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Similarity b/w Mck PST and BCG Potential Test

BCG BCG Potential Test MBB McKinsey McKinsey PST
Edited on Aug 01, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 09, 2018

How similar is the McK PST to the BCG Potential Test? I have prep material for the PST already, and I don't want to have to spend additional money on documents for the potential test. Can I prep for both with PST prep material?

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updated an answer on Aug 01, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

The two tests have similarities and the PST can be useful to complement the preparation, but I would recommend practicing on Potential Test samples for BCG as well to simulate as much as possible the real environment and reach your full potential in the preparation. Some of the main differences include:

  • McK covers more critical reasoning questions than BCG, which is instead more quant-based
  • McK PST is limited to 4 possible answers per question, while BCG Potential Test can have more than 4 options as a choice
  • In BCG Potential Test you have less time available (23 questions in 45 mins vs 26 in 60 minutes)
  • In BCG Potential Tests you are penalized for wrong answers, which is not the case in McK PST and has a different scoring system (+3 for each right answer, 0 for no answer and -1 for a wrong answer )
  • You have three different cases in McK PST and one case in BCG Potential Test
  • McK PST is paper-based, while BCG Potential Test is a computer-based, which may change the way you take notes and move between questions

At the following link you can find some specific tips for the BCG Potential Test:

If you want to practice on a real example of a BCG Potential Test, you can find the one I prepared below:

With this test you will be able to:

  • Prepare on the exact same format of the BCG Online Case – 23 questions in 45 minutes
  • Identify your possible improvements thanks to detailed solutions for all the 23 questions
  • Practice on material tested by multiple candidates who did the test and successfully passed the Potential Test.

Below you can find a screenshot of the test:

BCG Potential Test ExampleHope this helps,



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Anonymous replied on Nov 11, 2018


having done both tests and receiving offers from both firms in 2015 I'd say, that - despite already mentioned differneces in the test design - the "type of thinking" that needs to be applied for both test is very similar.

I prepared for both test with the preparation material I received from BCG / McK.

Having that said, I'd recommend to focus on your case preparation, as the cases are really the part of the interview that "turn the needle". If you don't perform on the cases you won't be hired, no matter how good your PST / Potential test results are. Still you should do ok in those ;)


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replied on Nov 11, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Short answer, yes. There are obvious differences, but the skills tested are generally the same. Think of the difference between GMAT and GRE, or SAT & ACT. Someone acing the first will typically do extremely well in the second, and vice versa.

Good luck!

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Francesco gave the best answer


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