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Class of '22 - FAQs

Examination preparation

This is my first CIMA® OT exam. Can you give some preparation advice?

Congratulations on choosing to study the CGMA designation, it’s a great choice, and the flexibility of the OT exams is a bonus as we have lots of resources to get you started.

Read this blog for an overview of the first steps in exam planning; You might also find it helpful to use our SWOT to map your situation and aid your planning; Watch this video on smart exam preparation techniques. Question practice is important, and you can access a practise test here. BUT you need to prepare before starting question practice as you need to beware of the perils of the practice questions’!

Always focus on variety and building in “active” learning and avoid simply passively reading exam texts as you will recall very little of what you read ― you need to practice applying for it to make sense and to aid memory and recall. 

What are the exam Blueprints? Where can I find them? Why should I use them?

The blueprints map out exactly what will be tested in the exam using “I can” task statements to illustrate the approach. Together with the syllabus for the subject you are studying, these will help you fully prepare for your exam. There is a blueprint for each of the three levels in the qualification. Find them here: Operational levelManagement level and Strategic level. Read this article on how to use the blueprints.

I have exemptions/sat exams under previous syllabi. How can I ensure I have no knowledge gaps?

Make sure you look at the syllabus and blueprint for the subject you are studying. Most tuition providers will have transition ‘maps’ too.

How much preparation time do you suggest per subject?

To a great extent this depends on your study method and whether you have tutor support. However, we suggest 60 to 100 hours per subject. There are detaileds study sessions you can follow on the CIMA Study Planner if you are self-studying.

How many subjects should I study together/in what order?

This is down to personal preference and time constraints and will depend on whether you follow a formal course of study (some tuition providers cover all three subjects in a level together). Many students find that focussing on one subject at a time works for them. The order is also personal preference, some like to start with their “easiest” paper and some with their “hardest”. CIMA advises E, P and F as this is a logical progression from understanding the context in E to applying the complex financial rules in F. However, I find many students prefer to start with F and end with E and P, particularly at the Operational level.

Where can I find practice tests/exam questions, etc.?

CIMA offers two resources for exam practice. Exam tutorials show you what to expect in the exam and are useful if this is your first exam. Question tutorials are practice exams.  

NOTE: You have to register with Pearson Vue to access both tutorials, but there is NO FEE.  

For OT exams, CIMA Aptitude 1 and 2 are helpful question banks that can be used in either “practice” or “exam” mode. You can also find free and paid-for question practice via our Registered Tuition Providers, who can be contacted via this list. https://www.cimaglobal.com/Starting-CIMA/Starting-CIMA/Studying-Options/Find-Your-Tuition-Provider/

I am struggling with X subject, I have been successful in other subjects but just cannot master X. Any advice?

Most of us have subjects we find easier/harder, but it can be very frustrating when you come across a subject that you just cannot master. One short-term option if you have more than one to go to complete the level is to park the tricky subject for now and build your confidence by trying a different one you feel more comfortable with. If that’s not possible or practical, we can help. There are subject overview webcasts that include coverage of “tricky topics” for all OT subjects: https://planner.cimaglobal.com/webinars/subject-overviews. Can you afford a revision course or a question-based day to get someone to one advice and question practice?

We have a dedicated guide for those who have been unsuccessful in both CS and OT exams.  - Resitters Guide (ceros.com)