CIMA OCS May 2017: Exam Results

The students who sat the CIMA OCS Exam in May 2017 will be frantically refreshing their email accounts this morning in anticipation of their exam results!

I don’t usually focus the blog on exam results day but I’ve realised the OCS exam is an important milestone for a lot of students and as recent results suggest, it’s actually one of the toughest in terms of students passing first time.

In my recent article on CIMA Case Study Tips: August 2017, I highlighted the fact that OCS students really struggled with the Feb 2017 sitting of the exam – you can see that only 45% of students passed the Feb exam which is quite a drop from the 64-67% in previous exams.

CIMA Exam Results

So with his in mind it seemed a good idea to focus on the OCS exam results that were released today and what students should be following their results.

CIMA Case Study Exam Results Explained

Once you’ve got your results email, whether you’ve passed or failed you will want to know a bit more on what the results mean! How have they arrived at your mark?

The following video from CIMA will explain:

I’VE PASSED: What’s next for me?

CIMA Case Study Exam Results

If you’ve passed the CIMA OCS exam then CONGRATULATIONS! Take time to celebrate and enjoy the result but not too long as you should already be thinking about your next steps on the Management level.

Below are a series of articles I’ve previously written that you may find useful.

CIMA Study Prime: P2 Course

Passing the CIMA E2 Exam!

How I Passed CIMA F2 Exam

CIMA Objective Test Courses

I’VE FAILED: What’s my next steps?

MCS and SCS Exam Results

Well, first of all, don’t be too downbeat.

As we have seen with the previous OCS sitting in February 2017 a lot of students found it tough going.

Secondly, you should get yourself ready to re-take the OCS exam for the August sitting, it’s no coincidence that CIMA release the pre-seen materials for the next exam sitting one day after the exam results are released!

So you have one day to shout and swear about your exam results but the OCS pre-seen material for August is released tomorrow! (Friday 23rd June 2017)

So you need to get your mind back in gear for another attempt at the OCS exam.

If you are struggling for motivation, you can read how I passed the OCS exam in 2015 here. Meanwhile, below are a series of links that will help kick start your preparation for your re-sit.

CIMA OCS August 2017 Astranti Course – with pass guarantee

CIMA Case Study Tips: August 2017

CIMA connect site

CIMA OCS May 2017: Ashworth Lea

CIMA OCS Ashworth Lea

The May OCS (operational case study) exam pre-seen materials were released by CIMA on Friday 24th March, so here is insight to what we know with the Ashworth Lea OCS case study as well as some excellent preview videos from Astranti that focus on the pre-seen, top 10 issues and strategic analysis

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

I posted an article earlier this month on CIMA Case Study Advice: May 2017 that will give you some more pointers and advice on how to approach the case study and the different resources available to you – ranging from post exam kits to study advice.

For those interested in the complete Astranti OCS course for Ashworth Lea you can find it here.

Ashworth Lea: Who are they?

The company in the OCS exam, Ashworth Lea, are a producer of high quality prestigious motor cars and your role in the exam is that of a Finance Officer for the company.

Here are a few key pointers and background information taken from the pre-seen materials.

  • The company began in the early 1900’s as a partnership between Robert Ashworth and Andrew Lea.
  • The company has been consistently linked to high-quality, premium priced cars.
  • They are considered to be a niche producer with worldwide sales.
  • Ashworth Lea hit troubled times 30 years ago due to a lack of new models being released, however, a large mass producer of vehicles DOM acquired a 60% stake in the company and invested significant funds into the ailing company.
  • Nevertheless, DOM recently sold 45% of the stake in the company so the current structure looks like this.
  • a) original owners 40%, DOM 15%, INV group 45%

Ashworth Lea: Pre-Seen Video Analysis

Here is a preview video of the Astranti pre-seen analysis on Ashworth Lea, however, I would first recommend to go through the pre-seen materials once yourself and make notes on the key points before watching the video.

Then you can align your thoughts with that of the tutor.

The detailed page by page analysis of the pre-seen materials is a must view for any student taking the exam in May.

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

Ashworth Lea: Strategic Video Analysis

By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Ashworth Lea you will be able to understand the full picture and give greater depth to your answers on exam day. Drawing up your own SWOT analysis of the company is a good start before getting stuck into the Astranti strategic analysis video.

Here you can find the full set of videos on the May OCS here.

Ashworth Lea: Top 10 Issues

Here the Astranti tutors give their opinions on the most likely topics that could come up on exam day. This is of course subjective, but I found it to be very close the mark when I took the OCS exam 18 months ago.

It is a great way to add some focus to your OCS revision – but don’t use it as a way to question spot or write practice answers that you will replicate during the actual exam.

Here you can find the full set of videos on the May OCS here.

CIMA Case Study Advice: May 2017

The May 2017 CIMA case studies are just around the corner and this article should put you on the right track for a pass mark.

CIMA May 2017 Case Study Exam Tips

Having passed the OCS exam myself last year – you can read more on that here – I hope I can offer students who are facing the same problems and questions I had, guidance and some useful case study resources.

Here are my 3 top tips for passing your next CIMA case study.

Don’t be scared of the pre-seen materials

As soon as the pre-seen materials are released you should cover them back to front, make notes and re-read them over again. You may have the tendency to stick to revising theory based on the syllabus content but the six weeks between pre-seen materials being released and the exam date are crucial and you should focus your attention mainly on the pre-seen materials.

Plan Your Answers

You may be out of practice with longer written style exams since the introduction of the new style “multiple choice” CIMA objective tests. So this makes planning your answers in the case study even more critical. It will prevent you for rambling and also keep you on track to make sure you answer the requirements in the exam questions.

Be clever with your time and be sure to give yourself 10 minutes planning time before you start writing your answers. Read the question and requirements and make some brief headings on your answer paper, then add more depth under each heading making sure to include reference to pre-seen and industry analysis where possible.

Now you will be in a position to start your answers in full and ensuring in the process you will have ticked all of the boxes in terms of relevant content.

Take Mock Exams Seriously

Testing yourself is always the toughest part in any exam preparation. But mock exams are key to success and this rings true for CIMA case studies as well.

Being able to concentrate for three hours and answer question after question in a pressured environment is not easy. The only way to be confident and exam ready is take a few mock exams before the real thing. Not only will have the experience under your belt, you will find out which areas you need to improve on (i.e. more links to pre-seen) and it will enhance your exam technique in the process.

Astranti Case Study Course

 

Astranti are growing in reputation with each passing year and I was glad to use their resources for the OCS exam I passed first time. In fact, it was an Astranti OCS student who ranked 1st in global November CIMA results.

But to take full advantage and guarantee yourself a pass mark (see the Astranti Pass Guarantee), their full OCS, MCS and SCS courses cover everything you need to pass the May 2017 CIMA case study.

CIMA OCS Exam Tips

  • Study Text 1: how to approach the exam.
  • Study Text 2: syllabus content that is easy to digest.
  • Pre-Seen Analysis: where it all begins! video analysis of the pre-seen.
  • Strategic Analysis: how to understand the scenario from a strategic point
  • Top 10 Issues: a tutors view on the top 10 issues with the case study scenario
  • Industry Analysis: a look into the industry surrounding the case study.
  • Masterclass 1: live session with CIMA tutor on how to pass the case study.
  • Masterclass 2: another live session focusing on CIMA syllabus revision.
  • 3 Mock Exams: based on the actual case study (with marking and feedback!!).
  • Personal Advice and Guidance – via private forums and progress reviews.
  • Ethics Pack – a favourite CIMA topic that should never be under estimated!!

You can find full details of their courses for all levels below for the May 2017 exams.

OCS Course – May 2017

MCS Course – May 2017

SCS Course – May 2017

CIMA Examiners Guidance

CIMA Exam Tips

A keen feature of this article in previous editions has been the links to the post-exam kits from CIMA on the case study exams. However, this time around, I have gone through the examiners report for each level OCS, MCS and SCS for November exams and picked out the key remarks from the examiner.

It’s clear from the comments below that students, must;

  • improve their technical knowledge of the CIMA syllabus.
  • remember ethical principles.
  • answer the requirements of the question and not just blurt all they know on that subject without any thought.

OCS: November examiners feedback

There was little evidence that time pressure caused any problems. However there were elements of answers missing or only briefly addressed in some cases; often in the more technical areas.

This was either due to a lack of technical knowledge or possibly the result of candidates not reading the task properly.

In a case study the most important thing to do is to answer the task asked within the context of the business. The random inclusion of models, with no application, earned no marks. In addition weaker answers included a tendency to knowledge dump rather than focus on the task given.

It is important to prepare for this examination by studying previous case studies and practice putting knowledge into context by answering past questions.

MCS: November examiners feedback

As with previous case studies, the strongest answers were those which were clearly applied to the scenario.

This case study continued the trend first observed in the August exam of candidates appearing to be getting weaker in technical accounting and stronger in general management.

Candidates must be better prepared in technical accounting areas in the future.

Some candidates demonstrated a worryingly poor understanding of several syllabus areas, including crucial material such as the accounting standards, transfer pricing, ethics, rights issues and even net present value.

This was clearly very disappointing; however there were also some very good answers where candidates made good use of the pre-seen material, were technically competent and made excellent attempts at answering what was asked.

SCS: November examiners feedback

Many candidates could not name the ethical principles or apply them. In some cases they were unable to recognise an ethical issue.

Finance was another weak area, where the lack of ability was surprising. It is clear that candidates are becoming weaker at technical accounting questions, though better at management questions.

You can find the full details of the examiners guidance from previous CIMA case study exams by visiting the CIMA connect site here – and searching under the relevant resources.

Good Luck and happy studying!!