Case Competition: The Ultimate Guide on How to Excel

Students Preparing For Case Competition

A case competition provides an exciting way for aspiring consultants to hone their problem-solving and presentation skills. If you’re drawn to the consulting world, you likely have a competitive spirit that thrives on challenges.

You’ll get the opportunity to tackle real business problems and present your solutions before judges, who are usually seasoned consultants.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What is a case competition (with examples of what you’ll do)
  • How competing in consulting case competitions helps your resume and recruiting
  • 5 tips on acing the business case competition and maximizing the opportunity
  • A list of top case competitions to keep on your radar

Let’s get started!

What Is a Case Competition?

A case competition is an immersive learning experience that challenges students to solve complex business problems within a simulated consulting environment. 

In these competitions, participants work in teams to solve a hypothetical client problem and recommend a solution to a panel of judges.

A case competition tests your analytical thinking, teamwork, problem-solving, and presentation skills.

Students Solving Problem In Case Competition

Examples of Cases and Topics

Case competitions can cover various business functions, such as marketing, strategy, operations, or a combination. You also won’t know what industry the case involves until the competition starts. It’s very similar to what you might experience in a consulting interview!

Case competition examples:

  • BankCo aims to boost its market share among customers under 25. What recommendations would you propose to achieve this goal?
  • TechCo is venturing into a new geographic market and seeks guidance on an effective market entry strategy to ensure a successful expansion. What approach would you recommend?
  • EngineCo, an automobile manufacturer, is grappling with inefficient production processes. How would you optimize operations and foster innovation within the company?

If the case questions seem daunting, fear not! You’ll be provided with lots of data, including historical information, cost details, and other relevant considerations.

However, only some of the data provided will be useful or relevant to your recommendation. As a consultant, part of your skillset involves discerning which information is crucial to your analysis.

These cases simulate real-life consulting projects, so it’s a great chance to apply your skills and see if you like consulting!


Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.

Typical Format of a Case Competition

In a case competition, participants are either assigned or choose to be part of a team of 4 to 6 students, mirroring a real consulting team. 

Each team is provided with identical information and allotted the same timeframe to analyze the data, develop recommendations, and present them to a panel of judges. A case competition usually takes place over a few days to allow for analysis and presentation preparation time.  

Let’s take a look at the typical schedule:

  1. Read Case Information: Teams receive a comprehensive case brief that presents the problem, client information, and pertinent data or information.
  2. Analyze Data and Options: Teams dive into the case, meticulously analyzing the provided data, extracting insights, and carefully evaluating different options for their recommendation. In most competitions, you can use publicly available information for research.
  3. Prepare Recommendation and Presentation: Teams consolidate their analysis and make an informed decision on the recommendation. They craft a compelling presentation, typically in slide format, showcasing the results of their analysis and their final recommendation.
  4. Present to Judges and Answer Q&A: Teams present their solutions to a panel of judges comprising industry professionals and experienced consultants. During the presentation, teams articulate their analysis, demonstrate their problem-solving approach, and emphasize the potential impact of their recommendations. Following the presentation, judges engage in a Q&A session, probing deeper into the team’s analysis and challenging their recommendation.
  5. Get Feedback and Results: Judges assess each team based on criteria such as the clarity of their problem-solving approach, the feasibility of their recommendations, and the effectiveness of their presentation.
Student Presenting In Case Competitions

Benefits of Participating in a Consulting Case Competition

Participating in a consulting case competition offers numerous advantages:

  • Skill Development: From analyzing real client situations under time pressure to developing innovative solutions, you gain hands-on experience that sharpens your problem-solving abilities, data analysis skills, strategic thinking, teamwork, and communication. It’s a realistic glimpse of what a “day in the life” as a consultant is like.
  • Valuable Feedback and Insights: While winning is rewarding, the feedback received provides invaluable insights and suggestions for improvement, enabling you to improve your skills and knowledge. 
  • Prizes and Recognition: Many case competitions offer attractive prizes and recognition for outstanding performance. This can include monetary rewards or prize packages.
  • Networking Opportunities: You have the chance to network with judges who are current consultants. They often are the ones involved in recruiting and interviews. Even if you don’t win the competition, you have a chance to impress judges, and it could lead to mentorship opportunities or potential internship opportunities.
  • Resume Enhancement: Include any awards from case competitions on your resume. It is concrete evidence of your skills and can help your resume stand out.
Announcing Winning Team In Case Competitions

5 Tips on Acing a Case Competition and Maximizing the Opportunity

1. Review Key Consulting Frameworks and Concepts

Take the time to review and understand essential consulting frameworks and structures, such as MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) and the Hypothesis-Driven Approach.

This will give you a strong foundation for analyzing case problems and developing practical solutions. Utilize resources like our Our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep.

2. Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities with Your Team

You are under a time crunch in a case competition, so aligning with your team on individual roles and responsibilities before you start the analysis will help you work efficiently.

Consider each team member’s strengths or developmental interests, and delegate tasks accordingly. For example, if you want to improve your proficiency in Excel, communicate your interest in doing analytical aspects. You can create a more efficient and cohesive team by working together and leveraging each other’s talents.

3. Avoid Memorizing Your Presentation

Memorizing your presentation word-for-word or reading the slides will make your presentation come off as less natural. You’ll appear less confident in what you are recommending.

Instead, focus on understanding the key points, logical flow, and supporting evidence. This approach allows flexibility, adaptability, and a more natural delivery during the presentation.

4. Prepare for Potential Questions

Allocate time to anticipate questions that judges may ask during the Q&A session. Consider different angles, alternative perspectives, and potential challenges to your recommendations. Being well-prepared for possible questions demonstrates your critical thinking skills, enhances confidence, and helps you respond effectively.

5. Leave a Lasting Impression on Judges

Make a positive impression on the judges and attendees of the consulting case competition. You never know who you might encounter again in your consulting journey. 

Consider sending a thoughtful thank-you note to the judges after the competition to express your gratitude for their feedback.

Team Assigning Roles For Case Competition

List of Case Competitions

Below, we have compiled a list of case competitions to keep on your radar and consider competing in. It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and competitions may vary yearly, so we recommend checking their official websites.

If you are in school, your consulting clubs will often host case competitions internally. Sometimes, firms also sponsor and run case competitions for specific communities.

Case Competitions in the USA

Case Competitions in Canada

Case Competitions in Europe

Case Competitions in International Locations

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In this article, we’ve covered:

  • Insight into the nature of case competitions, including examples of the tasks and challenges
  • How participating in a consulting case competition can benefit your resume and increase your chances of success in recruiting
  • Tips on how to excel in a business case competition and make the most of your experience
  • A starter list of case competitions you can explore

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about case competitions, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s case coaches will answer them.

Other people prepping for a case competition found the following pages helpful:

Help with Your Consulting Application

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on excelling at case competitions. My Consulting Offer has helped 89.6% of the people we’ve worked with to get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Parth was able to get his offer from BCG.


Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.

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