CIMA SCS November 2017: Steelcast

CIMA Nov 2017 SCS

The final set of pre seen materials for the November 2017 case studies were released last week – it’s the final step for some students – and the case study is based on a company called Steelcast.

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

Here are facts about Steelcast and further down you can find some preview videos on the pre-seen analysis by Astranti.

Steelcast: Who are they?

  • The company was founded in 1896 and was incorporated as Steelcast 1910.
  • They produce luxury watches and are regarded as one of the worlds leading luxury brands.
  • Steelcast was listed on the Hiland stock exchange in 1982.
  • They do not sell direct to the customer but through retailers.
  • Their mission statement was created in 1930 and reads;

“We make watches for leaders, who wear them with pride.”

Steelcast: Pre-Seen Analysis

Analysing the pre-seen materials should be your first port of call when starting your SCS exam preparation. The below video should get you started on thinking in detail about how to interpret the pre-seen.

You can find the full set of videos on the November 2017 SCS here.

Steelcast: Top 10 Issues

Once you’ve gone through the pre-seen in detail you should have a rough idea of what topics you could face on exam day, if not the below video is recommended viewing! The tutor goes through, based on the pre-seen, what could come up on exam day.

You can find the full set of videos on the November 2017 SCS here.

Astranti SCS Course with Pass Guarantee

Finally, the full SCS course for the Steelcase case study contains all of the mentioned videos alongside masterclasses, mock exams, ethics pack, advice and guidance from the tutor – what’s more it comes with 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

*you will require login to CIMA connect to access pre-seen materials and the image above is a screenshot taken from the CIMA pre-seen materials.


CIMA MCS 2018 Exam Planning

I’ve been studying the P2 exam for what seems like an eternity now, but with the exam scheduled in around 4 weeks I have started to think past the P2 exam (probably a big mistake), and look at the 2018 CIMA Exam timetable for the case studies.

And I’ve noticed a massive benefit by sitting the MCS exam in February 2018 compared to the other sittings, you get a massive 60 days gap between the pre-seen materials being released and the first exam day of the February MCS.

I’ve looked at the gap between the pre-seen materials and exam dates for the May and August MCS and you only get 50 days and 46 days respectively.


The one caveat being that that of course the Christmas and new year period has to be taken into consideration – am I really going to study for the MCS during the Christmas break?

Usually not, no.

But knowing I have the possibility of extra time to digest the pre-seen materials (and turkey dinner) it would be foolish not to use this time to my advantage if I am in a position to take the February 2018 MCS exam.

I think at this level any marginal gain or advantage you can make for yourself could be the difference between a pass and a fail. 

So if you are close to a case study exam, I would strongly recommend to get yourself in a position to do so before the pre-seen materials released in mid-December. Rather than waiting for the May or August case study sittings.

And conversely, sitting a case study exam in August could be tougher given MCS students would have only 46 days between pre-seen materials and exam day and the fact it will be over the summer time when I’d rather be on holiday enjoying the sunshine rather than sweating of an exam.

Now, I need to get back to the P2 studies to make sure I get that pass mark before the 15th December!!!

Good Luck to those sitting any exam before the end of 2017 – make it count!

CIMA MCS November 2017: ZX Office

CIMA MCS November 2017

The CIMA MCS case study exam revolves around a company called ZX Office Furniture – you can find the official pre-seen materials released by CIMA here.

Below is a series of preview videos from Astranti that cover;

  • The Pre-Seen Materials
  • Industry Analysis
  • Top 10 Issues

But before viewing the videos I would strongly urge the MCS students to check out the CIMA connect site and download the November 2017 MCS Pre-Exam kit – it has lots of useful documents, advice, guides and resources and will give you a starting point on your path to passing the MCS exam first time!!

You can find the full details on the Pre-Exam kit here (login to CIMA connect is required).

MCS November 2017:  Pre-Seen Analysis

The pre-seen analysis below highlights the key information in the materials released by CIMA and will (hopefully) get you thinking about the scenario in more detail. What they company does well, what are their strengths and weaknesses etc?

You can find the full set of videos on the November MCS here.

MCS November 2017: Strategic Analysis

What are the strategic objectives of ZX Office Furniture? The below video considers them from a financial, internal, learning and customer perspective.

You can find the full set of videos on the November MCS here.


MCS November 2017: Top 10 Issues

This is one of the most sort after videos as it highlights 10 potential questions or issues that will come up on exam day based on the pre-seen materials. But remember this is just the opinion of the tutor and don’t assume they will all be tested on exam day.

You can find the full set of videos on the November 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. Check out the conditions on the Astranti site for more information.

5 Tips for CIMA Case Study Exams

It’s been a while since my last post but, as most of you reading this will know, quarter closing at work has been a manic time and allowed very little time for me to post any new blogs.

In fact, the pre-seen materials for the MCS and SCS exams have been released but I have still yet to post any preview videos. But don’t worry they will be up in the following few days!

But here is a great article full of pearls of wisdow from Justyna at the Practice Tests Academy on how to pass the CIMA Case Study exams.


CIMA Case Study Pass Rates

Pass rates for CIMA Case Study exams are not impressively high – do you know why? The case study exams are completely different from the objective test exams and there’s a specific approach you can take in order to plan, organise, manage and finally succeed. There are certain things in case study exams that make a huge difference to what it takes to pass or fail.

I’d like to share with you my thoughts on what are the things you should do if you want to significantly increase your success chances in any Case Study exam.

Why should you listen to me?

Well, for the last few sittings Practice Tests Academy has been helping CIMA Students tackle the MCS exam, so I got a lot of insights from the students on what they are struggling with.

And I can really relate to that as not so long ago I actually passed my own SCS. Also, since I’m working with many tutors within Practice Tests Academy, I got their insights on where do students fall short and the tips how to fix that. Plus I like to “crack” this, to figure the problem out and find an appropriate solution. That’s just the type of person I am. I guess my auditor background comes in handy here.

Tip # 1: Understand what you are dealing with

Do you know why the Case Studies were introduced? They are supposed to imitate the real life conditions. At a certain time in our career, we all work for someone. We are studying CIMA, we want to become a certified and recognised Management Accountant. We need to have knowledge, but we also need to have the business skills. We need to address requests coming from our superiors and tackle them in the most professional way possible. That is exactly what is expected from you on the Case Study Exam.

Treat the examiner as if he/she was your boss. You now the context of the company (as you are working for it – on different levels depending on the CS level you’re attempting), they give you additional tasks and simply put – you need to satisfy them just like you need to satisfy your boss. At work, if you do well your job, you’ll be recognised and maybe you’ll get a promotions. If you answer examiner’s requests, you’ll pass your Case Study exam.

Have a look at the past papers – the tasks and the model answers. You will quickly find out what the examiners want. How they ask questions and what kind of answers they actually expect.

Tip # 2: Understand what a passing script is.

There are many sources of information you can get in order to understand what each particular Case Study is about. Each one is a bit different as you are a representative of a different level in an organisation. And I’m a very pragmatic person so I don’t like to waste hours on understanding what’s I’m supposed to deal with. Life is complicated as is so why not to look for some shortcuts?

For me, the most meaningful shortcut is to sign up with a quality tuition provider and participate in the masterclasses. Of course, we all have our financial constraints, but I do believe this is money well spent. Let me explain.

Look at the past examiners reports. What are they constantly complaining about? That the students do not answer the questions asked. Within PTA, we have just started a cooperation with a brilliant tutor with over 25 years of experience. Paul Russell is now leading Case Studies’ part. Paul has a very successful track of pass rates, so I wanted to organise something online to allow other students around the world to pick his brains, use his experience and knowledge. So we are organising 2 online Masterclasses. The purpose of the Masterclass 1 will be to kickstart students in your journey towards MCS / SCS success. Masterclass 1 should give you a very good feel, very quickly about:

  • what is the case study about,
  • how to use the pre-seen material,
  • how to approach mock exams,
  • how a passing script looks like.


Tip # 3: Analyse the Pre-Seen

The Pre-Seen, obviously, needs to be looked at, but it needs to be looked at in the right way. The better you understand the pre-seen, the better you are able to analyse the specific issues that will come up in the exam. So, an in-depth analysis is absolutely crucial to you. And in my opinion, it is just simpler and much faster (we’ve all heard that expression – time is money) to get that analysis done for you. First of all, it is overwhelming to do it yourself. Personally, I tend to postpone things I do not feel comfortable with and that was the same with the Case Studies – I think I started to analyse the Pre-Seen 3 weeks after it was released. For 3 weeks I was just thinking that I should start analysing, but there were always some other high priorities to fulfil… At the end, I paid for the analysis… So, learn from my mistake, don’t postpone it. You can get the Pre-Seen Analysis together with other crucial materials from our site here.

Tip # 4: Industry analysis and real-life examples

You also need to broadly know the industry that you’re operating within because again good business acumen is about providing advice, guidance or analysis that links in with that particular industry. It’s important that you understand some of the things that are currently happening in the industry. Remember, examiners also read the same financial newspapers and there is a big likelihood that they will be inspired by the situation or trend happening on the market. The pre-seen itself gives you a good background on the industry. However a little bit broader research will give you that extra knowledge and that broader awareness that could make a difference between FAIL and PASS.

Industry examples should be used in the real exam as often as possible. A good rule of thumb is to try to include a relevant industry example within each section of your script. And relevant means (let’s take the current MCS as an example) – if the task is about expansion, why not to use Ikea as an example?

Tip # 5: Mocks, mocks, mocks

That whole area is at the core of your success. But in my experience and what I hear from students, we tend to shy away from completing them as simply put, it is hard. Mocks should be performed under exam conditions, which means you need to find 3 hours in a busy day to complete them. You will not perform on the exam day if you haven’t practised under pressurised conditions. If you want to use an exam simulator, you can head to our website and sign up for a free MCS or SCS demo (we give you a possibility to practice a past paper under exam conditions for free).

Here is the link:

Hope you found my 5 tips that will make you pass your CS exam valuable.

Practice Tests Academy is offering a lot of free resources >>here<< and also free advice on our blog, website, FB page, Twitter, or YouTube channel.

We’ve just started creating a series of short videos (interviews) aiming at helping students pass their CIMA CS exams.

CIMA OCS November 2017: Struans

CIMA released the pre-seen materials for the upcoming November OCS exam, so OCS students can start with their exam preparations.

You can find the pre-seen materials foe the Struans of Newland case study here.

Nov 2017 OCS pre-seen materials

I hope the OCS students already have a study plan created, as you will need to co-ordinate your time carefully between now and the exam date.

Here is my advice on what steps to take between now and the 7th November.

Create a Study Plan

It’s the starting point for all of CIMA studies, creating a plan is crucial in ensuring you cover the topics and areas you need – especially when it comes to the case studies.

Refresh your memory with E1/F1/P1 syllabus material

Hopefully the topics from your objective tests are still relatively fresh in your mind, and you’ve already been looking back through your notes before the pre-seen materials were released.

*I would suggest to focus on the pre-seen materials as soon as they released, then you can come back to syllabus refresh once you have an idea of what to expect on exam day.

Analyse the pre-seen materials

An obvious but very crucial point to note, the pre-seen materials should be analysed and not memorised!! There will be no marks for remembering the pre-seen material word by word, in fact you even get the pre-seen material on exam day.

So you need to understand the implications of what the pre-seen materials are telling you.

  • Do they have a poor advertising and marketing mix?
  • Is their machinery beginning to age and need new invest?
  • Is there a conflict of interests in the board room?

Join a study group or speak to other OCS students

Hearing other peoples point of view on the OCS pre-seen materials can be a great eye opener, check out the CIMA connect site to speak with other students in the same boat. Join a whatsapp group, or create one for yourself.

It’s a great way to learn, bounce ideas off others and gives your another view point as well as morale support for the exam.

Mock Exams

Taking a mock exam on the case study in exam conditions really goes a long way to passing the OCS. I done this with Astranti as they base their mock exams on the actual pre-seen materials, it’s the best learning curve you can have and will give you confidence.

One note though, sit more than if you can and give yourself time to understand your weaknesses do you can work on them!

OCS: Watch Analysis on Struans of Newland

The below video from Astranti gives through the Top 10 Issues based on the pre-seen materials for the November 2017 OCS.

However, before watching I would recommend you make your own notes on the pre-seen materials so already have the background and some ideas of your own where the issues are with Struans. 


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

For those interested in the complete Astranti OCS course for Struans of Newland you can find it here.

CIMA Case Study Tips: November 2017

The final case study session of 2017 is almost here, in fact it’s only a couple of weeks until the OCS Pre-Seen materials are released.

So, with this in mind, getting organised and prepared for the November case study NOW will only help your chances of passing first time.

CIMA November Case Study

In these articles I try to vary the content and focus and for this session of the exams I want to take a look back at the May MCS exam and the examiners report from CIMA

These resources are available from the CIMA connect site and can be a vital source of information in understanding what the examiner is looking for and how to approach the November exams.

May 2017 MCS – Examiners Report

I’ve highlighted two key points taken from the May MCS examiners report below.


Pre-Seen Materials

There are still a couple of weeks (as the time of publishing this article) until the pre-seen materials are released, so NOW is the time to get prepared and the first comment here about how to tackle the pre-seen materials is a great piece of advice in my opinion.

Don’t get caught up trying to memorise the pre-seen material word by word – you should be thinking about the wider picture and imagine how the business would operate and what the strengths and weaknesses.

Anyway, you get the pre-seen materials again on exam day to check through so memorising it is pointless!

Answer the Requirements Appropriately

The second point I’ve highlighted is the fact students tend to miss out on easy marks by mis-reading of the requirements of a question.

It’s a common pitfall we can be guilty of is answering what we want to answer rather than what the question is asking us.

My suggestion to avoid this is to carefully plan your answer with simple headings before diving into writing your answer. You will find it keeps your answers relevant and to the point, furthermore you should manage to answer all of the requirements in the correct time rather than spending 80% of your time answering in great detail on a question that only makes up 20% of the marks.

CIMA connect

You can find the examiners report for all past case study exams on the CIMA connect site here. By searching for the subject in question and look under “Study Resources.”

I’d also recommend you look at the OCS, MCS and SCS Post-Exam kits that are available on the CIMA connect site. You can find all kinds of resources ranging from past papers to suggested answers and marking guidance. 

Astranti Case Study Course

In my opinion, the Astranti case study courses are unrivalled when it comes to the CIMA case studies as my first hand experience with the OCS exam a couple of years ago.

But to take full advantage and guarantee yourself a pass mark (see the Astranti Pass Guarantee), their full OCS, MCS and SCS courses cover everything you need to pass the November 2017 CIMA case study.


  • Study Text 1: how to approach the case study
  • Study Text 2: syllabus content from the previous objective tests
  • Pre-Seen Analysis: video analysis of the pre-seen from astranti tutor
  • Strategic Analysis: strategy based on the case study scenario
  • Top 10 Issues: the most likely issues to be tested on exam day
  • Industry Analysis: the case
  • Masterclass 1: live session with CIMA tutor on how to pass the case study.
  • Masterclass 2: another live session focusing on CIMA syllabus revision.
  • 3 Mock Exams: based on the actual case study (with marking and feedback).
  • Personal Advice and Guidance – via private forums and progress reviews.
  • Ethics Pack – a favourite CIMA topic that should never be overlooked.

OCS Course – November 2017

MCS Course – November 2017

SCS Course – November 2017

Important Dates – November Case Studies

Below is the schedule of important dates to remember – don’t forget you still have plenty of time to get prepared before the pre-seen materials are released!

2017-09-08 16_12_39-CIMA - Exam timetable.png

CIMA SCS August 2017: AutoAuto

The final set of CIMA pre-seen materials were released last week and the case study in question is so good they named the company twice – welcome to AutoAuto!

CIMA SCS August 2017

You can find the official pre-seen materials from CIMA on the SCS August 2017 case study here.

The SCS exam has surprisingly good pass rates with around 2 out of 3 students passing the exam each sitting. These numbers should bode well for students taking the exam next month.

AutoAuto: What we know?

Based on the pre-seen materials released by CIMA here are some key highlights on what we already know:

  • AutoAuto is an electronics design company which specialises in modern computer technology for cars and other vehicles.
  • Their business model is based on producing “ground breaking” technology.
  • The company is 15 years old and was founded by 3 people who previously worked together in research dept for an electronics company.
  • The company was floated on the Upload stock exchange 5 years ago with the 3 original owners retaining 10%, 8% and 7% share of the company respectively.
  • AutoAuto’s mission statement is “Making Vehicles Drive Themselves”

AutoAuto: Pre-Seen Analysis

Here is where you should be beginning your pre-seen analysis, firstly by reading through the materials yourself. Secondly, re read them again and make your own notes.

Then I would suggest to watch the below video to get the insight of a CIMA qualified tutor on the AutoAuto case study.

You can find the full set of videos on the August 2017 SCS here.

AutoAuto: Top 10 Issues

The top 10 issues video delves into the pre seen materials and picks out the biggest issues and challenges AutoAuto is facing. Giving you some real solid focus areas for your SCS revision.

It’s not to say these questions will come up on exam day but there is a strong chance some of them might!

You can find the full set of videos on the August 2017 SCS here.

Astranti SCS Course with Pass Guarantee

Finally, the full SCS course for the AutoAuto case study covers an extensive array of materials and subject matter for exam day – ranging from the video analysis to online revision classes with mock exams and tutor feedback and marking.

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