In an earlier post I shared the February 2016 past exam tasks (Past Exam Tasks – Mgr ICS – Feb 2016 (update)), I wanted to share my thoughts with you following the publication of the Examiner’s Report.
Generic comments on student performance across the five variants focussed again on the limited application of syllabus knowledge to the practical and real-world scenarios presented.
Students need to appreciate the complexity of tasks and understand the requirement to demonstrate their knowledge of the syllabus (technical knowledge competency) and ensure they also meet the competencies of leadership, people skills and business acumen.
The Report raises concerns over the dip in quality of answer presented, even referring to scripts in “many cases” being significantly lower than the August and November 2015 sessions. “Some candidates also demonstrated an alarmingly poor understanding of several syllabus areas, including material that is clearly ‘core'”, which as The Report highlights, is rather alarming!
Strong scripts demonstrated some students had prepared well, made good use of the pre-seen material and were technically competent. With that in mind, my key tips to develop prior to the exam are:
- Practice exam standard tasks, ensuring you tailor and apply your answers to the pre-seen and context of the requirement.
- Revise E, F and P syllabus content.
- Ensure you are familiar with the pre-seen information and have an appreciation of the industry in order to understand the issues that may arise in the unseen information.
- Review past exams to develop the skill of interpreting the requirements, DO NOT consider the pre-seen information from previous exam sittings.
- Reflect on your own performance in tasks, if possible ask for a fellow student or colleague to review your answers in practice tasks.
Note – there is no requirement for students to memorise the pre-seen material or to become an expert in the industry, however students should develop an understanding of the pre-seen company. Exam preparation should focus on analysis of the pre-seen in order to incorporate an appreciation of issues that may arise within the unseen tasks to aid revision.
Do have a read of the task by task and requirement by requirement detail produced in the examiners report to help identify lessons to learn from previous students.