Objective Test Advice


After a couple of weeks of taking a break from CIMA, I’ve decided to throw myself back into my F2 studies and focus of passing the exam I failed recently. Perhaps I should have got onto my revision straight away after failing while the knowledge was still fresh but I really wasn’t in the mindset to look at the books.

Nevertheless, when looking at the F2 area of the CIMA connect website – I hope you all use the CIMA connect site, if not you can find it here – and I came across a couple of really interesting discussions on how to approach the CIMA objective tests.

If you’re not familiar with CIMA Objective Tests under the 2015 CIMA syllabus then here is a brief summary of what to expect:

  • 90 minutes to complete
  • 60 questions (multiple choice, fill in the blank, calculation questions)
  • 70% is the pass rate (42 out of 60 – or scaled scored of 100 out of 150)
  • Must be proficient in each area of the syllabus

Student Advice

Below is an extract from CIMA connect site where a student is offering advice on how he passed these new style exams. It’s certainly given me food for thought.

When you first start the exam, run through all the questions, and I mean all, as fast as you can. If you have a question where you immediately know the answer, do so. If you know part or are unsure, answer and flag, skip long questions and calculations but note down what number they are on your pad.

This way you’ll have:-

a) answered all the easy questions, and banked the time

b) know how many longer questions there are

c) at least flagged up ones you are unsure about

d) know how many you have no idea how to answer (hopefully not many)

Once you’ve done this, you can take stock, you only need 42 to pass, if you’ve already answered that many, great, if not, you know how much work you have ahead of you for the next hour or so (F papers definitely take longer for the first cycle, I think I did both E2 and E3 in about 20-25 minutes, F papers took about 30 for that first run).

What you do next is up to you, you can start on the non calculations, try to answer the ones you weren’t quite sure about, or crack on with the calcs. Personally, unless I was sure of them, I’d leave them for later.

However, you should be able to do a few cycles of questions, adding more into pile A and removing Bs,Cs and Ds. Never leave early and keep at it.

Given the fact I failed my F2 exam recently, the above approach sounds a very interesting and pragmatic way to approach the exam. As I know I felt flustered in the opening 15 minutes of the exam when I was faced with tough questions and lost some confidence.

Although, I am wondering if the above approach could be counter-productive if you struggle to find the “easy” questions and you’re left with 50 questions still to answer?

Objective Test Experience – Help!

If you have any other advice on how to the pass the CIMA objective tests then please feel free to leave your comments below.

You can view the whole discussion from where I took the above advice from here.


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