CIMA Management Case Study

‘How to pass the case study’ mini-course

“The main reason people fail their CIMA case study exams is not lack of theoretical knowledge, not lack of pre-seen preparation – it’s poor exam technique. People just don’t know how to write answers in a way that scores marks, how to plan to focus what they say and how to manage their time across the exam to maximise marks in each section.”

Nick Best, Astranti CEO

The case studies are difficult to pass, with around 40-50% of people typically failing each sitting, and for most, it’s because they don’t fully understand what it takes to score highly in the exam.

They don’t know how to:

  • Produce answers that meet the examiner’s needs
  • Play the role assigned in the exam
  • Plan effectively
  • Manage their time to create balanced answers
  • Write answers that score high marks

Having helped thousands of students pass the case study, Peter Stiff, Astranti’s case study expert, has pooled his years of experience teaching CIMA case studies and produced over 10 hours of video content to show you exactly what you need to pass your CIMA case study exam.

We’ve also written a comprehensive study guide for you to work through alongside the video series, so that you can cement your understanding and begin to apply it to your exam.

CIMA MCS Exam technique
CIMA exam technique

Learn what it takes to pass

Understand what the examiner says you need to do to pass

Learn why people fail and how to avoid the same mistakes

Learn how to play your role in the exam to score highly

Pass the CIMA case study

Perfect your exam technique

Learn the skills to master your time management

Develop your writing style to make clear focused points

Learn how to create effective answer plans


Maximise your marks

Review past students’ scripts and see how to improve yours

Learn what it really takes to pass from the examiner’s reports

See how to review your mocks to improve your answers

Take a look for yourself…

Part 1 – What does it take to pass the exam?

Part 1 - What's covered?

Chapter 1 – the keys to passing the MCS

What are the most important factors in passing the CIMA Management Case Study exam and what do you need to do to achieve that? Our first video answers these key questions as well as providing a general introduction to the exam.

Chapter 2 – the exam

In order to pass the exam you need to understand what it looks like! We review the nature of the exam and run you through what you will be faced with on exam day.

Chapter 3 – your role

CIMA provide you with a ‘role to play’ for your exam. What is that role and what does this mean for the way you answer the questions in the exam? The examiner has commented that people playing the role well score more marks, so this is critical to you passing.

Chapter 4 – how to analyse the pre-seen

The CIMA examiners regularly comment that people do not use the pre-seen information enough in their exam. We provide a step by step approach to analysing the pre-seen to get the most from it which is useful to those people who don’t use the Astranti Case Study analysis.

Chapter 5 – answering the question

The examiner’s most common criticism of student scripts is ‘not answering the question asked’. The problem is people not properly identifying the requirements – it’s harder than it sounds! This video shows you how to avoid this most common of errors.

Total video running time: over 3 hours

Part 2 – Exam planning and writing

Part 2 - What's covered?

Chapter 6 – why you must plan your answers

Planning is one of the keys to passing the CIMA Management Case Study, yet most people don’t plan. In this video, we outline why planning is so important and why it is key to passing.

Chapter 7 – the 9 stages of exam planning

Our 9 step planning approach ensures you create answers that meet all the key requirements the examiner requires from a script. Follow these steps as the first stage in producing an excellent answer.

Chapter 8 – planning practice

You will only excel at planning through practice. Having been shown how to plan, it’s now your turn! We provide a question for you to plan, run through the solution and show you what an excellent plan for that question would look like.

Chapter 9 – writing approach

Using the right writing style makes a significant difference to the mark you score. So what is the style you should use that will enable you to score the most marks from the ideas you generate? This video demonstrates the style that markers say helps them give you the most marks.

Chapter 10 – writing practice

Can you produce a script like the good scripts you’ve just been shown? You will be given a question and will be shown how to evaluate that script to ensure you are writing your answer in a way that is scoring the most marks from the points made.

Additional content – lessons from student scripts

We examine a range of student Case Study scripts. You will see the good scripts, so you’ve got a clear idea what to produce in the exam, and the bad scripts, so you can learn what not to do!

Total video running time: over 4 hours

Part 3 – Scoring high marks on the pre-seen

Part 3 - What's covered?

Chapter 11 – how is the MCS marked?

By understanding how the Management Case Study exam is marked, you can tailor your answer to ensure you pick up all the key marks and miss out things that aren’t scoring well.

Chapter 12 – time management

The most important skill to master to pass this exam is time management. That’s not just us saying that it’s the top answer to the regular post exam poll we conduct of our students. Why is this so important and how do you master your own time management in the exam? This video will show you.

Chapter 13 – the optimum approach to preparing for the MCS exam

As you approach the exam what do you need to do to prepare in the best way? We will guide you through the steps you need to take to ensure you pass.

Chapter 14 – application to the MCS

Having the ability to apply your knowledge of the theory to the pre-seen scenario is crucial when preparing for the MCS exam. This section provides a series of templates and guides for you to do just this, linking in with some of the key theory and models from operational level.

Additional content – the examiner’s analysis of a real student script

There’s nothing better than hearing what the CIMA examiner wants from your Case Study exam. Luckily the examiner has provided us with an analysis of a real exam script with her commentary on what’s good and how it can be improved. We analyse this script and her comments and pick out the key learning points so you can produce a script which meets her needs.

Additional content – the marking grid

Our marking grid is tailored to give you feedback on the key areas of exam technique required to pass the MCS exam. In this video, we review each of these key areas and show you how to use the feedback given from your marked mocks to improve.

Additional content – review of examiner post exam reports

At the end of each exam, the examiner provides guidance on the key strengths and weaknesses in that set of exams. By examining a range of reports over a number of years we learn what she is looking for from your script, what you need to do to score well and what traps you need to avoid. We also examine how her feedback has changed over the years so you understand her current thinking.

Total video running time: over 3 hours

What our students have to say…

Please see our testimonials page for our latest student reviews. Here are a couple of examples:

“I’ve just passed my SCS and couldn’t have done it without Astranti.

I purchased the full course and it was brilliant; the preseen analysis was very useful, the exam technique was absolutely vital, and I was really grateful for the marked mocks and support from tutors (and other students).

This was my first case study having completed the other levels many moons ago before they introduced case studies at every level. I’d self studied the Strategic OTs and scraped through but there’s no way I could have passed the case study on my own.”

Charlotte Cliff-Atkins

CIMA Qualified, July 2022

“Fantastic course for the Operational Case Study CIMA exam. I normally study for my exams with textbooks, but as I didn’t know where to start with the first case study exam, I purchased the full Astranti OCS course, which was well worth it.

Everything I needed was included and it helped me untangle what my priorities should be in revising, as well as teaching me the best exam techniques.

Passed first time which I put down to the excellent course structure, materials, and very communicative and helpful staff.”


Passed CIMA OCS, January 2022

Purchase the ‘how to pass the case study’ mini-course

The ‘How To Pass The Case Study’ Mini-Course is also part of our MCS Premium and Essentials Courses.
Head to the course page to find out more.

MCS ‘How To Pass The Case Study’ Mini-Course