Steps to take if you need to resit

T he CIMA professional qualification has been updated with our current and future students in mind. It now includes all the digital skills a finance professional needs to face the challenges of a digitalised future.

Students were able to sit operational test exams on the new CIMA professional qualification from 4 November 2019. Case study exams based on the old syllabus were available until the end of November 2019.

To access your results log into your MYCIMA account, if you’ve taken an exam based on the new syllabus you will immediately see your grade: pass or fail. Scaled results won’t be available for a few months as they’re produced from extensive data sets developed over time.

So, until more students sit exams on the new syllabus, we won’t have the data levels needed to generate robust results. Instead we will calculate your results using a rigorous assessment industry standard methodology. You’ll be given sectional feedback telling you if you were ‘proficient’ and scored above the boundary needed to demonstrate competence in a particular topic or, ‘not proficient’ meaning you didn’t score enough to show you’re competent in a particular area.

Results as a scaled score

If you didn’t pass you’ll be told how close you came to passing as in: ‘pass’, ‘marginal fail’ – you missed the pass mark by 5% – or ‘fail’.

Students who sat their exams before 3 November 2019 will still be able to log into their MYCIMA account and see their results as a scaled score.

If you haven’t been successful it’s important to take a little time to reflect and be mindful about the things that you did answer correctly – focusing on the positives will help you achieve your goals in the long run.

Assess your performance by running a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis with the relevant blueprint in hand, this will help you understand the areas you hold the most knowledge about, the areas you need to improve, and which parts of the syllabus you may not have taken enough time over.

You should pay special attention to the subject areas, where your results showed you were not proficient, these should be the topics you focus on. This is because a resit exam is an entirely new exam, you will answer different questions and so need to treat it as you did first time around.

Also, be sure to revisit your personal study plan on, use it to guide you but, also to see if there is any correlation between the plan you’d developed and the areas that you didn’t pass.

Sit practice exam questions under timed conditions and be sure to stick to the timings to make sure you can show all of the information you have learnt in a sufficient manner. It may also be prudent to re-check your approach for answering each question; for the operational test, on average you’ll have 90 seconds to answer each question. It’s worth bearing in mind you will need more time for some of the questions and less for others, so it’s important to double check how long you feel you need for the multiple choice questions versus the number entry questions, for example.

Not passing your exams can be frustrating but I assure you it’s just a barrier you will overcome. How you deal with this challenge will dictate how successful you are in your resits.

As mentioned above, taking time to reflect and focusing on the parts of the syllabus which you need to improve your competency is the best tactic. And if you didn’t fail your exam by too much, don’t wait too long to book your re-sit – we’ve carried out research that shows students who retake their exam within three or four weeks of the original sitting have a 90% chance of passing.

• Paul Turner, Regional Vice President, UK & Ireland, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants