The November 2018 OCS exam will be the first case study exam you will be taking on your CIMA journey, so it will be new in many ways.
But it shouldn’t hold any fear for those students that are worried with the prospect of their first case study coming up.
It seems a world ago since I passed this exam but I remember heading into the exam full of confidence due to the preparation and work I had put in during the lead up to exam day.
I hope the advice below stands you good in steed to pass the CIMA OCS first time!
CIMA OCS Important Dates
There are still two weeks away until the pre-seen materials are released and over two months until the CIMA OCS November exam day itself, but preparation is key and you can already begin yours before the pre-seen materials arrive on Friday 21 September 2018.
Before you start planning, here are the important dates for the Nov 2018 OCS.
CIMA OCS Planning
I would start with a rough study plan, so you can plan the time when you will study and WHAT you will study;
- F1/P1/E1 Syllabus refresh (keep it simple and brief for now.
- OCS Exam Structure
- CIMA Code of Ethics
- Pre-Seen Materials Analysis
- 3 Mock Exams (tutor marked with feedback)
- Review and Revise
Just because the pre-seen materials haven’t been released, it doesn’t mean you cant start working! Refreshing your syllabus knowledge is a great idea now, especially the theories and models in the E1 exam.
However, this should be brief and very high level refresh. Don’t get bogged down with details, you haven’t got time to do that and you don’t need to.
This part of the exam preparation also helps you get into the “Study Mode” for when the Pre Seen Materials arrive, think of it as a warm up for your OCS exam.
Also take the time to get familiar with the exam structure and what’s expected of you on exam day.
As it’s your first case study exam, I would suggest to visit the Pearson VUE website to simulate a CIMA case study exam. It’s well worth it.
CIMA OCS Mock Exams Practice
Taking mock exams in exam conditions is the only way to get yourself 100% prepared for exam day. It’s the final piece of the puzzle.
I used the Astranti mock exams when passing the OCS and also part of the full course when passing the MCS first time this year. However, to make the most of this you should get any mock exams you take marked with feedback.
It’s the only way how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and ensure you have enough in the tank to get a pass on exam day.
Below is a example of the feedback I received when taking one of the Astranti MCS mock exams.
I found getting detailed feedback on each question with the split of marks allocated was a brilliant way for me to analyse my script. It helps build confidence but it really does paint a true picture of where are you in terms of passing the case study exam.
The Examiners Report
One of the most overlooked FREE resources from CIMA are the examiners report, it’s packed with great insight on how students fared in the previous sittings of the OCS operational case study exam.
I’ve read the May 2018 CIMA OCS Examiners Report and picked out TWO key highlights and points of note. If you’re interested, you can find the full document here.
- Technical skills are by far the most important element of skills at the operational level. To score well a candidate must demonstrate these skills by applying the knowledge gained from studying P1 and F1.
- In preparation for a case study exam it is vital that all candidates revise technical knowledge as a starting point; it is not enough to rely on retaining the knowledge
from the OTQ examinations.
It appears that students at the OCS level are comfortable with the E1 paper and knowledge but are weak in applying knowledge in F1 and P1, as stated by the examiner technical skills are the most important at this level – don’t neglect them!!
CIMA OCS Astranti Course
The full OCS course from Astranti is really packed full of resources;
- Complete pre-seen pack (pre-seen, strategic, industry analysis and top 10 issues)
- 3 x Full tuition videos
- 2 x Study texts
- 2 x Live Masterclasses (the keys to passing and revision masterclass)
- 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Nov 18 scenario)
- Detailed marking and feedback
- Ethics Pack
- Pass Guarantee