CIMA F2: How to pass it?
Well, I failed the CIMA F2 objective test today and I must admit it has knocked me off my stride a bit. I got the dreaded fail message when the 90 minutes were up, although I’m still waiting for the % score out of 100.
I have a feeling I got around the 50% mark. The exam itself felt much tougher than I was expecting, which is disappointing considering I felt well prepared heading into it. It was my first attempt at the objective tests in the new syllabus and it’s been a steep learning curve.
Here are a few points about how I prepared for the exam and my thoughts on the day.
My CIMA F2 Exam Preparation
- I spent around 10 weeks preparing for the exam (inc revision and mock exams)
- I used the Astranti study text and mock exams.
- No video lectures or any other tutor support.
I felt relatively prepared going into the exam but I knew my knowledge of the whole syllabus was not 100% especially when it came to Financial Instruments and Complex Groups. But I felt I could score enough for a pass.
I took the three mock exams from Astranti and was quite horrified when I took the first one and scored just 41% (you need 70% to pass). This left me with three weeks before the actual exam to get up to speed. Each mock after that improved (58% then 75%) which gave me confidence heading into the exam.
I sat the exams to exact conditions so I could get my self use to the time pressure of answering 60 questions in 90 minutes
Final F2 Revision
I knew that the WACC (cost of debt and equity) was a weak area so I really focused on that and was comfortable answering these questions on exam day. In hindsight, I probably neglected some other areas of weakness too (instruments, NCI’s and complex groups).
I spent alot of time working out ratios, calculations of goodwill, NCI to ensure I could answer these types of questions. Although that was probably detrimental to the wordy side of the syllabus.
CIMA F2 Exam Reflection
- The exam felt much harder than I was expecting – why? Not sure, perhaps a combination of nerves and not being 100% comfortable with the whole syllabus.
- Study text and mock exams are not enough – personally, I think need more study resources than just a copy of the study text and mock exams. It looks like I need video lectures and perhaps even tutor support to make sure I am on the right track.
- Was my study plan realistic? – having a study plan was helpful but perhaps it was too ambitious and I didn’t cover the required knowledge and moved on with the next area so not to fall behind on study plan. I need to be realistic and honest with myself with preparing for the next exam.
- Was I overloaded with F2? – under the old syllabus I sat two exams at a time and it seemed to work OK. However, I just sat just one exam this time but would I benefit from studying two subjects at the subject? Would the diversity help?
- Learn from previous experience – in hindsight, I knew this exam would be a big step up as I just scraped a pass 50% in F1 under the old syllabus so I should have redoubled my efforts when studying for F2.
- Need to strike a balance – between the theory on the syllabus as well as the calculation side of things. I have a nagging feeling that I missed out on some easy marks by neglecting some of the simply theory in the syllabus, I had a feeling I was guessing at a few questions that I really should have known the answer too.
As already mentioned, I don’t know my exact score yet (I should receive it in 24 hours or so) but it’s been an eye opener for me. I am having the weekend off from thinking about CIMA then will think about how I will tackle the resit as well as looking ahead for the E2 paper I was planning to start studying next.
If you have any CIMA F2 exam tips or advice it would great fully received – feel free to leave any comments below.