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CIMA Strategic level case study – Complete Information

CIMA Strategic level case study – Complete Information

CIMA Strategic level case study – The focus of Strategic level is on the long term and setting the strategy for the business. In the Strategic Case Study exam, your role will be that of a Senior Finance Manager.The Case Study exam is essentially a virtual business role play. Therefore, students need to understand their role within the case study exam in order to produce a good answer, demonstrating knowledge and applying skills from across the syllabus

CIMA Strategic level case study

CIMA Strategic level case study – The table below provides an overview of the role students are expected to take on at Strategic Study exam, who they will be seeking to influence and examples of the syllabus area they may be tested upon.

Who are you?At Strategic level, your role will be that of a Senior Finance Manager.

Equivalent job titles in a real organisation might be:

  • Senior Management Accountant
  • Group Accountant
  • Financial Director
What is the main focus of your role? Overall focus
Long term and setting the strategy for the business.You may be involved in

  • Measuring, analysing and managing risk
  • Advising on strategic decisions
  • Investigating potential business developments and investments
  • Advising on long term sources of finance and financial strategy.

You will need to understand

  • Leadership and its role achieving change management
  • The full context in which the business operates
  • The importance of looking ahead and advanced planning.
Who is your audience/who are you seeking to influence?Chief Financial Officer/Board, senior management team – other senior non-financial staff.
Examples of topic areas and tasks you may be asked to look at in the exam (based on Variant 1 of the Nov 2015 Management Case Study exam) Your roleYou are a Senior Finance Manager employed by Wodd, a forestry company which was founded in 1983 and has been a quoted company since 2001. Wodd is based in Marland, a European country, heavily industrialised in the South, but with large uninhabited areas in the North. Its climate is temperate and is well suited to growing timber.

The emphasis in the Strategic Case Study exam is the Enterprise pillar and showing a balance of skills across all competency areas but all subjects will be tested. During the exam you will need to demonstrate:

Technical skills
Advise on the implications of diversification for shareholders and directors (P3 E1)

Business skills
Advise on predicting the impact of a weakening USD (E3 A1)

People skills
Advise on briefing analysts (F3 C2)

Leadership skills
Advise on managing the share price (E3 B1)

Competency weightings for your examCompetency Weighting is the basis of distribution of marks from various sections in the SCS exam. You will have to obtain minimum threshold marks(approximately 1/3) for each competency along with score of 80 to pass the Strategic Case Study exam.

Technical skills – 25%
Business skills – 25%
People skills – 25%
Leadership skills – 25%

Must Read :

CIMA Strategic case study examination August 2017 Pre seen material

CIMA Strategic level case study Exams Further information

Format: computer based
Availability: four windows each year (Feb, May, Aug, Nov) at any of the 5,000 Pearson VUE centres around the world
Length: 3 hours
Marking: human marked
Results: available 5 weeks after the close of the exam window

The Case Study exams are used to test a variety of skills including research and analysis, how to present information, persuasion and communication skills. The move to more Case Study exams has been deliberate to test a wider range of skills and integrated learning across the syllabus

Case Study exams reflect a real life business scenario, comprising a series of time bound tasks set for students to complete based on pre-seen material.

  • Pre-seen material released to tutors: 9 weeks prior to the exam window through MY CIMA (Tutor log in details required)
  • Pre-seen material released to students: 6 weeks prior to the exam window through CIMAconnect (Student contact ID and password required)

CIMA Strategic Level Case Study Exam Timing

The exam is 3 hours in length if you take the full time available in each section.
There will be 3 sections to the exam each with their own individual amount of time allocated. While the average length of each section is, of course, one hour in length any one section could be either longer or shorter in length. Once you’ve ended a section you can’t go back! Once the time allocated for a particular section is completed that’s it! The computer will automatically close that section and you will have to move on. You will not be allowed to write any more and you will not be able to go back to that section later on in the exam. If you choose to end a session early, then that’s it too – no going back, even though you had some time left on that section when you stopped doing it.
You have to do the 3 sections in order – there is no choice to do the section you like the best first. Ideas you have later on can not be added in either – you have to get it right first time!
Sections and sub-sections
While there will be 3 main sections, the requirements within each section may require you to complete sub-sections for each as you progress. So for example on the CIMA Pilot Exam, given to students prior to the first exam, every one of the examiner’s solutions included two main sub-sections to be done within the overall time for that section. So, for instance if the first task had an hour time limit, two sub-sections would needed to have been done in that time.
No timing guidelines will be given for sub-sections so you will need to manage your time effectively for those, estimating how important each section is and how much time you will allocate to them.
Computer based exams
All exams are computer based and must be sat at a Pearson Vue study centre using the Pearson Vue system.
Unlike the ‘computer-based’ exams prior to 2015 you do not do the answers on a word processor or spreadsheet but instead must type your answers directly into the tailored Pearson Vue exam system. This system is like a highly simplified word processor with very limited functionality. There is no facility to use any kind of spreadsheet in this system.
It is important that you familiarise yourself with this system prior to the exam. The Astranti mock exams are designed to emulate the Pearson Vue system as closely as possible, but it is also advisable that you sign up for the sample exam that is provided by Pearson Vue and CIMA and have a ‘play around’ with their system to ensure you are familiar with exactly what you will be faced with in the exam. This is an important task to add that to your to-do list!
The Pass Mark
The pass mark is 60%. That’s a tough target and higher than the 50% that used to be required in exams up until the change in 2015. However, do not be fooled by the figure itself. In conjunction with changing the pass mark, CIMA also changed the way the exams were marked. As a whole it should prove no harder or easier to become a CIMA qualified accountant that it was before the change.

The CIMA Strategic Level Case Study Preseens

  • The exam questions based on pre-seen material.
  • The preseen material includes:
  • A two page company summary featuring the key facts
  • Analysis of the industry
  • Financial information and data, for example; Profit and Loss accounts, cash flow statements and balance sheets.
  • Unlike the old T4 you will not be required to do research to any great depth on the industry. You do however need to have an understanding of industry and also the company.

The CIMA Strategic Level Case Study Unseens

  • The unseens for the CIMA strategic case study exams are given to you in the exam. It will consist of:
  • 4-5 individual tasks, that’s about 45 mins a task! 3 hours in total.
  • Like a real day at work you will be given new information and tasks at intervals throughout the examination
  • This new info may be anything from a data report to an email from ‘your boss’ and will not contain a set task/requirement, but may contain some crucial information.
  • To reiterate a point mentioned earlier; time management will be more important than ever particularly as you will NOT be able to go back to a finished task later.

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