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CIMA Mock Exams: Practice makes perfect!

This featured blog post is written by Practice Tests Academy and they explore the CIMA case study exam and the importance of getting tutor feedback and marking on your mock exam.

*this article contains affiliate links, I only promote CIMA tuition providers I used myself when passing my CIMA exams. Affiliate commission helps cover the costs of the site maintenance.

What are CIMA Case Study Exams?

The case study exams are based around a mock business and simulated scenarios within the organisation. Students are expected to play the part of a finance professional working for that business (role-play) in order to complete the given tasks. 

In other words, you are given hypothetical information about an imaginary company which you have to imagine yourself working in.

The preseen is a document that is released to students before the case study exam and it includes information about your company, the industry it operates in, the structure of the company, the balance sheet, loans and other finances. 

You are given a role to play in this company and are expected to take it seriously during your exam. 

One important thing to remember; the preseen contains information that you can use to start preparing yourself for potential tasks, but it’s not the only source of information that you’ll need for exam day. You’ll be presented with additional (unseen) information on the day of your exam, so always keep that in mind. 

To break it down for you: 

  • The preseen is published to students 7 weeks prior to exams 
  • The exams involve role-play and students have to act like a finance professional 
  • Students are presented with unseen information on exam day 
  • Case study tasks are completed by students based on provided scenarios 

What is the preseen?

The preseen is a document released to case study students 7 weeks prior to the exams via CIMAconnect. It contains information about a simulated organisation that you are expected to play a role in. It may include the company’s financial statements, industry analysis, competitor analysis, press releases, strategies and more. 

It’s vital that you learn the preseen inside out. It’s also important to remember that while the information and the organisation both are fictitious, CIMA states that it will still be “true to life”.

So, with this in mind, when studying the preseen, try to identify any potential real issues that the organisation might face or be currently facing in order to help you better prepare your answers for exam day. 

What tasks are you expected to compete in CIMA case study exams?

There’s no definitive answer to that, but first-things-first, when the preseen is released, go through it thoroughly. 

Find out what issues the organisation is (or could be) facing so that you can grasp an idea of what questions to expect in the case study exam.

Another way of exploring this is to go through past exam papers and analyse them. 

The questions you are asked in your case study exams might not match the ones in past exam papers, but you will get an idea of what type of questions to expect and start preparing for them. 

You can also get an analysis from a tuition provider, who will give you a good idea of what to expect in your exam. Tuition providers usually have experienced tutors who analyse the preseen and give you an idea of potential topics/issues that you might be given in the exam.

How to pass case study exams?

1.    Learn the preseen inside out – you will be asked questions based on information in the preseen, so learn every aspect of it. Know your CEO, CFO, directors. Know exactly who you are reporting to, etc.

2.    Practice mocks – buy mocks from a tuition provider and practice as much as you can. While attempting mocks, assess any information you missed so that you can go back and scrutinise areas that you need to. Practising mocks will help you feel more confident on exam day -just make sure you are doing them under timed (exam) conditions. 

3.    Get your mocks marked – practise, alone, might not be enough. You should get your mocks marked from tutors who will help you quickly determine any shortcomings in your answers. They will give you guidance on how you can improve and increase your chances of getting more marks, so take heed of their advice. 

Why getting your mocks marked is the best thing you can do

First things first, attempting mocks under timed conditions is extremely important. You need to know how to manage the time you have. You need to spend enough time on planning your answers and making sure they are comprehensive and easy to understand. 

Following that, assessing where you lack knowledge or evidence and revising those areas is key to helping you pass your case study exam. 

And why wouldn’t you get your mocks marked by a case study professional? It’s a no-brainer if you are looking for first-time success. With expert feedback on your mock exam, it will arm you with a knowledgeable and experienced point of view on your level of performance to tell you how well you are getting on.

Of course, you can simply just review model answers and assess how well you’ve done that way, but we find that rarely works, because, as humans, we are not very good judges of our own performance.

Getting your mocks reviewed will help you draw up an action plan on what to focus on. Perhaps it’s a particular model or theory you need to revise further. It can only help you. A personalised approach can turn a potential FAIL into a PASS!

Did you know that Practice Tests Academy offers packages that include expert mock marking?

Our high quality Case Study preparation packages not only include all the important preseen aspects such as a full analysis, a breakdown of the theory and different level points of views, but they are designed to help you perfect your writing technique so that you can provide high quality answers, backed up by clear and detailed evidence. 

Yes, our weekly writing assignments will get your thought process flowing and along with our tutorials, they’ll help you explore new ideas and methods to help you better prepare for your exam. 

Our professionally written mocks have been created by the same team of tutors that have helped thousands of students pass their case study exams. The answers are expertly detailed to give you an idea of the best approach to each of the mock tasks, but, on top of that, they will mark your exam and let you know, well in advance, how prepared you are for your upcoming case study exam. As well as that, we provide expert one-to-one tuition and a mentoring service. 

Check out what we have on our website here: