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CIMA Prizewinners share their tips for exam success


We asked some of our recent CIMA prizewinners to share their top tips on how they achieved exam success.

Plan ahead and prepare yourself

For the Case Study exam, plan your answers before getting stuck in - this saves you a lot of time trying to think and prevents waffling.

Management Case Study, 2nd in world, November 2015 - Matthew Bowler

My goal was to ensure I split my time between the key elements needed to pass the exam, i.e. technical knowledge, knowing the case study and exam practise. With this in mind I drafted a study timetable immediately after booking onto my course, ensuring that I set aside adequate time in each of these areas.

Strategic Case Study, 8th in world, November 2015 - Steven Scullion

Don’t leave it too long between your course and exams; get the exams booked early so you aren’t constantly juggling your busy lives.

Operational Case Study, November 2015 - Nicholas

I found it useful to make a one pager of the key facts and figures to remember, as in the exam you do not have any time to refer back to Case Study.

Strategic Case Study, 4th in world August 2015 - Kimanh Duong

Case study notes and calculator

Practice as much as you can

Do all the practice exam material you can. Try not to master every single element of the course - listen to your tutor and focus your time on the key areas or any areas you find harder. For the case study in particular, it’s about applying the knowledge you’ve learnt. So try not to cram facts, but think about what’s relevant to the scenario and how this knowledge can be applied.

Operational Case Study, 1st in world, November 2015 - Brendan Ryan

Practice doing questions before entering the exam. Getting used to the particular time pressure of either an Objective Test or Case Study exam is half the battle.

Management Case Study, 2nd in world, November 2015 - Matthew Bowler

Question practise is key. Get past paper questions or mock exams from whatever source you can. The greater the variety of questions you come across when studying, the higher the probability that you may get a similar question in the exam and be well prepared for it. Additionally, you will be more prepared for the “shock” factor of coming across a question that you did not expect.

Strategic Case Study, 8th in world, November 2015 - Steven Scullion


Student on laptop

Aim high and give 100%

You get out of it what you put into it. All theory learned will benefit you as a finance professional. The better I do in the exams and study, the better I am in my role.

Management Case Study, 5th in world, November 2015 - Scott Coulter

Believe that you can be a prizewinner and use this belief as motivation to put extra hours in when studying. When others have had enough for the night, a potential prizewinner will do an extra question or two from a past paper, or read a relevant article even when they feel they have had enough.

Strategic Case Study, 8th in world, November 2015 - Steven Scullion