A good score on the McKinsey Solve game depends on many factors. It’s common knowledge among McKinsey applicants that around 80% of candidates will fail the PSG so while preparing for the game, many have raised questions on what makes a satisfactory performance on the McKinsey PSG

This article will discuss everything you need to know about the grading system and criteria of the McKinsey PSG.

What does a good McKinsey Solve score look like?

A McKinsey good score relies on the two main games: the Ecosystem Building Game and the Plant Defense Game.

  • Ecosystem Building: have 8 out of 8 species remain alive in the end.
  • Plant Defense: making 32–38 turns in the first two rounds and more than 42–48 turns in the third round.

Ecosystem Building, Plant Defense, Disease Management, Disaster Management, Migration Management, and Redrock Study are the six mini-games that make up the McKinsey Solve game in total. However, the last four games are regarded as alternatives to the first two. You won’t need to stress about the other games if you can achieve good scores in the two primary ones.

How are McKinsey PSG scores determined?

The product score and the process score are the two factors used to assess the PSG results. The former is derived from the technical specifications of each game, whilst the latter is decided by analyzing how the applicant plays.

Online test-bro

Your McKinsey Solve game product score is your result from the two games, which reflects your problem-solving skills. In other words, the score for Ecosystem Building is determined by the number of surviving species at the conclusion of the cycle. The PSG product score for the Plant Defense game is determined by how many turns you took. The more turns you can complete before an invasion of your plant, the better.

The process score, on the other hand, shows McKinsey recruiters who you are based on how you handle challenges. Every mouse click, every movement, and every pause you make while playing are calculated by an AI. They demonstrate your critical reasoning and decision-making process to recruiters so they can determine whether you have the right attitude to work as a consultant.

There isn’t a proven formula for getting a perfect process score. There is no shortcut, so you must establish a systematic and analytical problem-solving approach before taking the PSG. Additionally, remember to make clear, solid decisions and forego pointless movements.


Is the PSG score conclusive in determining success or failure?

Unfortunately, McKinsey won’t reveal the results of your test. You will only receive an email letting you know whether you passed and advanced to the consulting case interviews: no explanations, no criticism, and no component score. Ergo, there is no way to assess your performance.


That said, a high PSG score does not guarantee that you will make it through McKinsey’s screening process. Your resume and how you perform during the interview screening and the Solve game influence whether you are accepted to the following rounds. After all, the PSG is only one component of the screening stage, including a phone interview and a review of the candidate’s resume.


To increase your chances of passing the screening round, consider the following simple tips:


  • Clean up your CV by focusing on your relevant academic and professional experiences in a way that shows results. Be sure to include exact figures and proof of your accomplishments.
  • Prepare for the phone interview by learning how to approach problems structurally because the questions in this round center on case-solving. You want to concentrate on your private information and reduce time, so brainstorm thoroughly and pay close attention.
  • Use PSG simulators; they offer the most accurate representation of the McKinsey PSG. Think about using simulation games as a kind of entertainment and preparation for the actual PSG.

What to do if you fail the McKinsey PSG?

Reapply to McKinsey

If you don’t get hired by McKinsey, you’ll often have to wait up to two years before reapplying. Typically, a PSG result is good for 12 to 18 months. You won’t be able to retake PSG in the meantime. Since the previous PSG record has yet to expire, your profile would still be associated with it if you applied to McKinsey at that time.


Exceptional screening round performers may occasionally be granted a waiting period reduction of 6 to 12 months; however, this is rare. 

Apply to other MBB firms

Aside from McKinsey, BCG and Bain are two other equally prestigious firms in the management consulting industry. And truthfully, there is not much of a distinction between the 3. They all have extremely talented and intelligent employees, a robust network of resources and staff, competitive salaries and benefits, and welcoming and encouraging cultures. So if your McKinsey ambition didn’t come true, know there are still many other open doors for you to become a consultant. 


In the case of McKinsey still being your top priority, applying to BCG or Bain could still be helpful by adding to your experience in the application process or the case interviews. You can significantly increase your chances of getting a second opportunity at consulting by interning or working full-time for other reputable firms in the industry.