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  • Chartered Institute ofManagement Accountants

    Chartered Institute ofManagement Accountants

    Chartered Institute ofManagement Accountants

    Recapping the Knowledge

    Youmayhavebeenexemptedfromsomesubjectsorpassedtheexamsafewyearsago.Itwillthereforebeimportantforyoutorevise/recapthetheoryinthesesubjectsandensureyouarefamiliarwiththecontent.

    Rememberthatthecasestudywillbefocusingonthehigherlevelskills,thereforeitsimportanttomastertheabilitytounderstand,evaluateandapplywhatyouknowtoarealbusinesscontext.Pastexamquestionswhichfocusonprovidingthistypeofanswerwillhelpyoutomastertheseskillsandalsotorecapanygapsintheoreticalknowledge.

    Itisstillimportanttobeawareoftheleveloftheverbwithineachcomponentlearningoutcome.Thisshowstheskilllevelwhichyoucanexpecttobeexaminedinthecasestudyexam.CIMAconnecthaspastquestionslinkedtocomponentlearningoutcomeswithintheresourcessectionofeachsubjectandisthereforeagoodstudyresourcetouseinpracticingpastexamquestions.

    Mosttechnicalcalculationswillbeexaminedintheobjectivetestexams,thereforetherewillbeminimalfocusonthisskillinthecasestudyexam.However,interpretationofresultsandunderstandingremainsvital,asthiswillhelptoprovideamorecomprehensiveanswerintheexam.

    Toseedifferencesbetweenthe2015syllabusandthe2010syllabushavealookatourtransitionguides.Theseguideswillhelpyouidentifyanyknowledgegapsyouhave.Gotoconnect.cimaglobal.com/resources andsearchfortransitionguide

    how to Recap theoRy foR each subject?

    Ifyouneedtorevisethetheory,youcanbuytheCIMA-KaplanPractice&RevisionKit(bit.ly/ciMa-Kaplan)andrevisethetheorythroughquestionpractice.

    Ifyouthinkyouneedtolearnfromthebeginning,youcanbuytheCIMA-KaplanStudyTextorifyoupreferonlinelearningusecimastudy.comtolearnbyyourself.Self-StudyGuidesareavailableinCIMAconnectandtheycanhelpyouorganiseyourstudies.Gotoconnect.cimaglobal.com/resources andsearchforselfstudyguide

    Ifyoupreferface-to-faceteaching,youcanthinkaboutjoiningaCIMAtuitionproviderforarevisioncourse(cimaglobal.com/colleges).

    KicK-start the STRATeGIC CASeSTudYexAM

    the case study exams are intended to demonstrate that students can apply the technical, business, people and leadership skills from the learning outcomes in the three subjects at the strategic level (e3, p3 and f3) in a business context. there is no separate syllabus content for the case study exam.

    ThetechnicalcontentandtheoryforthethreesubjectsatalevelwillhavealreadybeentestedthoroughlyintheObjectiveTests;thestrategiccasestudyexamaimstotesttheapplicationofthisknowledgetoreallifebusinessscenariosand,insodoing,teststhehigherlevelskillsofapplication,analysisandevaluation.

    it is useful to familiarise yourself with the terminology we are using to describe our case study exams.

    pre-seen material overviewinformationaboutafictitiousorganizationwhichisbaseduponareallifebusinessorindustrypublished7weeksinadvanceoftheexamwindow.

    additional informationnewmaterialintroducedduringtheexam,maybeintheformofdocuments(reports,articles)oremailsfromworkcolleagues.

    scene settingthepresentationofthescenarioforthecasewhichgivescontexttothetriggers.

    triggers somethingthatchangesthethinkingrequiredaroundthecasestudyandrequiresyoutotakesomeactionwithinthecontextofthecasestudy.Thiscouldtakeanumberofforms,suchas:newinformationaboutthecompanyormarket(Forexamplesetofaccountsormediaarticle;anopinionthatprovidesadifferentperspectiveonexistinginformation)orachangeinthepriorityofatask.

    tasksessentiallythequestionrequirements,whatyouhavetodoinresponsetothetriggers.

    business skills, leadership skills, technical skills, people skills

    https://connect.cimaglobal.com/resourceshttp://bit.ly/CIMA-Kaplanhttps://connect.cimaglobal.com/resourceshttp://www.cimaglobal.com/colleges

  • pRe-seen MateRial and its puRpose

    pre-seen material will be published on ciMaconnect seven weeks prior to the exam. Itconsistsofintroductoryoverviewinformationandanumberofotherdocumentstosetthesceneorprovideadditionalbackgrounddataonthe(fictitious)organisation,itscompetitors,marketsandsoon.Thesameorganisationandpre-seenmaterialswillfeatureinalloftheexamsinaparticularexamwindow.

    Thepurposeofthepre-seenmaterialistoallowyoutofamiliariseyourselfwiththe(fictitious)organisation,itsbusiness/industry,market,competitorsandsoon.Althoughfictitious,theorganisationinthecasestudywillbemodelledonreallifebusinessexamplessothatyoucandemonstrateyourcompetenceinapplyingtheoreticalskillstomoreorlessrealbusinessscenarios.Thereisnoneedforyoutoover-researchreallifefactsandstatisticsonthebusinessorindustryonwhichthecasemaybemodelled.Yourtimewillbebetterspentimmersingyourselfinthepre-seenmaterialandgettinguptospeedwithallaspectsoftheorganisationandbusinessportrayedinit.

    Althoughthepre-seenmaterialwillbeavailabletoyouintheexamroom,thetimepressureswithintheexammeanyouwillnothavetimetoreaditindepthbutsimplyhaveitthereasareferencepointtocheckadetailorfigure.Thismeansyoumustbetotallyfamiliarwiththematerial,andtohaveanalyseditindetail,beforeenteringtheexam.However,youwillnotspecificallybeexaminedonbackgroundfactsanddata;itishowyouusethisinformationinyouranswersthatwillcount.

    Itwillbeusefulforyoutoreferthepre-seen material for the strategic case study exam.

    scene setting and tRiggeR

    once in the exam, the scene will be set by:

    Theintroductionofascenarioinwhichyourrolewithintheorganisationwillbeintroduced(note:therolemayhavealreadybeenintroducedinthepre-seen).

    Additionalinformationpresented,forexample,onthemarket,competitors,keyemployees,financialhighlights.Yourrolewillreflecttheleveloftheexam.Forexampleatstrategiclevel,therolemightbeaSeniorManagerwhosejobistoadvisetoplevelmanagement,whoformulatethestrategyforthebusiness,andthetaskswillreflectthat.

    Then,youwillbepresentedwithatrigger,whichsetsthecontextfortheactualtaskstobeundertaken.Thetaskwouldbeaboutrespondingtothetriggerbutmighthavemorethanoneelementwithinit.Forexampleananalysisandawrittenreportmayberequired.

    specified tiMe foR each section

    Asthecasestudiesaredesignedtosimulaterealbusinessscenarios,thereisarealtimeelementbuiltin.eachnewtriggergivesrisetooneormoretaskswhicharecontainedinadefinedtimeframewithintheexam.Taskswillappearintheformofarequestoraninstructionfromacolleaguetoprovideinformation,analysisoradviceinresponsetoissuesarisingfromthetriggers.Therefore,thetaskswillnotbestructuredinthesamewayasthecurrenttraditionalexamquestionrequirementsandtheCIMAverbhierarchywillnotbeusedexplicitly.Asyoumoveupthroughthequalification,therequirementsinthecasestudieswillbecomelessstructuredandyouwillneedtoidentifyandprioritiseissues,makejudgements,considerpotentialsolutionsandsoon,justasyouwouldinanactualbusinesssituation.

    Thetimingsforeachsectionareclearlyshownonscreenandgiveanindicationofthemarksavailable.So,forinstance,asectionallocated45minuteswouldbeworth25%ofthemarksintotal(whichmaybespreadacrossmorethanonerequirement).Youaremovedonautomaticallyafterthetimeallocatedtoeachsectionrunsoutandyoucannotgobackandcheckoramendyourresponses.Thisensuresthatyougetasenseofurgencytocompleteataskorrespondtoarequestfromaseniormanager,justasyouwouldinareallifeworksituation.Itisinthiswaythatyouareabletodemonstratethecompetencieswhicharecoretothisassessmentconcept.

    tiMe ManageMent

    duringthetimeavailableforasection,youareexpectedto:

    Readthematerialprovidedinoraroundtheunseentrigger

    Identifythetaskortasks,distinguishingseparatecomponentswithineachtask.

    Planananswerwhichcoversalltherequiredissues

    Producetheanswer

    Checktheanswer

    identify and inteRpRet the tasK

    this requires careful reading. students have to be sure to identify all separate components within a task

    Forinstance,taskoneofthestrategiccasestudypracticeexamasksfortwodistinctareastobecovered:

    1. Prepareabriefingnotefortheboardonthestakeholdersinthedecisiontoseekaquotation;and

    2. Recommendanappropriatestrategyfordealingwithamajorshareholderwhoisnotinfavouroftheproposaltoseekaquotation

    Youwouldneedtoconsiderthewaysinwhichaquotationwouldaffecttheshareholdersofacompanythatwasformerlyprivate.Forexample,youcouldconsidertheadditionalliquiditythattheshareholderswillenjoy.Youmustbeabletoidentifytheinterestedpartiesandtheirmotivesifyouaretofullyunderstandtheconsequencesofyourrecommendations.

    fiona (a typical senior Manager)

    Atthestrategic level,Fionaadvisestoplevelmanagement,astheysetthestrategyforthebusiness.Thismeansanalysingstrategicoptionsthevariouscoursesofactionthebusinesscantakebasedontheorganisationsenvironmentanditscurrentstrategicposition.

    Consideringrisksisparamount;theyneedtobeidentified,classified,evaluatedandthenmanaged/reported.Strategicoptionsrecommendedwillrequirejustificationandsheneedstoadviseonwheretosourcefinanceforthestrategies.

    https://connect.cimaglobal.com/groups/strategic-case-study-examhttps://connect.cimaglobal.com/groups/strategic-case-study-exam

  • chartered institute of Management accountants

    26 Chapter Street London SW1P 4NP United Kingdom

    Tel: +44 (0) 20 8849 2251 cima.contact@cimaglobal.com

    Two of the worlds most prestigious accounting bodies, AICPA and CIMA, formed a joint venture

    to establish the CGMA designation to elevate the profession of management accounting.

    CGMA,CHARTeRedGLOBALMANAGeMeNTACCOuNTANT,andtheCGMAlogoaretrademarksoftheAssociationofInternationalCertifiedProfessionalAccountants.ThesetrademarksareregisteredintheunitedStatesandinothercountries.

    plan the answeR

    as a rough rule, planning an answer should take up one third of the time available. there are three tools you can use to create your answer plan:

    Theon-screenscratchpadThiscanbeaccessedatanytimeduringtheexam,minimized,movedacrossthescreenandresized.Whatistypedontothescratchpadcannotbecopy-pastedontothemainanswer.

    Thewipecleannotepadgivenoutatthetestcenter.Ifyoufillupthiswhiteboard,youcanaskforanother.

    Thespaceavailableforpresentingyouranswersonscreen.Onceyoucompletetypingthefullanswer,pleasemakesureyoudeleteyouranswerplantoavoidconfusiontothemarker.

    Inpreparingtheplan,youneedtoensurethatyouhaveaddressedthecompetenciesexpectedateachlevel.Itwontbeenoughtoprovidetechnicallyperfectdefinitionsoftermsrequiringdiscussion,youwillhavetoapplythemtotheorganisationinthescenario.

    Theweightingsforthecompetenciescanbefoundinthesyllabusandyoushouldbeawareofthesewhenpreparingyouranswers.dependingonthenatureofthetaskandtheweightingsofthecompetencies,theremaynotbemarksforeachofthefourcompetenciesineachtask.Firstandforemostyouneedtomakesurethatyouaddressthetaskathandandallaspectsofit.Ifyoudothatcorrectlythenyouwillbegainingmarksacrossthecompetencies.

    pRoduce the answeR

    Youmustappreciatethatagoodanswerisnotnecessarilyalonganswerand,inallprobability,alonganswerisnotnecessarilyagoodanswer.Itisfarmoreimportanttofocusonqualityratherthanquantity.

    Communicationisgoingtobeimportantinmanyofthetasks,appreciatingwhotheaudienceisineachtask,whattheywanttoknow,inwhatdepthandinwhatleveloftechnicaldetailisanimportantskillwhichneedstobepracticed.Targetedcommunicationswhichprovideappropriateinformationwithaclearcommentary(ifrequired)willearnmostmarks.

    Theseassessmentsarenottestsoftypingspeed.Atypingspeedof20wordsperminute,arateachievedorbetteredby90%ofofficeworkers,willbesufficientintheexam.Basicformattingtoolsareavailabletocandidates,suchasbold,italic,underline,cut,copyandpaste.

    checK the answeR

    you will receive a warning when there are five minutes of a section remaining. at that point, you should review your answer to check it:

    Coversthepointsintheplan

    Presentsalogicaldiscussion

    Prioritisesissuesaccordingtowhatyouunderstandtheconcernsoftheorganisationtobe

    conclusion

    Thesecasestudyexamsarequitedifferenttowhatyouhaveencounteredsofarbutbyintroducingthemfromoperationallevelonwards,CIMAaimstohelpyoudevelopthebusinessskillsrequiredtoapplyknowledgetorealworldscenarios.doingthisunderrealtimetimeconstraintswillhelpyoudemonstratetoyouremployeryourcompetenceandbusinessreadiness.

    TheexamswillbehumanmarkedbyCIMAshighlyexperiencedmarkersandresultsdeliveredtoyouwithinanumberofweeks,intimetoallowyoutoenterandprepareforthenextsittingifunsuccessful.

    Aswiththeobjectivetests,feedbackonareasofstrengthsandweaknesseswillbeprovidedtobothsuccessfulandunsuccessfulcandidates.

    all the best for your strategic case study exam.