Introduction to the OCS exam


Introduction to the OCS exam


Session 1: Exam

  • Preseen and unseen; Marking

Session 2: Exam Techniques

  • Writing style; Planning your answer

Topic 1: Exam

Preseen and unseen

Preseen is the business case given by CIMA before the exam. We will go through the entire preseen material with you.

Unseen questions are questions in the actual CIMA case exam.


The exam is 150 marks, and you must achieve 80 marks.

The exam is 3 hours, and it is split into 4 questions. Each question may contain multiple tasks such as writing email and report, but most questions will only include one task and several requirements.

Each question can be 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 30 minutes or 50 minutes etc. The time allocation for each requirement should be equally split, for instance, if there are two requirements in this question and the total time allowed is 60 minutes, students are expected to spend 30 minutes for each requirement.

There are only two cases in a year, ie Feb and May cases would be the same whereas August and November cases are the same.

Competency framework

  • l Technical skills
  • l Business skills
  • l People skills
  • l Leadership skills
  • l Digital skills

Topic 2: Exam Techniques

Exam tips

  • l About 8-12 paragraphs per question.
  • l The style of your answer should be: DEFINE + EXPLAIN + APPLY.
  • l Avoid single sentence.
  • l Equally divide total paragraphs for each requirement.

Planning your answer

This is absolutely vital in the exam and make sure that when you read the question requirements in the preseen, you will directly copy the requirement in the unseen answer box. Do not use the scratchpad provided by CIMA, but rather directly plan your answer in the answer box.

Do not show the number for each of your paragraphs.

Make sure that you will also plan the deadline to answer each part of the requirement.

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Categories: : CIMA/CGMA Operational Case Study (OCS)