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CIMA Operational Case Study - Syllabus Information


The CIMA case study examination will be available four times a year (February, May, August and November). The operational case study exam will be held during the second week of each of the selected month. When booking the exam you will be allocated a day within that week. It is important to highlight that a different exam will be sat each day to avoid any undue advantage that may have been gained by people sitting the exam later in the week. The exams will be sat using a computer at a Pearson Vue Study centre.  

Skill Required

The case study examination is designed to test a number of skills from your learning and knowledge gained in E1, P1 and F1. There is no new syllabus content to learn for the operational exam but you will be expected to remember key information  such as theories, frameworks, models and calculations, and apply these to a real business situation. The skills required and the weighting of each are as follows:

Technical skills (64%) - To demonstrate the necessary technical skills you will not only be required to make key calculations but will also be able to explain the benefits of applying these techniques within the case study. Analysis, synthesis, interpretation and justification of recommendations are important technical skills that will be needed in the operational case study.

Business skills (16%) - In order to demonstrate your business skills you will be required to show that you understand how to apply the topics learnt at an operational level to a real business environment.

People skills (14%) - To demonstrate your people skills you will be required to go beyond the competencies gained so far. It will be necessary to use skills such as communication, influencing and understanding others’ needs.

Leaderships skills (6%) - Some leadership skills have been highlighted in the E1 syllabus. However, you will need to show that you can apply these theories to the given scenario and respond to it accordingly.

Assessment Strategy

Pre-seen material

As you will be playing the role of a ‘Finance Officer’, the pre-seen material for the operational case study exam will be internally focused.

The pre-seen material will be available to you for 7 weeks before the examination period. This material will also be available in the exam but It is highly recommended that you spend the time leading up to the exam getting to grips with this material, so that you use your time efficiently in the exam.

Un-seen material

There will be 4/5 sections in the case study exam. Within each section you will be required to do a number of tasks. These tasks are likely to occur based on a situation or an issue that has arisen. These will be displayed to you various formats. News articles, minutes from meetings, letters from stakeholders, or a reported conversations from colleagues are just a selection of possible formats that could be used to display the issue. Once you have understood the situation you will be asked to complete a series of tasks. This could be instructions or requests from a colleague.

The examination is a total of 3 hours. Each section will have an allocated time. This time is the maximum time available and once the time has run out you must move on. It is important to highlight that once you have moved on you will not be able to return to your previous work.

OCS Syllabus Structure