A New Year – a NEW approach!

free CIMA resources and study tips

2016: A Year in Review

I’ve been writing thecimastudent.com blog and website for over 12 months now and I feel the time is right for a change in approach for 2017.

The idea behind the site was to help my own progress through the CIMA qualification. I felt, by going into depth and writing articles on CIMA topics I struggled with, this would help my own learning and help vary my study methods.

I also hope this has helped other students in the process.

Alongside this, I tried to keep students up to date with what’s happening in CIMA and some industry news with “The Week Ahead” blog posts every Monday. In fact I tried to keep to 3 blog posts a week which, in hindsight,  was a bit ambitious and perhaps diverted some time away from my CIMA studies itself.

Looking back over 2016 I’ve also come to realise what a big importance the CIMA case studies play in students lives. My most popular articles are based around the OCS, MCS, SCS and the pre-seen materials – so I plan to keep a strong focus on them in the coming year with more articles on students approaches to passing case studies and more practical hands on advice.

I’ve also learnt myself what a tough task it is to pass the CIMA objective tests – as was well documented with my two failures with the F2 exam earlier last year. It was a steep and expensive learning curve that I hope has helped others along their way.

Looking ahead to 2017

I hope to receive more student submissions for the site and open the doors a little bit for others to share and offer advice on what works well for them.

But in terms of the content I personally write, I will be focusing on quality rather than quality. Rather than having 3 shorter articles a week, I would rather have 3 in depth articles per month – this change in approach should allow me more time to devote to my studies (as my MCS exam looms after P2), while the longer articles will offer more depth on the topics I am studying.

Next year I will be focusing the “CIMA Study Prime” course I have enrolled in for the P2 exam – as always I will share my opinions on how I find their materials and P2 course.

Happy New Year (and happy studying!!).


The Week Ahead -28th November 2016

free CIMA resources and study tips

The case studies are done and dusted for another three months! So now begins the anxious wait for the November OCS, MCS and SCS exam results in a few weeks.

I would recommend the OCS and MCS students to start thinking about their next steps and what objective test that will take next. So if you do get that pass mark from your November case study exam you are ready to hit the ground running with your next exam.


Astranti still have their 50% OFF ALL CIMA MATERIALS until the end of the day today (Monday 28th November).

This means it’s the perfect time for students who are planning to take a case study exam in February 2017 to purchase the Astranti package today and make a HUGE saving!

Instead of paying 849.99 for the SCS course, you can get it for 425.99 – and don’t worry if their website still mentions the case study courses for November (as the pre seen materials aren’t released yet for Feb it’s still old information on the Astranti site).

OCS Complete Course
MCS Complete Course
SCS Complete Course

Likewise, if you’re planning to sit an Objective test next you can get a full course for just 74.99 reduced from 149.99.

Operational Objective Test Courses
Management Objective Test Courses
Strategic Objective Test Courses

Just use the discount code BLACKFRIDAY50 at the checkout to get the exclusive discount. Just one day left!

The CIMA Student Website

This week I will be looking at more CIMA E2 topics following the Managing Change article posted last week – for those who missed it you can find it here. There was a glitch when the email was sent out on Saturday as the article was only half finished – apologies for that!

Meanwhile, I will also be looking at the best approaches and resources for students who are taking Objective Tests next.

The Week Ahead – 21 November 2016

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It’s the final week of the CIMA November case study exams as the SCS students get to grips with their scenario of ADF.

Here are a few exam tips for the SCS students to think about:

  • Get some rest – don’t spend the night before the exam studying until the early hours of the morning.
  • Eat healthy – while it might be tempting to eat a full English breakfast before your exam, it won’t do you any favours.
  • Be confident – you’ve studied well and prepared yourself for success – be confident walking into the exam hall.
  • Don’t forget the new unseen material – you might want to churn out all of the pre-seen materials you have been looking at for the last 6 weeks but remember to consider the new material you see on exam day.

The CIMA Student Website

My E2 revision is cranking up a notch this week as I plan to sit the exam before the Christmas period, so with this in mind I will be looking at the management of people and groups – there are plenty of models and different theories to get stuck into – so my thoughts will go up on the blog later this week.

Good Luck to all sitting exams this week and for those who just finished case study exams you can take a well deserved break (for now).

The Week Ahead – 14th November 2016

free CIMA resources and study tips

The OCS students can now put their feet up and look forward to the Christmas period but this means it’s time for the MCS students to sit the Portafone case study this week.

Here is a quick look at the industry analysis surrounding Portafone for some last minute revision.


I found a brilliant CIMA related website last week that really helped me with my E2 study. If you haven’t already heard of it, then I would thoroughly recommend using the Kaplan Knowledge Bank website – it’s free to use and doesn’t require any login details.

It gives you detailed descriptions of key topic in the CIMA syllabus.

For example, I wanted to understand Porter’s Diamond in a bit more detail and it gave me a comprehensive breakdown of each element. The Kaplan Knowledge Bank is like a CIMA wikipedia and should go into your favourite sites list.

You can find the Kaplan Knowledge Bank website here.

The CIMA Student Website

This week I will be taking a look at Ansoff’s Matrix and what it means in terms of the E2 syllabus using an exam style question. I will also be writing a post on the CIMA materials I use when studying for the Objective Tests.

If you’d like to contribute or you have a burning issue you want to see on the blog then please feel free to get in touch via social media or leave your comments below.

Happy Studying and good luck to the MCS students this week!

CIMA Subscription Fees

The annual CIMA Subscription Fees email reminder appeared in my inbox recently so I thought it would be a good time to also remind fellow students not to forget to pay it!

CIMA Student Subscription

Remember, if your membership is not up to date you cannot enter for any CIMA exams!!

The annual student subscription costs 108 GBP but if you contact CIMA directly there is an option to spread the payment over a few months, alternatively you can also pay via direct debit to make it easier for some students.

TIP: Are you funding all of your CIMA studies and fees by yourself? Well, even if your employer does not support your CIMA tuition it is worth asking if they will pay your subscription fee.

A lot of companies will be willing to cover this 108 GBP annual fee even if they won’t pay for your books and exams! It’s worth asking your boss or HR department.

CIMA Student Subscription Benefits

What exactly do you get for your 108 GBP a year? Well, actually a lot more than just being able to enter your exams and continue your CIMA journey.

You get access to FM student apps, while you also have the option to join in any local CIMA events that are taking place in your area. The biggest advantage, in my opinion, is having access to the CIMA connect and all of the study articles, exam tips and so on.

You read about the full CIMA student benefits here.

Perhaps there is something here you had access too but didn’t realise!

The Week Ahead – 7th November 2016

CIMA resources and study tips

The OCS students will be counting down the hours until their exam as the Marici Power case study begins from Tuesday this week. Meanwhile, the MCS and SCS students still have a week or two to finalise their exam preparation.

Here a few exam tips for students taking their case study this month.

  • Time Management: divide the number of sections by the time you have available and manage your time effectively. i.e. 4 sections gives you 45 minutes per section – stick to it!
  • Planning your answer: spend the first 5-10 minutes planning your answer, read the requirements of question and plan your answer using headings and sub sections so you have a framework when writing out full answer.
  • Review your answer: make sure (where possible) you have linked the pre-seen materials, syllabus content, industry examples and new materials to your answer.
  • Ethics: always think about your answer in relation to ethics and the CIMA code of conduct. The examiner will appreciate it!


CIMA have announced their third instalment in their Certifed Global Business Services professionals programme with the diploma in global business services.The programme is designed for business leaders, managers and team leaders working in the shared service or global business services environment.

You can read the full press release from CIMA here.

The CIMA Student Website

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks on the site but I plan to get some more articles up this week on my E2 revision as well as another look at the upcoming case studies for the MCS and SCS students.

If you’d like to see anything specific on the site please get in touch via twitter or email on thecimastudent[at]gmail[dot]com.

The Week Ahead – 24th October

CIMA resources and study tips


The countdown for the November case study begins as it’s just two weeks until the operational level students face their exam. A reminder of the exam dates for the November case study exams listed below as well links to my recent articles on OCS: Marici Power, MCS: Portafone and SCS: ADF pre seen analysis.

CIMA OCS November 2016: Marici Power

CIMA MCS November 2016: Portafone

CIMA SCS November 2016: ADF

CIMA November 2016 Case Study Exams

The CIMA Student Website

This week will focus on more E2 related syllabus areas as I plan to draw near the end of my initial coverage of the E2 text book – then I can start looking at revision and tackle the exam practice kits for the next four to six weeks.

Happy Studying!