The CIMA exam student WALL of tips

By Justyna Wachulka-Chan •  Updated: 11/15/22 •  15 min read

The CIMA exam student WALL of tips

In September, we launched an initiative where we asked past and current Practice Tests Academy’s students to participate in a survey and provide feedback based on their own personal experience with us. We also asked them to provide any advice that could be helpful for future CIMA students and, to our surprise, we found that this opportunity had been embraced by so many of you! Even followers from outside the academy took part to share some excellent advice for their fellow CIMA students. What a great community! Thank you so much to all who took part in helping not only us, but students from all around the world too.

We went through the surveys and were inspired by the tips, success stories, difficulties that some of you went through as well as the challenges that many of you overcame. Due to the amount of responses we received, it‘s unfortunately not possible to publish all of them, but we have selected the ones that we found most useful for students.
This article is probably one of the richest collections of CIMA study and exam tips ever published online!

We sincerely hope you will find the advice you need to help you continue on a successful path of your CIMA journey.

Enjoy these tips and do share them with other students, they’ll surely appreciate them.

Who took part in the survey

Only past and current CIMA students have been allowed to participate in the survey. The students varied in ages from 18 to 65.

Where students are located

Students from 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the United States took part in the survey campaign – which makes this excerption an international representation.

Data about Practice Tests Academy

We are pleased to announce that from a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the highest, Practice Tests Academy’s students are highly likely to recommend PTA’s study materials to their colleagues and peers, making a total score of 4.64 points

Our students and followers shared their exam experience and advice with you.

Read about their top tips and methods that they used in order to pass their exams. Find the techniques that others have used and let them inspire you on your journey to CIMA success.
Here is an overview of the scale of what current and ex CIMA students advise you to focus on when studying for your exam, at any level.

What to focus on when studying for your CIMA exam

Paid packages experience and quality satisfaction

Free packages experience and quality satisfaction

Why students love us and why they chose Practice Tests Academy over other CIMA study providers

The Wall of CIMA-exam advice

Some other words from our students.

Exam practice and technique

The advice for the OT exam is practice as much as you can. Since the time is quite limited, we need to be very familiar with the concepts which can allow the idea to flash in our brain when we read the questions. Always apply exercise to check whether you got the knowledge points.

– Yuanlong ZHANG

Don’t focus on knowing everything (none can), focus on learning what you can on each subject, then revise and spend a lot of time on practice questions.

– Pamela Logie

A study tip for the objective tests is to master the basics and then practice mocks relentlessly until you reach the speed and % you need to attain. Admit your weak areas to yourself and focus on these. Credit yourself with your improvements!

– Sabina Goodman

Go through all chapters in the study material well and practice as many questions you get access too. You must do a mock in real exam conditions. Preparation and practice is key!

– Rashmi Brijlal

Always try to apply the knowledge into practical scenarios in order to get a better understanding of what you study.

– A.G.


The secret to success is being consistent. It is difficult to find time in a long, busy day but allocating at least half an hour in your busy day can contribute to you passing an exam.

– Mohamed Docrat

Dedicate at least two hours a day for your studies. Attempt a lot of practice questions so that you can easily pass your exams.

– Salang Moruakgomo

Do a little each day so you don’t get overwhelmed!

– Joanna Marek


Set yourself a revision plan and stick to it. I have found getting into a routine to be the hardest.

– Naomi Abeysekera

Plan, set the exam date and just do it. Having a full time job and studying CIMA is challenging and it takes dedication, focus, persistence and determination. After all, successful people do want and unsuccessful people do not want. If it takes longer to complete an exam, level or the full qualification than you hoped or planned, do not get discouraged. You are doing what thousands of others are not – just keep going. The rewards will be endless and the most rewarding of all, is that YOU DID IT. Just keep on, keeping on. Good luck 🙂

– Aliza Beukes

Stay Focused, determined & have a plan, stick to that… don’t keep postponing exams.

– Mohamed Barrie

Plan your studies upfront and commit by booking your exams. Choose a tuition provider for the P and F pillars, you can do the E pillar on your own. Stick to your study plan, don’t let the flexibility of the CIMA qualification method fool you, time is of the essence. Practise as many questions and mocks as possible. It may be tough at first but don’t give up, CIMA grows in a person. The more OTs you pass the more your confidence grows and the more motivated you become. All the best, It’s worth it.

– David Ndandani

Always have your goal in mind, motivation is key! Plan your study time around work and social life. Mix your study methods. Be confident on yourself, you have the power to pass your exams and be qualified! Good luck!

– Gonzalo Yepes

Best CIMA exam advice

I hugely recommend PTA especially for CIMA OT. I did P2 and E2 with them. So many questions from each chapter and so much detail. It is so helpful when you have to revise and practice before the exams. Also it helps with memorising the theory. Their customer service is very friendly, extremely helpful and quick in replying to any of the questions you might have. Highly recommend!

– Kasia Staszak

I genuinely feel Practice Tests Academy are a great tool to use when studying for sitting your CIMA exams. There are plenty of questions, split into each section which makes it easy to track and monitor your own progress. The team are on hand for when you need support. Admittedly the response times to questions could be a tad quicker but understandably this can improve anywhere you go! The team are brilliant and always understanding if and when need any help namely Justyna, Maria, Fatima. To date I have used PTA for a few modules and found the resources brilliant! Students are already struggling so it’s key to keep price affordable and manageable! Thanks guys!

– Akmol Hussain

Make sure you practise using the right software. It may seem obvious, but the only real way to pass your CIMA exams is to practice using the software and tools that you’ll need to use on the day! If you’re a pen and paper type of person when you study, that’s fine.

– Phumelele Gama

Exam success in OT exams is all about “practice, practice and practice”. The more practice questions you do, the better chance you stand of passing your OT exam. Practice Tests Academy has the highest number of practice questions “bank” which makes PTA the best choice for OT exam preparation.

– Fanwell Luswili

Keep on doing studies as long as you are not familiar with all the topic and each and every chapter, don’t skip a single line. And when you are familiar with all the terms and each and every chapter, start doing questions and practice as many questions as you have access to. And finally I suggest everyone to practice questions from PTA. They provide much more relevant questions and mock exams, and you can ask a tutor in any part or questions you find difficult to understand. Thank You!

– Anil Dotel

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE!! With the chapter videos on PTA, read the CIMA official book and dive in on the question bank and practice lots of questions! Then move on to timed mocks and do as many as possible. Make sure you book the exam.

– Rafaela Baraldi

It is hard, but don’t give up! Stay focused, but don’t forget to take a little breaks during your studies in order to refresh your mind.

– Stanislav Dimitrov

The best technique that worked for me is once you have gone through a chapter of books and/or videos practice with plenty of practice questions related to that chapter. Then, plenty of mock exams under exam conditions to get you exam ready.

– Lee Withers

CIMA Journey, personal success stories

Before I started studying CIMA, I heard that it is tough… but now as a current student I disagree. I would rather say it needs focus, dedication, time & discipline. Have a consistent approach – studying last minute for an exam is a recipe for disaster. As a fulltime employee & a mother, my consistent approach has been: 1. Try to study for at least 8+hrs in a week (whatever your schedule allows). 2. At the end of a chapter, do mini revision questions. 3. At the end of a section, do additional revision questions to incorporate numerous chapters at one go. 4. If your budget allows, purchase video courses/use a tuition provider as they provide invaluable experience and knowledge. 5. More practice questions. 6. Mocks, mocks and some more mocks that mimmick the real life CIMA exam. For me personally, Practice Tests Academy has been invaluable for the practice kit. It has been worth every cent I have spent on their study materials. I have recently started using their notes as well and are quite impressed. 7. Keep calm, breathe and enjoy the ride.

– Ulundi Mayisela

I start with reading the text – I use Kaplan text and then practice as many questions as possible. Ranging from Kaplan revision kit and mocks, PTA revision kits and mock. I specially find the PTA revision kit useful as it is the closest to exam questions that I have come across. I will encourage students not to give up and keep striving. Determination and hard work is the key. I bought practise questions from PTA for practise after failing multiple times. I found the questions really helpful and relatable to the real exam. I will use them again.

– Matilda Adesola

The study approach that has proven successful and a winner for me is to start by watching chapter/chapter video lectures then proceeding to reading through the text book, completing all end of chapter review questions. For revision, I purchased a PTA practice kit, after reading each chapter and completing the end of chapter review in-textbook questions. I move on to do chapter specific knowledge review questions in the practice kit and finally, with a week before exams, I would do two mock exams a day, one in the morning and another in the evening. Go over the feedback and review weak areas using study revision notes from PTA.

– Mthokozisi Mbambo

CIMA is more about practicality than recommended text study. It is highly recommended to find out a real-life case about the topic you are studying, so that you can see the whole picture of the business.

– Abdul Wahab

To best prepare for the exam, you can get the Kaplan materials that are offered at PTA with a discount and use it together with the practice questions packages offered by PTA. The more you practice, the greater chance you have in passing the exams.

– Diana Mulele

PTA has been pivotal in my CIMA journey. The practice questions are slightly wordier than the actual CIMA exam but generally a lot of the shorter questions tend to be more or less exactly what you’ll find in your real CIMA exam. I’ve had packages from other providers but none have been as useful as the PTA question bank & mock exams. I believe that’s largely owing to the way the revision questions are split exactly in the way that CIMA’s blueprints requires to show your knowledge.

– Alina Ion

1. Go over the lecture twice or more 2. Practice questions then make notes 3. Move to next lecture. Step 2 for this lecture 4. Keep brushing over the past topics by doing a few practice questions 5. At the end, just keep doing practice questions & mock papers 6. Buy practice papers from other providers on top

– Sangita Kapoor

When preparing for an OTQ exam, I read the whole chapter and do the practice questions for each chapter from PTA kit and finish all the chapters in that order. Once I complete the whole book, I redo all the chapter tests once again which helps remind me of the key points. Then I do the mocks and review, which helps me notice my weak areas, read those parts from the textbook and if time allows, do the chapter tests for those chapters again. After all the mocks I feel prepared to take the exam. I can say with confidence that PTA kits have helped me in clearing all my papers so far in my first try 🙂

– Neeba Nelson

I found the objective test practice kit invaluable. Not only does it give an idea of how the exams work but it tested my progression. Showing easily the chapters where more work was needed and those that I am competent in. I will use the practice kit for all CIMA modules for sure.

– Mairead Flanagan

Currently, I’m studying F1. l started my CIMA journey at certificate level, which gives me a considerable experience on CIMA exams. l struggled a lot with my first exam which was BA4 failing 2 times and was reading constantly. Before my third attempt l was enlightened by a graduate SA that my problem was lack of more questions practice. l was advised to purchase a BA4 practice kit from PTA to get more exam standard questions practice. Well l did it then l passed the exam. From there, l started to use a combination of Kaplan study text + practice kit and PTA practice kit with this formula l have been passing exams first time without attending any college as l work full time. Thank you!

– Michael Mashayanyika

Hi All, I’m a student of CIMA. I never used PTA before my OCS. One of my friends recommend me to study my OCS exam through PTA as he passed his OCS by PTA mock exams. I failed my OCS in first attempt then I decided to use PTA mocks for OCS. As I read the knowledge given in mocks in PTA mock exams that I realized how everything was perfectly explained in the mocks and I passed OCS. Then I purchased for my Managerial E2 material and passed in first attempt. As for my personal experience, PTA provides affective and interactive ways of studying any level of CIMA. Thanks to PTA for giving us a platform where we can study and pass our exams on our 1st attempt. As PTA claims about pass assurance, I think they are perfectly doing all the things to help pass CIMA exams in first attempt.

– Mazhar Abbas

The best technique for me is to familiarize myself with the content first, look at videos explaining different scenarios, techniques, theory etc, and then do a lot of mock exams to practice my knowledge and to see where further attention is needed.

– Nicola Thiart

Other CIMA-exam advice

Dear Fellow CIMA students, This is simply an advice and please do not get offended by my opinion or should not feel disappointed in case my opinion reminds you of the painful journey in achieving your study goals on time. 1. As you aspire to achieve CIMA qualification, I advise you to rather concentrate on holistic understanding of each subject you have registered. Remember CIMA courses are very close to what is expected of you once you land a Managerial position. Simply, studying to pass is not sufficient. Rather study to understand and be able to apply – i.e., your pass is guaranteed. 2. If you are studying and working, try by all means to manage and fully utilise your allocated time of study. 3. As you study, remember that the ultimate goal is not only to get a qualification, but it is expected that you will be expected to use your knowledge to provide current and future solutions to challenges affecting people, business and processes. Good luck to you all.

– David Nathinge

We all need to put in some time to get something done. Nothing good ever came easy as the old saying goes. A lot of us work full time but even that extra half an hour helps out greatly when trying to achieve your goals, so do your best and know that PTA is there to help you every step of the way.

– Luke Ivanovic

Justyna Wachulka-Chan