SOLVE: How to master the McKinsey Digital Assessment (Imbellus) -

SOLVE: How to master the McKinsey Digital Assessment (Imbellus)

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⭐ Download my compilation of FREE resources for your consulting online test preparation:
💎 Study the best written guide to pass SOLVE (Imbellus) – take your time to go through:

The SOLVE Problem Solving Game equals McKinsey’s Digital Assessment (previously called Imbellus), which you will need to pass in order to get invited for business case interviews when applying for a consulting job. It is more innovative than the BCG or Bain online tests insofar as it does not anymore require you to increase profits of a business – instead, you need to set up and manage ecosystems: How cool is that!

While McKinsey’s SOLVE assignment may be more interesting than the former McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST), its uniqueness creates a headache for applicants: How should you tackle & prepare for the test?

These and further questions are answered in this video, in which I explain in detail a.) why most consulting firms like to rely on online assessments b.) what role they play in your recruiting process c.) strategies that you can adopt to improve your performance in both the SOLVE assessment as well as other consulting firms’ online tests d.) the mechanisms of the Imbellus Problem Solving Games and their solution strategies for you and e.) my advice on how you should prepare for the Imbellus test as well as what I think you should not do.

00:00 – Overview
01:34 – Consulting firms and digital assessments
07:06 – Online tests in your recruiting process
10:02 – How to improve your Imbellus performance
13:03 – How to solve the Imbellus games
21:25 – How to prepare for the Imbellus test
26:13 – Jack escapes but see what happens…


1. Claim your FREE resources for your consulting online test preparation! In this collection, I have compiled for you links to many free practice tests given out by the top consulting firms as well as to further online analytical tests for you to prepare for the McKinsey Problem Solving Game (SOLVE/Imbellus) and the BCG Online Case. After signing up to the YOUinConsulting newsletter, in your welcome email you just need to click on a button and get the resource list delivered straight to your inbox! 🏆💪🏼

2. Very recently, a brand-new blog page has launched in which the author has broken down the current PSG games at great detail. I strongly advice to take a detailed look. It is very rich in detail, so take your time when going through these tips:

At the time of shooting my video on SOLVE, no test kit specifically dedicated to cracking the PSG had been available. This has changed now. For those of you willing to do everything to safely reach the McKinsey interview rounds, I nowadays recommend this program made by the author of the PSG blog website. Before adding it to this list of recommended resources, I reviewed and tested it in depth myself:

This bundle includes several PSG preparation materials and mock test simulations for practicing the different modules of the PSG. Most strikingly, the program author offers a 100% money-back guarantee to every customer who does not pass the SOLVE assignment after purchasing his system. This implies you do not pay for increasing your odds, but only for actually passing SOLVE.

3. “Official” Imbellus article as mentioned at 23:02 – but reading not required:

#McKinsey #Consulting #Managementconsulting

Activate closed captions by clicking on “CC” in the YouTube window for the best viewing experience.

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  1. i cant believe that mckinsey selected me to the selection process, now study the imbellus and prepare to get in, greetings for colombia 🙂

  2. Ich muss diese Woche den Test machen. Ich habe große Angst! Dein Video hat mir sehr geholfen mich ein wenig vorzubereiten. Vielen Dank.

  3. I just finished the assessment. Would they email me to let me know if I failed, or would I just know I didn’t pass if I don’t get a response?

  4. Sir for business presentation specialist role also this will be the pattern or else it will be different ?

  5. You just have to replace the fishes with companies and their stakeholders as well as the ocean with any industry. These two assignments are just metaphors for 1) strategic positioning (given the environment's and organism's key characteristics, what is the ideal "location" aka position?) and 2) supply chain analyses (who gets eaten aka supplied by whom in a way that the food aka supply chain stays balanced given the individual needs and reproduction cycles?). So in the end it's just a cleverly disguised strategy case study like any other.

  6. What if you didn't see all four games? I only saw the first two… did I just bomb?

  7. There are 4 games, i able to pass only 2. => it means i'm fail?

  8. Hi, Thank you very much for your meticulous explanation. I just did the test two days ago; I was wondering if you had any idea the time that McKinsey takes to get back to you after the assesment ?

  9. You have great energy and style 🙂 Thanks for this video, will be checking out your others. Rooting for you to grow an audience!

  10. Hello

    I just took the PSG but I was wondering if there was any need to order the species as I did not see anywhere on the interface that indicated ordering;

    I just added 8 species that I checked would survive in the same location and in the food chain.

    Please confirm if the species are supposed to be ordered.

  11. I just kind of wanted to leave this message here because I know Mckinsey has changed their recruiting tactics to use a problem solving video game that's supposed to "test a broad range of cognitive skills and intrinsic problem-solving abilities." They also claimed in the video promoting it that it's completely unbiased and is open to every environment no matter what your background is. Please be aware that that's fallacious. It's an intelligence test. It's essentially an IQ test and those are incredibly biased. It's junk science

  12. With this video I have an idea more clear about imbellus test.
    Only a question.
    In general what is evaluated for pass this test?
    Number of species that can lives in a environment?

  13. I've to appear for McKinsey's Multi tasking assessment and personality assessment and Language Skills test….please help me with multi tasking assessment….if there is any video on it and is multi tasking assessment same as digital assessment or Problem solving assessment? Please help me out

  14. Do you need to know anything about ecosystems before you take the test? For example about the species/ animals etc.

  15. Hi, this is super helpful! I am wondering if excel can be used during the game or only pen and paper are allowed?

  16. Hi! Thank you so much for this video. Really insightful and helpful for anyone taking the Problem Solving Game assessment 🙂

  17. thanks for this video! I just did the test, in the second game (plant defense), there were 3 rounds, and in the first two rounds, I think that I did not bad. But I failed in the 3rd round because of careless. Is that possible to pass the test? 🙁

  18. Thank you…video is really helpful.I am going to attend the test tomorrow…. 😀

  19. Hi Jörg,

    I applied for a student job at McKinsey, therefore I wanted to thank you for an informative video which helped for both the practice and the assessment itself. However, I was unfortunately not invited to the next step of the interview process after completing the test. Initially, I received no response for the first two weeks after taking test. However, I sent an e-mail to the HR department of McKinsey, and promptly received a rejection letter as well as a statement that they would retain my information for ‘possible opportunities in the future’. I am sorry for the long comment, however, my questions to you are:

    1. Does the rejection letter mean that I failed the Imbellus test, or maybe that other candidates performed, on average, better?
    2. I received no ban on applying to McKinsey in the future – does that mean I can apply for an internship to McKinsey in, e.g., in one year?

    Thank you very much (if you were to reply).

  20. If you fail the game on the first attempt, will McKinsey consider you for a job in the future?

  21. Hello! Thank you very much for the video. I had read on the internet that in the ecosystem part before sending the answer you could test if the food chain worked but I did not find that option and it was not in the tutorial either. In the end they only showed me what my ecosystem looks like and that I had completed the tasks assigned to me: choosing 8 species, conditions and location, so I was left with many doubts because I thought they were going to tell me how many animals survived. Greetings!

  22. I passed the assessment! They took almost 4 months to respond though.

  23. Welp I took my test today! Your tips helped for the ecosystem part, thank you!
    I took my test today. Fingers crossed whilst waiting for my result / feedback!

  24. Kinda bombed my BCG online test, hoping I can come back stronger by killing it on Imbellus!

  25. Love the effort you put into this! Very helpful thank you 🙂

  26. Thank you for all these details and well produced video! It is very very useful 🤟

  27. Hi!! Great video, keep up the good work!
    I've been invited to complete the digital assessment. However, soon after I applied it became quite clear quite quickly that any post-assessment interviews will be worth doing as my german is not up to standard. Do you think it still makes sense to complete the game or will I gain negative points for wasting their time?

  28. Hi, Thank you very much for such a great explanation! I have applied for a data scientist role at Mckinsey company. I have received an invitation for a digital assessment from Mckinsey. The email's subject is: "Invitation to Solve, the McKinsey Game". I wondered if I should expect a game similar to this video for the assessment? Looking forward to your response 🙂

  29. Hi, I did not finish the defense game ( run out of time in the last Map) and the invaders reached the plant in the 15th turns (Map 1 &2). Does it mean I will get a rejection? if so can I still apply for other positions at Mck?

  30. Polychronis Konstantinos Zachariadis says:

    I just completed the assessment a few hours ago and thanks to this video I succeeded in both mini-games. I finished the ecosystem building in 23 minutes and finished all three rounds of the plant defense game with a record of 16, 18, 17. I was just wondering if those results are considered good. I would also appreciate some feedback from people that succeeded in both mini games regarding the time it took Mckinsey to respond and whether you were accepted. Thank you!!

  31. I took the test yesterday. I had the mountain ecosystem. At the end of the test, it showed all of my species alive. Did that mean they were able to survive? Additionally, I managed to protect my tree from other preditors for the most part. However, I did not receive a pass/fail notice at the end. How do I know my score/outcome?

  32. Great Video Mr. Leib! It helped me for the preparation 🙂
    I just completed the assessment! I must say, it is quite challenging. I felt ecosystem building to be more challenging since if one predator/prey gets changed, we might have to do several changes up the food chain! I did not do well in the second map of invasion game. However, I did well I guess (it took 30+ steps) in first and third map. Do you think doing bad in one map affects the score (less than 10 counts in second map) ?
    Thank you!

  33. Thank youu so much for this great tips and sharing🙏🏻

  34. Just a warning, guys: McKinsey doesn't give instant feedback about your performance anymore, in fact, they don't give you feedback regarding the game at all now. You will just be invited for the interviews or not after a while and won't even know if you did well in the game. You might breeze through It, not make It to the interviews due to your CV and never know that you aced the game.

  35. Just finished my assessment and am very grateful for your tips. Even tho my preparation process only consisted of watching some youtube videos (and preparing my mental self of course), I think i did pretty well when speaking about results.

    The underwater game went quite smoothly for me. I chose a strategy to go from the top to the bottom of the food chain and somehow managed to create a living ecosystem from first attempt which means that basically i didn't change any species along the way of my reasoning. But it took me almost 40 minutes to complete the task so I am not sure whether I would have successfully passed it if some fish in the food chain eventually didn't match.

    The second game was actually fun and for a moment i felt like I was a true strategist like in those stronghold battle games. Surprisingly the first map was the best in my performance because the number of turns for a plant to survive was the biggest out of all other attempts. I believe it is not a good thing tho as we are supposed to show progress in our strategy planning thinking when moving to the next stages. Also I made a mistake in the last round as I placed as many obstacles as possible for the first 3 invaders that were coming from 2 directions, therefore leaving some area to the south of my plant not protected enough. Of course 4th animal with lots of HP had their trail through the pretty chill zone and I was out of available turns by that moment (not including the last turn which I could still edit). So my advice on that game is to not only see a current situation but also to be much more vigilant about future threats which may occur.

    To sum up, I find my experience with PSG really exciting and encourage all candidates to approach it with kind of adventure game curiousness, however not underestimating the significance of the mentioned assessment.

  36. I was just about to look up some strategy games and then the advice 'do not start playing computer games' comes up – you know us well 🤣

  37. Is it me or the Depth and Temperature are the only important variables or that is not the case for everyone

  38. Some questions here:

    1- when choosing the parameters: temp – depth – php- others? Should I mark only the temp. and depth or any other 2 parameters that fit?

    2- the species are divided among 3 depths, so can the game be designed such that there is only depth that will survive and the other 2 depths are just distractions?

    3- is there an ideal order of building the ecosystem i.e. should it be 3 producers 2- carnivores 2- predators 1- apex
    OR 3 producers 3- carnivore 2 predators?

    4- in the tutorial, should i read all the instructions or should i read the instructions after I begin the test?


  39. جهد كبير شكرا لك👍

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