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In this blog post, we going to be looking at a common issue – time management!

I recently received a call from a worried student who was concerned that he was unable to complete his exam within the 90 minutes allotted time. After he had taken me through his technique, the problem soon became clear…

He was allowing himself 1 and a half minutes per question. Despite this he found that he could only complete around 40 questions before the ‘five minute’ warning would pop up on his screen! As a result, he found it impossible to keep to his allotted time.

His big mistake, therefore, was that he did not recognise that there are four different categories of questions used by CIMA in the OT exams.

These vary in difficulty and the time they take to answer. Take a look at the categories below:

1: Short questions with no calculations
2: Longer questions which require more reading
3: Short questions with calculations and more careful considerations
4: Longer questions with more complex data, thinking and workings

I therefore suggested that he attempted one of our mock exams and used the following technique:

Step 1:

Firstly, start by running through the exam and identify the relatively easy questions in categories 1 and 2. He should then be able to answer all of these in 10-15 minutes which is a great start to the exam.

Step 2:

In addition, I recommended he ran through the exam again and answered only questions from category 3. By this point it is likely he will only be 30-40 minutes into the exam and will have completed a lot of questions successfully.

Step 3:

Lastly, I suggested he did a final run through of the questions that are yet to be completed. These should all be in category 4 and may be quite challenging. Hopefully though he will have around 3 minutes to answer each of these more difficult questions. For instance, I recommended he did not spend more than 3 minutes on any question in this section so that he remained on track. If in doubt he should submit his best answer and go back to it at the end of the exam if he had time.

The great news is my student managed to complete his final Astranti mock. Most importantly, he then went on to success in his exams just a short time after. Nailing his time management allowed him to get that pass he deserved!

Are you struggling with time management?

Well don’t forget the Astranti experts have produced a range mock exams and a free mini mock that you can get your teeth into.

In addition to perfecting your time management, other benefits of mocks include testing your knowledge of the full CIMA syllabus and receiving detailed feedback on each question enabling you to identify your areas for improvement.

CIMA Certificate:
CIMA Certificate Mock Exams
Other CIMA Certificate Materials

CIMA Operational:
CIMA Operational Mock Exams
Other CIMA Operational Materials

CIMA Management:
CIMA Management Mock Exams
Other CIMA Management Materials

CIMA Strategic:
CIMA Strategic Mock Exams
Other CIMA Strategic Materials