CIMA Case Study exams last minute study tips and hacks - CIMA Mock Exams



Monday, February 17, 2020

CIMA Case Study exams last minute study tips and hacks

CIMA Case Study exams last minute study tips and hacks
CIMA Case Study exams last minute study tips and hacks 

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Key things to remember about CIMA OCS, MCS and SCS Case study exams  

The final weekend before the case study next week and I just want to give you my thoughts on what you should be doing over these next few days in order to really get the most out of your exam in order to hopefully get being the marks you need to pass so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna be running through the key skills that you need in order to pass and really where you ought to be at this point now some of you have been would have been working really hard really focused really prepared well and you're kind of going into these last few days in a very much a revision phase kind of like you know you're already in a strong position is just backing it up others of you will be thinking far more about.

I've done enough work what am I gonna do what are the key things I need to do in order to to get through so I'm gonna try and cover it from both perspectives I really hope you're in the first of the scenarios but I'm fully aware that they'll be quite a few of you for various reasons work precious personal pressures just can't get down to the work whatever reasons that you know you've got a lot of work to do with these next few days to go.

Let's go through the key things that you need to be good at the exam day let's start with theory so if you're at the operational case study level theory is really important it's something which is a major part of the questions it's very important you understand that theory so hopefully at this stage where you should be you should have revised all the key theories and really you know you've done them during the OT exams and you're in a reasonable position now to have a good background knowledge of each of those the theories.

Typically tested in detail not as much detail as the OT level so you need an overview only at this stage if you haven't been through those OTQ theories and you're doing the operational case study then now is the time to do so have a look at our study text part 1 which summarizes all the e1 the p1 and the f1 massive information down into a condensed fashion there would still be a lot to get through over a weekend to be honest with you but it will break it all down don't go trying to learn everything and don't learn all the numbers because you won't be examined on numbers in your exam so do do some revision of that you're at the operational case study level or  MCS or SCS .

Mismanagement and strategic level it's far less important the exam is far more about here's a business scenario analyze that and give us your views give us your recommendations give us your analysis particularly a strategic level I wouldn't be doing any more work on theory theory is so unimportant in terms of what it takes to pass at this stage you are better doing other stuff even MCS I wouldn't spend much time on it if you do spend time a quick review of the key theories again our study texts are part one can help you with that study techspot - oh part ones and part twos I get the mixed up our part one is all about exam technique.

How to approach the exam part two is the revision of the theories it's the part 2 one that's the key one for you okay so theory then not so important for MCS in SCS don't be wasting your time spending a lot of time on that next then is exam technique the state part 1 if I get it right this time and with that one it's really crucial you've got certain key skills first key key Scott is you know what the exam is like you've seen past exams you know what your role is you know the format of the exam the approach to take to pass .

your technique needs to be very strong how good is your planning approach have you got a set approach to planning your answers so that first 10 to 12 minutes of reading through the question and structuring your answer is really well used planning makes an enormous difference to the final mark that you will get secondly have you mastered the structure of Europe answers have you got headings and then points of about three four five lines where you make the point you've explained that point and you add some extra value you say something more you apply to the pre scene and is when you look at the answers you've practice answers you've done which I'm hoping you have you'll see that structure heading paragraph maybe another paragraph another heading paragraph paragraph with your clear your key points structured in heading so now have you got your planning mastered.

Writing Structure and writing  technique of Case study exams 

 Writing structure and technique mastered those make enormous difference to the marks you get that just the structuring of your answers and the way you approach those can make 100 percent difference I remember I had a student on a course once he'd failed an exam four times he just got 29% in the exam we worked only on one thing and that was his writing structure he got 69 percent improvement just because he was writing the answers out in the right way he was attempting everything else in the same way it's just that a normal writing approach just wasn't scoring marks for him you know he was an exceptional case he really was but it really makes a massive difference so have you done lots of practice of planning practice of writing answers in the right way if you look at your solutions and your plans are you happy with those so if you haven't done much on those then against 30% texts part one like.

I analyze how to do that also my tuition videos to be honest with you it's a little late to be going right back to basics like this but look if you're in that situation of not having mastered that you've got a weekend to do it that will make far more difference to your final mark then we'll go back revising theory so do practice that if you haven't got good if you are already quite strong just continue to continue the practice my biggest recommendation for most people over these next few days is practicing questions question practice after question practice up the question price you will be honing your skills in terms of planning structuring you'll see a lot more different types of questions so hopefully something similar will come up on exam day so you'll already be well prepared you'll be focused on the pre-seen because you've been really focusing on what does this mean for the priests in this thinking about the strategy of the company and so on yes that practice that makes perfect so that's what most people should be doing go forward and if exam technique is a failure.

yours definitely do a lot learn more you need to do and then practice practice practice okay our next key skill then that you need is knowledge of the pre-seen I'm hoping by now you've read through the pre-seen you've analyzed the pre-seen perhaps you've even watched our pre-seen videos so you really understand the company perhaps you've read our industry analysis so we've done your own industry research now you should be in the situation where you really know the pre-seen well you've already answered questions on it you've been through the industry and you understand the industry what you need to be doing in this final stage if you've got all those skills is learning some industry examples.

 I would recommend 2025 that you learn and you bring them in this is again where the practice questions come in practice as you're doing questions having learned some industry examples which where to bring them in which type of issues to bring which real-life industry examples into industry examples do school good marks particularly a strategic level at management level yes operational level not so much so because it's more theory but actually you can bring them in there will score marks it's just harder to often on the operational level but if you can it's still worth really really good master through doing that so we're right coming to the end night you need to learn those industry examples so they just come in the exam memorize a set phrase that you can use that you can bring up do you remember in the exam don't just throw them in anywhere the examiner hates industry examples that are irrelevant just thrown in like it's all pre-learn they have to be relevant to the question that you're being asked and as long as they are relevant and  you're making good the best thing to do is make a conclusion with your industry example.

CIMA Case study exam Question Handling technique 

 Real-life company they did this this this this and this and we can learn from this by following suit or this shows that the market generally is moving this direction and we must carry on in that are or they were very unsuccessful when they did that so we shouldn't do that either so you're using it to make a conclusion so you're it's really really good analysis if you can do that okay so that's what you should be doing if you're in a good position if you have not looked at the precinct very much not done a full strategic analysis of the pre-seen you really need to be getting on and doing that this weekend you need to go into the exam with a decent knowledge of that company the other thing I'd really recommend for you this weekend on the pre-seen is to create a one-page fact sheet what you're looking for are the key items that you'll be learning for the exam you're thinking about if we're looking at the this the income statement.

 if we're looking at a statement of financial position what's the gearing figure what percentage is that do you know that what's the cash flow I mean gearing by the way a really important figure because that will affect the level of debt that we can raise in the future financing questions are all three levels are very common and so therefore you know if we've got high gearing and you remember the figure and you can put that in you can justify why say it would be hard to raise more debt if there's high gearing or if there's low gearing won't would be easy to raise more debt adding that number in that I don't know forty five percent really shows that you know the company and the examiner loves nothing more than you showing your knowledge of the pre-seen and applying answer to the pre-seen.

CIMA case study Examiners Feedback and guidelines 

 All three examiner's again and again and again and looking for application you make a point you apply it to this company see what it means for this company if you can bring in statistics fantastic so gearing what's the cash that's available just remember let's say there's a business and there's thirty million dollars of cash that's available to them remember a lot of that is needed for working capital that's not money just yet don't spend it let's say the company's got 100 million of of revenues they actually need to buy stopped pay salaries to pay leases of that 30 million how much is available ten five is hard to say without seeing your case but it's going to be a small amount that's available for investment in some new project okay so do remember that is why I just throw that it is a caveat because I often I see people who say there's 30 million available to spend on this new project know most of it will be needed for day-to-day cash flows okay so where's the money going to come from and actually just as a general tip on any new project on any new development always consider financing or is it equities at depth finance we've got money as cash anyway so cash available gearing you might want to learn some of your throws like the inventory days ratio debtors day and so on okay receivables day I should call it you have to forgive me debtors days was the way I learnt it when I was you know taught for many years of debt two days before it all moved over to the international terminology of receivables days and so on okay so those key statistics you want them in here so the in the exam they're just there they're just available to you please do not go back and look at the pre seen on exam day to pick those figures out you do not have the time it's a real race to the end in the exam to get as many points down as possible.

 I know when I'm in class what I do in class is the I set a big question for people and I answer that at the same time and of course I'm under real pressure on their typing away you know am i well know the screen behind me the the answers coming up I'm under unbelievable pressure to almost come up with a perfect answer where ever while everyone else is doing those and I know when I'm doing that I will never ever look back at the preset in to be honest with you typically I won't look back at the unseen I will trust in the plan and I will just write and write and write and I will keep on writing if I've got figure in my head I will put that down.

Time pressure and writing CIMA Case study answers 

 IF I've got to go and look that up I don't because I'm it's just too much time pressure for me to do that now of course I'm trying to create the perfect answer in the time and so I've got to get a lot of volume in there to show you know that often I'm what I'm trying to show is it can be done people often don't believe that you can produce a really long answer in the exam to get lots of really good points since I'm trying to show that from your point of view you won't be out you'll be after the perfect aisle so you want a passing answer but if you can keep a lot of figures in your head that you've learned and you bring those up in the exam just because you know them that will come across very well to the examiner and it will save you time.

Key Facts about the real case company 

 Learn a lot of key facts about the company the people in the company if you've got directors mentioned who are they what are their names what are their roles the types of markets that the company is in if there's competitors mentioned and remember the names of the competitors and some of the statistics about those it's up to you to pick out from your case what you think those are so a one-page fact sheet for you to memorize so when you go into the exam you can use those items and you don't actually have to continue to look them up on the exam B that will save you a lot of time and also it will get you are prepared as well so that is the pre-seen  next thing you should have done at the stage is you should have taken mocks and ideally you would have had feedback my hope is if you've been getting feedback from markers on you haven't done this so well you've done this really well I'll keep on doing that this is okay do it this differently that's not so good you definitely need to improve.

Practice CIMA mock exams 

 whatever it is so you've had personal feedback silver I want me telling you what it takes to pass but it's very hard to do in practice and that's where the feedback comes in so I'm hoping you've had that now if that's the case you need to go back through the feedback that you've had from your mocks and practice specifically overcoming those weaknesses so the next few days are mock exam after mock exam or practice question after practice question something like our ethics pack for instance has got a whole load of ethics type questions that you can practice so you can practice those types of questions as well and you're practicing to improve your areas of weakness.

Mock exams Feedback 

Okay now if you've yet to do mock exams that's the most important thing you can do is probably a bit late for you to get feedback you might have a friend or colleague you could that could look it through for you that might be useful thing for you to do but practice in mock exams mastering your structure your planning your time management which I haven't talked about time management is so so important mastering those things are those negative the next few days that will get you more marks than spending an enormous amount of time on the pre-seen  or going back to theory because exam technique is probably more important in terms of actually scoring marks it's the thing I see in students to fail that you know typically when I'm working the students that felt I'm not really working on their theory or their pre seen knowledge.

CIMA Casse study Mock exams are the key

 I'm typically working on their exam technique an approach because that typically is the differentiating factor their business analysis is another sort of element you know it's not the theory it's the way they've analyzed it in relation to the precinct and they're bringing out the points and most people have got the points in here just I need to kind of encourage them out that's what you need to work on hence mock exams the most important thing okay so in summary lots of mocks that one-page summary of the pre-seen bit of revision of theory at the operational level in particular a bit less so at the other levels review through the the pre seen.

Good luck to all CIMA Students 

one more read through so you really really get your head around that around that pre seen and if you're in a worse position well you've got a lot of work to do and you might go back to basics a little bit more exam technique and mock exams are the key thing to focus on if you're in that position whatever happens in terms of your next few days of work I really do wish you the best of luck on exam day you know what it's like you go into the exam there's various different variants that you could get you know you get the right ones that you really like and that's going to really really help you so I hope you get a really nice variant that's there just right for you and it all flows well on exam day don't get too stressed about it you know go into that exam thinking right but I've done all the work I'm going to do

Final Conclusion 

 I'm just going to do the best I can and actually if I fail I take it next time around you know going with that attitude even though you really want to pass but going with that attitude and it will help you to be relaxed and do the best you can and that's all you can do one it day is the best you can so going with that approach do the best you can and I really wish you the best of luck in the exam !!!!

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