CIMA Mock Exams: The Practice Tests Academy

It’s a common theme when reading feedback from examiners and CIMA – mock exam practice is the key to passing CIMA exams, in fact you can apply that to pretty much any exam you plan to sit!

Justyna from The Practice Tests Academy wrote an article for the website last month about the need for enough mock exam practice being the key to pass CIMA exams here.

So with this in mind, and the fact I plan to sit the tough P2 paper later this year, it’s a good opportunity to take a closer look at the mock exam questions and style offered by the practice tests academy.

Practice Tests Academy Style

I still have the bulk, well 90% of the syllabus still to cover for P2 at the moment, but nevertheless I wanted to see how the practice tests academy mock exam questions line up with the likes of Kaplan and Astranti (my usual two learning providers).

Firstly, the one thing that sticks out a mile is the sheer volume of questions available for the CIMA objective tests. They have 500 questions for P2!! With an even split across the four main syllabus. 500 seems a huge number of questions to go through, but I guess you can never have enough variety when revising.

How to pass CIMA examsYou can see from the above print screen that the 500 questions are spread across the four areas of the syllabus and are then even broken down even further.

Section A has 114 questions that are made up on A1 Activity Based Costing contains 38 questions, with A2 The Modern Business Environment has 32 questions and so on.

As well as studying each section, there is also the option to take a mock exam in timed conditions (unique and no unique questins) as well as a mini mock to get a feel for the mock exam questions.

P2 Mock Exam Questions Example

The feel of the mock exam questions is very much similar to what you face on exam day in the Pearson VUE centre.

You will notice they have the “flag for review” option in the bank of questions – a nice little touch! I had a start with section A questions and got my first incorrect answer at question number 2 – hmmm, not the greatest confident booster I could receive!

But the detailed explanation on the correct answer was very welcome.

It clearly explained each answer, why it was either the right on wrong answer!

CIMA Mock Exams

Mini Mock Exam

The mini mock exam is a great way to test yourself with questions covering the whole syllabus – the beginning of the mock exam shows you how many questions you will face the 45 minute timed, 30 question exam.

Cima P2 Mock Exam

Again, my feelings when taking the mini mock exam is that it reminds me very much of the real exam. You have all of the same functionality i.e the present value table, flag for review option, timer counting down etc.

CIMA Exam Tips

I’ve used the time to get myself familiar with how the Practice Tests Academy resources look like and what benefits there are to using them – rather than taking the questions seriously at this stage.

Once you have answered the questions and click on Finish you get a nice little summary of your results and the option to review each questions – see below.

 

CIMA Mock Exam Resources

I think that’s a great touch to see this kind of breakdown and gives you tools to go back and go over your answers, see where you went wrong and what areas you need to improve on.

At the moment, I am look way off taking mock exam questions for the P2 syllabus but I know when I do I have an exhaustive list of questions available when logging into my Practice Tests Academy account.

Pass Your CIMA Exams First Time

The Practice Tests Academy founder Justyna Wachulka-Chan explains, using her own experience on passing CIMA exams, how students can also pass their exams first time. 

pass your CIMA exam first time

I bet you have often wondered what does it take to pass a CIMA exam on your first attempt?  The bad news is that there is no one-fits-all solution, BUT there are some tips you can take in, incorporate in your studying routine in order to increase your chances of passing.

Sometimes we need a little help or guidance from others. I know that perfectly as I have failed and then passed CIMA exams last year.

That inspired me to create a guide for CIMA students explaining my point of view and what does it take to pass an exam. Hopefully you will find it beneficial. This guide can be downloaded for free from here.

The CIMA 2015 Syllabus

I always say that passing an exam, especially according to the 2015 syllabus, is not only about the knowledge, but also about the exam technique you have – I need to stress that here! Of course, your knowledge has to be impeccable, but you also have to train how to answer the questions under exam conditions.

In this way you learn how to quickly assess if actually you are able to answer that particular question and how long that is going to take you.

When you approach a question, you need to very quickly realize what is the topic that it covers and you HAVE TO be honest with yourself. If it’s something that you don’t know or you always had issues with, don’t spend a lot of time on this question. Just cross out the obvious wrong answers. If you are then left with two options, just go with your guts.

Pick an answer and flag this question for later review, so in case you have extra time at the end of the exam, you can always come back to it. But decide something quickly. Don’t spend more than half a minute on this question if you know that you are not really familiar with the topic.

Exam Practice is Key for CIMA exams

CIMA Mock Exams

What I’m trying to say here is that unless you practice enough before the final exam, you may waste your precious answering time on trying to depict how everything works.

Sometimes that extra 2-3 minutes is what you need in order to PASS.

I hear quite often that some students reached 97 points… That means that if only they managed to answer 1 more question, they would have passed. Maybe they didn’t have enough time (wrong time management) or simply they were too stressed after throughout the exam and especially after seeing that “5 minutes to the end” reminder. Do you see where I’m getting at? Why to create that situation if you can avoid it just by practicing some online questions beforehand.

Practicing is a key to your CIMA success.

Practicing will accelerate your learning and should help you cement your knowledge in preparation for your exam. So if you have a possibility to practice more and more questions that you have not done before, take this chance and do it. It will only help you. If you don’t know where you can find plenty of questions to try, Practice Tests Academy site offers 500 interactive questions per each CIMA paper.  These questions have been designed to copy the style and format of questions found in the real CIMA Objective Test exams.

The Real World and CIMA Objective Tests

CIMA is constantly claiming that their examination style is adjusted to the needs of the employers. And I really believe so. Just think about it….

In a corporate world you are overloaded with information, with data. But you need to act fast when your boss comes and ask you a question.

You need to know where to quickly check and give the answer. The times of providing an answer a day later by giving a lengthy report are gone. In most cases, you have a dashboard and you need to understand what those numbers mean. In the current format of CIMA exams you can see exactly that.  They check if you understand the concept, not how much you know about it (like it was before). And that is what employers are looking for.

So personally I think those tests are more adjusted to the fast-paced work environment and therefore better for you as they teach you to become more agile in your daily work.

A Rational Approach to CIMA Exams

My recommended approach, based on my own and other students’ experience, focuses on:

  • Setting practical exam deadlines. You need to set an upper-limit to your study-endeavor, which then introduces an element of direction and inspires achievement. Despite being on-demand, you need to be swift in your approach to your CIMA education. Taking too much time may result in a higher opportunity cost in the job market whilst taking too little will backfire.

 

  • Covering all aspects of the syllabus. You need to study the textbook, almost to the point of memorizing it. OTQs will test your knowledge across most (if not all) areas of the syllabus, your understanding of concepts, and your ability to apply to simple contexts.

 

  • Practicing plenty of mock exams. Plenty of it. Practice exams fine-tune your approach, including essential time-management skills. It also develops a sense of confidence which will at best inspire a lasting habit of preparing whilst at least provide you an edge over the nerves usually implied while taking an exam.

There is no room for complacency and you will need to work hard to be successful!

If you’d like to read more on this you can find the free ebook on how to pass CIMA exams from the Practice Tests Academy here. Meanwhile, their extensive set of mock exam style questions can be found on their website here.