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Does anyone have any advice on preparing for the BCG written case? Any preparation material would be really helpful as well.

Rajat
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Francesco replied on 12/04/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Rajat,

The usual steps to follow in a written case are:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

2. Practice graph interpretation

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

4. Practice quick math

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers (if required)

At the following link you can find a detailed description of each of these areas:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hi-guys-who-has-experience-with-doing-a-bcg-written-case-any-ideas-on-how-to-prepare-for-this-suggestionskey-takeawaysexamples-are-more-than-welcome-thanks-a-lot-for-your-help-569

If you have also to prepare slides, quoting a previous answer I would also recommend to work on

#1: structure the order of the slides

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • First slide sums up the question and provides the answer
  • Second, third and fourth slide have the supporting arguments for the first slide
  • Fifth slide has next steps

#2: structure the content of each slide

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

# 3: present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Vlad replied on 11/29/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / More than 300 real MBB cases / Collected all Big 3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Thanks Jacopo for using the written case samples I've uploaded before. Here is the correct link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. So far it was. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice making slides. Look for publically available MBB presentations for reference. Good books are "Pyramid Principle" and "How to make it with charts"
  4. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

The best structure for BCG written case is:

Slide 1: Context, Objective, Recommendations

Slide 2-4: Analysis (Usually 1 slide with a table, 1 slide with graphs and 1 slide with pros and cons)

Slide 5: Next steps or risks & mitigation

Good luck!

Jacopo
Expert
replied on 11/29/2017
Ex Bain and A.T. Kearney (7 years in consulting) / 200+ real interviews / Landed all Big 3 offers

Hi Rajat,

I have answered a similar question a few days ago. You can find it here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bcg-paris-round-23-advice-for-written-case-1063#a2050

My recommendation is to prepare on practice material by timing yourself (to make sure you can cover all the questions within the allowed time).

You will find a couple of written cases here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tqrn34hddrpg696/AABCpypFAmyaWEFSCFGIDpafa?dl=0

You can probably find some additional preparation material on this forum as well.

Once you have finished the exercise, I highly recommend you to share the outcome with a peer (even better if you know an experienced consultant) in order to get his feedback and exchange/get challenged on the content.

Good luck,

Jacopo

Rajat replied on 11/29/2017

Thanks a lot for the pointers.

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