Tag Archives: CIMA OCS November 2018

CIMA Nov 18 Case Studies: Top 10 Issues


CIMA November 2018 Case Studies

The November 2018 CIMA case studies will begin in around four weeks with the OCS scenario of GymFit. With the November case study session finishing just over two weeks later with the SCS scenario of Novak Pharmaceuticals.

Students taking the exams next month should be well in their exam preparation and have made extensive motes and analysis on the pre-seen materials.

Now you should be drawing your focus on the most likely issues that will come up on exam day.

The benefits of understanding the so called “Top 10 Issues”

  • Gives you a focus for your final weeks of study.
  • Provides an insight to the syllabus that could appear in your exam variant.
  • Boosts confidence ahead of the exam.
  • A useful tool for brainstorming about the case study scenario.
  • Can generate discussion between yourself and other students – do they have a different opinion on the issues?

If you are struggling to digest all of the pre-seen materials and draw your own conclusions from the materials you have, then use the videos below as a way to get the ball rolling and start thinking about the main issues with your respective case study as use it as a source of focus for the next couple of weeks.

Final Weeks of CIMA Case Study Preparation

Not only should you be digging into the top 10 issues and most likely examinable topics, but you should be practicing your exam technique and have a strategy on how you answer your questions.

Exam Answer Planning

I would recommend that you plan your answers before jumping straight into answering the question in your case study exam.

When passing my OCS and MCS exams first time – I used to spend 8-10 minutes reading the question and planning my answer on the exam script with brief bullet points and my structure of the answer and what I wanted to cover.

Here is a summary on how I approached answering case study questions.

  • Identify the questions requirements.
  • Make headings and sub headings on your answer script.
  • Add relevant points relating to pre-seen and new materials.
  • Finish your answer by drawing conclusions and give reasons why you have come to your conclusion.
  • Don’t forget ethics!! (where relevant – don’t include it for the sake of it)

Here are the Top 10 Issue videos for the November exams.

CIMA OCS Nov 18: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on GymFit here.

CIMA MCS Nov 18: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on Grapple here.

CIMA SCS Nov 18: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on Novak Pharmaceuticals here.

Hot Topics for the CIMA OCS

The pre-seen materials were released for the CIMA OCS November GymFit exam a few weeks ago, so your attention should be turning towards mock exam practice and revision of the syllabus areas that are likely to come up on exam day.


With this in mind, our good friends at CSSC Tutition have put together some words of wisdom on what it takes to pass the CIMA operational case study exam.

Passing the OCS Exam First Time

Passing the Operational Case Study requires solid technical knowledge combined with the ability to demonstrate good business and people skills. These need to be appropriately applied to the question details and answered within the context of the case-study scenario.

Good candidates need to be able to assimilate new information and communicate their answers in a timely and well-presented manner.

Exam technique is key here and practice makes perfect in this respect.

In conclusion, it is only mastery of the technical competencies and successful demonstration of the above skills that can result in the ‘strong’ answers which OCS markers are looking for.

So… with that in mind – we can agree that passing is not about question spotting… but surely it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the most examinable topics for the CIMA Operational Case Study exam!!

For example, we all know that P1 is the lead paper – but what are the lead topics?

CIMA OCS Most Examinable Topics

As a matter of research and interest here at CSSC Accountancy Tuition in Staffordshire we have tracked the top most examined Operational Case Study areas from each of the 3 operational level papers.

Our analysis is based on the last 12 Operational Case Study sittings.

For example, we can reveal that 12 out of 12 of the sittings included a question on the topic of P1 variances (traditional cost variances – material, labour etc. and/or Advanced Variances – e.g. mix & yield/planning & operational etc).

This is not to say that every variant of every exam sitting included this topic – but that it was covered by at least one of the five variants in each exam period.

Other favourites were F1’s working capital and E1’s marketing mix.

In addition to this, students must not overlook P1’s budget approaches (especially Zero Based Budgeting that has featured in 8 out of the past 12 sittings). Quality costing is another key area having featured in 10 out of 12 past OCS sittings.

More details on the most examinable areas are below – but please use this information wisely and to refine your revision rather than making it your focus!

Its important that you refresh all of your syllabus areas, undertake mock exam practice and also have a careful read of the most recent OCS examiner’s report. Don’t forget to also make use of other resources available on CIMA connect & TheCIMAStudent website.

Other OCS Highly Examined Areas

  • Activity Based Costing
  • Environmental Costing
  • Government Grants
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Inventory EOQ
  • Outsourcing
  • TQM
  • Payoff Table/ Maxi Decision Rules
  • Relevant Costing
  • Breakeven CVP
  • Uncertainty & Risk – Decision Trees
  • Linear Programming

CSSC Classroom Tuition


For those living near to Staffordshire & Cheshire – CSSC Tuition offer Operational Case Study Tuition for all four sittings. We also offer evening tuition for all CIMA objective test papers -including Strategic level starting January 2019.

Prices start at just £350 per paper and instalment options are available. Enquiries welcome! Please contact info@cssctuition.co.uk

CIMA OCS Nov 2018: Gymfit

CIMA: Exam Tips

The November 2018 OCS exam will be the first case study exam you will be taking on your CIMA journey, so it will be new in many ways.

But it shouldn’t hold any fear for those students that are worried with the prospect of their first case study coming up.

It seems a world ago since I passed this exam but I remember heading into the exam full of confidence due to the preparation and work I had put in during the lead up to exam day.

I hope the advice below stands you good in steed to pass the CIMA OCS first time!

CIMA OCS Important Dates

There are still two weeks away until the pre-seen materials are released and over two months until the CIMA OCS November exam day itself, but preparation is key and you can already begin yours before the pre-seen materials arrive on Friday 21 September 2018.

Before you start planning, here are the important dates for the Nov 2018 OCS.

OCS Nov Dates

CIMA OCS Planning

I would start with a rough study plan, so you can plan the time when you will study and WHAT you will study;

  • F1/P1/E1 Syllabus refresh (keep it simple and brief for now.
  • OCS Exam Structure
  • CIMA Code of Ethics
  • Pre-Seen Materials Analysis
  • 3 Mock Exams (tutor marked with feedback)
  • Review and Revise

Just because the pre-seen materials haven’t been released, it doesn’t mean you cant start working! Refreshing your syllabus knowledge is a great idea now, especially the theories and models in the E1 exam.

However, this should be brief and very high level refresh. Don’t get bogged down with details, you haven’t got time to do that and you don’t need to.

This part of the exam preparation also helps you get into the “Study Mode” for when the Pre Seen Materials arrive, think of it as a warm up for your OCS exam.

Also take the time to get familiar with the exam structure and what’s expected of you on exam day.

As it’s your first case study exam, I would suggest to visit the Pearson VUE website to simulate a CIMA case study exam. It’s well worth it.

CIMA OCS Mock Exams Practice

Taking mock exams in exam conditions is the only way to get yourself 100% prepared for exam day. It’s the final piece of the puzzle.

I used the Astranti mock exams when passing the OCS and also part of the full course when passing the MCS first time this year. However, to make the most of this you should get any mock exams you take marked with feedback.

It’s the only way how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and ensure you have enough in the tank to get a pass on exam day.

Below is a example of the feedback I received when taking one of the Astranti MCS mock exams.


I found getting detailed feedback on each question with the split of marks allocated was a brilliant way for me to analyse my script. It helps build confidence but it really does paint a true picture of where are you in terms of passing the case study exam.

The Examiners Report

Examiners Report

One of the most overlooked FREE resources from CIMA are the examiners report, it’s packed with great insight on how students fared in the previous sittings of the OCS operational case study exam.

I’ve read the May 2018 CIMA OCS Examiners Report and picked out TWO key highlights and points of note. If you’re interested, you can find the full document here.

  • Technical skills are by far the most important element of skills at the operational level. To score well a candidate must demonstrate these skills by applying the knowledge gained from studying P1 and F1.


  • In preparation for a case study exam it is vital that all candidates revise technical knowledge as a starting point; it is not enough to rely on retaining the knowledge
    from the OTQ examinations.

It appears that students at the OCS level are comfortable with the E1 paper and knowledge but are weak in applying knowledge in F1 and P1, as stated by the examiner technical skills are the most important at this level – don’t neglect them!!

CIMA OCS Astranti Course

The full OCS course from Astranti is really packed full of resources;

Complete pre-seen pack (pre-seen, strategic, industry analysis and top 10 issues)

  • 3 x Full tuition videos
  • 2 x Study text
  • 2 x Live Masterclasses (the keys to passing and revision masterclass)
  • 3 x Full Mock Exams (based on Nov 18 scenario)
  • Detailed marking and feedback
  • Ethics Pack
  • Pass Guarantee

CIMA OCS Nov 18 Pre-Seen Materials

CIMA OCS November 2018

CIMA finally released the pre-seen materials for the November 2018 OCS exam this week, unlike previous case study exams, the materials are not on the CIMA connect site but on the CIMA global website.

You can find the official OCS November 2018 pre-seen materials from CIMA here.