It was a case of third time lucky when taking the CIMA F2 exam this week – I finally got the PASS mark I desperately needed – the official scaled score from CIMA was 108 out of 150 and proficient in all areas of the F2 syllabus!
Ah, what a relief!
How I Passed the F2 Exam
As you are probably aware, I am self studying the CIMA qualification without any classroom tuition and looking back at my first two sittings (especially the first one) I was under prepared despite feeling relatively confident on exam day.
I knew F2 would be a tough exam for me as I barely got a pass mark and scored just 50% on the F1 paper back in November 2014 when sitting it under the old syllabus (it was 50% needed to pass the exam!).
Despite covering all of the CIMA study text for F2 and taking a few mock exams I was missing some of the key theory behind F2 – in particular Financial Instruments, Group Accounts, and interpretation of Financial Ratio’s (so pretty much everything!). While I was confident after scoring quite well in the mock exams I wasn’t able to apply the theory to different scenario’s in the exam.
The second attempt I felt more prepared, spent more time studying the theory and using more exam questions (this time from Kaplan as well as Astranti). But I narrowly missed out with a score of 94.
For the third attempt, I really put the hours in and studied every day for two weeks leading up to the exam. Covering all 200 questions in the Kaplan exam kit and even purchased the Astranti F2 master class.
Fortunately it paid off in the end and there seems to be no shortcuts when trying to pass these CIMA objective tests!
Here are a few of my lessons learnt:
CIMA F2 Exam: Lessons Learnt
- Study, Study, Study: to get the results and achieve the pass mark you really need to put the hours and study all areas of the syllabus with the right mix of theory and questions practice. You can never take enough practice questions or mock exams.
- Push Yourself: tackle your weak areas when preparing for the exam, really focus on the parts of the syllabus you struggle with – otherwise you can expect to fail.
- Speak to other students: speak to other students in the same boat as you, there are plenty of Facebook groups, whats-app groups and the CIMA connect site gives you the chance to contact other students. Do it and exchange ideas, tips and advice.
- Never Give Up: after failing the F2 exam for the second time I was disheartened and was tempted to move on to a different paper – but someone actually commented on the site and suggested to re-take it as soon as possible as I was so close to the pass mark and the content will still be fresh in my mind. That was probably the best piece of advice I could have been given.
Keep going and if you put the hard hours of study in you will see the benefits when getting your results!
My F2 Resources
Astranti F2 Master Class – ten hours worth of revision classes on the F2 syllabus including practice questions and exam tips.
Kaplan F2 Exam practice kit – 200 F2 exam style questions from Kaplan (you can access it online too).
I’ve also updated the My Progress page with the current status of my studies – one step closer to the end!