Update 20 November 2020- Remember - for CIMA online exams, your exam conditions start as soon as you are met by the greeter who will check your ID. At this point you must not leave the webcam view. England test centres remain closed until Wednesday 2 December 2020 (for exams booked with a training provider, please contact your training provider for information). Remote online exams are available. Find more information here:

Operational Case Study - preparing for your exam

1. Get started with the Case Study exam

These resources will help you get started with exam prep:

2. Getting to know the pre-seen

The pre-seen material is background information about the fictitious organisation that will feature in the Case Study exam. The pre-seen tells you the story of the organisation, the context in which it operates, markets, competitors, and so on. The pre-seen material forms the basis of the tasks that a candidate can expect during the exams. 

It’s essential to be very familiar with the pre-seen material before you sit the exam. You will need to remember information from it, so that you don’t spend time during the exam referring back to it often, when you could be spending more time writing your answers. 

Download the pre-seen material for the November exam now!

Download now 

3. Resources to help you with the pre-seen

Here are some resources to help you when you go through the pre-seen material:

  • Watch a recording of our webinar (held on 9 April) where Clare Finch, Partner at HTFT Partnership, helps you prepare for the exam and looks at the VitaMine pre-seen material (you'll need to register to watch it)
  • This article on how to analyse the pre-seen
  • These two articles on answer planning and developing your answer

4. Practising with mock exams

To practice for the exam, you can:

  • Purchase a mock exam, do it under timed conditions, get it marked and get some feedback. Online tuition providers have mock exams to purchase
  • Work through at least one variant from a previous exam. Answer all parts of the variant to time and be honest with yourself. Review your answer against the Examiner’s suggested answer and marking guide. How did you do?
  • Start to generate your own questions based on the pre-seen material and questions used in previous exams
  • Look at what a real student wrote that obtained a pass mark – check out our annotated comments on a real OCS exam script

Finally, use the Self Checklist to check your exam preparations:

Check my preparations

Best wishes with your studies and your exam!

CIMA Student Study Support