Starting from March 2023, most McKinsey candidates have reported playing the Ecosystem Building and Redrock Study game in the PSG. This is a change compared to the past, as McKinsey was using Plant Defense instead. Additionally, the Redrock Study now includes 4 sections, the last one made by 10 cases, which was not present before.


This article will give you the full description of the Redrock Study game, including the requirements, main challenges, and the best pieces of advice on how to pass the game.

A Brief Introduction to The Redrock Study game

The skills assessed in the Redrock Study

Information processing, data gathering, case math, and interpretation of visual data are all tested in this Redrock Study game. The game also evaluates the same aptitude skills as the written PST (Problem-solving Test), like numerical and verbal reasoning. 


With the Redrock Study game, McKinsey is resuming its analysis and problem-solving activities in a setting more similar to that of a typical business. According to the game’s definition, the only difference is that you play the role of a researcher rather than a consultant, but the tasks you concentrate on are similar to those of a consultant.


However, the Redrock Study game stays true to the spirit of the Solve Game, which welcomes candidates from all fields, not just business. So applicants from non-business backgrounds needn’t worry as the game’s requirements still generally focus on problem-solving skills.

The Redrock Study game’s test format

To pass the Redrock Study, participants must conduct in-depth research on a given study with specific requirements. As a researcher focusing on specific scenarios, the player has to complete a three-stage process and then complete 10 more case questions after – the new component of the Redrock Study. 

  • Investigation stage: the candidate is given research goals and an article with existing records. The mission of this stage is to compile the information that will be most useful to their Research Journal.
  • Analysis stage: three calculations related to the preceding research objectives are presented in this stage. Using the information gathered as well as the provided virtual calculator, the candidate will need to calculate the answers. If the information is insufficient, they can return to the article.
  • Report stage: after conducting the analysis, the candidate writes a summary and maps out the information on a relevant graph. The report may be done in two forms: textual or graphical.

The Case Questions 

In March 2023, McKinsey decided to integrate a mini case into the Red Rock Study evaluation. This case includes 10 questions related to the context of the study segment of the game and requires that test takers evaluate graphs and paragraphs of text before setting up calculations in order to answer correctly. 

The mini-case necessitates aptitude in quantitative skills, as well as the capability to interpret data rapidly and correctly. The inclusion of this mini-case makes the assessment more similar to the types of evaluations used by other consulting firms and deviates from the game-based assessment approach that the company had used until this point.


The Redrock Study game’s Main Challenges

Strict time limit

The simulation has seen a major change in the time limit, which has made the assessment even more difficult. Previously, 25 minutes were allocated to the study part only. However, now, both the study and the 10 quantitative reasoning questions have to be completed within the same duration. This means that the test takers need to be able to think quickly and organize their time more efficiently, which has been a major issue for many of them.


To maximize the efficiency of their results, the candidate needs to be mindful of their time management. Thus, it is important for the candidate to plan their approach carefully and efficiently using the available data to come up with accurate and meaningful results. After the analysis stage, the candidate should review their work to ensure that they have answered all parts of the question and conducted a thorough analysis.

Technical issues

Test-takers have been facing lots of technical troubles since the game was released. Some McKinsey candidates have claimed that the game has crashed multiple times or that there have been bugs that have caused them to have to restart the game and ask for help from the Imbellus assistance team. The latest update has made the problems even worse, allegedly affecting the Ecosystem UX as well. This is not only affecting the players’ performance in the game, but it has also caused worries about what the outcome will be.

Some Tips to Pass The Redrock Study game

Players should adopt various strategies for each game’s stages while maintaining a researcher viewpoint to succeed in Redrock Study.

Investigation stage

Utilize the investigation stage to comb through data surrounding your objectives since the objectives are the key to passing the game. Save the most relevant data and jot them down on paper.

The game would contain various data to mislead players, so candidates should learn how to avoid wasting time on unimportant information. Remember, when looking at the data, pick out points with essential elements of the objectives, such as units, figures, timeframes, etc. and rename them as such in the Research Journal.

Analysis stage

Candidates will be given three numerical questions in this stage, each of which has a sub-question. They will be required to analyze the information gathered during the Investigation step using an on-screen calculator to respond to these questions.

After you’ve finished answering these questions, write your findings down in your Research Journal. In the last phase of the Redrock Study, we’ll utilize these findings to finish the report.

Report stage

This phase’s primary goal is to display the connections between the data. Therefore, having strong data interpretation abilities would be quite beneficial. The report may be done in two forms: textual or graphical


Writing the textual report is simple as long as the player thoroughly evaluates all the data points in the preceding stages. As for the graphical report, it’s better for candidates to have a clear grasp of the functions and purpose of the popular types of charts (line charts, bar charts, pie charts, etc.). 

That was everything you need to know about the McKinsey Solve’s Redrock Study game. If you want to find out more about the new updates on the Redrock Study, experience the game yourself!