CIMA Exam Dates: When (and how) should you take your next exam?

CIMA Exam Dates

You want to get CIMA qualified in the shortest time possible. Right?

Well, there are some big mistakes made by students time and time again that you’ll want to avoid.

These mistakes start way before the exam day and can go all the way back to the moment you book your CIMA exam date. If you’re about to book your exam, stop now! You’re going to want to read this…

1. CIMA exam dates – basics

2. Case study exam dates

3. Can I do CIMA exams from home?

4. Exam centre vs online exam

5. Optimum study time frame

6. How do I book book my exam?

1. CIMA exam dates – the basics

Now before we get onto the common mistakes, we need to get through some of the basics related to the CIMA exam dates.

When booking your next exam, you’ll find there are a few differences in the options depending on the type of exam you are booking.

CIMA have these two different approaches to exam bookings:

(a). Booking your CIMA objective test exam

For your objective test exams, (that’s all four certificate level exams, as well as the nine enterprise, performance and financial pillar exams at professional level), you can book your exam on any date that you choose, any time of the year

If you messed up and need to redo any objective test exams, then you’re free to do this as soon as you can afterwards.

Isn’t that handy?!

CIMA Exam Timetables

(b). Booking your CIMA case study exam

The rules are slightly different for the three case study exams.

With these, you’ll only be able to sit the exams within one of four exam windows each year (outlined in the CIMA exam timetable below).

These exam windows take place in February, May, August and November and each window consists of three possible exam days.

This means that resitting the case study exams is not such an easy task. You’ll have to wait another three months before you can do the exam again, so a little more jeopardy here!

With the case study exam booking approach in mind, you might be starting to see where students can get held back on their quests for CIMA greatness!

2. So, what are the case study exam dates?

Take a look through the timetable below to see all of the key CIMA case study dates (including exam dates) for each of the four exam sittings.

CIMA February 2022 case study exams
Operational Management Strategic
Exam entry open 28 Jul 2021 4 Aug 2021 12 Aug 2021
Exam entry closed 25 Jan 2022 1 Feb 2022 8 Feb 2022
Pre-seen material available 24 Sep 2021 1 Oct 2021 8 Oct 2021
Exam dates 9-11 Feb 2022 16-18 Feb 2022 23-25 Feb 2022
Results published 31 Mar 2022 07 Apr 2022 14 Apr 2022
CIMA May 2022 case study exams
Operational Management Strategic
Exam entry open 27 Oct 2021 3 Nov 2021 10 Nov 2021
Exam entry closed 26 Apr 2022 4 May 2022 10 May 2022
Pre-seen material available 25 Mar 2022 1 Apr 2022 8 Apr 2022
Exam dates 11-13 May 2022 18-20 May 2022 25-27 May 2022
Results published 30 Jun 2022 7 Jul 2022 14 Jul 2022
CIMA August 2022 case study exams
Operational Management Strategic
Exam entry open 26 Jan 2022 2 Feb 2022 9 Feb 2022
Exam entry closed 26 Jul 2022 2 Aug 2022 9 Aug 2022
Pre-seen material available 25 Mar 2022 1 Apr 2022 8 Apr 2022
Exam dates 10-12 Aug 2022 17-19 Aug 2022 24-26 Aug 2022
Results published 29 Sep 2022 6 Oct 2022 13 Oct 2022

3. Can I do CIMA exams from home?

Can I do my CIMA exam at home?

Yes, you can!

The start of the pandemic in 2020 threw up a heap of issues for CIMA.

Students suddenly weren’t allowed to visit exam centres anymore, but at the same time, there was nothing in place at CIMA to enable students to sit exams anywhere else.

These were a busy few months for CIMA.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before CIMA had the answer. CIMA online exams were born – and they’re here to stay!

This is great news and it gives you another option to think about now that exam centres are settling back to normality.

But should you sit your exam from home using the online exam system?

4. Exam centre vs online: 6 things you need to consider

The online exams have been a success for many, but a nuisance for some. 

Here are 6 key questions that you should ask yourself before booking your online exam:

“Do I want to travel to the exam centre when I could sit my exam at home?”

A pretty simple one to start us off, but still something worth considering.

You should be able to find your closest exam centre on the Pearson Vue website, but it might be that your closest centre is still a little far, meaning an online exam from home may be easier.

“Is my home computer and internet stable and reliable enough for the online exam?”

One other really common problem that people have run into with the online CIMA exams is the reliability of their home devices and internet connections

If you have any inkling that your technology won’t play ball when it comes to your online exam day, then maybe the exam centre is the best choice.

“How important is the physical whiteboard to me when taking notes in the exam?”

A really common issue that people have had with the online CIMA exams is the lack of a physical whiteboard that you would usually get in an exam centre

Although you’ll have access to an on-screen version, if you think this is going to be a problem, then best to stick with the exam centre.

“Is an online exam more convenient for me, bearing in mind my other commitments?”

Although you’ll definitely need to keep yourself separated from everyone else in your house for the entirety of the exam, you might find that doing this is more practical than the exam centre alternative.

Perhaps if you have kids of a certain age, having them entertain themselves for a few hours might be easier than trying to find childcare for example.

“Would I prefer to be in the comfort of my own home for the exam?”

Sometimes exam centres can add a lot of extra pressure, purely because they are unfamiliar surroundings. Doing your exam at home might alleviate that problem.

“Am I more likely to get distracted at home than I would in the exam centre?”

Homeworking can often come with its drawbacks, as you may have found over the last few years, and distractions are one of them. 

Having distractions of any kind in your exams can be really off-putting.

If they are severe enough they may even result in your paper being thrown out, so ask yourself if there are likely to be any if you were to sit your exam at home.

5. The optimum time frame for your studies

CIMA exam dates

Before you go ahead and book your CIMA exam dates, there’s one more crucial thing to think about, which a lot of people forget to consider – ‘what does your exam date mean for your exam preparation time?’

With study time being a fairly major part of becoming CIMA qualified (understatement of the year), it’s surprising how little time some students end up giving themselves for it.

But you’re not going to make that mistake, are you?

Although it’s no exact science, there are a few general guidelines that you can follow, which should help to give you enough time to make sure you pass your exam the first time around.

How much prep time do I need for the objective test exams?

To give you a rough idea of how many weeks you should spend preparing for, here’s what our students recommend:

    • 53% of students recommend allocating more than 4 weeks of study time for the OT exams.
    • 28% of students suggested more than 6 weeks of study time for the CIMA OT exams.

In terms of the hours you should spend each week, this is what our students would suggest:

    • 68% said that more than 5 hours per week was required
    • 35% said that 10 hours should be the minimum.

The variety of objective test exams and their level of difficulty makes it a little tricky to make concrete recommendations.

Although we agree that 10+ hours should be the aim, typically we’d recommend more time than students have suggested when it comes to study weeks.

Here are the lengths that we recommend as part of our objective test courses:

10 hours
8 hours
8 hours
7 hours
9 hours
8 hours
8 hours


7 hours
10 hours
10 hours


8 hours
9 hours
11 hours


How about the case study exams?

Bearing in mind the pre-seen material is released around 7 weeks before the exams, we’d recommend:

    • Between 6 to 8 weeks for your preparations
    • 10+ hours per week

As with any exam preparation, more time is better. So don’t limit yourself to these times if you have more available!

So… what’s the big lesson here?

Rushing exam prep is one of the biggest reasons for exam failures, and as a result, taking longer to get CIMA qualified!

Therefore, it’s vital that you think about giving yourself enough time for your exam prep when selecting your CIMA exam dates. If you do that, then you should be set on your way to getting that pass!

6. Okay, I’m ready to go! How do I book my exam?

Now that you’re all clued up on when to book your exam, what type of exam to book and how long to allow for your studies, you’re ready to get it booked in!

Luckily, the team at CIMA have made the booking process super easy, so you shouldn’t have any problems there. 

Simply head over to the CIMA booking website and follow the steps to schedule your exam.

Good luck!

How to book CIMA exams

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Holly Dymmock

Customer Service and Mentoring Supervisor

I hope you’ve found this guide on taking CIMA exams useful – but if you’ve got any further questions, leave a message and I’d be happy to help!


Illustration by Storyset.