CIMA’s Strategic Case Study Exam
For the new Strategic Case Study there are 5 things we already know about which will be very important to all Strategic Students.
1) There are no calculations in the Case Study Exam
HURRAH shout some of you! Well, it’s not all good news… Calculations in the old T4 exam were a definite area where marks could be gained. In the new SCS exam, the general requirements are going to be less specific and harder to “learn”. This will make improving harder because you might be at a loss to discover where you are failing. Getting feedback on your Mock Exam scripts for the new Case Study Exam will therefore be vital to ensure you are getting all the rights points and answering them in the right way!
2) Technical knowledge of the theory from F3, P3 and E3 syllabi will be required
You can’t forget the technical material now you’ve passed your E3, F3 and P3 exams. You’ve still got be very familiar with it as you will be expected to use it in this exam. If you’ve just failed T4, you will need to go back and revise these subjects as you’ll need more specific knowledge than you did for T4. You’ll need to use your knowledge in the context of the case study company and the specific new information provided. Application will be the key, rather than simply being able to state the theory. The best answers will use theoretical knowledge in combination with wider analysis and business acumen. With technical skills totalling 25% of the exam this is a vital element to passing.
3) There is preseen material released 7 weeks before the exam – you will need to analyse the material and have a full understanding of it
In the exam you play the role of a member of staff, most likely a senior manager in the case study organisation, and your analysis and recommended strategies are expected to be as insightful about case study company as it would be about your own organisation.
4) Creating a balanced answer script will be key to passing
There are 4 learning outcomes for the Strategic Case Study (SCS): technical, business, people and leadership skills. Each of these criteria represents roughly 25% of the marks in the exam and as such you need to understand how the marks are awarded for each and how to write your answers in a balanced way. Your answer could be technically perfect, but you’ll get no more than 25% in the exam if that’s all there is to your script!
5) There is no escaping the keyboard!
All CIMA exams will be computer centre based. For the Case Study Exam CIMA insist that this exam is not a test of typing speed and that an average typing speed of 20 words per minute will get you an answer long enough to pass. While that may be true, our experience of computer based case studies (going back to 2006 when they were introduced) is that longer scripts usually indicate a greater the level of depth, which will score more points. Therefore it will be your aim to type as quickly as you can and write as much as you can without compromising on the quality of your work.