Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Time waster or life-saver? Industry Research for the CIMA SCS Exam

After the March exam, we sent out a survey to find out a bit more about your real exam experiences. We had over 250 responses and the comments from students were truly fascinating. You can look through them by skipping to the end of the survey here.

In one question, we asked "What would you do differently in your preparation now that you've completed the exam?"

One student answered that they would have:

"Done more reading about the industry in which the case study company operates in. The exam was more focused on real life experience and knowledge rather than theoretical models. Having a better understanding of the industry may have allowed me to generate more ideas with my options and recommendations."

You might ask yourself why this "Industry research" would be of any use?

Don't CIMA state that further industry research is not required for the exam?

You're absolutely right. You don't have to do it, and you might pass without further research, but it's really helpful if you do have more industry knowledge.

In my "Real World Industry Analysis" you will find an overview of the real oil industry, with profiles on the key players and organisations, and in depth look at one particular company that closely resembles the fictional company from the pre-seen.

In the May 2015 pre-seen, you are told:

“You are a senior Finance Manager who works for the Slide Group (‘Slide’). You report directly to the parent company’s Board and advise on special projects and strategic matters.”

You are expected to provide logical business advice as if you were an employee working in this industry, and as if you know this industry inside out. If you know the types of issues in the real world and the types of decisions that real world companies are making, the chances are that your own logic in the exam will be better and producing a logical, well rounded report is key to passing this exam.

As you can see from the above student's feedback, people felt that the exam was extremely practical and they wished they had spent more time focusing on the case study and the industry and less on revising theoretical knowledge as they felt that would have helped them provide the practical answers they needed.

My analysis video series and strategic/industry analysis pack of the "Slide" preseen are currently on special offer for £34.99 and £19.99 each.

These guides will be a great place to start for anyone that wants an expert view on the preseen to help them prepare. I've used my 9 years of expertise on case studies to look at what is most relevant to the exam, and hope that will give you the focus you need to apply to the case in the exam and help you to pass in May.

See samples of the real world industry and strategic analysis here

Nick Best and the Astranti team

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