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CIMA T4 Exam Guides
The typical requirement used in virtually all exams over the last 10 years is as follows:
“Prepare a report that prioritises, analyses and evaluates the issues facing the company, and makes appropriate recommendations.”
This represents 90 marks in the exam. It is crucial then, that you approach and structure the report correctly. You need to know the key report sections, their order, and the structure required in each of these sections.
By relating each section to the marking criteria you are then able to write a report that will earn good marks, and by understanding timings for each section ensure you complete the report. Combining all three elements together is critical to passing.
To see an example of the expected format of answers see the solutions to the mock exams. An explanation of the typical report format, as suggested by the examiner, is as follows:
Title and Contents page
A brief background on the company and current position of the industry. Aim to include an industry example for a diversity mark.
Terms of reference
Sets the scene of who you are – e.g. a management accountant, to whom the report it to and its purpose.
Identify and prioritise the main issues facing the company, showing the top four issues in priority order together with justification for the ranking of these issues.
This is the main body of the report and should be divided up into sections which should include an analysis of each of the issues prioritised. For each issue discuss the impact this issue has on the company and its stakeholders and discuss a range of strategic alternatives to overcome these issues. Discussion should be supported by theory and supporting calculations where relevant (which can be shown in appendices).
Ideally three ethical issues will be dealt with, explaining the issue in depth and offering clear recommendations.
This is the most important part of the report. Each recommendation should be clear
and well justified, including clear action steps for the way the issue should be
dealt with. The majority of students do not write enough in this section -
Each issue should have its own subsection, and each subsection should have three
Brief closing comments
Appendices must be referred within the report.
The part b requirement is worth 10 marks and aims to test your ability to present
complex information simply. It is based around one of the unseen issues, but not
necessarily that of the highest priority. Students are expected to go beyond a re-
The requirement could be to write slides for a presentation, notes to accompany a presentation, an email, a letter or a memo, and could include drawing a graph.
The examiner produced a very useful and detailed guide to the part b when this was introduced as a requirement in 2010. This is available here: