Choosing CIMA was an easy decision after looking at professional qualifications in the market. I needed to supplement my Economics degree with a well accredited professional management accounting qualification. I already work in accounting and finance but I preferred to go into a field more aligned to management accounting as it covers the full spectrum of business. 

My CIMA operational level progression has been an exciting one, P1 was the most challenging exam I have ever had to do, comparing with all other tertiary modules I have studied. I had to lay low, clock in more hours, and above all practice exam type questions. I found online questions to be the most helpful of all study tools as they prepare you better for the exam. The online practice simulated exam set up and gave me a good exam feel and experience.

Failing in the first sitting was very frustrating as I missed the pass mark by a very small percentage, but it was eye opening for me to a number of things I had to work on, including time management.

There is a lot I did differently, I actually think failing the first exam prepared me for the subsequent exams. The most important thing I learned was to practice, practice and practice exam questions. The CIMA qualification is very extensive and you could never say you have covered it all. Having said that the trick is to understand the concepts because if it’s not a calculation question, it’s an analysis question. I went through question banks which had 400 plus questions, some became very familiar which made my second sitting more comfortable. 

My tips to anyone preparing P1 exam are as follows:

  • Look at the learning outcomes and cover the entire syllabus, don’t skip a single area.
  • Complete as questions per chapter and evaluate your performance, revisit areas you score low. 
  • It’s a must to complete a full 60 question mock exam under timed conditions
  • The final 10 – 14 days before the exam should be dedicated to practicing questions and reaching out to a tutor for support.
  • Get a clear understanding of key concepts like ABC vs other costing techniques……..

Thank you to Graduate School of Accounting, over the years there has been lack of support in Durban. I attended their first open day in Durban, they are quite enthusiastic, responsive and they know their stuff. I could feel the passion when they spoke about CIMA. They would go an extra mile for their students and they are reliable. I got good exam tips on how to navigate the exam and free resources too. The support by Lewis and team is really amazing!  They were there for me when l failed and they celebrated with me when l passed, in this CIMA journey, you need someone to talk to and that is exactly what they do,

I definitely recommend Graduate School of Accounting to anyone studying CIMA and needs the right support.

Florence Nyamunda!