Devraj Maji

Full Name: Devraj Maji ACMA, CGMA (UK); FCMA (IND) 
Occupation: Finance Manager – Group
Company: National Gas Company SAOG (Listed in Oman)
CIMA Entry Route:  Professional Gateway 
Status: Member ACMA, CGMA 

1. How does it feel to pass your CIMA exams?
It was a great relief as the road to success was hard work! With perseverance membership became a reality. I am also a FCMA (IND), however, being a member of a global professional body I feel more confident and more equipped with decision making tools and analysis techniques.

2. What was your chosen study method? Why did it work better for you?
I self-studied, creating a study plan which I tried to ensure I stuck to. I prepared the schedule by considering the exam date and worked backwards, outlining timelines by when I should cover sections of the course materials and attempt mock exams. If I ever deviated from the study plan I would ensure I made up for it. This really helped me manage my time.  

3. What did you find biggest challenge and how did you overcome this?
Being an FCMA from India as well as having an Indian educational background, I had always been use to the text book study approach rather than practical application of knowledge. When I initially attempted the CIMA Strategic level exams, I was expecting to pass, however, I failed all three exams. Post exam analysis, I realized that my text book study approach was not going to work. I had to alter my old method of studying, so I decided to attempt past CIMA exam questions to better understand and enrich my skills on how to best approach the exams, this definitely helped me. I was also fortunate to have an experienced CMA qualified professional mentor me, so I was able to approach him for tips and advice. Thereafter, it was smooth sailing.

4. How did you balance studying with work and your personal life?
CIMA demands a good amount of continuous study and practice hours to pass the exam. While working full time, balancing CIMA study with work and personal life was a challenging task. I would get to office an hour and a half earlier, so I could use that time to study. I also used my lunch break couple with some study at the library after work. 

5. If you could give one key piece of advice to another student scheduling their exam tomorrow, what would it be?
Devise a study plan and stick to it.