Question merged
This question is read-only because it has been merged with How to prepare a written case interview?.

How to practice WRITTEN case interviews

written case
New answer on Feb 08, 2021
9 Answers
Anonymous H asked on Feb 06, 2021

Hi guys, I've been invited to complete a written case where I'll be sent a pack of information and write my answer up on Microsoft Word. I've done a fair bit of research on the written case so have a good understanding of what to expect in terms of format and attributes assessed, but haven't found much on how to actually practice.

Would it be fine to continue practicing cases out loud with PrepLounge candidates, or instead do more cases individually, or any other approach?


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer


I've uploaded some samples here:

(message me for a password)

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:
  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: Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

The appropriate structure for BCG written case (although the logic applies to other companies as well):

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!

Upvotes 20

Hi there,

You should practice in a different way as different skills are tested in a written case.

The options are:

  1. Find someone that can send you the handout and can listen to your presentation and provide feedback
  2. Find complete written cases with solutions
  3. Get a coach

Here you can find more on the process to follow to improve:

If you need more help with the preparation, please feel free to PM me.


Upvotes 18

Hey there,

For the written case practice I'd recommend you to look at regular case interview samples (there is a ton here on PL) and then work through them on your own. Look at the prompt and core question you are trying to solve, then look at the data provided and work on your recommendation.

Follow these rules:

#1 Already have a plan when you go in for the written case

Since time is usually limited, you should have a plan on how long you want to spend on each task of the assignment beforehand. For practice, use 20 minutes for the analysis and 5 minutes for the recommendation communication. For the real case adapt accordingly based on the time budget provided.

#2 Focus – quickly separate crucial information from the noise

Written cases usually present you with an information overload that you need to sort out

#3 Graphs and charts – interpret and distill key insights from graphs and charts

Written cases bombard you with charts, graphs, tables, and other visual depictions of data that you should use to test your hypotheses. Learn how to quickly read and interpret them

#4 Math – quickly draft equations and conduct pen-and-paper math

Get into the habit of quickly setting up and simplifying calculations

#5 Storyline – draft a compelling storyline and tell it with visually appealing outputs

Create a top-down storyline of your recommendations. State your primary recommendation, then use supporting arguments to strengthen your position

#6 Presentation and defense – communicate and defend your recommendation top-down

If you have to present your findings at the end of the case, follow the top-down approach of your slide deck. Be confident and engaging when going through your recommendation and supporting arguments.

I have written in great detail about written case interviews in this free article here (including links to free prep cases from b-schools):

All the best!



Upvotes 17
Anonymous H on Feb 06, 2021
Hi Florian, thanks for your reply. I'll have 90 minutes to do the whole assessment (reading, analysing, writing). Could I ask how you would recommend splitting the time here?
10 minutes for a quick scan of the documents, 10 minutes to plan your approach (i.e. what do you need to figure out, what information is important, what analyses would you have to do, what output documents do you have to draft), 15 minutes to draft your output slides (doing this early helps you to focus your analytical efforts), 35 minutes to conduct analyses and work through the case, 15 minutes to populate your slides with your findings and recommendations


To add on top of what has been said before, search in this same Q&A for "written cases" and you will find plenty of examples - this honestly does not change in some months, hence they are all perfectly current-.

Hope it helps!



Upvotes 12

Hi there,

You need to change your approach a little when doing a written case, even if practicing casesout loud with partners still makes a difference.

Feel free to contact me if you need support, I've coached many candidates for this type of cases.



Upvotes 10

Hey, feel free to message if you want some tailor made written cases for practices. I have helped some candidates recently be succesful for BIG4 written case interview.

Best thing to do would be to practice with a partner or coach.

Upvotes 9

Hi there,

It's unfortunate because there really aren't many practice cases out there :/

That said, I have a number I'd be more than happy to share with you! What I generally do with my candidates is, give them a written case x hours before our scheduled session (adjust # of hours based on the specific interview they're going to have), and then review their work during the session (as well as talk through tips+tricks to get better).

Let me know if you're interested!

Upvotes 8

case preparation will be the classical one with 2 additional points to focus on:

  • 80-20 prioritization: quickly navigate an important amount of data to find what really matters to the case resolution;
  • Executive summary: develop 1-2 pages to present that sum-up the problem and your recommendations.

I have a couple of well done written cases, feel free to text me for sharing.


Upvotes 1


I have some examples that you may use to practice with written cases. Feel free to text me.


Upvotes 0
Vlad gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
Q&A Upvotes
185 Reviews