One of the best ways to prepare for a future exam is to look at what the examiner's have to say about a previous sitting.
After each Case Study sitting the examiner's write a report of what they noticed and what tips they would give to future students.
Here is a summary of some of the key themes from the February report:
One of the key points raised by the examiners is the importance of getting to know the pre-seen:
"Preparation on the pre-seen material is vital. Ensure that you are very familiar with the business, especially the financial
information, before the exam as this will help you with applying your knowledge and will save you time. Similarly, an
awareness of the industry that the business is in will help you to think of the wider issues that might impact on decisions
that you could be asked to comment on."
It is essential that you analyse the pre-seen company, but if you want to get those extra marks you need to go further.
The examiners are looking for that extra research into how the business operates and how this may relate to the question you are being asked.
Planning Your Answer
The examiners offer some good advice in terms of not diving straight in with your answer:
"When sitting an Operational level case study examination, it is important to take time to plan your answer so that you are
able to apply your knowledge to the specifics of the case. I would suggest that for certain tasks you plan your answers in
the answer screen itself."
It is essential to look at exactly what the question requires from you and how you are going to go about answering it.
It can be tempting when under time constraint to jump straight into answering the question as quickly as possible, but as the examiners point out - this may not work out in the end.
Cover the Whole Syllabus
The examiners made a point of highlighting that there is no area of the syllabus that is off limits in the exam:
"The Operational level case study examination covers all of the P1, E1 and F1 syllabi and therefore no topic area is off
limits to the examiner. Make sure that you do not leave topic areas out of your preparation. Given previous comments in
this report and other reports, it is evident that F1 knowledge of financial reporting standards is poor. Please pay special
attention to this."
It is vital that you have a full understanding of the entire syllabus and not to take any short-cuts in your revision.
Ensure you go through all areas of P1, E1 and F1 because there is no telling what's going to come up in the exam.
To find out everything mentioned by the examiners, read the full report:
OCS Examiner's Report February
Based on the points raised by the examiners, see how we can help you by taking a look at our Pre-seen analysis and Study Text Part 2