How I passed the CIMA F3 exam!

F3

Well, it was a welcome surprise to read the magic PASS word on the piece of paper handed to me by the Pearson Vue member of staff. There is always that awkward sense of nervousness when hitting FINISH button on the CIMA objective test.

A deep breathe and then greeted with a piece of folded paper.

PASS. F3 CIMA Financial Strategy.

Phew.

Well, it’s been almost a week and I’ve had time to reflect and these are my thoughts on the 103 score that greeted me when logging into myCIMA in the following 48 hours.

Objective Test Strategy

I’ve said it time and time again, you need a time management strategy to pass these CIMA objective tests. Here is mine (and many others);

  • Tackle the “easier” shorter questions first, use around 10-15 minutes to answer the shorter obvious questions to build confidence.
  • Now you will have some momentum to answer the longer questions.
  • READ THE REQUIREMENT FIRST – don’t waste time reading the long scenario to only arrive at the question/requirement to then have to re-read through the whole thing again. Once you know what is being asked you can focus your attention when reading the scenario for the first time not the second time.
  • Flag the horrible questions you’re not sure on. Come back to them at the end.
  • Don’t spend longer than 3 minutes on a tough one.
  • Don’t overthink.
  • Relax.

Don’t memorise the formulas

When preparing for the F3 exam, I did find myself getting caught up in memorizing the formulas. THERE IS NO NEED!!! 90% of all of the formulas are given to you in the exam.

Instead, spend your time practicing long form questions and thinking about the theory behind the numbers.

Practice by answering questions that require you to the use the formulas in different situations.

It’ll help you pass the exam and give you a more rounded base of knowledge. F-papers are not purely numbers based at all, you need to know what the ratios mean and the conclusions they generate.

You’ll never feel ready

I’ll admit, I felt completely NOT READY for the F3 exam due to the month break I had in my study. I didn’t even look at my books for a month, even more.

So when I picked them up again my confidence felt really low.

But I continued with my study and practice questions.

Anyhow, pre-exam nerves will always kick in. It’s rare for anyone to walk into a CIMA exam brimming with confidence. It’s just not natural.

But if you’ve put the hours in beforehand and covered the materials and mock exams. You’ll be in the best possible shape.

Test Yourself (at every step/chapter)

It’s easy to fall into the trap of reading study materials, making notes and nodding to yourself that you understand what the syllabus.

But you really need to test yourself with questions. Short ones, long ones, multiple choice ones and “any you can lay your hands on” ones.

Don’t be dispirited by getting them wrong or poor scores, it’s best to get that in your preparation rather than the real thing.

Identify your weaknesses

In the week before you exam, you should really be working on your weak areas.

Don’t take the easy path and re-read notes you are comfortable with. It’ll pay off to tackle the hard areas.

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MCS and SCS Exam Results

The CIMA exam results for the November 2016  MCS and SCS exams are released today and many students will be wondering what steps to take next.

If you passed the MCS, you will be thinking what exam to take next and when to start studying but if you unfortunately failed the MCS you need to reflect on what you could have done better and how you plan to pass the MCS next time!

Meanwhile, the SCS students will be either be celebrating the end of their CIMA journey or they could be pulling their hair out after receiving a FAIL grade in their exam results this morning.

This article will hopefully answer those questions that have come up today as the November sitting of the MCS and SCS exam results are released by CIMA.

Understanding Case Study Exam Results

The below video from CIMA will explain everything you need to know on your case study exam results you opened this morning.

If you’ve unfortunately failed the case study exam it’s important to understand why and what areas of the exam you performed poorly in.

I HAVE FAILED: What are my next steps?

MCS and SCS Exam Results

Failing the MCS or SCS will be a cruel blow and your initial reaction will most likely be one of frustration and you’ll want to forget about CIMA for a few weeks or so and regroup.

But I was given some sound advice myself after failing a CIMA exam for the second time last year, the advice was “You were so close to a pass mark, book the resit straight away and keep studying while the subject is fresh in your mind “

So, my advice would be get back on the horse and take the resit in February while you still have the knowledge from  the syllabus fresh and the case study experience at the front of your mind.

And don’t be put off by the fact the next case study exams are 5/6 weeks away – you still have plenty time to digest the pre-seen ma

MCS and SCS Resources

The pre-seen material for the upcoming February 2017 MCS Menteen and SCS Evestar case studies have been released for a few weeks now but there is still plenty of time to get exam ready – especially if you consider the  Astranti full MCS or SCS course.

The course itself comes with a pass guarantee and contains the following.

  • Video analysis of pre-seen materials
  • TWO full day masterclasses with CIMA qualifed tutor.
  • 3 x Mock exams with marking and feedback
  • Personal advice and guidance.
  • Plus a lot more including ethics pack and study texts.

MCS Course

If you enrol on the Feb 2017 MCS course by January 13th and use the discount code MCSFULLCOURSEW you will save £150!

Furthermore, the first live masterclass is on the Saturday 14th January and will go through the keys to passing the MCS exam – but don’t worry you also always re watch the masterclass at a later date once you’ve enrolled.

While the second full day master class will commence on February 11th and be a reveision based session on the case study and syllabus content that could come up on exam day.

SCS Course

Likewise, by enrolling on the Feb 2017 SCS course by January 13th and use the discount code SCSFULLCOURSEW you will also save £150!

Meanwhile, the first live masterclass is scheduled for Saturday 21st January and will give you an understanding of what it takes to pass the SCS and the second live masterclass is scheduled for February 18th and will be a full day revision on the case study itself.

PASSED: Looking forward to…

CIMA Case Study Exam Results

If you’ve woke up this morning and passed your MCS exam, firstly CONGRATULATIONS! You are now on the final level of CIMA!

Secondly, you should strike while the iron is hot and plan your route through the strategic level objective tests.

There are a host of resources and advice from other students on the CIMA connect site and I would also strongly advise to use the new and improved study planners from CIMA. I wrote an article on the new study planners here.

If you’ve reached the strategic level you probably have a good idea on how to approach the objective tests and what resources you use to pass. However, if you’re looking for advice on how to pass CIMA objective tests, this article I wrote earlier last year will be helpful reading.

SCS Students

Finally, if you’ve passed the SCS exam this morning then a MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS as your path to becoming CGMA member is almost complete!

The objective tests and case study exams and tests are out of the way, you just need to demonstrate you have completed a minimum of three years practical experience (PER) gained before/during/after your studies.

You can find out more information from CIMA directly.