The 2015 CIMA Syllabus will still be examined until 3rd November 2019 for objective tests and for case studies the last examination window will also be November 2019.
2019 CIMA Syllabus
The Case Study exam is essentially a virtual business role play. Therefore, students need to understand their role within the case study exam in order to produce a good answer, demonstrating knowledge and applying skills from across the syllabus.
The table below provides an overview of the role students are expected to take on at Operational Study exam, who they will be seeking to influence and examples of the syllabus area they may be tested upon.
|Who are you?
At Operational level, your role will be that of a Finance Officer.
Equivalent job titles in a real organisation might be:
- Junior/Trainee accountant
- Credit Controller
- Assistant accountant
- Cost accountant
|What is the main focus of your role?
You may be involved in
- Preparing budgets
- Advising on product mix or performance
- Variance analysis
- Working capital or cash management
- Producing reports of performance against budget
- Risk assessment in short term decision making.
You will need to understand
- The role of finance within the wider organisation
- Who the stakeholders are
- The regulatory environment
- How to communicate with non-financial staff.
|Who is your audience/who are you seeking to influence?
||Your manager (Finance Manager/Finance Director), peers within the finance department and possibly in other departments; you may need to gather information from or present budget information to non-financial colleagues.
|Examples of topic areas and tasks you may be asked to look at in the exam (based on Variant 1 of the Nov 2015 Management Case Study exam)
You are a newly appointed Finance Officer in a family run horticulture company. Your predecessor has begun to set up some budgets and costings but the finance and administrative processes in the company are unsophisticated and there is little automation.
The emphasis in the Operational Case Study exam is the Performance pillar and Technical skills but all subjects will be tested. During the exam you will need to demonstrate:
Planning and monitoring cash flows and the use of rolling budgets (F1 C3 and P1 B4)
Interpreting variances (P1 A1)
Treatment of R&D costs in financial statements (F1 B2)
Show understanding of how the finance function benefits the business (E1 B2)
Explain why collaborative supply chains are useful to the business (E1 D1)
Leadership skills only account for 6% at this level and no one will fail due to a lack of leadership skills in the OCS. However they are tested eg in the variance analysis task above, discussing how planning and operational variances benefit the business would have attracted leadership marks.
|Competency weightings for your exam
Competency Weighting is the basis of distribution of marks from various sections in the exam. You will have to obtain minimum threshold marks (approximately 1/3) for each competency (except for Leadership skills) along with a scaled score of 80 to pass the exam.
Technical skills - 64%
Business skills - 16%
People skills - 14%
Leadership skills - 6%
NOTE: These are just illustrations to help you set the Case Study exam in context and are not exhaustive.
Find out more about the CIMA Professional Qualification
Download the 2019 Syllabus
Download the 2015 Syllabus