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SCS Experience Survey - November 2016 - Strategic case study - CIMA

Astranti did a Survey among SCS students who did the exams in November 2016 This is the extract of it 

Another big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete our November SCS Experience Survey so far, we have continued to find lots of interesting results! I have spoken about the importance of learning from past students, and it's important for any future SCS student to look at these survey results and see what lessons can be learned.

What did Students say went well...
  • Planning answers. Many students said planning answers helped them in their exam, this is encouraging! I often am advising students to plan answers as I believe that's one of the best ways to structure your work and please the examiners!
  • Tasks and requirements were clear. A few students mentioned that the tasks they were asked to do made sense to them, it is good to hear students can identify what is asked of them and shows they have prepared well for the exam.

And not so well...
  • Time Management. This is a mixed one as some students said this is what went well for them. However, others struggled. This is a really tricky part of the exam as you have a lot of pressure on you. To improve time management ensure you pick out what the examiner's are asking of you and you make your points as clear as possible without over explaining your answers, try mock exams in timed conditions to practice this!
  • Referring to the case study. The pre-seen is very important and you have many weeks to learn it. Waste no time! Knowing the theory is clearly important, but backing up the theories with strong examples is often the difference between a pass and a fail!

Our students liked our mocks!
We were happy to see that most of our respondents felt our mock exams were similar in difficulty to the real Strategic exam. This is encouraging! 42.6% said they were the same difficult, 15% said they were easier and 21% said they were more difficult. So we keep you on your toes! When asked how we could improve our mocks, one student said "keep them as they are - they make your work hard!"

It has been great to hear from so many students over the last few weeks and really encouraging to hear that the majority of students have been taking our advice and putting in as much time and effort into their case study revision as possible! Why not take a look at the full results to see what else you can learn? 

What went well ????

Answer plan Unseen reading (not too much, covered quickly) Some relatively easy requirements/sub-requirements
- Ethics Q - good layour prescribed by Astranti in tuition - Governence Q

My time management and plan came together. I was able to remain focus and provide the recommended 3 paragraphs under each heading

Very detailed industrial analysis and it is useful.Relating to preseen

Very little theory, was able to write about everything Whereas in the mocks I had topics I had no idea how to answer (theory I couldn't remember from previous studies that I could write nothing about).

Planning answers.

Planning my answers and using subheadings to answer the questions Sticking to 4-6 lines per paragraph Writing by answering why , why and why

Mock exams

Tasks were clearly explained


I managed to plan my answer in good time and feel my time management was well
Theory was at the level as expected

The Exam was fair, it was only that I did not structure my answers as I should have done.

The requirements were very clear

Nothing out of the scope of the mock prep in Astranti.

I did revise for an organic farm and valuations which came up

Time pressure Construction of answers

The type of questions weren't as theoretical as expected, so I believe that pushed me to plan my answer better and my time management was spot on.

My preparation using materials like Top 10 issues plus industry analysis.

Understanding of most questions and what was expected except 2 of the smaller q's.

Time management this time was better. However the questions in the exams seems to be very easy but they were very tricky. In some of them i didn't know how to start.

Questions in the mock exams appeared in the variant that I took for question 1 and 2 and two parts in question 3.
Logical part be good

Time management, although still very pressured. I still feel that CIMA would receive far more quality answered papers if students weren't rushing to answer the questions. 

First part wasn't too bad.

If you were to give one tip for future students, what would it be?

Mocks and time management practice

Start the revision early and cover the study text I & II prior to commencing the mocks. The Master Classes covers the majority of this material, but there is so much to put into practice, by the time the master classes are scheduled, the real exams are upon you.

Don't be afraid, just type and read fast.

Do more mock exams.

Do all the horrible Astranti mocks :-)

Practice mocks, proper planning and time management is the key.

Time management , task requirements identification and CIMA Competency framework.

Time Management and answer plannin

Do a mock exam related to the pre seen

Spend lots of time making sure you are comfortable with all of the theory, bust most importantly thinking about how the pre-seen could apply to each part of the theory. Planning an answer plan to for each key piece of theory really helped me to not only get closer to the pre-seen but feel comfortable with hopefully generating enough ideas in the real exam.

Give yourself time to prepare and do as many mock exams as you can

Practice questions.

Practice more mock and try to write down more under the time limit.

Study all areas and don't question spot.

Make sure answers cross over all 4 areas of criteria- technical, business, people and leadership
Start early and practice a lot of exams

Practice doing mock exams in the given time frame. This is really essential.

Do expect some topics which seem completely irrelevant or not applicable to the pre-seen to come up!
Once you completed one of the three components don't click straight away for the next module. After the time for one module is up, a pop up box will appear and I would suggest that You don't click that straight away. That way you can actually take a bit of a mental break in order to refocus before starting the next module. Once ready, you can click on the box in order to launch the next module.
Buy the exam preparation material like Top 10 issues and Industry Analysis as well as the mock.
Industry analysis is a key! Read the pre-seen but do not over analyse it. It is there to deceive you into a certain way of thinking. The real exam can be on anything... eg. Struggling dairy farm floating on a stock exchange... you could not make that up! !!

Additional information about the industry in the preseen are more likely to come on exam day
Mock exams are so important as is feedback. Technical skills, theory, knowledge of pre seen, etc is great but if I fail this exam, and I am concerned that I have, it will all come down to time management.

Lots of practice
Don't under estimate how fast your time goes lots of mock exams and practice them..Know your theory well but also stay calm and think practically

Revise theory..

Early preparation for the exam is for your own good.

Buy different mocks from other tuition providers as well as Astranti. Only because 5 didn't cover a big enough range of scenarios for me personally. I found it very difficult to use mocks from previous case studies to study as the answers are mostly relevant to that case study.

Try to complete all exams one after the other and build on knowledge

How difficult did you find the exam compared to your expectations?

Much more difficult713.5%
More Difficult2038.5%
As Expected1936.5%
Much Easier00%

What would you have spent MORE time on in your preparation now that you have completed the exam?

Revision of Theory2040.8%
Mock Exam Practise1836.7%
Time Management Practise2142.9%
Industry Research/Analysis1224.5%
Preseen Analysis510.2%
Answer Planning2755.1%
Typing Speed Practise714.3%

What would you have spent LESS time on in your preparation now that you have completed the exam?

Revision of Theory1130.6%
Mock Exam Practise513.9%
Time Management Practise411.1%
Industry Research/Analysis925%
Pre-seen Analysis1130.6%
Answer Planning12.8%
Typing Speed Practise822.2%

How difficult did you find the exam compared to the Astranti mock exams?

Much more difficult48%
More Difficult1224%
Much Easier24%
I did not do any Astranti Mock Exams48%

Courtesy -

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