The CIMA May 2016 case studies will begin in two weeks time with the OCS: Sanchez Navarra exam, closely followed by MCS: IC Optical and finally the SCS: DreemPark. Therefore, students who are sitting these exams are facing the final crucial period of case study preparation.
What I have I tried to do here is run through a check list of milestones and collate important resources and information in one place – for ALL of the three levels.
Pre-Seen Material Analysis
The pre-seen material is the foundation on of preparations and is of course key in passing the CIMA case study exam. You should know it inside-out!
There should be no excuses for not having a full grasp of the materials.
Here are a few points to consider when analysing it:
- Do you understand the company background and how it’s developed over time?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the company?
- Have you analysed the financial statements and linked this to the company weaknesses? (i.e. cash balance has improved in current year, so cash is available to invest more into marketing the products)
- Do you understand the company structure?
- What opportunities is the company not exploiting?
- Think about ethics!!! (i.e. does the company follow unethical practices or this there a conflict on interests at board room level)
You can find my earlier posts on the pre-seen material and preview videos here for the OCS: Sanchez Navarra, MCS: IC Optical and SCS: DreemPark
Another area that is crucial when preparing for the case study exam is the real life industry analysis. The examiner loves it when you are able to point out to industry trends in the context of the case study.
You’ll also find it will help you relate to the scenario more by understanding what’s happening in the real world.
For example; the MCS case study is on IC Optical so the optician and eye care industry affects ALOT of people on a daily basis – use your own experiences and observations when thinking about your case study scenario.
You can find a full breakdown of all of the May case study industry trends from my article earlier this month here.
Case Study Exam Style Preperation
Sitting the case study exam under the new CIMA 2015 syllabus can be a daunting prospect, but it needn’t be. You should familiarise yourself of what to expect on exam day by taking plenty of mock exams and it’s also worth visiting the Pearson VUE site directly where you can simulate a case study exam.
There is a great .pdf document from CIMA here for students who are taking their first case study on what to expect. It covers all three levels and gives you;
- Introduction to case study exams
- Time management guide
- What to expect
- Study and exam guides
- Links to practice exam
- Other practical advice
Finally, I posted an article on CIMA Mock Exam Resources a while back when gives you an insight and links to case study mock exams from Astratni with the option of tutor feedback and marking. While you can also find details on how I passed the OCS exam last year here.
Students who are home studying or distance learning for the May 2016 CIMA case study exams maybe missing student interaction. It’s an underestimated element of revising and studying – being able to bounce ideas and theories off of other students in the same boat – this can can prove invaluable in passing your CIMA case study
I was part of a Whatsapp group chat when taking the OCS exam last year, it was a very valuable tool for me to be able to ask for help from other students, while it gave me an insight to what others where thinking about in terms of the case study scenario.
I would suggest visiting the CIMA connect site and see if someone has already started a discussion on creating a Whatsapp study group you can join – or you can always start one of your own!
CIMA connect: OCS student discussion
CIMA connect: MCS student discussion
CIMA connect: SCS student discussion
CIMA Case Study Exam Day
When exam day is eventually here you should “hopefully” be feeling well prepared and relaxed (although not too relaxed, personally I find a certain amount of nerves makes me perform better!).
By covering all of the pre-seen materials, industry and strategic analysis and mock exams you will be in a good position to get the pass mark you need.
Finally, in my CIMA case study exam check list you might want to read the articles on my experiences with the Pearson VUE testing centres and my top ten CIMA exam revision tips.
Stay focused and GOOD LUCK!