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CIMA 2015 syllabus - a guide - PQ Magazine Interview with CIMA’s director of learning, Peter Stewart

So, the nine practice tests are now out there for everyone to see. CIMA released OT papers to PQs on 7 July – you have to go to to see them. As we revealed on the front page the pass mark for these tests will be 70%. And yes you would have known that in April if you had been reading PQ magazine. 

So what will the new tests look like? Well each will comprise of 60 items (questions). CIMA stresses that every component learning outcome will be tested in the 90 minutes. Each exam will have a 15 minute tutorial to help students familiarize themselves with the test environment and this must be completed before the test begins. 
There is no specific order for questions and some might be related to a common scenario, says the guidance. 

Candidate can change their responses as many times as they wish in the time available and you can leave a question and come back to it at a later stage.

Once you have completed the 60 items a review screen will become available and candidates can review all items. No extra time is given for this review.

Students are then prompted twice to ask them if they are sure they wish to ‘End Exam’. 

A range of question types will be used. The main types will be multiple choice, multiple response, number entry, drag and drop, drop down and hot spot.

All questions are equally weighted and independent. So where questions are based on the same scenario, each question will be independent so no candidates will be penalised for an incorrect answer to an earlier question. 

Once completed a score will be provided at the centre. This score will be a scaled score (scaled scores are used to turn raw percentage marks into a mark that balances out any minor differences between the different versions of the test). CIMA will be going into more details about this after the summer.

Feedback on performance in each of the syllabus topics will be provided to assist with the preparation for either a resit or for the case study exam for each level.

Stewart wanted to stress that the introduction of OTs don’t make the exams easier. “When you have done your learning an OT can seem ‘easier to answer’ because there is no unfairness. That means if you know the whole syllabus then 70% should be comfortable target,” he suggested.

He really wanted to stress that students need to take time to look at the practice tests, particular ones that students had most recently passed. “These are not just simple multiple choice tests. Students shouldn’t fool themselves that the exams will be easier come January,” he stressed. PQs could also be adding another six months to the length it takes them to qualify and this will have to be explained on any CV

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