Don’t take scattergun to CIMA’s case study exam

June 2020

Simply reproducing rote-learning answers or pure knowledge of a topic area will score few, if any, marks, says the CIMA Operational Case Study examiner.

Similarly, taking a scattergun approach to an issue and commenting on everything that you know about it from a theoretical point of view will score poorly.

The examiner pointed out that writing “this improves decision making”, “this graph is essential”, or “planning is enhanced” is not enough to gain any marks.

The markers want to see the ‘how’ and ‘why’ this is the case. A simple “because of…” at the end of a sentence can improve explanations.

Thinking you ‘remember’ the stuff you learnt from the OTQ exams could also mean you are skating on thin ice. The examiner feels you need to revise the technical material, because if you don’t have the knowledge then you can’t score well.

Having awareness of the industry the case study is set in will help you in the exam hall, as it will make you think of the wider marketplace issues that might impact on decisions you could be asked to comment on.