Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Top case study tips from student ranked 5th in the world!

Earlier this month thousands of students got their results from the November case study exams. Having spoken to a number of these students, there was a rather mixed set of results, with some unfortunately just missing out and others excelling in the final exam.

Last week CIMA released the list of top performers in each of the November case study exams.

Among these lists, there was once again a familiar name.

One Astranti student finished with the 5th highest grade in the Management Case Study exam (worldwide!), scoring 84% (126/150 marks) in the final exam!

We were able to speak to the student shortly after these results were released and he was able to give us a few of his personal top tips for passing the MCS exam, which can be applied across all of the case study exams.

Tip 1 - Know the theory

The first tip is to know the theory from the management level syllabus.

Having studied the level partly under the old syllabus, Scott's first step was to revisit some of the areas that he felt perhaps might trouble him most in the exam.

"I spent time before the pre-seen became available brushing up on the fundamentals of E2, P2 and F2 (F2 in particular due to sitting it under the old syllabus). I considered the advantages and disadvantages of each area and how it could be used in the 'real-world' (that was my focus)"

This is always a good start, especially if you have the time available to you before the pre-seen specific materials have been released. Depending on the time between your completion of the objective tests and the start of your case study preparation, you may want to do more or less of this.

Tip 2 - Apply the theory to the pre-seen

The next suggestion from Scott is to link your knowledge of the syllabus to the pre-seen itself once it is available to you.

"With the pre-seen, I went through it 3 times - each time with a different focus (E2, F2 and P2). Considering how the info fits in with each syllabus."

Another good step to knowing both the theory and the pre-seen is to analyse the pre-seen from the perspective of each of the OT syllabus areas.

Our pre-seen materials help you to do this. The strategic analysis in particular is a resource that can be especially useful, as it links the theory from the syllabus, to the pre-seen case study where appropriate.

Tip 3 – Use the tools

The final tip, leading on from Tip 2, is to then apply each of the tools/models within the syllabus to the pre-seen case study.

For example, this could include creating a SWOT analysis to get you thinking about the internal and external properties of the company within the market.

Additional Recommendations

Having achieved such a high final grade, it is surprising perhaps to learn that Scott would still have done things differently if he was to start again.

One particular area, which we referred to earlier, is to spend a little less time within the build up to the exam focusing on the theory from the syllabus which you have already covered. This is not to say that you should ignore the syllabus theory all together, it means that the last few weeks building up to the exam (we recommend 6-8 weeks in total) you should be focusing more on the pre-seen.

This obviously depends on your own individual knowledge and confidence surrounding the syllabus content. If you feel that you need some revision time to focus on the syllabus, you should plan for this early on, ideally before the final 6-8 weeks allocated for case study exam preparation.

To find our full range of case study materials, visit our website here.

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