Realistic time-frame for preparation? Including (PST/Potential test + Case interview + FIT/PEI)

Hi Experts,

Would like to ask what is a reasonable time-frame to prepare for the above 3 assuming:

1) With 9 to 5 work

2) Without 9 to 5 work

Rest on Weekends

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Albert

Hi Experts,

Would like to ask what is a reasonable time-frame to prepare for the above 3 assuming:

1) With 9 to 5 work

2) Without 9 to 5 work

Rest on Weekends

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Albert

Hi, it depends on your starting point (if you are familiar with case problem-solving) and your education/skills. It is very hard to give a realistic timeframe without this information. It could be anywhere between 3 weeks up to 6 months. — Anonymous B on Oct 16, 2020

7 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Henning

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All included, you would look at a timeframe of 2-3 months typically. This would be split into

  • ~10 hour general prep (reading books, watching youtube videos, etc)
  • ~20h for cases that you do yourself, plus another 10h for debriefs, review, etc (double this time if you practice with other candidats where you give a case and take one)
  • ~10h FIT prep
  • ~10-20 hours for preparation for PST type tests, but this could be significantly higher if you're not coming from a quant-heavy background
  • On top I would recommend reading the FT or the Economist regularly to build general business judgement

Depending on your workload / time availability you can then roughly time preparation for you specifically.

Here's my general recommendation on the number of caess to practice and how to approach them In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

All included, you would look at a timeframe of 2-3 months typically. This would be split into

  • ~10 hour general prep (reading books, watching youtube videos, etc)
  • ~20h for cases that you do yourself, plus another 10h for debriefs, review, etc (double this time if you practice with other candidats where you give a case and take one)
  • ~10h FIT prep
  • ~10-20 hours for preparation for PST type tests, but this could be significantly higher if you're not coming from a quant-heavy background
  • On top I would recommend reading the FT or the Economist regularly to build general business judgement

Depending on your workload / time availability you can then roughly time preparation for you specifically.

Here's my general recommendation on the number of caess to practice and how to approach them In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

Book a coaching with Mehdi

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Hi there,

In general, candidate start feeling comfortable cracking a case after around 20 -30 practices if they are starting from scratch. This depends from a person to another one, but in general you will get better by focusing on the quality of cases rather than the quantity.

I have helped many candidates go from being novices to advanced/experts in a few weeks and they ended up receiving offers from MBBs. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi there,

In general, candidate start feeling comfortable cracking a case after around 20 -30 practices if they are starting from scratch. This depends from a person to another one, but in general you will get better by focusing on the quality of cases rather than the quantity.

I have helped many candidates go from being novices to advanced/experts in a few weeks and they ended up receiving offers from MBBs. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

All the best,

Mehdi

(edited)

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi Albert,

The time for the preparation depends mainly on:

  1. Your initial level
  2. The material you use to prepare
  3. How many hours you can dedicate per day

A good benchmark is 100-150 hours, so for many people 2-3 months.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything you mentioned, I developed a program precisely for that. You can click on the following link to find more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

After this program, you will know exactly what to expect in your interview, what to work on, and how to focus on the real differentiator to land a top consulting offer.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Albert,

The time for the preparation depends mainly on:

  1. Your initial level
  2. The material you use to prepare
  3. How many hours you can dedicate per day

A good benchmark is 100-150 hours, so for many people 2-3 months.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything you mentioned, I developed a program precisely for that. You can click on the following link to find more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

After this program, you will know exactly what to expect in your interview, what to work on, and how to focus on the real differentiator to land a top consulting offer.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Roughly it's from 4 weeks to 4 months. But your individual and realistic time-frame depends on many components. So, in order to get a proper answer you have to take into accounts the following:

  1. You current level

  2. The intensity of your work

  3. Your objectives and target companies, you want to apply

  4. Your individual ability to catch information

  5. Your ability to make preparation with a professional coach

Actually, what I can propose is to have a session to assess you current level and your commintment you can take in terms of time. Most of coaches, me and my colleague here on PL, can tell you with a full acuracy on how much time exactly you would need to prepare.

So, looking at these points, does it make sense to you?

GB

Roughly it's from 4 weeks to 4 months. But your individual and realistic time-frame depends on many components. So, in order to get a proper answer you have to take into accounts the following:

  1. You current level

  2. The intensity of your work

  3. Your objectives and target companies, you want to apply

  4. Your individual ability to catch information

  5. Your ability to make preparation with a professional coach

Actually, what I can propose is to have a session to assess you current level and your commintment you can take in terms of time. Most of coaches, me and my colleague here on PL, can tell you with a full acuracy on how much time exactly you would need to prepare.

So, looking at these points, does it make sense to you?

GB

(edited)

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

1) 4-6 months

2) 2-3 months

I'm assuming with option #1 you can dedicate about 10 hours a week to preparation and with option #2 you can dedicate 30-40 hours per week.

Hi there,

1) 4-6 months

2) 2-3 months

I'm assuming with option #1 you can dedicate about 10 hours a week to preparation and with option #2 you can dedicate 30-40 hours per week.

Book a coaching with Robert

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Hi Albert,

A couple of additional points to add what actually influences the prep time relevant significantly:

  • Which firms you are applying to? McKinsey has a highly specific personal fit format ("Personal Experience Interview" or short PEI) as well as a slightly different case format which needs some small fine-tuning (nothing major, but still)
  • What's your background and how familiar you are with business topics?
  • How fast do you learn and progress?

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Albert,

A couple of additional points to add what actually influences the prep time relevant significantly:

  • Which firms you are applying to? McKinsey has a highly specific personal fit format ("Personal Experience Interview" or short PEI) as well as a slightly different case format which needs some small fine-tuning (nothing major, but still)
  • What's your background and how familiar you are with business topics?
  • How fast do you learn and progress?

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Book a coaching with Adi

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Hi Albert,

Here's my point of view and take other expert's view as well.

My personal advise to aspirants is to NOT draw the prep out too much, do it intensely and get yourself geared up. However, I understand that life/work situations and personal motivation can play a part. But if you are passionate about this and feel a fire within you will make the time anyway.

So my suggestion would be to prioritise the prep if you can and allocate 2-6 weeks without 9-5 job and 6-12 weeks with a 9-5 job to properly cover all three areas you mentioned. This needs to also align with the firm's application deadlines etc. The more intense the better and shorter the prep time.

Good luck!

Adi

Hi Albert,

Here's my point of view and take other expert's view as well.

My personal advise to aspirants is to NOT draw the prep out too much, do it intensely and get yourself geared up. However, I understand that life/work situations and personal motivation can play a part. But if you are passionate about this and feel a fire within you will make the time anyway.

So my suggestion would be to prioritise the prep if you can and allocate 2-6 weeks without 9-5 job and 6-12 weeks with a 9-5 job to properly cover all three areas you mentioned. This needs to also align with the firm's application deadlines etc. The more intense the better and shorter the prep time.

Good luck!

Adi