It has been a couple of weeks since we launched a survey for OCS students taking the February sitting of the exam- and there has been some interesting results!
A really useful start to revising for a future exam is to look at what past students have said- to ensure you learn from their mistakes and take tips from their successes.
So with that in mind, here are some of the key themes to come from the February OCS survey results:
We asked the students how difficult they found the exam in relation to their expectations:
Much More Difficult - 17% More Difficult - 42% As Expected - 42% Easier - 0% Much Easier - 0%
Overall, 59% of students found the exam to be more difficult or much more difficult than they anticipated!
This highlights the importance of good preparation and the need to not get complacent about how ready you think you are for the exam.
There is always more you can be doing!
Time Management is Key
Time management is often a topic which is deemed low priority. Naturally we all feel the need to learn as much knowledge as we can before an exam.
Yet you don't get any marks for the knowledge that stays in your head!
Working in an environment which is constrained by time is difficult, and having the ability to manage your time effectively is an important skill.
It seems from our survey that the respondents had issues with time management. When asked what they struggled with in their exam their answers included:
“Time management- I didn't complete Task 1 or Task 4 due to time constraints.”
“Time management was the main problem on every question especially since I type very slow.”
“Time management, question detail.”
Learn how to manage your time, to ensure that you get the most out of all that hard work you put in during your revision.
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the most effective ways of getting ready for an exam is practice- and in particular Mock Exams.
The chance to get used to working under exam conditions using the exam format, often proves invaluable to students.
It seems like the students who took the February OCS exam are no different. When asked what their advice to future students would be their responses included:
“Mock exams are the best way to prepare yourself for the exam.”
“Practice mocks and the CIMA practice mocks.”“Practice MOCKS!”
Learning the lessons
It's important to be aware of the issues faced by previous students. Here we asked the respondents what they think they should have spent more time on when revising:
The three most popular answers included revision of the theory, mock exams and time management.
It's important for anyone taking an Operational Case Study exam in the future, to be aware of these issues which past students have raised and to look to address them.
Help is on Hand
Rather than letting you deal with these issues on your own, we do offer a number of resources which look to address these specific topics.
Our Mock exams for the May sitting of the Operational Case Study exam will be available from the 6th April and they are designed to simulate the real exam experience. You can find out more about them here.
We also offer a Study Text which focuses on exam preparation and how to get better at time management and answer planning: Study Text Part 1.
If you have any other questions or want to find more study tips and guides, go to our CIMA Operational Facebook page.