In searching through CIMAs website today for additional resources to share with you, I found this article produced by Jacek, a Managerial Case Study student who successfully passed his exam last year. It is worth noting his winning formula.

The original article can be found here.

Management Case Study Exam

“Prepare a reasonable and feasible study plan and stick to it”

Student
4th June 2015

I sat and passed the Management case study exam in the 2015 syllabus. CIMA asked me to share my experience. Here’s how I got on. Good luck to other students sitting case study exams!

How does it feel to be one of the first students to pass a case study exam?   
I am excited but also surprised since it is hard to predict the result on open-ended questions which often involve some business judgment.

How did the case study exam compare to what you had expected? 
Firstly, despite high expectations, the exam was far more interesting than I expected. I had a feeling I was working on real business cases. What is interesting, when I told my friend about the questions in details, he was so excited that he decided to enroll for the next CIMA exams. The level of difficulty was more predictable – it was quite similar to the practice exam.

How did you prepare for the exam and which resources did you find most helpful?

I was using CIMA Official Exam Practice Kit published by Kaplan and I was satisfied with this material. It is logically written, concise and contains many relevant examples thereby allowing effective learning. I also tried to read more widely around key subjects with the focus on the industry from the pre-seen material. I used different publicly available industry reports and well-known business publications such as Financial Times and Harvard Business Review. I also took two practice exams delivered by Pearson VUE which really helped me to identify my weaknesses and practice time management. It is also worth to mention that I was relentlessly thinking about practical application of business models as it was far easier to fully understand the theory.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was to organise and manage time to prepare for the ‘triple exam’ in one sitting. I have made an ambitious study plan (“stretch target” in CIMA terminology). I divided work into five separate phases with specific deadlines for each. First three stages involved reading E2, P2 and F2 books, respectively. By the way, I found this sequence helpful as it was much easier to start with the most pleasant book (for me) and become optimistic before studying harder parts of the material. In the next step I took two practice exams delivered by Pearson VUE in order to identify my weaknesses and practice time management. Finally, I revised part of the books based on the weaknesses identified in practice exams.

What is your winning formula?
WINNING FORMULA = STUDY PLAN + IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS PLAN. Unfortunately, it seems that there are no shortcuts. I strongly believe that organising appropriate amount of time is the most important success factor.

Can you offer some advice to other students?
Prepare a reasonable and feasible study plan and stick to it. Try to think about practical application of business models as it would be far easier to fully understand and apply the theory.

Good luck!

Jacek Komor

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