CIMA Nov 18 Case Studies: Top 10 Issues

 

CIMA November 2018 Case Studies

The November 2018 CIMA case studies will begin in around four weeks with the OCS scenario of GymFit. With the November case study session finishing just over two weeks later with the SCS scenario of Novak Pharmaceuticals.

Students taking the exams next month should be well in their exam preparation and have made extensive motes and analysis on the pre-seen materials.

Now you should be drawing your focus on the most likely issues that will come up on exam day.

The benefits of understanding the so called “Top 10 Issues”

  • Gives you a focus for your final weeks of study.
  • Provides an insight to the syllabus that could appear in your exam variant.
  • Boosts confidence ahead of the exam.
  • A useful tool for brainstorming about the case study scenario.
  • Can generate discussion between yourself and other students – do they have a different opinion on the issues?

If you are struggling to digest all of the pre-seen materials and draw your own conclusions from the materials you have, then use the videos below as a way to get the ball rolling and start thinking about the main issues with your respective case study as use it as a source of focus for the next couple of weeks.

Final Weeks of CIMA Case Study Preparation

Not only should you be digging into the top 10 issues and most likely examinable topics, but you should be practicing your exam technique and have a strategy on how you answer your questions.

Exam Answer Planning

I would recommend that you plan your answers before jumping straight into answering the question in your case study exam.

When passing my OCS and MCS exams first time – I used to spend 8-10 minutes reading the question and planning my answer on the exam script with brief bullet points and my structure of the answer and what I wanted to cover.

Here is a summary on how I approached answering case study questions.

  • Identify the questions requirements.
  • Make headings and sub headings on your answer script.
  • Add relevant points relating to pre-seen and new materials.
  • Finish your answer by drawing conclusions and give reasons why you have come to your conclusion.
  • Don’t forget ethics!! (where relevant – don’t include it for the sake of it)

Here are the Top 10 Issue videos for the November exams.

CIMA OCS Nov 18: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on GymFit here.

CIMA MCS Nov 18: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on Grapple here.

CIMA SCS Nov 18: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on Novak Pharmaceuticals here.

Advertisements

CIMA SCS Nov 18: Novak Pharmaceuticals

SCS Nov Dates

SCS November Important Dates

The relevant CIMA SCS milestones for the November 2018 exams are listed above. As you can see (at the time of writing this blog post) there are still a few weeks until the pre-seen materials are released for the exam, so it’s a great time to start planning how you will pass the SCS first time and become CGMA qualified!

However, if you are reading this after the pre-seen materials have been released, don’t fear! You still have enough time to get exam ready and I hope the advice and resources below will see you on your way.

SCS Tuition Videos

One way to get prepared for strategic case study scenario is to understand;

  • What does it take to pass the exam?
  • Exam planning and writing
  • How to score how marks on the pre-seen materials

As you should have the required level of technical knowledge from all of the E3/P3/F3 exams, now it’s a case of having the required technique and structure for laying out your answers.

I also believe there is a great benefit from learning from other students mistakes to make sure you don’t fall into the same trap. Below is an example of the Astranti SCS tuition video that goes through a students SCS exam answer on what was good and not so good!

Approaching the CIMA SCS Exam

I want to start this section with a look at what the examiner is looking for in terms on the competency displayed in the SCS against the other CIMA case study exams.

The SCS exam is a perfect split of 25% in each category, which, on comparison is very different to what CIMA expect from OCS students where the emphasis is on technical knowledge (i.e. syllabus content).

CIMA3

What does this all mean?

Well, it’s clear that the SCS exam requires a well rounded answer script that addresses the four areas that make up the CGMA competency framework.

The below diagram taken from CIMA website paints a clear, brief picture of each competency.

The general trend from the OCS, MCS to the SCS exam places less weighting on the technical knowledge with a stronger focus on the business, people and leadership skills that is required at strategic level.

CIMA2

With this in mind, when giving your answers in the SCS exam you should remember that your role as Senior Finance Manager has to;

  • Think long term and sets the strategy for the business.
  • Be able to demonstrate leadership skills (especially with change management)
  • Has the ability to influence people.

What’s more you’ll also need to remember the audience you will communicating to the exam.

Unlike the operational or management case studies, you will be giving your answers and recommendations to the CFO, the board of directors, the senior management team and other senior non financial staff.

Pre Seen Materials: Novak Pharmaceuticals

SCS Nov18

CIMA released the pre-seen materials for the November 2018 strategic case study on Friday 5th October and you can download them from the CIMA website here.

SCS Astranti Course

SCS ALL

The full SCS 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

 

CIMA MCS Nov 18: Grapple

MCS Nov Dates

The CIMA MCS exam builds on the knowledge you have gained from the P2/E2/F2 papers, not too mention the experience you have from the operational level and in particular the OCS you have already passed.

CIMA Gateway Students

The only exception would be those students who are taking the Gateway route and this will be your first taste of a CIMA case study!! 

If you are reading this blog post as a CIMA Gateway student then I would suggest to read this interview we done with a gateway student who passed her MCS exam first time.

CIMA Code of Ethics

I’d thought I would kick off this blog post with a focus on the CIMA Code of Ethics.

It’s a subject that you might neglect or forget the importance of, but the MCS case study exam is the perfect time to roll out your knowledge on ETHICS!

Morals-and-ethics

If you are struggling to remember the fundamental principles behind the CIMA Code of Ethics I have my own acronym to help me remember – OPPIC.

It’s very close to the word OPTIC which reminds me of the device used for measuring out whiskey or gin, which is usually quite close to my thought process after studying for a case study exam and ethics.

Anyhow, before I digress even further, here are the key principles that OPPIC stands for.

Objectivity

Professional Competence and Due Care

Professional Behaviour

Integrity

Confidentiality

Each and everyone of us as CIMA students/professional accountants must comply with the above fundamental principles of the CIMA Code of Ethics. And it’s a great framework to apply to your answers in the CIMA MCS exam if you are faced with an ethical issue.

EXAMPLE: 

“… It appears the CEO of the company has agreed the appointment of a new board member who is a close family friend with very little experience in the fashion industry.. ”

If faced with this type of ethical issue in the MCS exam, you can point to the fact there is an ethical issue with the appointment made to the board, quoting the CIMA code of ethics as an example of the framework professional accountants should adher to. Also adding to your answer that;

  • the CEO failed to follow Objectivity with the appointment of the new director as it’s a clear conflict of interest due to his relationship with the new director.
  • meanwhile, the new director doesn’t have the right skills to fulfill the role which breaches the Professional Competence and Due Care part of the ethical framework.

I’m sure the examiner will always appreciate students quoting the CIMA Code of Ethics in the case study exam, so don’t neglect it!

CIMA MCS Masterclass

Distance learning students should take advantage of any video tuition or interactive online tuition you can get your hands on for the MCS November exam. It’s especially important when trying to pass the CIMA case study exams.

Below is an example of the MCS masterclasses offered by Astranti;

Both masterclasses are 8 hours long with the first masterclass focusing on the keys how to pass the MCS exam, while the second masterclass is a full day revision on the subject of the case study for the November exam.

I found it a great way to hear other students opinions, test my own knowledge with the example questions we went through as a group and ask the tutor questions directly.

Below are are the dates for the upcoming Astranti MCS masterclasses.

2018-09-13 09_07_11-Start2018-09-13 09_07_24-Start

The CIMA Student MCS Advice

Here is a summary of my top tips to pass the CIMA November 2018 MCS exam.

Plan, plan and plan

Start by planning your time and the resources you need, dedicate set times when you will study and what you expect to cover.

And don’t worry if don’t stick to them 100% – no body every does. A plan is there to guide and ensure you tick the boxes you need to pass the exam.

Mock Exams

It’s a drum I keep banging, but I can’t stress enough the important of Mock exams. So I will leave it at that!

Produce a Balanced Script

You need to make sure you give balanced answers.

Include pre-seen analysis, unseen analysis, industry analysis and of course technical knowledge. AND OUR GOOD FRIEND MR ETHICS!

(where applicable – always be relevant with your answers)

And don’t forget to use your judgement and conclude with recommendations and the reasons why you are making them!

CIMA MCS Astranti Course

MCS ALL

The full MCS 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

Pre-Seen Materials: Grapple

MCS Nov 18

CIMA released the pre-seen materials for the November 2018 management level case study on Friday 28th September.

It’s based around a company called “Grapple”.

You can find the official pre-seen materials from CIMA here.

CIMA OCS Nov 2018: Gymfit

CIMA: Exam Tips

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.

OCS Nov Dates

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.

Exam

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

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 text
  • 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

CIMA OCS Nov 18 Pre-Seen Materials

CIMA OCS November 2018

CIMA finally released the pre-seen materials for the November 2018 OCS exam this week, unlike previous case study exams, the materials are not on the CIMA connect site but on the CIMA global website.

You can find the official OCS November 2018 pre-seen materials from CIMA here.

CIMA SCS Aug 2018: Finch News Group

2018-07-11 10_57_11-August 2018 SCS pre-seen material.pdf.png

The CIMA SCS August 2018 case study is around a very interesting multimedia and news company called Finch News Group and the pre-seen materials were released last week.

It sounds like a great case study to get stuck into as I’m sure we are all aware of the media. Whether it’s digital, newspaper or social. So it’ll be easy to relate in some respects – good luck to those taking the exam next month!

You can find the official SCS pre-seen materials from CIMA here.

Meanwhile, below are the usual preview videos posted by Astranti.

Pre-Seen Analysis: Finch News Group

You can find the full set of Astranti videos on the August 2018 SCS here.

Strategic Analysis: Finch News Group

You can find the full set of Astranti videos on the August 2018 SCS here.

Top 10 Issues: Finch News Group

You can find the full set of Astranti videos on the August 2018 SCS here.

Astranti SCS Course with Pass Guarantee

I’ve used the Astranti the materials for the OCS exam and took the full course when passing the MCS exam earlier this year, so I know their materials and tutor support will get over in the line in the SCS!

The full SCS Astranti course currently has a £150 discount that runs until Monday 16th July – just use AUGUSTSCS18 at the checkout to take advantage.

What’s more, they so confident you will pass the SCS exam they offer a pass guarantee.

You can find full details on the SCS course with pass guarantee here.

SCS Course Contents:

  • SCS study text (part 1 and 2)
  • Pre-seen analysis (video and text)
  • Strategic analysis (video and text)
  • Top 10 issues (video and text)
  • Industry analysis (video and text)
  • 2 x online master classes – each class is a full day revision (recorded and live)
  • 3 x online mock exams – answered with detailed tutor feedback
  • Ethics pack
  • Personal advice and guidance

CIMA MCS Aug 2018: Montel

2018-07-05 10_48_25-August_2018_management_pre-seen.pdf

The CIMA August 2018 sitting of the case study exam is only six weeks away. This means the pre-seen materials have been released and students should be analysing them from cover to cover by now!

You can find the official pre-seen materials for August MCS from CIMA here.

CIMA Case Studies: The Four Stages of Preperation

Having passed the OCS and MCS exams first time myself, I believe there are four key stages for prepearion required for passing the CIMA case studies.

Syllabus Knowledge Refresh

Refreshing your syllabus is a good idea while you wait for the pre-seen materials to be released but it’s also key to refer back to the syllabus content for F2/P2/E2 during the next weeks during your exam prep – as you’ll need to revise your weak areas that have been highlighted from mock exams.

Pre-Seen Materials

Next up, you’ll need to get to grips with the pre-seen materials. Go through the materials by yourself first, making notes. Then use your study materials, classroom lectures or video resources to add more depth and understanding to your notes.

I’d also suggest to make a summary of the key points of the whole document on just two sides of A4. This will be easier to remember and recall on exam day. 

Mock Exams

I’d be very surprised if any students pass a case study exam without attempted at least one (you should take three) mock exams in exam conditions. CIMA case studies are notoriously time pressured and you’ll need to be prepared and have an answer planning technique to help you get the most of the 3 hours available.

Take mock exams!!!

But only once you have digested the pre-seen materials and refresh a high level review of the syllabus content.

Review: Mock Exams and Pre-Seen

Finally, you’ll need to reflect and learn from how your mock exams went. While also referring to the pre-seen materials and syllabus content to improve your weak areas.

It might sound alot of work (it is!) but with the right planning and commitment you can pass the MCS exam first time.

You can read how I passed the Feb 2018 MCS exam here for inspiration. 

CIMA MCS Montel: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of Astranti videos on the August 2018 MCS here.

CIMA MCS Montel: Pre-Seen Analysis

You can find the full set of Astranti videos on the August 2018 MCS here.

CIMA MCS Montel: Industry Analysis

You can find the full set of Astranti videos on the August 2018 MCS here.

MCS: Astranti Full Course

The MCS course from Astranti is worth looking into if you’re after a full comprehensive set of resources, what’s more, the course comes with a PASS GUARANTEE.

MCS Course Contents:

  • MCS study text (part 1 and 2)
  • Pre-seen analysis (video and text)
  • Strategic analysis (video and text)
  • Top 10 issues (video and text)
  • Industry analysis (video and text)
  • 2 x online master classes – each class is a full day revision (recorded and live)
  • 3 x online mock exams – answered with detailed tutor feedback
  • Ethics pack
  • Personal advice and guidance

CIMA OCS Aug 2018: Thomas Fine Teas

2018-06-26 10_13_15-August 2018 OCS Pre-seen - students.pdf.png

The August 2018 Operational Case Study pre-seen materials are now available and students sitting this exam are advised to make this 29 page document your bible for the next 6 weeks!!

You can find the pre-seen materials for the August 2018 OCS from CIMA website here.

CIMA OCS: Pre-Seen Analysis

You can find the full set of videos on the August OCS here.

For those interested in the complete Astranti OCS course you can find it here.

CIMA OCS: Industry Analysis

You can find the full set of videos on the August OCS here.

For those interested in the complete Astranti OCS course you can find it here.

 CIMA OCS: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on the August OCS here.

For those interested in the complete Astranti OCS course you can find it here.

CIMA OCS: Mock Exams

I find that Mock Exams are the best way to gain confidence and get REAL practice of what to expect when you sit the OCS exam. However, it is important not to rush into sitting the mock exams straight away.

You should make sure have understood the pre-seen materials and covered all of the necessary revision before sitting any mock exam.

But don’t fear if you fail the first one or two, the idea is to improve your technique and score with exam exam, so hopefully you pass the 3rd exam with flying colours!

To get a feel of what you can expect on exam day, you can take the free OCS mini mock from Astranti before taking the 3 full mock exams that are based on the Thomas Fine Teas case study.

Astranti Mock Exam Testimonial

2018-06-26 10_03_48-Astranti_ CIMA Operational Case Study Mock Exams.png

You can find out more information about the Astranti Thomas Fine Tea mock exams here.

CIMA OCS: Case Study Exam Tips

I passed the OCS exam myself a few years ago now, but you can read my thoughts on how I passed the Flores Rosa OCS exam here.

Good Luck and Happy Studying!