New CIMA Objective Test Syllabus

CIMA Objective Test Syllabus

About the CIMA objective test exams

The CIMA professional qualification objective tests provide 9 out of the 12 exams that make up the CIMA professional qualification.

They also provide all of the syllabus content that you need to learn in order to become CIMA qualified, and a large amount of the content you learn in your earlier objective test exams, will be carried forward and built upon in the exams you face later on, including the three CIMA case study exams.

On this page, we will explore the CIMA objective test exams in more detail, looking at the format of the exams, the syllabus content that you will need to cover in each exam and what it takes to pass the objective text exams at operational, management and strategic level.

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The exam format

The CIMA objective test exams consist of 60 questions per paper and have a time limit of 90 minutes.

This equates to around 90 seconds for each question, though this is only a rough guide and some questions may take longer than others.

All learning areas are covered in the CIMA objective test exams so you need to make sure you revise all of the topics. You can’t just revise some areas and hope to pass.

The CIMA objective test exams include the following question formats:


Multiple choice

Choose ONE answer from options available


Multiple response

Select more than one correct answer. If one response is incorrect you will lose the mark for the question.


Highlight the correct part of a chart or diagram.


Matching items

Match two columns of items in a logical order.

Drag and drop

Drag the answers into their correct place.


Fill in the blank

Fill in the blank section with the most suitable answer from the options provided.

Syllabus content

The 3 CIMA objective test exams for each level cover 3 different areas of the syllabus (Enterprise, Performance and Financial) giving you a solid knowledge base for when you move onto the case study exams.

CIMA have provided a full guide to the CIMA objective test syllabus, which you can find here: CIMA Professional Qualification Syllabus Guide

However, here is a summary of each of the levels and modules:

CIMA Operational Level

Key objectives: Implement strategy + Report on implementation of strategy

CIMA E1 Overview

CIMA E1 focuses on the structuring of organisations. It covers the structure and principles underpinning the operational functions of the organisation, their efficient management and effective interactions in enabling the organisation to achieve its strategic objectives. It lays the foundation for gaining further insight into both the immediate operating environment and long-term strategic future of organisations, which are covered in E2 and E3.

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CIMA E1 – Organisational Management:

  • 25% = Introduction to organisations
  • 15% = Managing the finance function
  • 15% = Managing technology and information
  • 15% = Operations management
  • 15% = Marketing
  • 15% = Managing human resources
CIMA P1 Overview

P1 stresses the importance of costs and the drivers of costs in the production, analysis and use of information for decision making in organisations. The time focus of P1 is the short term. It covers budgeting as a means of short-term planning to execute the strategy of organisations. In addition it provides competencies on how to analyse information on costs, volumes and prices to take short-term decisions on products and services and to develop an understanding on the impact of risk to these decisions. P1 provides the foundation for cost management and the long-term decisions covered in P2.

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CIMA P1 – Management Accounting:

  • 30% = Cost accounting systems
  • 25% = Budgeting
  • 30% = Short-term decision making
  • 15% = Dealing with risk and uncertainty
CIMA F1 Overview

F1 covers the regulation and preparation of financial statements and how the information contained in them can be used. It provides the competencies required to produce financial statements for both individual entities and groups using appropriate international financial reporting standards. It also gives insights into how to effectively source and manage cash and working capital, which are essential for both the survival and success of organisations. The final part focuses on the basic principles and application of business taxation. The competencies gained from F1 form the basis for developing further insights into producing and analysing complex group accounts (covered in F2) and formulating and implementing financial strategy (covered in F3).

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CIMA F1 – Financial Reporting and Taxation:

  • 10% = Regulatory environment for financial reporting and corporate governance
  • 45% = Financial accounting and reporting
  • 20% = Management of working capital, cash and sources of short-term finance
  • 25% = Fundamentals of business taxation

CIMA Management Level

Key objectives: Monitor implementation of strategy + Ensure corrective action is taken

CIMA E2 Overview

E2 emphasises a holistic, integrated approach to managing organisations, from external and internal perspectives. It builds on the understanding of organisational structuring gained from E1 and is centred on the concept of strategy and how organisational strategy can be implemented through people, projects, processes and relationships. It provides the basis for developing further insights into how to formulate and implement organisational strategy, which is covered in E3.

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CIMA E2 – Project and Relationship Management:

  • 30% = Introduction to strategic management and assessing the global environment
  • 20% = The human aspects of the organisation
  • 20% = Managing relationships
  • 30% = Managing change through projects
CIMA P2 Overview

Focusing primarily on the long term, P2 builds on the insights about costs and their drivers (from P1) to provide the competencies needed to analyse, plan and manage costs to support the implementation of the organisation’s strategy. It shows how to manage and control the performance of various units of the organisation in line with both short-term and long-term strategy. Finally, P2 covers investment decision making and the risks associated with such decisions. It provides the basis for developing deeper understanding of various types of risk affecting the strategy and operations of organisations (covered in P3).

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CIMA P2 – Advanced Management Accounting:

  • 25% = Cost planning and analysis for competitive advantage
  • 30% = Control and performance management of responsibility centres
  • 30% = Long-term decision making
  • 15% = Management control and risk
CIMA F2 Overview

F2 builds on the competencies gained form F1. It covers how to effectively source the long-term finance required to fund the operations of organisations, particularly their capital investments. It also deepens the coverage of financial reporting to more complex aspects of group accounting and analyses the rules governing the recognition and measurement of various elements of the financial statements. Finally it shows how to analyse financial statements to provide insights about the financial performance and position of the organisation over time and in comparison with others.

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CIMA F2 – Advanced Financial Reporting:

  • 15% = Sources of long-term finance
  • 60% = Financial reporting
  • 25% = Analysis of financial performance and position

CIMA Strategic Level

Key objectives: Make strategic decisions + Provide overall context for effective implementation of strategy

CIMA E3 Overview

E3 builds on the insights gained from E1 and E2 about how organisations effectively implement their strategies by aligning their structures, people, process, projects and relationships. E3 aims to develop the skills and abilities of the strategic leaders of organisations, enabling them to create the vision and direction for the growth and long-term sustainable success of the organisation. This involves successfully managing and leading change within the process of strategy formulation and implementation.

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CIMA E3 – Strategic Management:

  • 20% = Interacting with the organisation’s environment
  • 30% = Evaluating strategic position and strategic options
  • 20% = Leading change
  • 15% = Implementing strategy
  • 15% = The role of information systems in organisational strategy
CIMA P3 Overview

P3 shows how to identify, evaluate and manage various risks that couls adversely affect the implementation of the organisation’s strategy. It provides the competencies required to analyse, evaluate and apply the techniques, processes and internal control systems required to manage risk. This insight is then used to manage risk associates with both cash flows and capital investment decisions – two important areas of organisational life for which the finance function is responsible.

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CIMA P3 – Risk Management:

  • 20% = Identification, classification and evaluation of risk
  • 20% = Responses to strategic risk
  • 20% = Internal controls to manage risk
  • 20% = Managing risks associated with cash flows
  • 20% = Managing risks associated with capital investment decisions
CIMA F3 Overview

F3 focuses on the formulation and implementation of financial strategy to support the overall strategy of the organisation. Using insights gained from F1 and F2, it provides the competencies to evaluate the financing requirements of organisations and the relative merits of alternative sources of finance to meet these requirements. Finally, it develops the competencies required to value investment opportunities including the valuation of corporate entities for mergers, acquisitions and divestments.

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CIMA F3 – Financial Strategy:

  • 25% = Formulation of financial strategy
  • 35% = Financing and dividend decisions
  • 40% = Corporate finance

When do you get your results?

So we have had a look at the format of the CIMA objective test exams, and the syllabus content. However, how do you actually know if you have passed? 

Here is a rundown of what to expect from your result and how you will know if you have passed:


On the day

  • You will be given a provisional result at the test centre
  • This result will be ratified within 48 hours


  • You will then receive a pass or a fail decision
  • You will also receive a scaled score

Pass grade

  • The pass grade for the CIMA objective test exams is 70%

Find your nearest test centre

CIMA objective tests can be sat on demand on a day of your choice at any time throughout the year at a Pearson Vue test centre.


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