Tag Archives: CIMA Case Study

CIMA Case Study Answer Planning

Insight

The first of a new series of articles; The CIMA Student: INSIGHT takes a hands on approach to subjects and topics that will help you pass your next CIMA exam.

CIMA Case Study Answer Planning

When faced with a CIMA case study exam you might be tempted to dive straight in and start writing your answer as soon as you’ve read the question. However, this approach will lead to a poor answer with no balance, no depth and a tendency to wander off track.

I always make sure I spend the first 10 minutes of any CIMA case study question;

  • Identifying the requirements.
  • Planning my answer on the script with headings and bullet points.

This plan should include (where relevant) reference to the pre-seen materials, industry news, unseen materials and recommendations or conclusions.

With this in mind, I’ve taken a look back at the August 2018 OCS exam Thomas Fine Teas exam (taken from the official CIMA website), and picked a question from Variant 1 to show how I would spend my first 10 minutes of answering this question by IDENTIFYING THE REQUIREMENTS and basing my ANSWER PLAN around this.

OCS Exam Question – Thomas Fine Teas

2018-06-26 10_13_15-August 2018 OCS Pre-seen - students.pdf

Identifying the requirements

Before we can start to plan our answer, we need to identify the requirements.

I’ve noticed that CIMA have made the requirements much clearer in recent exam sittings, when I took my OCS in 2015 the questions seemed more embedded into the script.

However, you can see from the below screenshot from the Aug 2018 OCS exam, it’s quite clear from the outset what we are expected to answer.

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This question has TWO elements, I’ve added two small green arrows which tell us the questions is split into two. While the red boxes are the requirements we need to answer. Again, it’s very clear as the requirements start with “Please prepare…. “

All in all, this should have taken 1-2 to minutes to identify and I would suggest to not even look at the other attachments in the question at this stage.

Answer Planning

Now we have 8-9 minutes to start planning our answer before really adding the meat to the bones.

I start by adding some headings to my answer plan, so I have the initial framework before I start brainstorming my ideas on what to add.

Based on the first requirement above, my answer plan looks like this:

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Now I have the structure of my answer, I can begin to think in more detail by brainstorming and adding some notes under my headings on how I want to answer the question in full.

After the brainstorming session, my answer is now beginning to take shape;

TFTANS2

Notice I have deleted the “Intro about Digital Marketing” heading, as I felt on reflection there wasn’t any need for this in the answer.

There is no mention of “Please explain what digital marketing is… ” in the email from Jack Ford.

It’s important to remember that you need to satisfy the requirement of the question only and it’s not a platform for you to spout all of the information you know on the subject!!

Keep it relevant and keep it clear.

I can now begin to fill my answer in full with the remaining time left for the question.

Reviewing Your Answer

If possible, give yourself 5-7 minutes at the end to review your answer and ask yourself the following the questions;

  • How I included reference to the pre-seen and unseen materials?
  • Have I given real life examples?
  • Have I answered the requirements?
  • Have I mentioned ethics?

The reality is you will not be able to include industry analysis or ethics into every answer you write in the exam and the key is to keep it relevant – quality over quantity!!

Case Study Answer Planning Resources

You can find the case study resources (including the above example question from the August 2018 OCS) from the official CIMA website here

Good Luck with your next CIMA case study!

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 News

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.

CIMA OCS November 2016: Marici Power

It took CIMA a couple of days longer than expected, but the pre-seen materials were released this afternoon for the OCS exam. By now, hopefully, you will have refreshed your knowledge of the E1, P1, and F1 syllabus areas you passed not so long ago.

Because you will be expected to use the knowledge and key theories/models from those CIMA papers in your OCS exam in November.

The more you can relate the case study scenario to the relevant areas of the syllabus then the better chance you have of passing the CIMA OCS first time.

The case study for operational students is based around a company called Marici Power. They offer solar power solutions to commercial and private customers. Your role, as assistant management accountant, is to assist with the production of financial information like annual budgeting, monthly management accounts as well requests from management.

You can find the official pre-seen material for the November 2016 OCS from CIMA here.

Marici Power: Pre-Seen Video Analysis

You have six weeks to digest and pick out the key information in the Marici Power pre-seen materials. So the preview videos from Astranti are a great way to focus your studies and pick up some useful tips and tricks on how to analyse the pre-seen and what information to be aware of.

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

Marici Power: Strategic Analysis

Once you’ve understand the pre-seen materials and made your notes regarding Marici Power, you should be thinking about the strategical analysis of the company. So what are their strengths and weaknesses? What is the mission and strategy of the company?

Thinking about the case study from a strategic point of view will help you add more depth to your answers on exam day and help highlight the threats and opportunities the companies face.

You can find the full set of videos (including Strategic Analysis) on the November OCS here.

Marici Power: Top 10 Issues

If you’re still concerned about the content of the exam, then the Top 10 Issues video brings together all of the information in the pre-seen materials of Marici Power and highlights the most likely topics to crop up on exam day.

I found it a brilliant way to make myself more comfortable about the exam and gave me some specific concrete areas to study on before exam day.

You can find the full set of videos (including the Top 10 Issues) on the November OCS here.

Astranti OCS Pass Guarantee

If you’re impressed with the preview videos from Astranti, then the full OCS course offers much more; including three mock exams with marking and feedback. (based on the Marici Power pre-seen materials).

While the masterclasses are live full day sessions with the tutor to go through all theory and practical advice on how to pass the OCS.

Astranti are so confident you will pass the CIMA OCS exam first time, they offer a pass guarantee to all students.

You can find full details on the OCS course with pass guarantee here.

OCS Course Contents:

  • OCS 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

CIMA Case Study Advice: November 2016

The seemingly never-ending cycle of CIMA Case Study exams is beginning to rear it’s head again with the pre-seen materials for the operational level case study being released next week.

So for students who are sitting case study exams in November, here is a run down of the best resources and what you should be doing if you want to pass the CIMA case study first time.

Post Exam Kits – August 2016

Learning from previous exam sittings is a great way to boost your chances of passing the CIMA November case study sittings. CIMA have provided all students with the previous exam papers for the August case study exams with the suggested answers – for ALL FIVE variants as well as other

The home page for the post exam kits (links below) will direct you to the;

  • Pre-seen material
  • Case study exam paper
  • Suggested answers
  • Examiners report
  • Exam marking guidance

TIP: As of writing, the examiners report and exam marking guidance for the August sitting are not yet available but if you search for the May 2016 case study post exam kits you will find these documents for that sitting there.

The examiners report – a topic I have written about here – is another brilliant free document provided by CIMA that will give you tips and advice on how to pass CIMA case study exams first time.

OCS: August 2016 post-exam kit

MCS: August 2016 post-exam kit

SCS: August 2016 post-exam kit

Case Study Master Classes

For those students who are self studying for the case study exams, the master classes hosted by Astranti offer TWO full days of live classes with one of their CIMA tutors – and it’s a great way to supplement your existing study resources.

The first one is based around the keys to passing the case study exam, while the second master class is scheduled a week before the actual exam date and packs in a whole day revision on the case study scenario and the likely questions that could crop up.

The video below is an example of the master class that was held regarding the SparkSpace scenario with the August 2016 MCS exam.

The dates of the master classes for the November case study exams are listed below:

OCS Master Classes: 8 October 2016 and 5 November 2016

MCS Master Classes: 15 October 2016 and 12 November 2016

SCS Master Classes: 22 October 2016 and 19 November 2016

Case Study: Full Course Contents

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive set of case study materials then Astranti also offer a full course with a PASS Guarantee – I passed the OCS last year by using their case study materials and they are really developing a strong reputation with their resources.

  • Study Text 1 – focuses on what you need to pass the case study.
  • Study Text 2 – summaries the key areas from the whole syllabus.
  • Pre-Seen Analysis – tutors detailed analysis of the pre-seen material.
  • Strategic Analysis – uses models & key theories and how to apply them in the exam.
  • Top 10 Issues – identifies the top 10 issues that could come up on exam day.
  • Industry Analysis – gives you the current industry trends for your case study.
  • Masterclass 1 – live session with tutor on keys to pass the case study exam.
  • Masterclass 2 – live session with tutor on revision of case study scenario.
  • 3 Mock Exams – with detailed feedback based on the actual case study scenario.
  • Personal Advice and Guidance – via private forums and progress reviews.
  • Ethics Pack – often overlooked but this comprehensive guide covers Ethics and how to apply it to the CIMA case studies.

You can find full details of their courses for all levels below and dates when the pre-seen material is released for the November 2016 exams:

OCS Course – November 2016 – the pre-seen material for the OCS exam is released on the week commencing 19th September 2016.

MCS Course – November 2016 – the pre-seen material for the MCS exam is released on the week commencing 26th September 2016.

SCS Course – November 2016 – the pre-seen material for the SCS exam is released on the week commencing 3rd October 2016.

Acorn Financial Tutors

Another learning provider who offer CIMA case study materials are Acorn and readers of this website can claim an extra 10% discount off ALL CIMA materials.

Their latest list of CIMA case study materials can be found here.

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Currently (offer ends 30 September 2016), the hard copy of their full Integrated Case Study kit has been reduced to £240 from £360 – so you can order it for £216 by emailing your request to thecimastudent[at]gmail[dot]com

Study Support: Whats App Groups

Whats App groups for student discussion around the upcoming case study exams also seems to be an idea that is growing with every passing exam sitting.

I was part of one for the OCS last year and, if you don’t need getting lots of updates and messages on Whats App (you can always turn notifications off), I found it very interesting to hear other students points of views about the pre-seen material and how they were handling their revision. Not everything was helpful but from the point of view of a student who is self studying it’s very much worth joining.

The sign up for the Whats App groups can be found on the CIMA connect site – here is the link for the OCS November 2016 group. I couldn’t find anything for the MCS or SCS on the CIMA connect site but I am sure they will be created shortly – or you could even start one yourself.

Good Luck and Happy Studying!

The Week Ahead – 12th September 2016

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CIMA News

The November case study exams will be in most students thoughts as the pre-seen material for the OCS exam is released from next week, with this in mind below is a schedule for the important dates for exam entry, pre-seen material and exam dates for all levels.

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Are you worried about automation of accounting processes will have a negative impact on your role? Well a recent CIMA study has revealed that businesses and finance professionals are welcoming automation and “robots” in the finance function – 1,628 CIMA members were surveyed and around 83% support the idea of automation if it saves time, money and helps with indecision in the business.

You can read more about this in the CIMA press release here.

The CIMA Student Website

This week I will be continuing to look at the E2 syllabus as I go more in-depth into this paper following last weeks blog post on business strategy. While I’ll also be looking at the Astranti case study materials for the upcoming November exams.

I passed the OCS exam this time last year using Astranti materials and I’d thoroughly recommend them to other students in the same boat. You can read more about how I passed the OCS exam here.

The Week Ahead – 8th August 2016

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CIMA News

It’s the OCS August case study exam week so good luck to the students sitting the exam in the coming days!

Meanwhile, I saw an interesting press release on the CIMA website that stated that salaries for management accountants are increasing at twice the national average.

The results reveal that average earnings among qualified members reached £64,011 in 2016 (an increase of 1.9%), £36,411 more than the current average UK wage.

According to the research, even those in the process of gaining their qualifications report earning 22% higher than the national average wage, receiving an annual salary of £33,638.

You can read the full press release in detail by visiting the link above.

The CIMA Student Website

This week I will be posting up a short interview with CIMA student who will be taking her first exam in November this year.

While I will also be looking at more detail on the subject of Project Management – I posted an article on this last week but now I will be looking at the process of project management and a few CIMA exam questions on the subject.

I’ve added a sign up pop-up to the website for The CIMA student newsletter – it’s a new monthly newsletter that will be sent out for the first time in the coming weeks.

Any feedback or comments would be gratefully received.

The Week Ahead – 1st August 2016

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This month signals the beginning of the August case study exams – all of my resources, notes and comments have already been posted on the site – so Good Luck to those sitting case study exams this month.

The CIMA Student Website

This week I will be looking at an underrated tool that students perhaps don’t even know exist – The Student Webinars.

CIMA have student webinars that are free of charge and accessible for all CIMA students. They cover all of the papers in the qualification and contain some excellent information. Make sure you check them out!

All of the information is available on the CIMA Connect site and I will be providing full details in the article later this week.

I’ll also be taking a look at Project Management – an area that is covered in the E2 paper. If you have any questions or would like to see any specific topics on the website then feel free to get in touch by email or the comments section below.

 

The Week Ahead – 25th July 2016

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Fresh back from summer holidays it’s time to get back to the books. Here is what is coming up this week.

CIMA News

CIMA and AICPA joint venture to create a new association has been given the green light by members of both associations. Of those members who voted, around 90% of CIMA memberd endorsed the joint venture while around 87% of AICPA also endorsed it.

You can find out more information on what this means on the official CIMA website here.

The CIMA Student Website

The August CIMA case study exams are rapidly approaching and it’s about this time when I post the Industry Analysis articles on all three levels – OCS, MCS and SCS. You can expect this to be on the website on Friday.

Meanwhile, I will also be looking at CIMA qualified jobs that are currently available and a look at the CIMA related careers advice that is currently out there.

I had an order last week from a student for some CIMA materials from Acorn – remember that Acorn are offering readers of this site a 10% discount off ALL materials.

You can find there latest offers here.

To claim the 10% discount email me on thecimastudent[at]gmail[dot]com.

CIMA MCS August 2016: SparkSpace

The CIMA case study scenario for the upcoming MCS exam in August is based around a company called SparkSpace. This marks the beginning of the study period for those students taking the exam, all of your preparation and planning to pass the CIMA MCS first time can start now!

You can find the official pre-seen material for the August 2016 MCS from CIMA here.

SparkSpace: Pre-Seen Video Analysis

Understanding the pre-seen material is crucial to achieving a pass mark on exam day. Astranti are the market leaders in case study materials with their series of video analysis a must watch for all students.

Below is a preview of the pre-seen analysis for SparkSpace.

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

SparkSpace: Strategic Analysis

The strategic analysis of the MCS scenario SparkSpace is up next, here you will begin to understand and think about the mission and strategic goals of the company. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Are their strategic goals in line with ethical issues?

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

Wise Choice Hotels: Top 10 Issues

The Top 10 Issues video gives you a focus on the types of questions and areas you could expect to see on exam day. The tutor goes into detail why they believe these types of questions and areas of the syllabus will come up on exam day – a useful tool and video that will help you pass the CIMA case study.

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

Astranti MCS Pass Guarantee

I passed the OCS last year using the Astranti videos (pre-seen analysis, Top 10 issues and Strategic analysis) and would thoroughly recommend them.

Here is what is included in the course.

  • MCS 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 can find full details on the MCS course with pass guarantee here.

Good Luck!

The Week Ahead – 30th May 2016

 

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CIMA News

The sun is shining and the May CIMA case study exams are over. Students can breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to their next steps (and summer holidays!) However, it’s a good time to start thinking about what exams to take next and get some preparation in early.

Here are a few useful articles I wrote about what to expect when you get your exam results and how to pass your next CIMA objective tests.

Analysing CIMA Exam Results – what to expect when you receive your case study exam results and how to analyse them.

CIMA Masterclasses – a crucial tool for students who are self studying the CIMA qualification. Ideal for objective test exam preparation.

Objective Test Advice – a students advice on how to tackle the exam and make the most out of the time available.

How to pass CIMA Objective Tests – quite simply; how to pass the CIMA objective tests!

The CIMA Student Website

This week I will be looking at more F2 subjects as I get my revision back on track, it seems like a never-ending subject for me as I’ve had to postpone my resit a couple of times. But I’m determined to pass it before the summer holidays!

Elsewhere, I will looking at the CIMA objective tests as the May case study exams are now behind us and there is a three week break until the next lot of pre-seen materials are released.

As always, feel free to contact me on thecimastudent[at]gmail[dot]com

The Week Ahead – 9th May 2016

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It’s here. Well, for the OCS students at least! This weeks marks the beginning of the May case study exams at Operational level – good luck to those students who are sitting exams this week!

CIMA News

It may have not have been on your radar but the world first management accounting standard was published last month. It’s called PAS 1919: 2016 Guide to Management Accounting Principles and the standard was sponsored by CIMA while there was also input from different organisations such as NHS, Siemens and Fujitsu.

It really is a landmark for management accounting and the press release from CIMA can be found here.

The CIMA Student Website

This week there will be articles on the above mentioned accounting standard that was sponsored by CIMA and I’ll also be looking at more F2 topics and some example of exam questions with the suggested answers.

For those students who are sitting exams in the next few weeks here is an interesting article I stumbled across that might take your mind off the exams and raise a smile:

Where did all this office jargon come from? – The untold story of the most hated workplace cliches.

May Case Studies: The Final Countdown!

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The CIMA May 2016 case studies will begin in two weeks time with the OCS: Sanchez Navarra exam, closely followed by MCS: IC Optical and finally the SCS: DreemPark. Therefore, students who are sitting these exams are facing the final crucial period of case study preparation.

What I have I tried to do here is run through a check list of milestones and collate important resources and information in one place – for ALL of the three levels.

Pre-Seen Material Analysis

The pre-seen material is the foundation on of preparations and is of course key in passing the CIMA case study exam. You should know it inside-out!

There should be no excuses for not having a full grasp of the materials.

Here are a few points to consider when analysing it:

  • Do you understand the company background and how it’s developed over time?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the company?
  • Have you analysed the financial statements and linked this to the company weaknesses? (i.e. cash balance has improved in current year, so cash is available to invest more into marketing the products)
  • Do you understand the company structure?
  • What opportunities is the company not exploiting?
  • Think about ethics!!! (i.e. does the company follow unethical practices or this there a conflict on interests at board room level)

You can find my earlier posts on the pre-seen material and preview videos here for the OCS: Sanchez Navarra, MCS: IC Optical and SCS: DreemPark

Industry Trends

Another area that is crucial when preparing for the case study exam is the real life industry analysis. The examiner loves it when you are able to point out to industry trends in the context of the case study.

You’ll also find it will help you relate to the scenario more by understanding what’s happening in the real world.

For example; the MCS case study is on IC Optical so the optician and eye care industry affects ALOT of people on a daily basis – use your own experiences and observations when thinking about your case study scenario.

You can find a full breakdown of all of the May case study industry trends from my article earlier this month here.

Case Study Exam Style Preperation

Sitting the case study exam under the new CIMA 2015 syllabus can be a daunting prospect, but it needn’t be. You should familiarise yourself of what to expect on exam day by taking plenty of mock exams and it’s also worth visiting the Pearson VUE site directly where you can simulate a case study exam.

There is a great .pdf document from CIMA here for students who are taking their first case study on what to expect. It covers all three levels and gives you;

  • Introduction to case study exams
  • Time management guide
  • What to expect
  • Study and exam guides
  • Links to practice exam
  • Other practical advice

Finally, I posted an article on CIMA Mock Exam Resources a while back when gives you an insight and links to case study mock exams from Astratni with the option of tutor feedback and marking. While you can also find details on how I passed the OCS exam last year here.

Student Interaction

Students who are home studying or distance learning for the May 2016 CIMA case study exams maybe missing student interaction. It’s an underestimated element of revising and studying – being able to bounce ideas and theories off of other students in the same boat – this can can prove invaluable in passing your CIMA case study

I was part of a Whatsapp group chat when taking the OCS exam last year, it was a very valuable tool for me to be able to ask for help from other students, while it gave me an insight to what others where thinking about in terms of the case study scenario.

I would suggest visiting the CIMA connect site and see if someone has already started a discussion on creating a Whatsapp study group you can join – or you can always start one of your own!

CIMA connect: OCS student discussion

CIMA connect: MCS student discussion

CIMA connect: SCS student discussion

CIMA Case Study Exam Day

When exam day is eventually here you should “hopefully” be feeling well prepared and relaxed (although not too relaxed, personally I find a certain amount of nerves makes me perform better!).

By covering all of the pre-seen materials, industry and strategic analysis and mock exams you will be in a good position to get the pass mark you need.

Finally, in my CIMA case study exam check list you might want to read the articles on my experiences with the Pearson VUE testing centres and my top ten CIMA exam revision tips.

Stay focused and GOOD LUCK!

Analysing CIMA Exam Results

Reflection can be just as important as preparation when it comes to passing CIMA exams – whether it’s an objective test or a case study, analysing where you went wrong and how to correct it for future sittings is invaluable.

CIMA Exam Results – Case Study Exams

Next up are the case study exams which have a familiar feel to them as you have to wait 6-8 weeks before you receive your result. A reminder of the old 2010 syllabus!

But once you receive your results you should analyse the feedback as it’s a useful tool to learn from – even if you have passed the exam – it’s still valuable to see what areas you excelled in (Strong) or areas you just passed (Moderate).

CIMA Case Study Results Example

Here is what to expect when checking your case study results.

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  • There are five areas that are marked in the case study exams and all areas need to be marked as Moderate or higher.
  • You can see above the Technical Skills element (which makes up the bulk of the exam) has been marked as Moderate but still gives you a reminder that you can improve in certain areas.
  • I would suggest to review the performance feedback even if you have passed the exam – as it acts as a reminder that areas can still be improved on (unless you aced the whole exam!). 

The below video from CIMA is a good watch and explains how the case study results work.

Finally, I would recommend visiting the following link here – which is the Exam Information homepage on the CIMA connect website and gives you tons of useful links and explanations on the whole examination process.

If you have any advice or tips please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Happy Studying and Good Luck!!

Astranti Case Study Course with Pass Guarantee

If you have failed a CIMA case study exam then you should consider the full Astanti case study courses that come with a PASS GUARANTEE.

You can find full details on the OCS, MCS or SCS  May 2020 courses below:

Astranti Case Study Course Contents:

  • OCS/MCS/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

CIMA Exam Results – Objective Tests

One of the advantages of the new CIMA objective tests is the fact you get a “Pass” or a “Fail” grade as soon you finish the computer based exam. Then, 48 hours later you will receive an email confirmation that you can find the full breakdown of how you measured up against each area of the syllabus.

However, it’s important to realise that you will see the scaled score (from 0 – 150) and not a percentage mark. Which I think is a bit strange as CIMA tell you need 70% to pass the Objective tests but yet you don’t get to see the % score out of 100.

Nevertheless, the scaled score is still a useful indicator on how you fared in the exam. I believe that a scaled score over 100 equates to a pass mark although you also need to be proficient in each area of the syllabus too.

CIMA Objective Test Results Example

Below is an example of what you will see when logging in to your CIMA account to view your results.

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  • You can see that the “Not Proficient” comment was applied to the Financial Reporting area of the exam.
  • Moreover, CIMA provide you with specific areas of the syllabus which you need to focus based on your answers in exam day.
  • This a key piece of information and should be used as a focus for your revision on the resit.

For further information on how the CIMA Objective Tests are marked and what to expect you should watch the video below.

 

CIMA SCS May 2016: DreemPark

The final batch of pre-seen materials have been released for the May 2016  CIMA case study exams. DreemPark is the company in question for the next Strategic Case Study (SCS) – you can find the official pre-seem material from CIMA here.

You’ll need to login to your CIMA connect account to access the pre-seen material.

Another resource that is worth looking at is the pre-seen SCS pre exam kit. You can find it here and it covers the following points.

  • How to use the pre-seen material.
  • Details of the “Ask a Tutor” session.
  • Student webinar: student exam success
  • Previous SCS post exam kits and feedback
  • Much, much more.

Meanwhile, Astranti have also released their pre-seen video series on the May 2016 SCS DreemPark. You can watch previews of the videos below, they will give you a great insight to the scenario and provide a good platform of knowledge when tackling the SCS.

DreemPark: Pre-Seen Analysis

The below video focuses on the May 2016 SCS pre-seen material page by page and highlights the key points you should be thinking about.

 

You can find the full series of videos for the May 2016 SCS here.

DreemPark: Strategic Analysis

The May 2016 SCS will represent the final exam for students and to achieve a pass mark you will need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the company in question. This video focuses on the strategic analysis of DreemPark and is a must watch for SCS students.

 

You can find the full series of videos for the May 2016 SCS here.

Astranti SCS Pass Guarantee

Astranti are so sure you will get a pass mark by taking their full case study course, that if you don’t pass they will give you the next full SCS course for free.

Here is what is included in the course.

  • 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 can find full details on the SCS Course from Astranti here.

*I will update this post once more resources become available for the May 2016 SCS

The Week Ahead – 4th April 2016

weekahead2

This week I will be going through the F2 syllabus again and analyse where I went wrong when failing the F2 Objective Test last week, I ordered the F2 (and E2 and P2) exam kits from Kaplan so I have more exam practice to go through to compliment the Astranti materials I already have.

The CIMA Student Website

The SCS May 2016 exam resources will be posted on the website later this week alongside an article on how CIMA exams are marked and what to expect.

I felt as I now have experience with both types of exams under 2015 syllabus (objective and case study) it would be a good time to take a look at what to expect when you receive your results.

CIMA News

It’s now “case study” season with all of the pre-seen material having been released for the May 2016 exams so here are a couple of articles on how to write reports in the case study exam as well as a guide on structuring email replys in your answers.

Here is a reminder of the important dates for the May 2016 case study exams.

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CIMA MCS May 2016: IC Optical

It’s here! CIMA released the pre-seen material for the May 2016 sitting of the managemebt level case study exam – you can view the official document here.

CIMA have also released the May MCS case study pre-exam kit too which is packed full of resources, links and helpful hints on how to approach and ultimately pass the exam – you can find it here.

It’s also worth noting that the “Ask a Tutor” session for the MCS is on April 28th with more details available here. Please see below for the important dates for the May sitting of all case study exams. Good Luck!

may

IC Optical: Pre-Seen Analysis

The video preview from Astranti on the pre-seen analysis on the May 2016 MCS is now live and can be viewed below. The tutor goes through the pre-seen material issued by CIMA and points out the key facts and gets you thinking about the company IC Optical.

Understanding the pre-seen material is key to passing the CIMA case study exams and these videos will give you a solid footing when approaching the exam.

 

You can find the full set of IC Optical case study videos here.

IC Optical: Strategic Analysis

Alongside the pre-seen analysis you should also consider the case study from a strategic point of view. What are IC Optical’s strategic objectives and what can they improve on as a business? What are their weaknesses? Answers to these kind of questions will give you more depth to your responses on exam day and will give the “bigger picture” perspective.

The preview video below is well worth a watch for MCS students.

 

You can find the full set of IC Optical case study videos here.

Astranti MCS Pass Guarantee

Astranti are so sure you will get a pass mark by taking their full case study course, that if you don’t pass they will give you the next full MCS course for free.

Here is what is included in the course.

  • MCS 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 can find full details on the MCS course from Astranti visit here

*I will update this post once more resources become available for the May 2016 MCS

10 CIMA Exam Revision Tips

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Learning the content of the CIMA syllabus provides it’s own challenges but if you can’t convert that knowledge into a pass mark on exam day then you will be in trouble.

Here are my top 10 (in no particular order) revision tips that will help you pass CIMA exams.

  • Have a peaceful study environment: this means no distractions, no TV, no Facebook and no music playing. Studying for 90 minutes in this environment will be much more beneficial than “studying” with the TV for the whole afternoon on the coach.

 

  • Create a revision plan: hardly rocket science, but by creating a revision plan it  gives you a structure a clear guide on what you need to cover. And don’t forget to include enough time for mock exams.

 

  • Study in the mornings: If I know I’m going to have a busy day, I’ll try to squeeze in an hour before work. Firstly, I am fresh and can concentrate better and secondly I am in much better mood for the rest of the day knowing I’ve already hit the books.

 

  • Study on the go: Take some revision notes with you on the commute to work, take some pictures of the key models and theories on your phone so you can refer to them at any time (doctors waiting room, on the bus etc). Being away from your desk is not an excuse not to study.

 

  • Take a break: probably one of the most under-rated things you can do. If you have a whole dedicated for revision, don’t forget to take a break for a couple of hours during the day. Go outside for a walk, for for lunch, talk to friends. Staring at your books for hours on end will have little benefit – take a break and your mind off CIMA once in a while.

 

  • Use the office to study: some people find there are too many distractions at home to study. Well, if you can, use the office as a place of study, study in your lunch breaks or after office hours – you could find you’re more disciplined when in the office environment. I’ve know colleagues who have taken the day off but come into the office to study for the day.

 

  • Mock Exams – lots of them!!: I mention it a lot on here, mock exams are vital if you want to pass CIMA exams, or any exams for that matter. Diving straight into mock exams will prepare you and highlight your weaknesses. Start taking them a few weeks before exam day and learn from them. Practice, practice, practice. Here is my advice on some of the best CIMA mock exam resources – while you can find my advice on how to pass CIMA objective tests here.

 

  • Be creative: use lots of different ways to revise for your CIMA exam. Use YouTube videos, make notes on A3 paper and stick to your wall, download podcasts, use post-it notes, buy the re-vision packs, start a study group. This is a great way to keep study fresh, interesting and give you a better chance to pass your exams.

 

  • Reward yourself: when you reach milestones in your revision plan (passing mock exams for example) you should reward yourself. Go out for a drink, order a pizza or take the next couple days off studying.

 

  • Learn exam technique: it’s easy to get bogged down in details and theories and forget about picking up the easy marks in exams. Learn exam technique and make sure you pick up the easy marks on offer (i.e. the report or email layout in the case study exams).

CIMA Students Success Stories

Tackling a professional accounting qualification is not a walk in the park. Whether you’re studying for ACCA or CIMA you will need to devote enough time and effort to be a successful student.

And with the February case study exams beginning next week here are some words of wisdom and tips on how to pass CIMA exams from fellow students.

All of the comments, quotes and stories were posted on the official CIMA connect website and can be found here.

exam

Operational Level

OCS Student – Evelina

How did the case study exam compare to what you had expected? 
I did several trial exams before the real exam and practiced a lot, therefore the format of questions in the real exam was as expected. Before the exam I learnt how to deal with the time pressure, so I managed to accomplish all tasks on time. I was also well familiar with the pre-seen material about the company which was very helpful. However, I need to admit that answering questions in the online environment and in the meantime taking notes on the notepad was quite unusual.

What is your winning formula?
Have a clear study plan and study frequently in order to build up knowledge and skills. This has to be done focusing on CIMA exam format and suggested ways of answering exam questions.

Can you offer some advice to other students?
My main advice for the students would be to spend time on CIMA frequently while ahead of exams not trying to put all learning in the last week before the exam. It is essential to do revision of the materials covered and practice questions a lot

P1 Student – Kristiyan

How did the OT exam compare to what you had expected? 
It was exactly what I expected. I was well prepared, so the only thing that surprised me was the Pearson VUE scratch “paper”. I lost a lot of time trying to scratch it… New people should be aware of that and plan their time and font accordingly.

What is your winning formula?
Learn -> Practice -> Learn from the mistakes -> Practice -> Practice -> Practice -> Pass the exam

Can you offer some advice to other students?
If you practice a lot of mock exams at home, you will feel the same relaxed way on the examination. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Management Level

MCS Student – Jacek

How did you prepare for the exam and which resources did you find most helpful?

I was using CIMA Official Exam Practice Kit published by Kaplan and I was satisfied with this material. It is logically written, concise and contains many relevant examples thereby allowing effective learning. I also tried to read more widely around key subjects with the focus on the industry from the pre-seen material. I used different publicly available industry reports and well-known business publications such as Financial Times and Harvard Business Review. I also took two practice exams delivered by Pearson VUE which really helped me to identify my weaknesses and practice time management. It is also worth to mention that I was relentlessly thinking about practical application of business models as it was far easier to fully understand the theory.

What is your winning formula?
WINNING FORMULA = STUDY PLAN + IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS PLAN. Unfortunately, it seems that there are no shortcuts. I strongly believe that organising appropriate amount of time is the most important success factor.

Can you offer some advice to other students?
Prepare a reasonable and feasible study plan and stick to it. Try to think about practical application of business models as it would be far easier to fully understand and apply the theory.

Strategic Level

SCS Student – Rebecca

Did you use a tuition provider?

Yes, I studied with Kaplan Financial throughout all exams.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Getting the balance between working full time and studying, not so much of a juggle for the final case study exam as the majority of my studying was done in the classroom, but travelling to Leeds from Hull every Saturday after 5 days of working was quite draining.

I made a study planner right at the start of tuition which I hung in my kitchen so I could see if I was achieving what I’d set myself to do. My employer is also very understanding when it comes to studying and offer paid study leave nearer the exam. Lots of sleep was helpful too!

What is your winning formula?
I always try to start (and stick to) a study plan as early on as possible, I think it’s much easier to make the links between the 3 subjects (F, P and E) later on in the studying, when completing past exam questions, if the basic understanding is there. I recommend visual aids for revision, mind maps, images and silly acronyms really help to implant the knowledge in my head. The sillier the better as I’m more likely to remember them!

 

 

The Week Ahead – 11th January 2016

weekahead2

The first working week of the year is out of the way, which means, for most accountants working in industry, the dreaded Year End will be over (for the most part).

So hopefully the late nights in the office are done for now and people can start thinking about their CIMA studies.

Case Study Exams

I have now posted some links and YouTube videos up on the OCS and MCS exams for the February sitting and you can expect to see the SCS article go live on Wednesday this week.

Operational Case Study: First Class Bakery

Management Case Study: Pizzatime

Strategic Case Study: Rio (to be posted on 13/11/15)

CIMA News

Charles Tilley, the CIMA chief executive, was awarded an OBE in the new years honours list for ‘services to the economy’. The full article can be found on the CIMA global website.

The CIMA Student Website

This week there will be two articles going up around the Strategic Case Study as well as Corporate Social Responsibility. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see on the website please get in touch on the email address mentioned below.

And don’t forget, Acorn are offering readers of this website a 10% discount of ALL of their materials. Their full list of materials can be found here.

Please send your orders to thecimastudent (at) gmail.com to claim the 10% discount.

 

Peaking at the right time

exam

I’ve sat many exams with varying degrees of success. I’ve gone into exam halls knowing I will fail the exam before I even sat it while other exams I’ve left knowing I’ve breezed it.

You should be looking to peak at the right time and put the hours of study in that will give you belief and confidence to pass. As you can see from my progress, I passed E1 with 59% and just scraped past F1 with exactly 50%.

So I was worried heading into the OCS that I really needed to knuckle down if I was to pass, especially considering I was exempt from P1 due to the transition from the 2010 to 2015 syllabus.

However, I passed the OCS with a score of 102 out of 150 and believe it was down to peaking at the right time. I felt confident entering and LEAVING the exam hall.

In my opinion, there are several key areas you need to balance out and consider to achieve good marks – if you can manage these factors well than you’re well on the way to a good mark.

1. Study Plan – before you get the books out you need to create a realistic study plan. And by realistic I mean allowing enough time to cover the whole syllabus, mock exams and enough time to have a break away from the books. Studying 3-4 hours a night, every night will lead to a meltdown. I also tend to allow a bit of slack as I never stick 100% too it.

2. Vary Your Study – just making pages and pages of notes on the theory will probably lead to a fail, especially in the case study. You need to vary how and what you study. I usually make some notes and illustrations of the key models on A3 paper and stick on my walls in the spare room. Also use YouTube videos, pod casts and forums to discuss the key topics and any problems you have.

3. Exam Practice – I find it a real struggle to do proper exam practice. But if you practice mock exam after mock exam (4-5 weeks before actual exam) you will know what you need to brush up as well having plenty of practice for exam day. If finances are a problem there are plenty of free questions on the CIMA website as well as free mini-mock exams from Astranti.

4. Healthy Body = Healthy Mind – I’m not suggesting you train for a marathon but going for a run is a great way of clearing the mind and feeling refreshed. Sometimes taking your eyes off the text books for an hour or two and doing something else (run, jog, walk) is a great way take a break and put you in a positive frame of mind.

Exam Preparation

Preparing for the exam and exam day is vital in my opinion.

Once you have covered the whole syllabus, you should concentrate on taking mock exam after mock exam to highlight your weaknesses and practice your exam technique.

Personally, on the week of the exam I prefer to do very little work.
No mock exams, just some revision on the key models, scenarios and theories.

And maybe answer a few light questions or even try to relate the subject to anything that is currently happening in the news (tax evasion, marketing etc.)

Finally, the day or two before the exam I will check the examiners report for the previous sitting and see what previous candidates did badly and try not to fall into the same trap.

All of these points are common sense when you think about it. It’s just about finding the time and discipline to stick them all.