How can you become better at structuring cases?

case structure Cases MBB
New answer on Oct 08, 2023
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 20, 2018


I get feedback that my structuring is lacking. Structure refers to that initial roadmap that allows me to linearly solve the case and that guides my thinking.

Do you have advice on how to become better at strcturing besides just solving cases on PrepLounge?

How did you learn to become good at structuring? What defines a good structure besides being MECE?

Thanks in advance,


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replied on May 20, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It definitely comes with practice. Here is an algorithm how to develop this skill:

  1. Make sure you understand all the different types of cases that you may face
  2. Identify the most appropriate structure for each type
  3. Solve 30-50 cases and try to understand where do they fit in your categorizations
  4. Based on your experience think of the potential variations in structures within each of the case types

Here is some inspiration for you. Below you can find a list of the most common case types and some high-level recommendations on structuring:

  1. Market sizing - structuring from the supply or demand side. Structuring using a formula or using an issue tree
  2. Profitability - basic profitability framework. Remember about different revenue streams and product mix
  3. Market context cases (Market Entry, New product, Acquisition, etc). Always start with the big picture "market". Finish with something specific to the case (e.g. How to enter?"). Structure it as if you are defining the work streams for the real project.
  4. Operational math problem (e.g. Should we increase the speed of an elevator or just buy a second one? How should we reduce the queues? Etc.) - Structuring as a process / value chain, with inflows, operations, and outflows
  5. Cost cutting - I provided the recommendations on structuring it here:
  6. Valuation - Purely financial structure with cash flows, growth rate, WACC / hurdle rate, etc.
  7. Synergies - revenue synergies (price, qty, mix) and cost synergies (value chain).
  8. Social / economics cases (e.g. How to improve the quality of life in the city? How to increase the revenues of the museum?) - huge variability. Practice 3-5 social cases before the interview

This is just for inspiration. You should ideally make your own system.

Best of luck!

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Ved replied on Oct 08, 2023
Building case interview tools for applicants to simplify your prep process

I have a few tips that help me structure cases, without memorizing more frameworks

✅ Using 'pauses' to approach a question with logic (vs reacting with fear)

👉 How: To use the 'pause', we can take 1-2 minutes to be more present and organize our approach for a question.

✅ Clarifying the question better, using the BOTM framework (Business-Objective-Timeline & Scope-Market)

👉 How: Look out for case prompts that scream "please clarify."

1. Short and vague case prompts
2. Estimation about something ‘random’
3. Long detailed prompts

✅ Building a storyline for their structure, to make it logical.

👉 How: Put yourself in the "client's" shoes. What would you logically do first?

Which questions do you need to answer first?

With these tips, you can solve your cases better, without memorizing more frameworks 💪

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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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