CIMA P1 Exam Tips

CIMA P1 Exam Tips

The CIMA P1 Management Accounting is a tricky little paper pass but it’s one of the more interesting papers as it builds your knowledge of Management Accounting and the various concepts involved – and, after all, this is why we are studying for the CIMA qualification!

Over half (60%) of the P1 Management Accounting is concerned with;

  • Cost accounting systems
  • Short-Term Decision making

So with this in mind, I hope the below resources and videos help you on your way to passing the CIMA P1 exam first time!

CIMA Study Text

The starting point for your CIMA P1 studies will be deciding what study text to use, I use a mixture of the Kaplan study materials and the free online Astranti P1 study text – this means I can study on the go and anywhere with an internet connection – and best of all it’s easy to digest (when compared to BPP) and it’s free!

Traditional Costing Vs ABC (Activity Based Costing)

I’d suggest you get a clear understanding of the different cost accounting systems and in particular understand the differences between them all.

A recurring theme in the P1/P2/P3 papers is the reference to Activity Based Costing. So the below video is a great illustration of the differences between traditional costing and ABC.

Understanding the theory and logic behind ABC is really important – I can’t stress this enough – as it’s likely to come up the OCS Operational Case Study exam as it’s a really relevant topic in the case study format.

Linear Programming

CIMA P1 Linear Programming

Is one of the tougher areas in the P1 syllabus and there was an excellent article in the FM magazine a while back that caught my eye.

It’s a relatively simple process to calculate the optimal manufacturing mix when two
products are subject to one limiting factor, but P1 candidates need to know how to find the best combination in cases where two or more resources are restricted.

This is where linear programming comes into it’s own.

You can read the full article on the P1 subject of linear programming by Cathy Shirley in the FM Magazine here.

CIMA P1 Revision Class

For students that are self studying or distance learning, the absence of class room based training can be a difficult hurdle to overcome but the online Astranti P1 revision master classes are a great way to bridge that gap.

You get over 10 hours of videos that covers the whole syllabus and is a great way to revise the P1 paper.

You can find the CIMA P1 masterclass here.

Mock Exams

You will need to have covered sufficient P1 mock exams in order to ready for exam day. That means testing yourself in exam conditions and being confident in your ability to handle the time pressure with the CIMA P1 objective test.

I use a combination of the Kaplan exam kits, the Astranti mock exams and the Practice Tests Academy P1 exam kits.

pass your CIMA exam first time

The Practice Tests Academy have an unrivalled bank of question for each CIMA paper with over 500 mock exam questions on P1 – you get detailed feedback and can mix and match the exam questions to focus on the areas where you are weaker.

You can read more about them here and take a look at the P1 Mock Exam resources here.

The CIMA Student P1 Exam Advice

The CIMA objective tests are a tough nut to crack, especially with papers like P1 and F1 when you have to answer 60 questions in 90 minutes. So you need to make sure you have a time management strategy when sitting the exam.

Here is my P1 exam checklist, if you can answer “YES” to these questions then you are in a good position to pass the exam first time!

  • Have you covered the whole syllabus?
  • Have you taken more than one full mock exam in exam conditions?
  • Have you used the CIMA connect website to
  • Have you spent the final two weeks before the exam taking mock exams and practice questions?
  • Have you identified your weak areas of the P1 syllabus and revised them?

Finally, watch this video on time management strategy for the CIMA P1 exam.


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