CIMA Syllabus
About the CIMA syllabus

To help you get to grips with the CIMA syllabus and the exams that you are going to be faced with along your journey to becoming CIMA qualified, we have pulled together all of the key information that you need to know about the modules, the exams and the qualification as a whole.

This page starts with an overview of the entire CIMA syllabus and the exams that you will face.

We also have some more specific pages, where you can find more information about the CIMA professional qualification syllabus (introduced in 2015) and the CIMA certificate syllabus (introduced in 2017).

CIMA Objective Test SyllabusCIMA Case Study SyllabusCIMA Certificate Syllabus

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Introduction to the CIMA syllabus & the exams
Click on the level headings below to learn more about the individual CIMA levels.
CIMA Strategic level

This is the third and final level of the CIMA professional qualification and consists of three computer-based objective test exams and one case study exam.

CIMA strategic level focuses on strategic decision making and providing the context for which those decisions will be implemented. Its focus is the long-term.

Students will learn how to:

  • Formulate financial strategy
  • Manage strategic relationships
  • Identify and manage risk

The subjects at each level and designed to be sequential, from operational to strategic level, encouraging the progressive development of knowledge, techniques and skills.

On completion of CIMA strategic level, students will be eligible to submit their practical experience for assessment.

CIMA Strategic level - Strategic Case Study Exam
CIMA Management level

This is the second level of the CIMA professional qualification and consists of three computer-based objective test exams and one case study exam.

CIMA management level translates the strategy decided at higher levels and communicates it to lower levels for implementation. It monitors and reports on the implementation of strategy, and ensures corrective action is taken when required. It has a medium-term focus.

Students will learn how to:

  • Prepare group accounts
  • Make pricing and product decisions based on a robust analysis
  • Manage projects and relationships

On completion, you receive the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting (CIMA Adv Dip MA).

CIMA Management level - Management Case Study Exam
CIMA Operational level

This is the first level of the CIMA professional qualification and consists of three computer-based objective test exams and one case study exam.

CIMA operational level covers the implementation of strategy, as well as reporting on the implementation of strategy. Its focus is short-term.

Students will learn how to:

  • Prepare financial statements
  • Provide management accounting information
  • Use appropriate tools for decision making through a broad understanding of business

After successfully completing this level, students will receive the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting (CIMA Dip MA).

CIMA Operational level - Operational Case Study Exam
CIMA Certificate level

The CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (Cert BA) will help students with little or no accounting experience unleash their true business potential. Teaching core business and finance skills beyond simple financial accounting, the certificate BA syllabus is the perfect stepping stone towards a career in business and finance.

The CIMA Certificate BA is a qualification in its own right and also forms a formal entry route into the CIMA professional qualification. Once students successfully complete both qualifications and qualify for membership, they will be awarded the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.

CIMA Certificate level

Objective Test Exams

The 9 professional papers are tested using objective test exams.

  • They are available on demand – you are able to select a date you wish to take the exam
  • The tests take place at a Pearson Vue study centre
  • They include a range of short answer questions such as multiple choice, drag and drop, hot spot and fill in the gap questions
  • You will be required to answer 60 questions in 90 minutes
  • The pass mark is 70%

Case Study Exams

The case study exams test the application of your knowledge from the E, P and F modules. Key features of these case study exams include:

  • The exam questions will be based on pre-seen material, involving a fictional company
  • New unseen material will be provided during the assessment and will involve a series of practical tasks to simulate the workplace e.g. responding to an email from the finance director or analysing the response to a change by a competitor
  • There are no calculations in the case study exams, but you will be required to analyse and comment on financial information
  • In order to move onto the next level, you must pass each of the objective test exams and the case study exam
  • You can sit the exam during 4 set periods each year (February, May, August and November)
  • The case study is a computer-based assessment at a Pearson Vue study centre
  • The pass mark is a scaled score of 80, provided that you pass the 4 key competencies: business skills, leadership skills, people skills and technical skills

Certificate in Business and Accounting

Certificate level consists of four exams: BA1, BA2, BA3 and BA4.

  • They are available on demand – you are able to select a date you wish to take the exam
  • The tests take place at a Pearson Vue study centre
  • You are required to complete 60 questions for BA1, BA2 and BA3. BA4 will contain 85 questions
  • The exams are made up of narrative and numerical questions with the exception of BA4, which is all narrative
  • Questions types include multiple choice, multiple response, drag and drop, hot spot, item sets and number entry.

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