Scope of CIMA Qualification and Examination Methodology

People prefer to go for accounting qualifications to train themselves for private practice, to work on external audit and tax issues. The main motive of CIMA is to prepare people for a career in business. It develops necessary skills for strategic advice, managing risk and making key decisions.

We prepare our members in such a way that they contribute in many areas of an organisation and for that we design our syllabus in such a way so as to develop a strong grasping of all aspects of business.

What is management accounting?

Management accounting involves preparing and providing timely information of accounting, finance and management to business managers so that they can make short term managerial decisions.

  • Advise managers about the consequences of money and finance in the projects.

  • Explain the implications of finance in making business decisions.

  • Formulate business strategy.

  • Monitor the amount of money spend and to have a financial control.

  • Conduct business audits within an organization.

  • Explain the effects of the competitive environment.

  • Bring a rise in the level of professionalism and integrity to business.

The management accounting skillset


CIMA prepares its members in such a way that they are qualified to work across an organisation, not only in finance. CIMA teaches strategic business and management skills apart from just focussing on basics of accounts.

  • Analysis – they make business decisions after introspecting and utilizing information.

  • Strategy – they plan a wealth and shareholder value after formulating business strategies.

  • Risk – they are enabled to manage and identify risk.

  • Planning – they make suitable budget plans by applying accounting techniques.

  • Communication – they identify the needs of the information needed by the management and elaborate the numbers to non-financial managers.

CIMA Ethical code

CIMA members and students need to abide by the CIMA code of ethics and to apply the basic principles of CIMA’s ethical code to their day to day working. Apart from gaining professional qualification, CIMA members are at the heart of business as its conscience, carrying out judgment, independence and objectivity.

How will a student obtain exam results?

This varies according to type of exam sat:

•    Objective tests: After leaving the test centre, you will be provided with a provisional pass or fail decision, guaranteed results plus your attained score and performance against syllabus section will be published to MY CIMA within 48 hours of sitting the exam.

•    Case study exams: Approximately 5 weeks after the last day of the exam window, your results will be published on MY CIMA. The results will clarify; a pass or fail grade, a scaled score (between 0-150) and performance feedback by competency


How will the results be presented?

Result of case study exam has three components, which should be taken into consideration

1.    An overall grade (pass/fail)

2.    A score between 0 and 150 (80 or above representing a pass, as long as you have met the minimum threshold against each competency*)

3.    An indication of performance against each of the competencies

*You are required to attain an optimum level of score for each competency and for integration (approximately one third of the total marks available for that competency).

How should one interpret the Case Study performance report? 

Whether you have passed or not is the main focus in which you are interested. This will be provided against “Grade”.

- If you are given a ‘Pass’, that implies that you have done well in incorporating your performance throughout the four CGMA competencies, needed for the optimum level of the syllabus.

- If you have been graded with a ‘Fail’, that implies that you have not been able to exhibit your competency throughout the tasks in the case study


As per your performance, you will be categorized into one of three categories that will determine your performance (Fail, Moderate, Strong).

Fail: The candidate is declared fail if he did not achieve the minimum level needed to pass the exam for this competency.



Students are expected to reach a minimum threshold score (approximately one third of the total marks available for that competency). This minimum score proves their calibre to adapt to the business and ensures that they have ample capabilities throughout the competencies. However there is a constraint to this, as it won’t be relevant to specify a minimum threshold in case a small number of marks exist for a particular competency. (this will be in the case with Leadership skills at the Operational level, which is for 6% of the total credit available, and also for Integration at the Operational level).



Moderate: Students under this category give a performance between the minimum threshold and just above the performance of a minimally competent candidate for the specific competency.  The student will have exhibited areas of competency, however some areas would benefit from further development prior to sitting future exams.

Strong: the student exhibited a great level of competency, performed magnificently, well above that of a minimally competent candidate.



Why is CIMA issuing a scaled score rather than a percentage mark?

As per the 2015 syllabus and assessment, there are five variants of exams in each case study window. The content of each variant is slightly different which implies that there is no comparison of the same raw score across all five variants. They need to go through an industry standard psychometric process called ‘equating’ which produces scaled score. This gives an assurance that students are provided with fair results and that inspite of the minute differences in variants, a common score is produced to analyze student performance consistently.


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