Practice Tests Academy

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PTA

The good people at Practice Tests Academy are offering The CIMA Student readers 20% off ALL OF THEIR CIMA Materials!!

The offer runs from Monday 19th November to Monday 26th November – to take advantage use the discount code 20thecimastudent

CIMA Objective Test Materials

PTA have expanded their materials from being a CIMA question bank to providing a full end to end course for CIMA objective tests. Here is a summary of what’s on offer.

Free Trial

You can try the practice test academy mock exams/question for free, you can tackle 20 to 30 questions on the CIMA objective test of your choice.

Single Mock Exam – 12 GBP

A single mock exam is available from PTA to test yourself in exam mode, 60 questions in 90 minutes to see if you’re ready for the real thing! You get feedback on the questions you got wrong and it ties it back to the CIMA syllabus and learning outcomes so you know which area to focus your revision on. A handy tool!

Exam Practice Kit – 55 GBP

The Practice Tests Academy offer “question banks” of 500 questions that allows you to customise your exam practice, you can use revision mode or real exam mode. You can practice, practice, practice and focus on your weak areas with the feedback service offered.

I used the Exam Practice Kit when I passed the CIMA P2 Exam First Time last year, so I can vouch it served me well – you can read more about how I passed P2 here.

Complete Course – 129 GBP

This rising CIMA tuition provider has also branched out into offering full CIMA Objective Test courses which give students a host of materials. What catches my eye is obviously the video lectures that come with the course.

Distance learning as a CIMA Student is difficult to say the least, so any tutor support is a great way to increase your knowledge and confidence of passing ANY CIMA exam!

I have yet to use the complete course offered up by the Practice Tests Academy, so cannot offer my personal experience, but below is a example of what you can expect.

CIMA Case Study Materials

As well as offering up Objective Test materials, the Practice Tests Academy are also delivering materials and resources for the CIMA Case Studies.

There are three sets of materials available;

  • Preperation: how to prepare for the case study exam
  • Revision: a look at the syllabus content that could come up.
  • Case Study: pre-seen analysis and a look at the key topics you could face.

The Practice Tests Academy have worked in conjunction with VIVA Tuition for their case study materials in order to harness on their strengths and deliver better quality materials for CIMA Students.

Remember, this exclusive 20% off ALL Practice Tests Academy materials for The CIMA Student readers expires at midnight on Monday 26th November – so don’t forget the discount code 20thecimastudent

 

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CIMA P2 Exam Tips

CIMA P2 Syllabus

CIMA P2 Syllabus

The CIMA P2 exam is a tough one to crack as there are lots of calculations to consider as well as some more complicated theory. However, having passed the P1 exam already you will have the platform already to build on your knowledge and successfully pass the CIMA P2 exam first time!

I found that syllabus section C: Long-Term Decision Making can feature quite heavily in the exam, as the subjects are easy to test in the objective tests. i.e. calculations on NPV, IRR and payback etc.

So make sure you spend enough time practising these types of questions in your revision!!

CIMA P2 Study Text

Before you get started with your CIMA P2 Advanced Management Accounting studies you should be aware that Astranti offer free online study texts and I found them a great way to study on the go (as well as for free!).

You can pick up a free online version of the CIMA P2 study text here.

CIMA P2 – Net Present Value and IRR

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I feel there are certain areas of the P2 syallabus that are easier to examine. And one of these areas are Net Present Values and Internal Rate of Return, as they are calculation based.

NPV’s are relatively straight forward but IRR (and MIRR) can be trickier to understand but the below video explains these discounted investment appraisal techniques in more detail.

CIMA P2 Study Planner

Fail to plan is planning to fail. <— said a wise person.

With this in mind, you should really make sure you plan your CIMA P2 studies to ensure;

  • You have enough time to cover the whole P2 syllabus.
  • Have 2-3 weeks of revision and mock exam practice at end.
  • Schedule your exam date so you have a target and motivation to study.

This is all common sense stuff really but if you struggle to plan your time effectively then you should take advantage of the CIMA P2 Study Planner direct from the CIMA connect site. It will help you stay on track and ensure you reach the milestones along the way.

CIMA Mock Exams

Once you have covered the whole syllabus, the key to passing any CIMA exam is make sure your have enough exam practice under your belt. I use a mixture of the Kaplan exam practice kits and the practice tests academy online mock exams.

Making sure you can handle the P2 exam in real exam conditions will give you confidence to handle the exam on exam day.

CIMA P2 Exam Strategy

I’d also suggest to have a “strategy” on how to approach the exam as you will be under time pressure and you need to be smart with your time. I’ve mentioned this several times on different blog posts but the video from CIMA below explains a great way how to approach the CIMA objective tests.

The CIMA Student Advice

You can read how I passed the CIMA P2 exam here for my full thoughts on how I passed the exam; but to be honest it was one of the tougher exams for me as I was exempt from P1 due to the transition from to 2015 Syllabus but nevertheless it is still possible to pass the exam first time.

There are no shortcuts though.

You must put in the hours in terms of covering the syllabus, testing your knowledge and having the right exam preparation in terms of real mock exam practice in exam conditions.

But there are also lots of resources out there that can help you, use the CIMA Connect Site to engage with other students and look through the CIMA P2 technical articles.

I often found these articles a great way to get my head around theory I couldn’t quite grasp from my study text.

CIMA Connect and P2 Technical Articles

For example; login to CIMA connect and select the study resources for CIMA P2 Advanced Management Accounting;

  • Select; Article and
  • Lead Learning Outcome; C2 Discuss Pricing Strategies
  • And it will show give you a link to a CIMA technical article on the subject.

2018-03-21 10_45_53-Study resources _ CIMAconnect

It’s a great resource that can often be overlooked by students.

Happy Studying CIMA P2 and Good Luck!

CIMA OCS November 2017: Struans

CIMA released the pre-seen materials for the upcoming November OCS exam, so OCS students can start with their exam preparations.

You can find the pre-seen materials foe the Struans of Newland case study here.

Nov 2017 OCS pre-seen materials

I hope the OCS students already have a study plan created, as you will need to co-ordinate your time carefully between now and the exam date.

Here is my advice on what steps to take between now and the 7th November.

Create a Study Plan

It’s the starting point for all of CIMA studies, creating a plan is crucial in ensuring you cover the topics and areas you need – especially when it comes to the case studies.

Refresh your memory with E1/F1/P1 syllabus material

Hopefully the topics from your objective tests are still relatively fresh in your mind, and you’ve already been looking back through your notes before the pre-seen materials were released.

*I would suggest to focus on the pre-seen materials as soon as they released, then you can come back to syllabus refresh once you have an idea of what to expect on exam day.

Analyse the pre-seen materials

An obvious but very crucial point to note, the pre-seen materials should be analysed and not memorised!! There will be no marks for remembering the pre-seen material word by word, in fact you even get the pre-seen material on exam day.

So you need to understand the implications of what the pre-seen materials are telling you.

  • Do they have a poor advertising and marketing mix?
  • Is their machinery beginning to age and need new invest?
  • Is there a conflict of interests in the board room?

Join a study group or speak to other OCS students

Hearing other peoples point of view on the OCS pre-seen materials can be a great eye opener, check out the CIMA connect site to speak with other students in the same boat. Join a whatsapp group, or create one for yourself.

It’s a great way to learn, bounce ideas off others and gives your another view point as well as morale support for the exam.

Mock Exams

Taking a mock exam on the case study in exam conditions really goes a long way to passing the OCS. I done this with Astranti as they base their mock exams on the actual pre-seen materials, it’s the best learning curve you can have and will give you confidence.

One note though, sit more than if you can and give yourself time to understand your weaknesses do you can work on them!

OCS: Watch Analysis on Struans of Newland

The below video from Astranti gives through the Top 10 Issues based on the pre-seen materials for the November 2017 OCS.

However, before watching I would recommend you make your own notes on the pre-seen materials so already have the background and some ideas of your own where the issues are with Struans. 

 

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

For those interested in the complete Astranti OCS course for Struans of Newland you can find it here.

CIMA MCS May 2017: BES

CIMA released the pre-seen materials for the upcoming MCS exam in May 2017 this week and this gives students the chances to prepare themselves to pass the exam first time.

The MCS exam combines the theory you have learnt from the E2, P2 and F2 objective tests and pulls it together in the form of a practical case study.

The MCS exam is challenging given the depth of the knowledge and skills required to pass but they are much more interesting from a students point of view.

Remember! Your role in this exam is that of Financial Manager – undertstanding your role within the company is important – you can read more it on a blog post I wrote here.

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

Likewise, I posted an article earlier this month with some general advice on the case study exams for all levels for the May 2017 sitting here.

I’d also recommend looking at the CIMA connect site for the MCS exam to find other students discussion and practical advice from CIMA.

BES: Pre-seen video analysis

You can find the full set of videos on the May 2017 MCS here.

BES: Strategic Analysis

You can find the full set of videos on the May 2017 MCS here.

BES: Top 10 Issues

You can find the full set of videos on the May 2017 MCS here.

MCS: Astranti Full Course

If you found the pre-seen videos helpful then the MCS course from Astranti is worth looking into as they provide a clear study plan with LOTS of materials, mock exams and support to help you pass the MCS.

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 MCS November 2016: Portafone

Well, the MCS students got the pre-seen material for their November exam yesterday afternoon and the case study scenario revolves around a mobile phone company called Portafone. 

The company designs and manufactures mobile telephones and in your role as financial manager you will be required to work all functional areas of the business and the bulk of work revolves around management accounting.

Understanding your role in the MCS exam is crucial as it will determine how you approach each question and you will need to cater your answers accordingly.

You can find the official pre-seen material for the November 2016 MCS Portafone from CIMA here.

Portafone: Pre-Seen Video Analysis

The first port of call (no pun intended) is to analyse the pre-seen material for the CIMA MCS exam. I would suggest going through the material on your own first and make notes on the key points and highlighting the important information – then watch the pre-seen video analysis from Astranti (below) and align your notes against the comments made by the tutors.

You can find the full set of videos on the November MCS here

Portafone: Strategic Analysis

The strategic analysis of the company should be done next so you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of the company and understand their strategic objectives.

Using the pre-seen analysis and strategic analysis together you will now probably have a good idea of what types of questions could come up. If there is a significant weakness in the company i.e. they are not committing enough investment and time in marketing, then there will probably be a question on the marketing mix (and remember you will need to think about this from a Financial Manager point of view).

To Strategic Analysis video will give you a much better understanding of Portfones strengths, weaknesses and overall strategy of the company.

You can find the full set of videos on the November MCS here

Portafone: Top 10 Issues

The Top 10 Issues video will highlight the most likely questions and topics that could come up on exam day. This is based on the tutors analysis of the pre-seen material alongside the strategic analysis of Portafone. 

It’s a great way to give your studies for the November MCS a clear focus on syllabus areas to brush up. Understanding and being prepared for the most likely questions to come up will give you a great chance of passing the CIMA MCS first time.

You can find the full set of videos on the November MCS here

Astranti MCS Pass Guarantee

Finally, the full MCS course for the Portafone case study covers every single base ranging from all pre-seen videos, mock exams with marking and online classes.

They believe by taking the course you will pass the CIMA MCS exam first time, so much so they offer a pass guarantee to all students.

You can find full details on the MCS course with pass guarantee here.

MCS Course Contents:

  • MCS study text (part 1 and 2)
  • Pre-seen analysis (video and text)
  • Strategic analysis (video and text)
  • Top 10 issues (video and text)
  • Industry analysis (video and text)
  • 2 x online master classes – each class is a full day revision (recorded and live)
  • 3 x online mock exams – answered with detailed tutor feedback
  • Ethics pack
  • Personal advice and guidance

CIMA SCS August 2016: AEN

It’s finally here. The SCS pre-seen material for the August sitting of the strategic level case study has been released by CIMA.

This, the final exam for many students, will be arguably the toughest exam you will face in becoming qualified. So get started now on your revision and exam preparation – I have put together below a series of video previews from Astranti will set you on the road to becoming CIMA qualified!

You can find the official pre-seen material for the August 2016 SCS from CIMA here.

AEN: Pre-Seen Video Analysis

Understanding the pre-seen material is crucial to achieving a pass mark on exam day. It makes up the basis and platform for the questions and topics you will face when sitting the exam, make sure you are 100% comfortable with the material.

Below is a preview of the pre-seen analysis for AEN.
You can find the full set of videos on the August SCS here.

AEN: Strategic Analysis

The strategic analysis of the SCS scenario AEN is up next, here you will begin to understand and think about the mission and strategic goals of the company.

You can find the full set of videos on the August SCS here.

AEN: Top 10 Issues

Finally, the top 10 issues video goes through the most likely topics to be examined in the strategic level case study. It looks at the company and pre-seen materials and pin-points syllabus areas which could well be examined. It’s a great way to get some focus when preparing for the SCS.

You can find the full set of videos on the August SCS here.

Astranti SCS Pass Guarantee

I passed the OCS last year using the Astranti videos (pre-seen analysis, Top 10 issues and Strategic analysis) and would thoroughly recommend them.

Here is what is included in the course.

  • SCS study text (part 1 and 2)
  • Pre-seen analysis (video and text)
  • Strategic analysis (video and text)
  • Top 10 issues (video and text)
  • Industry analysis (video and text)
  • 2 x online master classes – each class is a full day revision (recorded and live)
  • 3 x online mock exams – answered with detailed tutor feedback
  • Ethics pack
  • Personal advice and guidance

You can find full details on the SCS course with pass guarantee here.

Good Luck! And feel free to leave links to any additional materials SCS students would benefit from when sitting the exam in August.