Case Writing Basics: Reading

An important part of writing simulations, whether they be SOA (Ontario) or UFE is the reading portion. Reading shouldn’t be mistaken for analysis of the simulation but it will require that you pay a lot of attention and your able to identify both the requirements in the case and the evidence in the simulation that can be used in your response. It’s sort of a very active version of reading.

The amount of time you can spend on reading is debatable but in general you should fall within 25-45% of the total case time spent on reading. With 25% being the extreme on one side – you may be missing important detail if you’re reading this fast and 45% of time being the other extreme where you’re not leaving yourself enough time to respond. You want to get into that sweet spot in the middle.

Reading Basics

You’re reading phase should find your the following information in each simulation…

  • What are you required to produce in your response? What is expected from you in the case? This is the same as if your boss asked you to produce something in your job but can often be a little hidden. In SOA it is a lot more clear so it’s just important to make sure you understand (this comes in analysis)
  • What is your role in this simulation? Each simulation will give you a role you play such as auditor, controller, advisor, etc. It’s important to know and understand your role so that you report from it. You’re not in the business of giving tax advice when you’re playing the auditor role, well, unless a partner in the case asks you to that is.
  • Understand the basics of each section of the case. If there are exhibits, make sure you understand what they are presenting. If there is a separate page with a conversation that seems unrelated, make sure you understand what it’s about, it fits in somewhere, I promise!

And what do you do with all this information? You have to make sure it gets on to your outline so that you can use it in your analysis. We’ll cover that starting later this week.

How’s your case reading going?

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