(Posted May 2024)

Whether you have written cases during your undergraduate program or case writing is completely new to you, most of you are likely looking to improve these case writing skills during your path through the PEP Core and Elective modules and the Capstone modules, and on to the CFE. It can be tempting to focus on MCQ during Core 1 and Core 2 rather than case writing since the case only makes up 25% of the final exam. However, this strategy will backfire when you get to your Elective final exams where this percentage climbs to 75% and to the CFE where it is completely case based.

One of the best ways to improve your case writing skills is to take advantage of online case walkthroughs. Think of a walkthrough as a guided tour of the case that you take after you have already written your response to the case. This walkthrough contains valuable instructor guidance on how to effectively approach and write the case. You can use this to assess your own case approach and writing skills and to get tips and tricks for areas where you struggled. Unfortunately, many students do not understand the value that this type of session provides and skip these sessions in favour of spending more time on technical review.

What does an online case walkthrough contain?

Densmore pairs each practice case in its Core and Elective EDGE courses and practice exams with an online case walkthrough. This case walkthrough will walk you through each of the steps to approach and write a case and contains several components that will assist with improving your case writing skills:


Each walkthrough will guide you through the initial steps of identifying the required, reading the case, and developing a plan to write the case, including how to order the required and how to allocate your time. Walking through each page of the case step by step to help identify the key case facts and how they were interpreted to help you understand how to apply those case facts in your response. By understanding the triggers in the case, you will improve your critical reading skills.

Identifying the required – The case walkthrough will help you identify and understand each of the requireds in the case. This can be useful if you missed one or more of the requireds or you misinterpreted any of the requireds. The requireds will line up with the assessment opportunities in the marking guide so you need to find them first in order to score.

Reading the case – Reading the case may sound simple, but it has to be done in the context of the required to be successful. That is what is called critical reading. Critical reading is much more complex and takes practice. The instructor will walk through the case page by page to show you the things they would have considered as they were critically reading to identify the links you may have missed in your initial read. We also demonstrate effective tracking in the case, which help you save time when you write your response.

Developing a plan – We will show you a sample plan and how it was developed for each case, including the most appropriate level of detail to include on the plan, as opposed to how to track the relevant case facts within the case itself. The instructor will walk you through the items to consider when turning that plan into an attack strategy for the case. They will cover integration of the various requireds to determine the order in which you need to write the case. They will cover how to best manage and allocate your remaining writing time. If you struggle with how to get organized, this portion of the walkthrough will help you build your confidence in evaluating what needs to be done and how best to do it.

Writing Examples

Each walkthrough provides writing examples for each of the requireds. In some instances, we show you how to build a strong response from scratch. In others, we walk through a weak response and show you how it could be improved to get sufficient breadth and depth to score. Sometimes, we also show you how to apply the necessary marking and debriefing skills to improve your own response. Improving your writing skills will help you to score Reaching Competence and Competent more consistently.

In each of these cases, this will help you go beyond just reviewing the solution (marking guide), to build the writing skills you need to be successful at case writing throughout your PEP and CFE journey.

We encourage you to use the online case walkthroughs to improve your case writing skills. As you improve, you can switch to using walkthroughs on an as-needed basis, focusing on the specific areas where you need to improve further.