The last CIMA tutor conference was back in 2016. It was a great event and included presentations from the examiners themselves on what they wanted from YOU in order to pass your exams.
They discussed the key mistakes that students were making and it was great to be able to talk to them in person to really understand where they were coming from.
Thinking back to that day now and looking at the recent case study examiner’s reports I’m afraid not much has changed!
Sadly, the issues highlighted by the examiners a couple of years ago are still being made by many students in recent exams too.
And YET it certainly doesn’t have to be that way!
While I do recommend you take a look yourself at the examiners’ reports yourself, I’m going to save you time by giving you what I believe to be the 5 key takeaways!
1. Know all the theory
Firstly, examiners have said that on many occasions a lack of technical knowledge has been evident. Please ensure you know all the key elements of E, F & P!
2. Clearly format your answers
Formatting won’t give you marks in itself but it does provide a structure to your answer. It allows you to bring your key points to the examiner’s attention and helps you to present your work in an easy to read way. This enables the examiner to navigate through your answers and give you marks!
3. Answer the question asked
Examiners regularly comment that candidates answer the task that they wanted to be asked rather than what they were actually asked. Don’t fall into this trap! You’re in danger of wasting lots of time without gaining many marks.
4. Plan your answers
Over my many years of marking hundreds of student scripts, I’ve noticed that those who have created even a brief plan on average score better than those where there is no obvious plan.
I recommend that you plan your answers directly on the answer screen to save yourself time. You can then construct your full answer around the plan that you’ve created.
5. Give a balanced argument or appraisal
Finally, answer the question from both perspectives e.g. why a new strategy could be both suitable or unsuitable. Then and only then, provide a clear conclusion. The examiner does not like people sitting on the fence.
Please do refer to this list throughout when studying for your case study exam. Above all, this will ensure that you make the examiners happy!
I’d really recommend taking a look at the most recent examiner’s reports yourself. There’s nothing quite like hearing the message directly from the examiner!
Here they are for you:
If you believe you still need to work on some areas based on the list above, you may be interested in our range of CIMA case study materials.