- Application is so important. Generic textbook answers do not score well. The secret here is assimilation of the technical knowledge with the context and details of the pre-seen scenario.
- Use the company name/ staff members/ key themes of the pre-seen -eg environmental or innovative plans to underpin your suggestions & make them relevant & applied.
- Make sure you know your pre-seen inside out… eg if the company does not offer credit sales at the moment, be careful not to suggest debt factoring as a way to ease cashflow!!
- CIMA examiner has asked that students assume life as normal for their case-study answers (Eg a life before COVID pandemic began)… Although, all relevant comments will be awarded if correct and in context, but you should avoid excessive references to COVID/ lockdown/ impact of health social distancing etc on the company.
- Students should be familiar with the CIMA Blueprint… particularly the I – CAN statements.
The ‘I CAN pages from this link are pasted below..
These tell student the weightings and mix of the topics they can expect in EVERY OCS exam…
For example -from the ICAN table..– Section F ( working capital) will be between 7 and 13% of every op case study exam paper – so this table shows the importance of those topic areas – eg we know from this that working capital will be examined in EVERY OCS exam paper going forward (at least 7% of the marks) – so this topic is guaranteed…
Use your objective test knowledge ( 2019 syllabus) notes & Open Tuition lectures to revise – bearing in mind P1 is the LEAD paper for OCS, but F1 and E1 both important too,
When working through your P1/ F1/ E1 notes –try to keep a high level overview – rather than drilling down to the detailed calculations – instead be able to explain/ define/ know the pros and cons of techniques and whether they would be ‘useful’ for the pre-seen company in your scenario.
Graphs are common in the OCS – so be sure you can explain and interpret graphs ( linear programming for example).
Always write enough – ensure you expand/ explain & apply. Leave lots of white space – use subheadings to present your answers & help markers award marks that you deserve.
Avoid bullet points – unless you are out of time
Use the percentage weightings of each exam SUBTASK to guide how much time to spend on each part of your answer
Visit CIMA website & find detailed examiner reports & past exam questions to see errors and weaknesses made by students in recent sittings. Also a good way to see the types of questions to expect and level of detail CIMA are requiring in their answers.
|Core activity||Assessment outcome||Weighting|
|A. Prepare costing information for different purposes to meet the needs of management||I can use appropriate technologies to gather data for costing purposes, from digital and other sources.|
I can apply different costing methods to produce costing information suitable for managers’ needs.
I can explain costing information to operational and senior management using appropriate formats and media.
I can compare different costing methods and systems to determine the most suitable for use by the organisation for different purposes.
I can identify the cost information required for digital cost objects.
|B. Prepare budget information and assess its use for planning and control purposes||I can use appropriate technologies to gather data from digital and other sources to co-ordinate budget preparation. |
I can explain and use different forecasting methods to assist in budget preparation.
I can use different approaches to produce information for use by managers when preparing budgets.
I can explain budget information to managers using appropriate formats and media. I can apply various techniques to determine the effect on budgets of changes to variables.
I can explain to functional managers how budgets are used for planning and control purposes.
I can discuss the behavioural implications of budgetary planning and control.
I can compare alternative approaches to budgeting to determine their suitability for the organisation and for different purposes.
|C. Analyse performance using financial and non- financial information||I can identify information that can enable managers to review performance. |
I can interpret variances to review functional and organisational performance.
I can identify appropriate KPIs for different functions of the organisation.
I can explain company performance using KPIs.
I can prepare performance reports for use by different functions and for different purposes in appropriate formats and media.
|D. Apply relevant financial reporting standards and corporate governance, ethical and tax principles||I can apply relevant IFRS in a given context, to facilitate the preparation of financial statements.|
I can apply the principles of corporate governance and ethics.
I can identify the impact of tax regulation on transactions, decisions and profits.
|E. Prepare information to support short-term decision-making||I can identify relevant costs and benefits. I can apply appropriate techniques that support short-term decision-making. |
I can prepare information to support operational decisions.
I can explain factors that could influence short-term decisions.
I can apply appropriate techniques to deal with situations where there is risk and uncertainty.
|F. Prepare information to manage working capital||I can identify appropriate sources of short-term finance and methods of short-term investments. |
I can explain how to manage and control working capital.
I can explain working capital ratios in comparison to prior periods or to other organisations.
I can identify the impact of changing working capital policies.