Written test for McKinsey and Bain

Constance Siyuan asked on May 26, 2016 - 3 answers

Has anyone taken written test from MBB? I'd love to hear your experience!! Thanks!

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Achyut replied on May 30, 2016

Hey Constance,

I have taken the McKinsey Problem Solving Test. It's a very interesting exam indeed - it's not a math test, it's not an English test, but it's a bit of both and something more. :)

1. Pattern & Question types:

The test contains 26 questions which need to be solved in one hour. The questions belong in the following categories

  • Reading questions: These ask you to read the wording of the question, which in most cases is a narrative about a company and its problems. You will be asked to answer questions like "Which of these summarizes the main issue faced by the company?". The main skill tested is your ability to draw pinpoint conclusions from a body of text. (~20%)
  • Analytical and Data interpretation questions: These are direct questions about the data. The majority of these questions require you to analyze and draw conclusions based on numbers presented in the data exhibits. Some questions also require you to work out formulae that can be used to calculate a desired result). (~65%)
  • Reasoning questions: They test your logical reasoning skills - you are expected to carefully separate correlation from causation to answer questions like "Which of the following statements, if true, would cause...?" (~15%)

You can find some more interesting content about the PST and practice questions on PrepLounge in the Bootcamp and other websites as well. But above all, I would recommend going through the practice tests on McKinsey's website. They resemble the actual test way more closely than anything else online.

All the best!


P.S - the percentage breakdown of questions is my estimate only. Take it with a pinch of salt ;)

Constance Siyuan replied on May 26, 2016

for mckinsey, yes. i think for bain it's some online test, BCG i heard is similar as mckinsey. have you taken it?

Achyut replied on May 26, 2016

Do you mean the Problem Solving Test (PST)?

Related BootCamp article(s)

Written tests such as the PSTs

Top tier consulting firms have started using PSTs to test for in-depth analytical skills needed to be successful as a consultant on a day-to-day basis.

Guide to Improving Speed in Written Tests such as the PST

Follow these instructions to significantly improve your performance and speed in solving problem solving tests used at McKinsey, BCG and Bain.

Typical Question Types in Written Tests

Questions among all tests can be categorized in math, GMAT-style, chart reading and brain teaser questions. Each type needs to be approached differently.