A big congratulations to all of our students that did well in the May exam sitting. Special mention must go to our students who helped us beat the UK and global averages.Read More
If you feel you aren’t ready to write your CIMA Objective test, we have news for you: you probably aren’t. Not unless you’ve spent quite a bit of time doing exam-standard questions.
We wish we had some simple answers for you, but at the end of the day it’s about being properly prepared. No one ever said that life was going to be easy, but we’re certainly going to try and make the road a little less bumpy for you!
So, why is Question Practice so important and what benefit does it give you over spending that time studying or doing revision? There’s a lot more to exam preparation than studying and revision. The reasons are like a cake; a layered one at that.
More is more
You’ve heard it often enough. Question practice is key! Some say 40% of your time should be spent on question practice. One of IBTC’s senior course advisors feels it should be 60%. You believe it, but you’re not doing it.
The best way to get it done is to work out how long the material will take to learn and then book your exam for three weeks later. Ensure you finish your studies at least three weeks before your planned exam. Then, do all the questions in your practice-and-revision kit. If that’s not enough, try to join an exam prep class if you can. More is more, in this case.
‘The Time Master’
Running out of time in the exam is a common experience amongst students. Through timed question practice you will become familiar with the time pressure you’ll experience in the actual exam and learn how to deal with it. A little bit of exam-day stress can completely throw you off your game. You might not be able to pull yourself together and forget how to manage your time.
But, we can confidently say that enough question practice breeds confidence and confidence wins over exam stress. If you’ve practiced a lot of questions and a fair amount of timed mocks, you will be able to deal with exam-day stress and become the master of your time.
Quick wins first
With sufficient question practice you can learn to identify the estimated length it will take to answer a question. We recommend that you first do all the ‘quick to answer’ questions in your actual exam. So, being able to spot the difference between a ‘quick win’ and a question that will take 2 to 5 minutes to answer, is critical. It’s all about getting time on your side.
Familiarisation breeds … more time
With enough question practice you’ll become familiar with how questions are phrased. This will make you quicker at answering them, which will save you time in the exam. You might not get the exact same question, but you’ll recognise the type of question and you’ll know how to answer it, quickly, because you’ve done it multiple times before.
Mistakes can be free or very costly
Through question practice you’ll be able learn how to spot pitfalls. Making the same mistake a couple of times while doing exam prep, teaches you how to recognise the pitfalls in the exam and how to avoid them. Making mistakes while doing exam prep is free (and very valuable). Making mistakes in the exam can cost you dearly. So, practice, practice, practice and get all the mistakes and pitfalls out of the way before your exam.
Never ready, but ready
Remember, you’ll never feel 100% ready. But you’ll know when you’ve done enough practice questions (and when you haven’t), so once you’ve done enough, just get it done.
IBTC takes care of its students. We are on a mission to get students to pass first time and progress faster. Want to joint us for Question Practice? We have classes starting in April. Contact us for more information. It’s the right thing to do.
Give us a ring on 0861 111 4111 or email email@example.com and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Made a booking to study with us this semester? Then don't forget to join us on the 15th of February for our CIMA orientation day and meet your lecturers and classmates.
Students who have not yet made payment or made a booking welcome to come through to chat to a student advisor.Read More
Join us for our free revision classes for the upcoming ICB exams in November. Classes are going to be held in Cape Town and Sandton.Read More
As part of IBTC’s dedication to students, current and past, we are thrilled to introduce the “My CIMA Journey”, where CIMA alumni share their insights and learnings with us.
Elizabeth Makuwerere is currently working at CADG Group as Finance Executive, and studying towards an MSc in Strategic Business Management.
Why I chose CIMA
To me CIMA depicts the ‘modern’ financial person who is not only a historic number cruncher, but involved in decision making and strategic support roles within the organisation. A lot of other accounting programmes are more historic than ‘current’. CIMA was a perfect fit for my career aspirations.
When I started and how I approached it?
I started CIMA in January 2013, finished December 2014, qualified as a member in January 2015, finally graduated June 2015. I had exemptions up to the operations level. Because I had 7 papers to do, I decided to take two papers at each sitting. I passed managerial level in 2013, moved onto strategic in May 2014, taking all the 3 papers as that was the requirement by CIMA on first attempt, and passed them all. Then finally passed T4 in November.
Obstacles I faced and how I overcame them
It was a difficult two years of my life. Work and study have never been easy, but I had to develop some discipline in terms of my routine. It became difficult to balance life in general, and this was when some sacrifices had to be made. On some days I felt too tired to study, but I worked out a routine where I had to get one early night during the week in order to regenerate energy for the brain. At times concepts were too tough to understand. I felt so discouraged to even study, at the same time, it seemed time was running out. I panicked. Through this, I learnt to be patient with myself, allowed myself to understand the difficult concepts, taking it one day at time. I would leave the topic, and then get back to it later. It would be easier to understand the second time around. I became very strict about time management.
What worked for me. My study pattern. How I prepared for the exam
Every second began to matter when I realised the importance of starting early in comparison to the last minute rush. Know your study pattern as an individual. I am a night person. I sat down each day after work, for at least 2 to 3 hours. Each day of the weekends, I put in between 5 to 8 hours of study, total of between 10 to 16 hours of study every weekend. I had a strict timetable I followed, to avoid time wasting. Every assignment given I made sure I attempted, every mock exam I attempted regardless of the unpreparedness and the bad marks I attained. But all these were inputs to the final exam. Each semester I made sure the last two months I focused on past exam papers only in order to build up my confidence. One thing every student needs is confidence for the exam, ability to tackle a question no matter how it gets presented in the exam. What I am proud of on this road, is that, I passed all CIMA subjects on my first attempt.
My highest marks were in F2 which I got 70% and P2 where I got 83%. I remember, receiving a call from Evert, who was my P2 lecturer. He wanted to know how I had attained such a high mark, because he wanted to share the ‘secret’ with other students.
How IBTC helped me.
I enrolled with IBTC for lectures. Took weekend classes, which was convenient for me. Study material provided by IBTC was relevant and up to date. I also engaged a mentor along the way, who gave me a lot of support. He is still my mentor to date and is helping me with my Master’s too.
My current job
I am working as a Finance Executive, South African Operations, for CADG Group headquartered in Singapore. I oversee financial operations of 3 subsidiaries within the aviation industry here in SA, owned by the group.
What I hope to achieve with my qualification
I want to be involved in finance strategic support as I move up the ladder with my career. I am currently studying an Msc in Strategic Business Management with Manchester University (UK), completing in September 2016.
My future looks….
With CIMA I am very optimistic about great career opportunities. My future is set as it is a programme that is sought-after by so many employers. I am confident I hold the right programme.
My message to you
Write your own story as a student. Do not make assumptions based on what you hear from other students. Make your own attempts, write your own exam, and then tell your own story. Persistence, consistency, determination, dedication and prayer are essential to making it through any goal in life. You have to put in the hours if you want to make it. Practice makes perfect!
My Advice to new students
CIMA is achievable, if I did it, you can also make it!