Integrated question practice + objective test exam success

April 2023

Practising objective tests early offers many benefits. But you also need some solid knowledge
under your belt to get the best from it, says Nasheen Wuisman.

Practising questions is a crucial part of effective exam preparation. You should test your knowledge and utilise mock exams to build your confidence and your understanding of the exam format and structure.

The more questions you do, the more you will get familiar with the way a topic can be tested.
This will, in time, allow you to work through a question quicker – which is a huge step towards managing your time in the exam.

Question practice allows for self-reflection. It provides insight, into which areas of the syllabus you are less confident with. This will motivate you to concentrate future studying on these weaker areas, to make sure you have a sound knowledge in as many of the syllabus areas as possible.

Mocks or practice CGMA objective tests are great tools for practising questions to ensure you retain what you have learned.

Learn before you apply

Relying solely on practice questions, however, will not prepare you sufficiently for the assessment.

To ace objective tests, having a strong knowledge and confidence in the CGMA syllabus is essential. It is key to have a solid handle on calculations, being able to understand various models and be familiar with ethical dilemmas.

Focus on learning each syllabus topic and studying the matters before practising questions.
Once you finish studying a topic, you can assess your grasp of that topic by practising related questions to strengthen your understanding and test what you have learned.

Studying by integrating question practice can help consolidate the knowledge you have acquired and increase the chance you will be able to recall it later and under pressure.
Practice questions do not just assess your understanding but also reinforce what you’ve learned, thus enhancing retention.

Understanding the breadth of the topic really matters

Practice questions are usually designed to test a specific aspect of the subject and may not cover all of a topic, the rest of which you could be faced with in the actual exam.

You should, therefore, not limit your knowledge to that of the practice questions you have seen but try and establish a sound overall understanding of the concepts in the syllabus.

This can be especially useful to answer the problem-based questions in the CGMA objective tests.

Identify knowledge gaps

It is crucial to be well versed in all aspects of the CGMA syllabus for your level. After testing your knowledge, be truthful with yourself and acknowledge any areas of weakness you may have.

Are there specific areas where you do not feel as confident? Focus on understanding the subject matter that is challenging to you. This can be hard, as not all topics are as easy to grasp as others – and different people have different preferences when it comes to topics. Seek help when and where you can. This exercise of building self-awareness is important to be able to progress.

Familiarise yourself with the CGMA syllabus through CIMA’s CGMA aptitude assessment, which provides exam preparation and practice tools and practice questions.

So, remember…

Practice questions and mock exams can enhance and optimise your learning and exam performance. They are valuable tools to aid your exam preparation.

Before assessing your understanding of a particular concept, you must acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to answer those questions.

Integrate question practice successfully by learning the material before you test yourself, ensuring you understand the topics and are addressing gaps in your knowledge.

Studying on a regular basis, practising questions and utilising free one-to-one study support if you should need it, will ensure better results come exam time.


It can be demoralizing when you do practice questions and you get them wrong, it might be you got a question wrong that you previously answered correctly.

It might be you felt you understood a topic well, yet you’ve got a question in that topic wrong. Do not let this demotivate you – it is all part of the process and most people preparing for the exam experience this. It just means you need a little fine tuning; you might just be misreading the question somewhat. Or you may just need to revisit and do a brief review of that topic before coming back to more questions.

Do not allow yourself to get frustrated by this.

Try and keep a calm mindset and know that every bit of effort you put in towards getting exam ready – is getting you exam ready!

To get you even more exam ready, CIMA offer a wide range of study support and many more free resources in the CGMA Study Hub for you to choose from.

  • Nasheen Wuisman, Senior Manager of Global Academic Progression at AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants