Exam tips for the CIMA Strategic Case Study

Posted on 5 November 2019
Exam tips for the CIMA Strategic Case Study

Exam tips for the CIMA Strategic Case Study

All exams can be stressful and we want to help you as much as we can to pass your exams, as stress free as possible. We’ve come up with some hints and tips to help you through the CIMA Strategic Case Study exam.

Start revising the technical parts of F3/P3/E3 early

Make sure you thoroughly understand the topics - regurgitation of information isn’t going to get you the results you need. Spend time learning and applying the topics to real cases, and then spend the time closer to the exam doing practice and pre-seen related revision.

Know the pre-seen information

This is key. Going into the exam you should know the company really well and know the key facts and figures like the back of your hand. This really helps to apply your knowledge to the company and get the integration marks. Plus, it saves you time in the exam!

Industry analysis is important

This is essential at this level, because you’re thinking strategically, so your competitors and industry are far more important. CIMA are bound to pick a well-known industry, so do your research and you’ll find loads of material out there to extend your knowledge.

Don’t just blurt everything out

Don’t write down everything you know about a particular topic with no regard for how it reads. If you emailed something like that to a real board of directors they’d think you were mad. Use your CIMA knowledge to explain the implications of certain things for the business.

If they ask you for advice give them an answer with clear pros and cons for each option. If applicable, explain what other people in the industry are doing and how that’s impacted their business. This isn’t operational - only 25% of the marks are awarded for the technical knowledge from previous papers.

Plan your answer

Plan your answer before writing anything. It’ll make sure you’re being coherent and will make you feel relaxed when writing (if you’ve basically completed it in note form).

Submit all of your mocks

Do them beforehand and in the most exam-like conditions you can. After it, read the feedback or the whole exercise will be pointless.

Another thing you might find useful for revision is looking back over past exam questions and bullet pointing how you would answer them. It doesn’t take as much time as a mock but tests your knowledge and indicates which areas to improve upon.


In-depth knowledge of the pre-seen information and industry are key to doing well. Also, remember in the exam that you’re writing from the perspective of a Finance Manager – it’s not a ‘cram it into an hour’ essay.

We hope you found this advice useful and use it to boost your studies - leading to your own exam success.