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Cracking Case. Practical, student-focused tips.

Case Study is fundamentally unlike the other ACA papers.

Case Study is marked using a unique competency-based "closed-form" markscheme in which the marker is essentially performing a "matching" exercise, comparing whether your idea matches anything on the finalised ICAEW markscheme.

If the point is on the markscheme, you get credit. If not, you get nothing.

Actually, it is worse than that because you will have taken time to write a point (which may well be a great business idea) but you haven't been rewarded ... and you can't get your time back!

Clearly, Case Study needs a very different approach to the other ACA papers so, since 2013, our popular Cracking Case book has provided a practical, student-focused approach to help you learn what to do to tackle this strange exam.

Following a break from publication of the book in 2023 while we assessed the impact of the new marking approach adopted by ICAEW at the July 2023 sitting, we are pleased to announce that Cracking Case will return for 2024!

cracking case

Honest advice.

Drawing on our core value of Honesty, Cracking Case is based on our own unique approach to Case Study. We have developed this process over the years by focusing on what actually works from a practical point of view, even if this sometimes may require advice that sounds strange.

Case Study is a strange exam, so sometimes strange advice is needed!

When studying for Case Study ourselves, we were presented with various somewhat "jargon-filled" planning techniques and resources, such as planning sheets split up into "Assimilating & Using Information" and "Applying Judgement". While these seemed plausible at first sight and no doubt work for some purposes (such as writing reports in the real world), these techniques based on taking the "official" or "corporate" line on what Case Study requires did not really seem to work for us, or for others.

We therefore started again, trying to work as practically as possible and being honest about what you actually need to do to maximise your chances of passing.

Sometimes this means holding back on good ideas in your response, sometimes it means "playing the game" a little by going for the easier marks/wins. But that's just how it is, so that is how we work.

Some stats on Cracking Case.


The 2024 edition of Cracking Case will be the twelfth edition of the book. This means we have accumulated vast knowledge and experience, which we distill into our student-focused approach.


All 6 of our Case Study prize winners (global prize winners and regional prize winners) have been trained based on the technique set out in Cracking Case, whether on a self-study basis or taking part in our Live Online Course.

cracking case

On your side.

We have always written Cracking Case with students in mind, so we ensure that all advice is practical and workable within the constraints of the exam room.

Cracking Case also provides extensive discussion of what to do in the pre-exam period. This includes explanation of our popular Planning & Reminder Sheets which are designed to provide quick reference reminders for use under time pressure.

Fully updated for 2024

As always, we will carefully work through the learning points from the 2023 past papers to ensure that our advice is fully up-to-date. The Case Study examiners are always subtly evolving the examination so it is important that we keep on top of this "cat-and-mouse" game!

After the July 2024 sitting, we will make a free PDF download available for the benefit of November 2024 candidates. In this update, we will highlight any key learning points from the July 2024 past paper.

Discount on Mock Exam Pack

We are pleased to provide all purchasers of Cracking Case with a £40 discount on the cost of our full Case Study Mock Exam Pack for the relevant sitting. Cracking Case should help you understanding how to prepare and plan, and our live Mock Exam Pack will then allow you to put this theoretical learning into practice by completing full Mocks under time pressure, based on the live Case Study business. A killer combination of resources!

Planning & Reminder Sheets

Cracking Case includes our popular and student-focused Planning & Reminder Sheets, which are designed to keep you focused on mark-scoring points and managed your time well. We include plenty of reminders of ideas that often score, based on our detailed analysis of the ICAEW past papers.


What our students say.

I used your Cracking Case book extensively for the November exam (and ignored most things that my college taught me) and without the book, I honestly don't think I would have passed the exam, so thank you. Without the help of all of  the content of the book that you produce, I'm honestly sure I wouldn't be  here right now saying I'm a fully qualified Chartered Accountant, so I just  wanted to say a massive thank you - I have already spread the word about how  good the book is.

Adam L
purchaser of cracking case

I just wanted to let you guys know that I passed Case Study!! There is a chapter in the Cracking Case book that advises students what to do in case they screw up their timing (like a Plan B). I employed Plan B in Requirement 3 because I did screw up my timing, and it saved my life, so thank you so very much. I have used almost all of your resources for SBM, CR and Case Study. I will be  more than happy to recommend your services to the students here in Saudi Arabia and on social media.

Muhammad S
purchaser of cracking case

I passed my Case Study exam which was my 2nd attempt (first time with you) and scored 66% compared to my 1st attempt in November 2018 scoring 34%, so almost doubled my mark! The Cracking Case book was invaluable, I used it to create all my plans for the Mock Exams and used the key tips going forward for the actual exam. It really helped and it's amazing how you compile so much into one book. Everybody should purchase this book!

Gopika R
purchaser of cracking case

Thank you very much!! So helpful!! Your resources were invaluable for all three of my final exams!

Rene P
purchaser of cracking case

Thank you, and in particular to my tutor, for helping me pass my Case Study resit in November. The approach to technique and having 5 different Mock Exams based on the live set of Advance Information really helped and I felt so much more prepared going into this exam than the first time. I've already recommended the book and technique to others in my office. Thanks again.

Lauren C
purchaser of cracking case

I just wanted to reach out and say thanks for writing such fantastic material - I passed Case Study with a score of 78 due to your materials. It really is in a different league to the provider I was with. You also helped me to pass my SBM retake in November 2016 (again, with a score of 78), so I really cannot express my gratitude enough!

Dom C-J
purchaser of cracking case

My son passed his Case Study exam and it went really well. He qualified on Friday, so very proud! He said without a doubt, that the Cracking Case book and Mock Exam Pack got him through. We only found out about you near to the exam day,  but he only read your book and studied the Mock Exams. Thank you so much, I wish everyone knew about you!

Suzanne T
purchaser of cracking case

I have passed Case Study at the first attempt only because of your company. Coming from academia, I had tremendous trouble accepting what the other tuition providers were doing or how they attempted to provide tuition. The combination of the Cracking Case book and the Mock Exam Pack can yield results if the student is willing to spend the required preparation  time.

George S
purchaser of cracking case

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your Case Study materials/Mock Exam Pack/TIS marking & feedback and personalised help - I passed with 63, compared to the 38 first attempt that I had with [XXXXXX]. Many thanks again!!

Natalie H
purchaser of cracking case

I want to say a big thank you because your Cracking Case book in conjunction with your Mock Exam Pack, has helped me pass Case Study with 58 and get qualified. I passed all other 14 exams in 2 years and I have wasted 4 years of studying Case with other providers, but your book told me exactly what to do, what to write and where to stop writing which is very important in Case. I highly  recommend your approach and appreciate your hard work.

Syros D
purchaser of cracking case

I have purchased all of your Advanced Level Exam Room Notes, the Cracking Case book and the Smashing SBM book. Whether I pass or not the first time, the books are phenomenal help and I'd be so much more confused at this point without  them.

Anthony M
purchaser of cracking case

I have bought all of your books for the Advanced Level sitting - they are VERY good! I've found them so helpful. Your books have been such a good study help, especially for Case and SBM and I've had a lot more exam technique help from you.

Sophie H
purchaser of cracking case

I bought your Cracking Case book and your Mock Exam Pack and they were worth every penny. I passed Case Study first time around. They gave me lots of tips about the best way to tackle the Case Study and what examiners wanted me to produce on the day. I would definitely not have passed the Case Study with just the notes and training I received from my previous tuition provider. I would recommend your books and Mock Exam Pack to anyone. Thank you for all your  help. Much appreciated.

Gary C
purchaser of cracking case

I'm delighted to say that I passed my resit with the result of 65. I purchased your Cracking Case book, Exam Room Pack, Mock Exam Pack and TIS service for 2 Mock papers. Many thanks for your very helpful study materials and advice! Your methodology is indeed far superior to what I have seen previously.

Anna L
purchaser of cracking case

I passed Case Study (73) after taking part in your Masterclass session, getting the book and having my scripts marked by you. Huge thanks: what a relief! Your Plan B came in super useful for R3 as the exam was horrendously time-pressured, and I had just 55 minutes for R3. I can't thank you enough.

Jessica S
purchaser of cracking case

Just wanted to say a huge thanks for your help and support over the past year or so - from helping me move on from my BPT fail to pass, to getting me through my final 3 exams. Thanks to your help, I managed to pass Case with a very  comfortable 71%, but I couldn't have done it without you. The Cracking Case book was a huge help and offered much more insight than my college provider. You should be really proud of your company, and again I honestly can't thank  you enough!

Rebecca N
purchaser of cracking case

I am writing this e-mail to register my sincere appreciation in regard to your assistance in passing my Case Study exam. Your materials really helped me. I had no tutor but I just read your materials and that really helped me to pass the exam. I really enjoyed what I read from your textbook about how to write the Executive Summary. You just need to write the report and points will come as you go, which worked for me as you advised. Once more, thank you again for  your assistance.

Tendai N
purchaser of cracking case

I have purchased the Cracking Case book and the Mock Exam Pack. I cannot thank you enough for helping me pass Case Study following the process mentioned in the book (gospel-holy bible) along with taking a personal positive attitude and determination whilst attempting the 5 Mocks. I cannot stress enough how thankful I am since this was my sixth attempt, and your company was there for me at every query I made, showing a high level of professionalism.

Miltiades Z
purchaser of cracking case

I'm astounded by the results from using your Cracking Case book! I failed every mock exam with [XXXXXX] and received very little advice regarding exam technique. I spent a morning reading your book and brought the templates into  the exam. I scored 73% and found the exam easily manageable because of the straightforward and logical technique. Thank you!

Chris M
purchaser of cracking case

I have passed my Case Study exam. I would like to thank you and your team for all your help and support throughout! Your "Plan B" in the Cracking  Case book is very useful and I would highly recommend it to all students. I passed Thanks again for all your help!

Yassin I
purchaser of cracking case

I found Cracking Case and the Mock Exam Pack very useful in my preparation for my exam!

Hayden M
purchaser of cracking case

Thank you for the support with my Advanced Level exams, both in terms of the books I bought but your detailed responses to my questions via email throughout my exam preparation.

Ishaan P
purchaser of cracking case

The Cracking Case book has been nothing but vital and fantastic for exam preparation - I can’t imagine preparing any other way! To everyone in your team, please keep doing what you all do and I firmly believe you all are the best in the business!

Marie T
purchaser of cracking case

I just wanted to send a massive thank you for helping me with the Case Study exam - I passed with 73%! Thank you so, so much for all your support - firstly, for the Cracking Case book which was absolutely invaluable! It was literally my life saver. I have already been suggesting to my juniors to definitely reach out to you when their Case Study exam time comes!

Nikita N
purchaser of cracking case

I am quite keen on going with your company since I've heard your book "Cracking Case" is really good. One of my colleagues said she went to [XXXXXX] and found that without your book she couldn't have passed first time.

Achana P
purchaser of cracking case

I passed Case Study. Thanks for your support. Your Exam Room Pack was really helpful. My techniques were much improved after studying Cracking Case.

Sajjad C
purchaser of cracking case

I thought the Cracking Case book was key to passing. The reviewing of the scripts is very important but you need to know what to write in the first place which the other usual suspects don't teach very well …

Helena M
purchaser of cracking case

Having tried and failed with one of the Big Two providers I was very worried I would never pass. I was recommended your "Cracking Case" book and Case  Study Mock Exam Pack and I am happy to say due to you, I have received a regional prize and cannot thank you enough. I would recommend you to anyone sitting the Case Study exam. The "Cracking Case" book provided me  with a clear starting point which is something I hadn't had from the "big" provider.

Laura G
purchaser of cracking case

I passed Case Study today and "Cracking Case" definitely made it easier. Highly recommended.

Arron J
purchaser of cracking case

I learned so much more from reading your Cracking Case book than I did in 5  days in college with [XXX] and they are still getting us to do a further past  paper Mock Exam on our final days in college in October, even after the Advance Information is out! I tried doing my first Mock with them and only just scraped a pass, based on the way they told us to plan/write it up. The second Mock I ignored everything they said and followed your book along with the planning notes structure you provide and got 82%.

Adam L
purchaser of cracking case

I used your Cracking Case book for the most recent Case Study exam and followed your  format, instead of that of a "leading tuition provider" as you call them. I obtained the highest mark at my firm (82%). Thank you, I have already  recommended you to all my colleagues who will be taking the exam in November.

Philip C
purchaser of cracking case

I really enjoyed using your Cracking Case book and am way more confident about having passed this time. Thank you very much.

Oliver L
purchaser of cracking case

I am pleased to say that I have passed Case Study with an amazing 79% thanks to your Cracking Case book!

Lorraine S
purchaser of cracking case

I just want to say a massive thank you!! I failed Case Study last December only scoring 34, even though I took a full course at a top provider. It was only when studying with you that I realised how little they focused on technique and the smaller details to help get the pass. I bought the Cracking Case book, Cracking Case on-demand course, TIS on two papers and the Exam Room Pack... absolutely fabulous. I wish I had come to you guys sooner for some of my earlier papers to avoid all the frustration and fails.

Steph A
purchaser of cracking case

Just a note to say thanks for putting together such a useful resource - it really is cracking (pardon the pun … tackling Case isn't the only thing I learned from  the book!).

Ash D
purchaser of cracking case

Thank you for taking the time to prepare the Mock Exam Pack and Cracking Case resources, I found them very useful.

Connie F
purchaser of cracking case

I just wanted to say thank you. I bought the July 2019 version of the Cracking Case book, Mock Exam Pack and Exam Room Pack for the July 2019 Case Study sitting - pleased to say I passed first time!

Sherv C
purchaser of cracking case

I found the sessions really useful, combined with the Cracking Case book and the Planning & Reminder Sheets. It has all really helped my understanding.

Louis N
purchaser of cracking case

I passed Case first time in the most recent sitting. I purchased the November 2019 Cracking Case book and was lucky enough to pass well. The content/techniques I learned in the book were definitely a factor in passing. I naturally spent too long on Q1 so had to use the "Plan B" pages in the book to help prioritise Q3. I am emailing to say a big thank you to your team.

Adam V
purchaser of cracking case

I haven't got through all of Cracking Case yet but it is clearly going to be very valuable, so thanks for writing the book.

Will S
purchaser of cracking case