CIMA P3: Reflections on Failing
If you follow me on twitter you would have seen that I failed the CIMA P3 Risk Management exam last week.
P3 Exam Initial Thoughts
Failing the exam was a bitter pill to swallow as I was full of confidence although there were nerves given the fact it was my first objective test at strategic level.
When I saw the FAIL on the paper printed out from the exam centre I was disappointed although not surprised as the exam itself felt really tough and full of wordy questions, a couple of which I felt I was just guessing at.
So when I got my final result confirmed the score of 95 was just as much as a relief as it was frustrating.
I was probably two or three correct answers from passing the exam, so I know it was borderline on getting a pass mark and it gives me something to build on heading into the resit. I honestly felt I had scored around 80 or so after leaving the exam and I felt I may need to resit the whole syllabus in detail but 95 gives me hope!
P3 Lessons Learnt
Having had almost a week to get over failing the CIMA P3 exam, I’ve had time to reflect and draw up an approach to ensure I pass it next time!!
Focus on Weak Areas
I know it sounds obvious. But I had a few questions come up during the exam which I knew immediately I would struggle with. The P3 syllabus felt so broad, it was difficult to cover all areas in the detail I wanted to, however, that’s just a sign to work harder!
Interest Rate swaps was a key one, as i had a couple of questions on this and just had to take a guess at the answer.
Revise the Theory behind the calculations
I sometimes find myself guilty of practicing the calculations too much without understanding all of the logic behind the approach and what it means. Being able to articulate what you’re doing and why is needed!!
Stay Calm in the Exam
I used the exam approach of skimming through all 60 questions and answering the short “easier” questions in first 10/15 minutes to get some confidence and some time in the bank. However, when I saw the length and detail of the questions I did begin to panic inside.
I was worried about the time pressure, so I felt I was trying to read the questions quickly but ended up in some cases having to re-read the question which cost me more time.
The ironic thing is I finished the exam with 6 or 7 minutes left!?
In hindsight, I should have stayed calmer in the exam, used my time more carefully and perhaps I wouldn’t be writing this blog post now!
CIMA P3 Resit Approach
I don’t want to rush the resit attempt, even if I was close to passing with my score of 95.
Instead, I plan to get some more exam practice questions and go through the official CIMA syllabus and make sure I can am comfortable with the learning outcomes in whole P3 syllabus.
What’s more, I plan to really go into detail with Interest Rate Swaps and also look back some topics from P2 exam, as I recall two questions that mentioned IRR and I’m sure I covered this in P2 rather than P3 so my mind went blank during the exam.
Hopefully I will be 110% ready to take and PASS the P3 Risk Management by the end of October.