Passing the CIMA P2 Exam First Time!

EditI managed to pass the CIMA P2 Advanced Management Accounting first time this week and must say I am over the moon with finally getting it out of the way!!

I scored a scaled score of 101 out of 150, bearing in mind you need 100 to pass I just edged over line!! Nevertheless, a pass is a pass and I can move on to the MCS now.

I started studying the P2 materials almost 12 months ago, but after taking a break from studying due to other commitments I finally picked up the P2 books a couple of months ago and managed to pass it first time.

Here are my lessons learnt and materials used for the exam.

CIMA P2 Materials

I signed up for the CIMA Study Prime course at the beginning of the year and found the content was a great mixture of interactive and “plain text” content. I did all of my initial studying in the early part of the year with this course and would recommend it to other CIMA students too – I actually wrote a blog article on this earlier this year here.

But when I picked up the pen again after 6 months away from the books, I was in two minds whether to go through the CIMA Study Prime course materials again. I felt it would be a duplication of work, so instead I looked towards the Astranti P2 masterclass video to refresh my knowledge of the syllabus.

Once I had refreshed my knowledge I turned towards the mock exams and used the Kaplan CIMA P2 Exam Practice Kit and the online Practice Tests Academy P2 mock exam question bank of over 500 questions.

Build-up to Exam Day

I gave myself three weeks to concentrate on taking mock exams, doing practice questions and mock exams in real conditions using the practice tests academy materials. I had time to revise the weaker areas of the syllabus based on the mock exam results.

However, I still found myself coming up short of a passing grade of 70% which did lead me to panic somewhat in the final few days.

But I continued revising the materials and practising my weak areas like the demand/pricing equation and standard deviation (which in fact is a doodle when I compare it to the pricing equations and linear programming!).

I stayed calm on exam day as I know I tend to work better under the pressure of a real exam and to be honest I just wanted to get it out of the way to see where I was – also I felt I couldn’t really do any more work than I had already done.

To summarise, here are my lessons learnt:

Use the final days before exam to keep revising

I was even revising the night before. I’m sure the extra theory I read on Transfer Pricing the night before helped me a great deal in the exam the following day.


Don’t neglect the theory

It might seem like a wise idea to skim read the wordy part of the syllabus – especially with P2 and F2 – and jump to the questions and calculations but you need to make sure you have covered all bases.

i.e. Calculating an acceptable transfer in the question is all well and good but can you also explain the difference between a Two Part Tariff and Dual Pricing?

Mock Exams – don’t get too disheartened with poor results

I found that the questions I faced in the mock exams felt tougher than the exam itself, maybe this is down to a combination of things. One of them being I tend to perform better under stress of an exam.

But don’t get down with your mock exam results or question practice. Best to iron out your mistakes before exam day and approach the exam with confidence.

Have an exam strategy

You will be pushed for time in the exam. Be smart – answer the easier short style questions first. Build confidence and move on.

This is nicely explained in the video below.


The CIMA Objective Tests are tough, there is no hiding place as I learnt when tackling my first one with F2 which I failed twice before passing – however, since then I have managed to pass E2 and now P2 first time – so it is possible.

Just keep going!


  • Congrats CIMA student, that is awesome.
    Did you do any other mocks apart from those with the practice academy.


  • Thank you so much. I didn’t pass this exam the last time so will definitely try the practice academy and use the Kaplan kit.
    Also did not type the right email. Thank you so much for your blog. It’s great. And well done again.


  • Congratulations! I’ve been sitting my P2 exam, but I can’t seem to get that elusive PASS! My first 3 attempts were 89, 93, 96 and now i’m waiting for my 4th score :o(

    Good to read how you did it though. Will try to take your tips on board for the next attempt.


  • Congratulations on your pass! I have been following your blog for a few years now and I really love reading your posts 🙂 .
    I passed CIMA P2 this morning on my first go and i am so pleased! I have no idea how I managed it, I did feel prepared going into the exam as i had been through the syllabus writing notes twice and answered as many practice questions as i could (this is my go to way of studying which i find most effective alongside classroom tuition courses) but omg was that exam tough! From the first question I felt I was struggling, then it got worse (there was a question on relevant costs which i coudln’t get to any of the answers lol!) do you ever feel like that in exams?
    It’s such an amazing feeling when you pass though isn’t it!


    • Well done on the P2 exam! And thanks for the kind comments, it’s good to know that other students read and find it helpful.
      Yes, I have the same kind of feelings in the exam, but while I find it tough I have a confidence that I can do it if i’ve put the work in before hand and really pushed myself when revising.
      What’s your next exam? MCS or E2 or F2?


      • Thank you 🙂 I passed F2 in September and am studying E2 in January so hoping to take the May case study! How are you getting on with the case study for Feb?


  • E2 is easier in my opinion, I got a very nice score in that one!
    The pre-seen materials are released tomorrow for MCS, so im looking forward to that!!


  • Thank you for your tips! I am really struggling with time on P2. I can’t seem to finish any mocks before running out of time, and I start panicking as time is running out! Have you got any advice about how you managed your time?


    • Hi Becky, key is to break the exam into sections. Whizz through exam and answer quick, easier questions then go back through exam answering tougher questions flagging the more complex ones, then one final round answering the tough questions last. <— there is a video on this blog post with exam technique. Hope it helps?


      • I don’t know if it is the ‘best’ approach but I go through and first tackle the wordy questions and the text box answer questions. I leave the single answer multiple choice questions until last just in case I have no time to read the questions I think I still have a 20-25% chance of hitting the right answer. I’m not saying it’s good, I’m scraping by but it seems to work out ??? I don’t think anyone produces their best work at 1.5 minutes per question tbh. It’s a bit mad to me.


    • The idea is to build confidence by getting easy marks first while saving time for tougher questions, don’t dwell on any question too long and try to stay calm. Worst case scenario, give your best guess and move on.


      • Thanks again for the advice, I passed the exam yesterday, so so relieved! I was using the Kaplan mocks which seemed a little more time pressured than the real thing, so thankfully I had enough time to go back to all my flagged questions 🙂


  • Pingback: CIMA P2 Exam Tips | the cima student

  • Great news! Congratulations 🙂 On to the next one!


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