Case Writing Basics: Analysis

You’ve finished reading the case and maybe you’ve done a great outline. Now comes the thinking part where you analyze the case.

I was going to write up another post on case analysis but I actually think this one is pretty good which didn’t receive enough love. It applies pretty well to SOA and to UFE.

When writing your first SOA cases you’ll find that you might be missing some very big things that were easily visible if you had only known. For example, in my first case I missed a pretty big gross-vs-net issue in the case. I don’t remember what I wrote about, but it sure wasn’t gross-vs-net. With enough time and practice you’ll begin to see similar issues pop up.

One issue that I’ll point out is very popular for SOA (but not so much on the UFE) is the issue of business valuation. If you don’t know the different valuation methods it’s something you should review prior to SOA. You’ll soon run into them during your mock exams.

Remember also that the required run the case. Avoid deviating too far from those when analyzing your response.




  1. There are SOA case solution guides posted on the ICAO website, but they are also sold by Densmore, and PASS. Which ones are best to look at when taking up the case? Does Norgrove have them?


    • Hi Nancy – thanks for the question.

      The stuff that’s available from the ICAO is different than the stuff sold by Densmore and PASS. Here’s what ICAO is giving you.

      If you want to (and for a long time this was all that was available) this is all you need.

      In more recent years, Densmore and PASS have begun offering marking guides. These basically simplify the evaluation guide/solution for each case and tell you exactly what you needed to discuss in your case in order to get each mark.

      Pro: They are very helpful in telling you what you need to discuss specifically to get a RC/C/HC in each case. Most candidates find this very helpful and recommend these guides. I used them for some cases as well when I wrote the UFE.

      Con: Some argue that they are a bit of a crutch and they take you away from thinking about the case and analyzing your response more deeply since it’s a bit like following a checklist.

      So in conclusion, I do recommend them and I would use them together with the stuff ICAO gives you.

      Hope that helps!

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