The exams are scheduled over a 5 day period, known as the 'exam window', with morning and afternoon sessions on each day. There will be five different exams per window. “But how is that fair?”, I hear your cry! “What if my exam is harder than the one sat by other people?” Well, CIMA will undertake a levelling exercise and ensure that on average people are not penalised for having had the harder exam. The long and short of this is that you could score 55% in your exam in real terms, but be given a passing mark of 60% or over if your exam was found to be really hard by the people taking it that day.


But what does that mean for you and your exam? Well, you may think you're exam is particularly hard, but if that's the case don't worry too much, as you have to remember that you are really only competing against the other people taking the exam that day. Your goal will be to get into the top group of people taking that particular exam. That means that you need to work hard in your exam, getting to the end of it, and doing the best you can possibly do, whatever you are faced with. This will be key to maximising your chances of passing.


Conversely, don't get over confident if your exam is easy, as the marks may get downgraded. Again you need to do the best you can. Don't be complacent and keep going through to the end eking out every mark that you can. You might actually find that you need a much higher mark than 60% on that paper to pass if everyone else finds it easy too!