Tag Archives: CIMA Study Materials

CIMA Objective Tests: Pass them first time!

The CIMA objective tests are difficult to pass, there is no doubt about that.

The computer based, 90 minute, 60 question, multiple choice exam may sound easy (in theory) – everyone seems to roll their eyes when you tell them it’s a multiple choice exam but the reality is that can be brutal to pass given the time constraints and the dreaded “select all that apply” questions.

So having passed the F2, P2 and E2 objective tests in the last 18 months or so and having gathered advice from other students, here are my top tips and resources to help you pass your next CIMA objective test first time.

The CIMA Student 4-3-2-1 approach

As CIMA students, we all like an acronym or model to follow and I’ve devised a 4-3-2-1 approach when it comes to studying for a CIMA objective test. This approach came to mind when I was trying to summarise my own methods and by listening to other students who have been successful when it comes to passing CIMA objective tests.

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As you can see from the graphic above, there are four stages or layers of preparation and work that goes into CIMA objective tests.

The Foundations (4)

Before we even begin to think about the exam and what to expect on exam day we need to lay the foundations. The obvious starting point is our CIMA syllabus and study texts for the exam.

Often students may make the mistake and skip straight ahead to try their hand at mock exams, or after a few chapters of their study text will believe understand the content and will attempt the mock exam, fail miserably and become disheartened.

Concentrate on learning the syllabus and cementing your knowledge step by step by taking the practice questions at the end of the chapter. As well as confirming you understand the chapter, it will also prepare you for the mock exams later on.

Mock Exam Practice/Revise Weak Areas (3)

Once you’ve covered the syllabus, your should start preparing for the exam by taking mock exams. At first, I would suggest to take a mock exam at your own pace and not to exam conditions.

The benefits are three fold here.

  1. You will discover your weak areas of the syllabus
  2. You will be prepared for the style of questions you will face.
  3. You will build confidence ahead of the exam.

Once you have identified the weak areas of your knowledge, spend time revising the subjects in more detail.

Seek other resources like technical articles from the CIMA connect website, speak to other students or find tuition videos online that will help explain these problematic areas.

I would highly recommend using the technical articles from CIMA if you’re stuck on a specific topic.

Mock Exams in Exam Conditions (2)

Now we are reaching the peak of our preparation for the CIMA objective test.

Mock exams in exam conditions will really show where you are in terms of a pass or fail – it’s imperative you take at least 2 or 3 mock exams in these conditions and don’t worry if you fail one or two of them.

Better to fail them now rather than on exam day!!

Analyse where you went wrong, what questions you struggle and if you have adequate time management.

Below is a video from CIMA on how to manage your time in CIMA objective test with a useful strategy on making the most of your time.


Now you should be exam ready and just days away from facing your CIMA objective test – I would suggest just to do some light revision in the days before the exam.

Maybe looking at your revision notes or flash cards but nothing too heavy.

You should be confident given the amount of work and preparation you have put in, be relaxed but ready to push yourself when exam day arrives!

CIMA Objective Test Materials

Personally, I tend to rotate between a few different learning providers depending on the subject and my needs at the time. Here is a summary of the learning providers you can call upon when studying for your next CIMA Objective Test.


Their study texts for the objective tests are easier to digest than the likes of BPP and Kaplan, which can be technical by nature. What’s more their tuition videos and exam practice kits are a great compliment to the study texts.

Astranti look to minimize your study time by simplifying each chapter with their tuition videos, there are also other nice features like being able to download the audio so you can listen to the materials on the go.

Below you can find details on the Operational, Management and Strategic objective test materials and courses from Astranti.


I really like using their exam practice kits for a couple of reasons.

  • I find the wording of the questions are very similar to the real thing.
  • You get a book with 200 questions and can also register the book online to view the questions/answers via the internet.

I also find you can never have enough exam questions to practice and it’s good to get a mixture of different resources and not rely solely on one.

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The exam practice kits are only 20 GBP per subject and are well worth the investment for 200 exam style questions.

You can find full details from the Kaplan website here.

Practice Tests Academy

The team at PTA have now released full courses for the CIMA Objective Tests and are not purely a CIMA question bank.

They have some of the top CIMA tutors around that provide some great video analysis for their full objective test courses.

I use them regularly for their CIMA mock exams but have yet to try their full courses.

Nevertheless, their question bank of 500 questions per paper are unrivalled and the interactive nature and the way the results are broken down so you can see exactly the learning outcomes you have failed is a great way to work on weaknesses and pinpoint the exact part of the syllabus you are weak on.

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Student Advice

Here is some great advice from fellow students and our good friends at CSSC Tuition!

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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 – 25th July 2016


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


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 Objective Test Courses


The CIMA objective tests are the meat on the bones of the CIMA qualification and you will need to pass nine objective tests in total (plus three case studies) to become fully qualified so it’s imperative you find the right resources for you.

Astranti offer a comprehensive package of materials for each CIMA objective test, so whether you starting your life as a CIMA student, or you’re looking for a new learning provider I would suggest taking a look at what they have to offer.

Astranti CIMA Objective Course Content

Well, the objective test courses are packed with materials and resources to ensure you have the sufficient knowledge and enough mock exam practice to achieve the pass mark required. Whether it’s the operational level,the management level, or the final strategic level of the CIMA syllabus, the core content of the Astranti CIMA objective test resources remain the same.

Here’s a breakdown of the complete package.

  • Study Text – printable and online version for full study text for the objective test your require. It gives simple explanations and understanding and, I would say, is lighter than the wordy BPP text.
  • Chapter Revision Questions – after every chapter there is a set of revision questions that gives you the chance to cement the knowledge learnt from the study text.
  • 3 x Online Mock Exams – each mock exam contains 60 challenging questions taken from all areas of the syllabus. Detailed feedback is provided so you can learn from your mistakes and understand where you went wrong.
  • Tuition Videos – around 10-13 hours of tuition videos come with most of the objective test course, this is great for students who need that visual aid and “class-room” feel of learning.
  • CIMA Revision Master Classes – over 10 hours of pre-recorded master classes for your choose subject. The purpose of these master classes is to reinforce the knowledge you already have as well giving some key exam tips on how to pass CIMA exams.
  • Tutor Support – the course provides a tutor monitored forum that allows access for students to ask questions and seek further clarity on questions or topics they are not sure of.


Tuition Video Preview

Below is an example of the CIMA F1 tuition video you can expect when enrolling on the full objective course.

  • There are around 13 hours of videos available!
  • Recorded by a professional and experience tutor.


Master Class Video Preview

Meanwhile, here is a sneak preview of the master class video on the CIMA F1 syllabus – the master classes are the perfect way to consolidate your knowledge and pick up some handy hints for passing CIMA objective tests.


Full CIMA Objective Courses

You can find the full CIMA objective test courses from Astranti below and if they are not to your liking, then they offer a full 7 day money back guarantee.

Operational OT Courses – covers the E1, F1 and P1 CIMA papers on the operational level

Management OT Courses – the E2, F2 and P2 CIMA papers on the management level.

Strategic OT Courses – includes the E3, F3 and P3 CIMA papers on the strategic level.

My Opinion

I’m a keen user of the Astranti materials as they helped me pass the CIMA operational case study at the first time of asking last year – you can read about that here.

I also used their materials also for my latest F2 exam (which I failed – you can also read about that here) but I only used their study text and mock exams, so I would definitely encourage people to use ALL of the materials available to give yourself the best possible chance of passing your exams – I’m hoping their master class videos for F2 will be give me that bit extra needed to pass my re-sit exam.

Good Luck!

The Week Ahead – 11th January 2016


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)


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.


Acorn CIMA Materials – Exclusive 10% Discount!

If like myself you are funding your own CIMA studies then every penny counts.

With this in mind, I have spoken to Acorn Professional Tutors and they are offering thecimastudent.com readers an exclusive 10% OFF all of their study materials.

One of the Acorn directors Gary White, had this to say about the company.


About Acorn

Acorn are an exceptional ‘CIMA only’ specialist college, we are a CIMA Global Learning Premium Partner and offer classroom, home study and on-line tuition courses at prices far below the larger rivals. Acorn is run by 3 directors, Safina, Tufal and Gary.

Acorn is a small college but we make a large difference to your success in terms of what we provide, our pass rates are very high and with 10 CIMA exam world prize winners trained to date.

Acorn can provide everything you need to succeed in your CIMA qualification. We offer weekend classroom tuition and revision courses at Watford, Heathrow, Luton and Gatwick, as well as home study and online tuition courses that give both an enjoyable and useful study experience.

We publish our own well-focused and specialised CIMA study manuals, exam practice kits and on-line tuition courses (for web, tablets and smart phones). We provide high levels of customer service and tutor support by telephone and e-mail.

How to Claim 10% Discount on Acorn CIMA Materials

To take advantage of the 10% discount that’s exclusive to thecimastudent.com – please email thecimastudent@gmail.com with the products you wish to order.

You can see Acorn’s full list of CIMA materials and tuition here (as well as image below).

Happy Studying!