Having just spent the past few weeks marking Operational Case Study scripts, I thought it a good time to focus on the top five reasons why candidates fail.
- Lack of technical knowledge
Make sure that you have P1 and F1 technical knowledge firmly embedded in your brain before sitting the case study. Don’t just rely on the fact that you can blag it based on what you remember from sitting the OTQ exams. If you don’t have the technical knowledge at your fingertips, you can’t possibly apply that knowledge to whatever the situation is in the case.
- Lack of application to the scenario
You must know the pre-seen inside out, but more importantly you need to practice applying the information in the pre-seen and unseen information in the cases to tasks. You can only achieve this by looking at and practicing past case studies.
- Lack of explanation
For example, where you are asked to explain a chart or to interpret variances or working capital ratios, it is not enough to say it’s higher or lower. You need to be able to explain why that is the case. A handy trick when writing answers is to use the word ‘because’, e.g: ‘the price variance is adverse because ….'
- Not answering all parts of task
In November there were numerous instances where parts of a task were not addressed at all. If asked for ‘other factors’ or ‘further information’ or the ‘benefits of something’, don’t ignore it as these are valuable marks that you are missing.
- Sitting on the fence
If asked for a recommendation, make one! Don’t sit on the fence and say it could be this, or it could be that. Have the courage of your convictions and make a recommendation. If it is appropriately justified, you will score marks.
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips will help you in future exams!