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Understanding Exam Blueprints

In January 2019 we launched our new professional qualification, which will be examined from November onwards for the Objective Test exams and from February 2020 for our Case Study exams. As well as providing competency frameworks and a syllabus, we have developed new resources, specifically the “exam blueprints”. There is a blueprint for each of the assessments and they have been designed to give tuition providers and students a clearer understanding of what is examinable. This blog explains what the blueprints are and how they can be used by both tuition providers and students. 

What is a Blueprint?The essence of the blueprint is a series of statements which describe how a learning outcome will be examined. These are called “representative task statements” and they add detail and depth to provide clearer guidance on how a specific topic will be tested; all questions in the exam will be derived from these task statements. The syllabus is the source document and both Objective Test and Case Study blueprints are based on this.Task statements are important because they demonstrate to employers, and students themselves, what they are able to do as a result of mastering a specific learning outcome. From a student’s perspective, they are better equipped to demonstrate in the exams they skills they have acquired in their studies and have access to clear ‘I Can’ statements, all of which are mapped back to the syllabus and ultimately CIMA’s competencies. 

A Tutor’s Perspective

When teaching the new syllabus, ensuring your students have a thorough understanding, is in itself, an example of being exam focused. Given these task statements are publically available for students to view, it would make sense for a student to work through each statement and ask some fundamental questions for effective revision – do I understand the task statement, have I studied the topic and what questions have I performed which pertain to this. What did I learn, what mistakes did I make? etc.. 

Keeping the Blueprints Relevant

We have introduced topics across the subjects which focus on digital transformation – it’s quite possible for the relevance of these topics to change frequently. It’s our intention therefore to keep our exams relevant by updating the blueprints on a more frequent basis to reflect this. It’s important to note that these updates will be performed in consultation with tuition providers to ensure this can be performed in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Finally, these blueprints have, to date, been well received – they will continue to evolve with your feedback and it’s our intention to add as much clarity for our students as possible to ensure they are fully prepared for their CIMA examinations.

To view our exam blueprints – click here.