The countdown for the November case study begins as it’s just two weeks until the operational level students face their exam. A reminder of the exam dates for the November case study exams listed below as well links to my recent articles on OCS: Marici Power, MCS: Portafone and SCS: ADF pre seen analysis.
This week will focus on more E2 related syllabus areas as I plan to draw near the end of my initial coverage of the E2 text book – then I can start looking at revision and tackle the exam practice kits for the next four to six weeks.
Do you read the CIMA FM Magazine? That’s probably a no. To be honest, it’s something I rarely look at myself but the September edition email arrived in my inbox this morning so thought it would be good opportunity to share and bring this up.
The subject of Porters five forces is a familiar one for CIMA students the Porter’s Diamond is a topic that came up in the my E2 studies last week so I will be looking at that, meanwhile I will finally around to publishing the article on knowing your role in the case study exam – a key point to identify for all case study students!
Not so much news, but more of a general reminder for students to login and check their CIMA connect account every once in a while. There are tons of resources and plenty advice from students/CIMA staff that are well worth reading.
Here are a few articles from CIMA connect that are worth checking out.
The final set of pre-seen materials will be released this week so the SCS students can begin their analysis of the case study in question. So you can expect to see an article covering the preview videos for the SCS November 2016 pre-seen.
While I be looking at the different roles OCS, MCS and SCS students will face during their case study exams. It’s crucial to really understand your role in the exam and answer the questions accordingly.
The CIMA Salary insight 2016 was released recently and gives you a good chance to gauge your current earnings against the average for a CIMA student/member in your respective industry. Perhaps it will act as a motivation to study harder or even give you the urge to speak to your boss about a pay rise!
This week will be the focus on the MCS pre-seen materials for the November 2016 exam following the release of the OCS materials last week.
Hopefully CIMA are a bit quicker off the mark this week, as OCS students had to wait until Wednesday for the Marici Power pre-seen to go-live (although, in fairness to CIMA, they do say the pre-seen materials will be released the week commencing xxx – so not necessarily on the Monday)
Meanwhile, later on in the week I will be delving into a CIMA E2 syllabus area to share my thoughts.
Last week, saw a brilliant article from a CIMA student in Cameroon – if you haven’t already seen it then you can find it here – and if any other students would like to contribute in some way then please get in touch via twitter or email.
CIMA Student, Nkunde C Mbong, who is on the management level on CIMA and faces the MCS exam in November, shares her experience of being a CIMA student in Cameroon and the challengers she faces.
Being a CIMA Student in Cameroon
Cameroon is a country in the Central Region of Africa with about 25 million people. However, despite this population, there are only 7 CIMA members in Cameroon as of September 2016 and only one CIMA tuition/learning partner, gaining this status late last year – 2015.
This should let you know, CIMA in Cameroon hasn’t been very popular.
However, there is currently a healthy growing population of CIMA students, but the journey is still not a smooth one. Before Cameroon finally got a CIMA tuition provider, CIMA students generally had to self study or travel out of the country to engage in CIMA.
Most students here choose to self study and it was a great challenge where to get the CIMA texts! A common solution was to have them ordered from Ghana for those who could afford, which wasn’t an easy feat.
Even with the texts, self study proved difficult especially when studying alone as there weren’t many other CIMA students to study with [and that’s if at all you even knew one, because I didn’t when I started]. Moreover, some concepts were extremely difficult to understand without further explanations, and there weren’t known CIMA members to seek help from.
Further, with the then really bad connectivity issues in the country, making proper use of online resources wasn’t really an option.
The challenges ahead
Doing CIMA was just a challenge to many and it just tells me anybody who chose to do CIMA then, among the other more popular professional options available, really knew the benefits and difference in being CIMA certified.
The challenges were numerous!
Using old texts, texts not arriving on time, if ever, having to travel far away to write the then paper based exams, having to still pay PEARSON VUE centres because they complain of not having many students who register to write with them, and the greatest challenge was just sitting studying by yourself, with no support whatsoever because your family and friends have no idea about the relevance of what you are studying, it being so unpopular in Cameroon.
You see, the idea and advice in Cameroon is “Do something which sells” – CIMA was unknown and therefore wasn’t selling like other professional certifications in the field.
Eventually, the tendency was many students failed to complete and become certified especially when they got a job which gave them a level of comfort because our employers too didn’t know CIMA. Some just altogether gave up because of all the challenges.
A new dawn for students in Cameroon
However, last year 2015, the 7 CIMA members in Cameroon driven by their passion for CIMA decided to come together and create a better platform for the CIMA students and members in Cameroon.
They decided to forge an enhanced path for CIMA students and prospects, gain recognition and ultimately let Cameroon know that we are a unique brand, business leaders who will soon take over reign in companies and institutions.
It was like a new dawn in Cameron for CIMA. They organised the first CIMA seminar and participants were made up of some CIMA students and others, and they were informed about CIMA and its benefits.
Many students were encouraged to continue as the CIMA members pledged their support to them. Alas, the CIMA students were excited to meet CIMA members! Later that year, we got our very first tuition partner in Cameroon!!
Members and students were very excited at this progress. Students could now get books from Cameroon and have the option to study full time or part time from our own CIMA learning partner, along with other benefits!
What good news it was for us students.
By April 2016, following another CIMA orientation seminar, attended now by even more students as the news of CIMA was getting around and the network was growing, an executive body was created by a unanimous decision to steer CIMA activities in Cameroon, made up of CIMA students and members.
Students connecting and sharing ideas
From then on, whats-app groups were created and students were able to know each other, and study with others depending on their CIMA level or just provide support.
This was when I also met for the first time someone at my level – I was so excited to discuss my struggles and difficulties with someone I knew was in the same level with me – and would therefore understand. This was the same type of exchange going on among many other CIMA students now across Cameroon.
We shared ideas, exchanged resources and directed others where/how to get help from the now available online resources with our now much better internet connection, and how to go about simple processes such as connecting with other students worldwide via CIMAconnect.
We were all now connected to each other, and surprisingly, the network kept growing! Who knew there were so many CIMA students in Cameroon – all struggling in their own corner.
Next, it was another seminar targeting college students (as prospects) and employers, and the CIMA Cameroon steering committee just kept creating a really good platform for us students to succeed.
Limited materials from learning partners
As it is, the CIMA community in Cameroon is now growing and learning has become much easier. Many who dropped out, are now getting interested again and some more are registering as students. The struggle was real, but it’s not all gone.
As our learning partner is still in it’s infancy, it doesn’t yet offer tuition for all levels and some students located in different towns are unable to benefit from the tuition they provide, but the CIMA Cameroon steering Committee is really a great support now to the students and as mentors too.
Basically, the common challenges now are those which I believe are common to many CIMA students such as fees etc. We are now a proud CIMA community in Cameroon!
There will be more insights from Nkunde in the coming months as she progresses further in her CIMA journey.
I noticed the official CIMA website has had a revamp and looks all nice, new and shiny. It feels much more like the CIMA connect interface, so it’s worth checking it out as it feels a much more user-friendly experience than the previous site.
A reminder, of course, the November case study exams pre-seen materials starting being released from this week and it’s still not to late to enter for the exams.
The CIMA Student Website
This week will see some brilliant content on the blog coming up – firstly, the OCS pre-seen materials are released for the November exam so I will gather all of the pre-seen videos from Astranti together.
However, I will be saving the best until last this week when, on Friday, I will post an article written by a CIMA student in Cameroon – who will give an insight into the journey CIMA students face when studying in a developing country. And how they are overcoming the obstacles they face.
If you have any suggestions, ideas or comments then feel free to get in touch via twitter or the comments section below.
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.
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.
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.