Taking a Stab at PQs

Many of you are no doubt getting frustrated when you miss that PQ…again.

Fear not, because it’s quite normal to miss them, even during the actual UFE. If you review the past UFE Reports you’ll see that there are still plenty of candidates that don’t score competent on the PQ indicators. In other words, you’re in good company. Here’s how candidates scored last year:

Comp 0.00% 51.50% 36.80% 11.70% 0.00%
II-1 46.90% 19.60% 21.10% 12.30% 0.10%
II-2 25.50% 20.40% 40.00% 14.10% 0.00%
II-3 10.10% 20.90% 16.00% 52.90% 0.10%
III-1 0.80% 3.10% 38.70% 56.40% 1.00%

You’ll notice that although candidates did well in two of the indicators, in three others most candidates fell below a C and in some cases well below a C. This seems to be fairly typical year to year. PQs are difficult.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to improve.

As mentioned in the UFE Report, the Board of Evaluators (BOE) is constantly asking candidates to improve their ability to see the bigger picture and bigger issues and they’ve hinted that there will continue to be plenty of undirected indicators to tackle.

I’ve discussed PQs before so do give that a read but I’m going to share with you today one additional tip that might help you out.

In all but the extremely time crunched cases (and certainly all comps) take at least 3-5 minutes to write a potential PQ – anything you can think of.

You’re asking me to take a guess at a PQ on every case?

Well… sort of. I’m asking you to get into the habit of taking some time on each case to think about the bigger picture. Look at your outline, look at your response and mull it over for a couple of minutes. Think about the big things like motivations, what the company is trying to accomplish, about stakeholders, and so forth and then just write a quick paragraph summarizing any big picture issues.

I think that the more you do this, the more you’ll get into the habit of thinking about the issues and the higher the probability of you actually catching one.

There is no negative marking on the UFE so if you write about an issue that doesn’t exist you’ve wasted a little time but you won’t otherwise be penalized for it.

Good luck.

Do you have any tips for writing PQs?

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