How to Pass T4 (TOPCIMA) Top Tips and Tricks by Nick Best from Astranti


Nick Best is a  a professional CIMA tutor with years of experience teaching with schools including BPP and First Intuition with 15 years of experience 


  •  Introduction - A quick overview of the company is expected in here, but remember you are an internal accountant so don't make it sound like you're an external consultant. It's important not to state obvious things like what the company does. Don't forget to get a good industry example in here for a Diversity mark (I like industry statistics here)"

  • "The introduction is a necessity as part of your report, but does not earn significant marks, so keep it short and simple."

  • "Interestingly one of the students did not have a formal time plan when going into the exam - I think that's crucial - not just that you have it but also that you have ensured you've done at least 2 practice exams where you keep to your time plan."

  • "Remember your time management in the early stages of the exam - if people are going to mess up their timings, this is the most likely place. Specifically - no more than 15 mins on calcs, just 12-15 mins on prioritisation and manager you time very carefully on the analysis part. Do this and you'll most likely have the right amount of time for the rest of the exam."

  • just as a double check to you all that you are not making the same mistakes: To improve I think: You must do SWOT, Mendelow and SAF; You must include all the issues in your SWOT;You must reference your SWOT and Mendelow comprehensively, ideally twice in the body of the report;You must think carefully about what calculations will add value to the report before starting them so as not to waste time on things that aren't helpful; You must do a reasonably accurate job on the calculations in some way this is the hardest because a small mistake can have huge consequences here. There are easy marks in these sections - make sure you get them...."

  • "When does an ethical issue become a business issue prioritised in the top 4? When the 'business' impact is higher than other issues in the unseen. Your default position should be to just include it in ethics unless it is so serious (often due to serious reputational impacts) that you think it needs to be a main issue too."

  • it is necessary to incorporate all of the new information given in the unseen material in the SWOT in order to earn high marks. You are also reminded that all of the issues prioritised should be included in the relevant section of the SWOT." The SWOT is easy marks - make sure you do it and do it well...."


  • Generating good ideas. For T4 I would aim to brainstorm as many possible unseen issues as you can and try to generate 3 good options for each given the information in the exam. That should help you generate options in the exam. If you want to go further - think of 3-4 pros and cons for each of your options

  •  Don't forget the good things you did on earlier mocks. I'm getting a number of scripts where people, in an attempt to correct earlier problems, are then forgetting the good structuring and style of earlier mocks. I'd suggest everyone who has past mocks to refer to, takes a look back at the things you did well in those to ensure you continue to do that in the real exam."


  • . Remember all the great exam technique you had for previous calculation exams. I've seen a few scripts recently where people just forget to show workings, or produce something which is unintelligible to a reader, with all the detail the reader would like to see hidden in the cells."

  • A really good tip for the ethics section recommendations is to give two sub recommendations for each ethics issue - firstly the recommendation that sorts out the issue in the question, and then a longer term solution that stops this issue arising again in the future (e.g. ethics code, or ethics training or more controls)"

  • A really good tip for the ethics section recommendations is to give two sub recommendations for each ethics issue - firstly the recommendation that sorts out the issue in the question, and then a longer term solution that stops this issue arising again in the future (e.g. ethics code, or ethics training or more controls)"

  • "Part b - Remember to keep your points made to short 2 line points - that's about a line of making your point, and another line of giving the meaning of that point. Take a look at the examiners part b overview to see the style that they're looking for."

  • Part b - Still getting lots of people just writing 3-4 word bullet points without explaining what that point means. Remember - aim for 2 lines with a good explanation. I keep on having to repeat this point - surely it's not that hard to do!!!"

  • Diversity, Ethics and Part B should be practice precisely because they can be difference between just fail and pass


if you interest in Astranti T4 Course material visit here -  http://www.explorecima.com/2014/09/astranti-cima-t4-topcima-course-free.html

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