Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Operational Results Overview 2015

A number of interesting facts and statistics were presented at the 2015 CIMA conference last week.

The conference was attended by key people from CIMA and tuition providers including members of the Astranti team.

We would like to share with you some of the key points raised at the conference.

In this blog I am going to summarise the conference content that focused on the operational level. This included a review on the E1, P1, F1 and Operational Case Study exams. It also covered what went well for students on the previous sittings and key areas that need to be improved for the future.

The information was presented at the conference by Aneeb Farrukh, Learning Support Manager and Sharon Forbes a leading case study writer and marker.

I hope you find this summary useful as it includes some important information that could help you as you progress through your studies.

Lets start with E1…

E1 Pass Rates

The overall pass rate for January – September 2015 was 86% with the first time rate being more than 75%. 

E1 Sectional performance

Students performed similarly across most sections of the syllabus with the exception of 'Managing the finance function'. The CIMA presenter's hypothesis for this results was that it is a new syllabus area.

E1 Regional performance

Overall the geographical region performance was similar. All areas performed relatively poorly in 'Managing the finance function'. However, Europe performed significantly better in 'Managing human resources', than Africa and MESANA. This is a strong indication of where improvements can be made on a geographic basis.

P1 Pass Rates

The pass rate for P1 was significantly lower than E1. Overall the January – September 2015 pass rate was 62% with 46% passing at their first attempt.

P1 Sectional performance

Overall students performed similarly in all parts of the syllabus with a slightly higher level of performance in 'Cost accounting systems'. However, improvements can be made in all areas and in particular 'Short-term decision making' and 'Dealing with risk and uncertainty'.

P1 Regional performance

On a regional basis African students performed relatively poorly in comparison to Europe and MESANA across all parts of the syllabus.

F1 Pass Rates

F1 pass rates were around 80% with the first time rate more than 75%.

F1 Sectional Performance

The performance across all sections of the syllabus was around 80% with the exception of 'Financial accounting and reporting' where there is significant room for improvement. This is considered by CIMA examiners to be a core subject and those students that failed the exam under performed in this area. Examiners concluded that this could be due to the new format for this section of the syllabus.

F1 Regional performance

'Financial accounting and reporting' was particularly an issue in Africa and Europe. MESANA on the other hand performed well in this section of the syllabus.

Operational Case Study

Since the start of the new 2015 syllabus there has been significant variation in the pass rate for the Operational Case Study. 

Examiners were concerned across a number of areas that contributed to the poor performance particularly in February and August.

These included:

  • Lack of technical knowledge – particularly in F1
  • Limited application to the pre-seen
  • Failure to answer the question asked!
  • Poor skills at critiquing or building balanced arguments when the questions asks for this to be done
  • Missing basic points – often due to focusing on more complex elements.

Examiners were disappointed by the drop in pass rate in August although emphasised that there were still a number of very good answers from students. 

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