Beat the McKinsey SHL Test With Study Guides & Practice Tests – 2023

Bestseller 97 Reviews | 6,876 students | Last Updated: Jan 24, 2023
Created by: Michael Lerner - BSc, Psychometric Tutor, Prepterminal Test Expert

Rapid SHL Masterclass

Bestseller 97 Reviews | 6,876 students | Last Updated: Jan 24, 2023
Created by: Michael Lerner - BSc, Psychometric Tutor, Prepterminal Test Expert
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Consulting jobs are highly sought-after positions. Young people today are especially drawn to these types of jobs. The Harvard Crimson announced that over a third of Harvard graduates work for consulting firms. This means that when it comes to a company like McKinsey & Company, one of the most highly regarded consulting firms, candidates are competing with potentially thousands and thousands of other smart young individuals.

The McKinsey SHL Test will assess you in the following key areas:

  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

Prepterminal’s experts prepared an all-inclusive SHL Rapid Prep Course that will help you fully understand the content of any SHL test and prepare to beat the exam.

What Is McKinsey?

McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm that offers services in strategy, policy, overall organization, profit and costs, management information, and research and development. McKinsey provides services to government organizations, associations, and foundations, however, its customers are by and large private companies.

McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm, established in the United States. This worldwide firm has a clientele that includes eighty percent of the world’s biggest corporations and a long list of nonprofit and government organizations. It is no wonder that McKinsey is revered as one of the most prestigious management consultancies.

McKinsey was one of the initial consulting firms to hire recent college graduates, which contributes to its highly competitive culture. They have an “up or out policy,” where employees who fail to earn promotions are ultimately requested to leave.

McKinsey was established in 1926. The modern-day McKinsey & Company appearing in 1939 evaluates management decisions in both the public and private sectors via qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Hiring Process at McKinsey

The vast majority of graduates applying to McKinsey will be applying for a Business Analyst position. Those with PhDs typically apply for a Junior Associate position.

McKinsey calls their graduate trainees Business Analysts and offers set training for everyone. Business Analysts become part of the firm for an initial two years and their work revolves around various different studies including many diverse industries/functions. There is ongoing formal and informal training.

The application process:

  • Screening process
  • PST (Problem Solving Test)
  • First Round interview
  • Second Round Interview

If you successfully pass all these stages you will receive a job offer.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the recruitment steps:

1. McKinsey CV submission process

Typically McKinsey job applicants apply for open positions online via the McKinsey main website. On this site, you will see a list of vacant positions.

2. McKinsey online test assessments

Once you have completed your McKinsey online application, you will be asked to take several McKinsey aptitude tests, including SHL, numerical, verbal, and McKinsey problem-solving tests (PST).

3. Telephone screening stage

In this telephone conversation, candidates will generally be asked McKinsey behavioral-style interview questions. These questions resemble the style of SJT (situational judgment test) questions, where you are given a particular situation and are asked to imagine how you would react in that situation. In this case, the interviewer will likely ask McKinsey-type job situation questions.

4. McKinsey interview

The final stage is the in-person interview. You should familiarize yourself with the company’s history and culture to show your interviewer that you have come prepared. The interviewer will typically ask challenging questions and it’s advisable to answer using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach.

5. McKinsey center for assessment

In the McKinsey assessment center event, you will be involved in teambuilding and role-playing exercises to further develop and present your individual skills. You will also be invited to attend presentations to learn more about the central values of the company. You may also be asked to complete additional test assessments, and participate in group interviews, and personal one-on-one interviews.

McKinsey SHL Tests

Once your application has been assessed and received a positive response, you will be asked to take McKinsey’s online aptitude tests.

These will include McKinsey’s:

Verbal Reasoning Test, and Numerical Reasoning Test

The degree of difficulty of the McKinsey online tests will vary depending on the business position and area you have applied to, so make sure you thoroughly read through the information in the aptitude test email invite.

SHL Numerical Reasoning Test

The McKinsey numerical reasoning test will examine your capacity to interpret an until now unseen passage and its data. McKinsey uses CEB SHL tests. Don’t stress if your math skills are a bit rusty! The challenging aspect of this test does not lie in the knowledge tested, but rather in the pressurized conditions created by the harsh time limit. When you take your numerical reasoning test, you will have only a minute to read the question, analyze the data presented, and carry out the required calculations.

The only way to succeed in this SHL numerical reasoning test is to take practice tests beforehand. This way you can become familiar with the style of questions and structure of the test and thus gain confidence. Learn how to manage the pressure in a mock test environment with extensive practice and test answers at PrepTerminal.

SHL Verbal Reasoning Test

McKinsey’s verbal reasoning test will measure how successful you are in extracting information for an until now unknown section of text to determine whether subsequent statements are ‘true’, ‘false’, or if it is impossible to say based solely on the information provided in the text passage. As with the numerical reasoning tests, McKinsey uses CEB SHL tests.

This McKinsey test could possibly be more difficult for non-native English speakers. The solution, however, for all candidates, is simply to practice beforehand on McKinsey practice tests. This will allow you to appreciate the particular way in which the texts are created and the questions asked. The format of the SHL verbal reasoning test is different from what you may have encountered at school. Learn more about McKinsey SHL Test with Prepterminal’s comprehensive prep SHL course.

SHL Tips to Successfully Pass the McKinsey SHL Tests

#1. Practice on mock SHL test

The aim of the game is to practice taking SHL tests until they become familiar. Psychometric tests are unlike most other types of testing. They are layered, abstract, and full of traps. To show your true aptitude and ability level you will need to become familiar with the general structure (including the time limits) and the sorts of questions you will be faced with prior to taking the test. This could make the difference between landing your dream job or being overlooked.

#2. Study the basic tips for verbal and numerical reasoning tests

You can prepare for your McKinsey SHL test by researching the formats, topics, and forms of presentation you will be faced with. You can approach it as you would revision practice. For instance, with the McKinsey math test you can ensure that you are adept at converting fractions to decimals (and vice versa), interpreting graphs or trends, and ratios.

#3. Manage your time wisely

Time management can make all the difference between a pass or a fail in your McKinsey SHL test. The tests are specifically created to put you under pressure. The harsh time limits can be demanding, as to be successful you will need to be accurate and fast.

#4. Check and re-check the information presented to you

You must be confident that you have correctly understood the instructions for the test. Study each question carefully and check your workings and answers before you go on to the subsequent questions.

#5. Take care of yourself

You won’t be able to achieve your maximum result if you are distracted, tired, or hungry. SHL tests are there to assess your optimum ability, so don’t give your potential employer the wrong impression by sitting the test when you are not in the best mental zone. Figure out when you are at your most focused, energized, and relaxed. Then schedule your test for that time of day. Before you start the test have something to eat and drink and make sure you have all the materials you may need at arm’s reach.

SHL Assessment Test Prep Course

McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST)

McKinsey Problem Solving Tests are generally a component of the selection process or are used for development within the McKinsey workplace. The McKinsey Problem Solving Test (or PST) is one of the most challenging standardized tests. The PST is a data interpretation, logical thinking, and math computation test. The test is used to see which candidates are given a first-round case interview.

McKinsey uses the PST to measure a candidate’s inductive, deductive, and quantitative reasoning skills and aptitude for solving business problems logically. These skills are needed in consulting. With this skill set, you will be able to read a data spreadsheet, understand a graphical chart, and see what given data is conclusively telling you. You may also need to understand when you need to make inferences from certain data.

Thus, the PST is created to assess the typical skills and knowledge you will need to effectively carry out your role as a consultant at a management firm.

McKinsey Personal Experience Interview (PEI)

The McKinsey’s Personal Experience Interview is comprised of two main parts:

  1. A CV-based interview that will center around your motivations and experiences
  2. A case-study interview where you will be shown real-life problems and will need to solve them.

The CV-based interview

Anything that you include in your CV could be brought up in this interview. This is why it is crucial to look at all the points you make in your CV and make sure that you can stand behind any given point.

Your McKinsey interview will be competency-based (CBI). You should be prepared to bring up specific examples in which you displayed particular skills: teamwork, determination, leadership skills, and the like. McKinsey interview questions will generally center around your previous experiences and projects.

Ideally, each of your answers should adhere to a STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) model. According to this model, you need to touch on each of the four points mentioned here; outline what the specific situation was, what task you were presented with, what type of action you decided to take, and what the resulting outcome was.

The case-study interview

In this interview, you will need to show your problem-solving abilities by judging a business case study in front of the interviewer. You will need to demonstrate how you consider the information presented, select core factors, and present your reasoning. Ultimately you will need to reach a decision and be able to argue in support of your conclusion.

Prepare for McKinsey SHL Test with Prepterminal’s Comprehensive Course

The McKinsey hiring process is taxing and definitely demands advanced preparation. It is critical that you do your best to practice before the day of the test as if you don’t attain a high assessment score you will lower your chances of landing the job you are applying for.

To better your chances of being one of those individuals who advance to the next McKinsey test stage, make use of PrepTerminal’s SHL test prep course. With PrepTerminal’s comprehensive SHL prep course you’ll be on your way to acing the McKinsey SHL test.

The McKinsey SHL assessment score is also comparative, meaning that you are assessed in relation to all the other candidates. As such, the scores are distributed in a bell curve, and only those candidates who score in the top percentile of the curve will be accepted to move on to the subsequent stages of the hiring process.

Given the comparative nature of this test, and given that the vast majority of candidates prepare for McKinsey tests, you will need to practice as diligently as you can in order to gain a competitive edge. At PrepTerminal our industry experts have designed a preparatory module-based McKinsey SHL test course that includes video/text-based instructions in an easy-to-follow format. Start practicing with PrepTerminal at your own pace, from the comfort of your home, today!

*Note: SHL and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.

Michael Lerner
Created by: Michael LernerBSc, Psychometric Tutor, Prepterminal Test Expert
6,876 students - 97 Reviews

Hey, welcome to our McKinsey SHL Test page. I’m Michael, PrepTerminal’s McKinsey SHL Test in-house expert. I am here to assist you with any queries you may have about the McKinsey SHL Test. Don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].


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