Ummi Sa’adah bt Salleh Hudin

Ummi became a CIMA member and a CGMA through the CIMA-MIA Strategic Leaders Programme. She shares with us some tips on how she passed the CIMA Strategic Case study exam.

Full Name: Ummi Sa'adah bt Salleh Hudin

Occupation: Finance Manager

Organisation: Ahmad Zaki Resources, Malaysia

CIMA Entry Route: CIMA-MIA Strategic Leaders Programme

CIMA Level/Award achieved so far: ACMA, CGMA

Ummi Sa’adah bt Salleh Hudin, Finance Manager at Ahmad Zaki Resources, became a CIMA member and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) through the CIMA-MIA Strategic Leaders Programme.

Ummi was excited to be accepted into the programme as she felt it was once in a lifetime opportunity to become a chartered accountant from a prestigious institution. Ummi submitted her application for CIMA membership before she sat for her CIMA exam as she had the relevant work experience to qualify for membership. After passing the CIMA Strategic Case Study exam in August 2015 and with her membership application approved, she became a CIMA member and a CGMA in October 2015.

She said: ‘Becoming a CIMA member and a CGMA is overwhelming and exciting. It has transformed me to be a better leader and this is evidenced by my achievement in securing a better job in a bigger organisation. The qualification has definitely boosted my career and remuneration package.’

How long did it take you to study/prepare for the exam?

I started my preparations about two months before the exam and I studied for about two hours daily. I am a working mother and I definitely had to juggle my time in order to work and study while handling three children. I increased my efforts when the exam drew near and I took a few days leave before the exam. I failed my first attempt at the May 2015 exam but I passed the exam in my second attempt in August 2015.

What tips would you give to current candidates who are in the CIMA-MIA Programme? How can they prepare themselves better for the exam?

Prepare a study schedule and stick to it. Pay more attention to important topics such as risk management, business valuation, corporate governance, ethics and leadership.

You must know the theories before the pre-seen material is given to you. When you receive the pre-seen material, you must analyse the case study thoroughly, memorise the background of the company and familiarise yourself with the industry. 

During the revision class, you will be given a few sets of mock questions based on your pre-seen material. Try to answer the mock questions and relate them to a real company in the same industry to learn what their strategies are when faced with the same issues. Google and get as much information as possible from the company's website and annual report. Time yourself when answering the mock questions and try to write a set of answers in three hours - put pressure on yourself to think fast and type your answers. Don't forget to improve your typing speed by practising everyday.

Elaborate your points in detail and depth to score more points, with 4 to 5 lines for each paragraph. Read more journals and articles by googling real cases related to the industry and brainstorm with friends about the potential issues which are most likely to be asked during the exam.

There are a few online tuition providers that provide a video analysis, information on the industry and notes which are really helpful and worth the money. In YouTube, you will also find free video tutorials related to the syllabus. I find that this facilitates my understanding of certain topics instead of just reading my notes.

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