Students don’t need to worry about losing credit for any exams that they have already passed but they do need to make sure they plan their next few months of studies and exams to move from the current to the new syllabus as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
- Significant new syllabus material is being introduced across the CIMA Operational, Management and Strategic levels, particularly in the E papers.
- November 2019 is the last opportunity to sit exams under the current syllabus.
- Each of the Case Study exams under the new syllabus will assume full technical knowledge of that level’s Objective Test exams under the new syllabus.
- Students who are currently part-way through a level should make plans to finish the level under the current syllabus.
- The last available date to sit Objective Test exams under the current syllabus is 3 November 2019.
- The last available sitting of the Case Study exams under the current syllabus is November 2019. Registration deadlines to sit the November 2019 Case Study exams are:
Operational Level – 22 October 2019
Management Level – 29 October 2019
Strategic Level – 5 November 2019
- Students who are unable to finish their current level under the current syllabus should prioritise sitting the P and F papers before the change and leave the E papers and Case Study exam until after the change.
- It’s going to be busy so it’s a good idea to book your exams early to avoid disappointment.
The last time CIMA had a syllabus change the focus was on the exam structure, particularly with the extension of computer-based objective test exams to all levels of the qualification and the introduction of synoptic case study exams.
The 2019 does not alter the existing structure of levels and exams but instead introduces a lot of new technical syllabus content not previously examined, particularly covering digital skills. The changes are aimed at future-proofing the qualification and future-proofing the profession.
CIMA’s rationale for the change
“In an increasingly digital world, rapid changes in technology are creating challenges for the business models of organisations. It is also making it difficult for business leaders and employees to create and preserve sustainable value.
It is imperative that finance professionals not only possess sound technical and financial skills but can also understand how digitalisation is fundamentally changing business models and apply this insight to influence, lead and craft strategies creating value and long-term sustainability.
The 2019 Professional Qualification continues to bridge the skills gap of newly qualified finance professionals worldwide, meeting the employability needs of both business and people. In designing the updated syllabus, we set out to enhance the relevance to employers, ensure the rigour of the related examinations and align the learning experience to the real world.”
Objective Test exams
The last sittings under the current syllabus of the Objective Test exams (E1, F1, P1, E2, F2, P2, E3, F3 and P3) will be held on 3rd November 2019. From 4th November 2019 these exams will only be available under the new syllabus. There will be no ‘parallel running’ of the exams.
Case Study exams
The last full sitting under the current syllabus of the Case Study exams (OCS, MCS and SCS) will be the November 2019 exams. There will be a ‘resit only’ sitting under the current syllabus in February 2020 but this will only be available to students who sat and failed in November 2019.
Any student who did not sit a Case Study exam under the current syllabus in November 2019 will have no option but to sit under the new syllabus from February 2020. Each of the Case Study exams under the new syllabus will assume full knowledge of the syllabus content of the Objective Test exams for that level under the new syllabus.
Detailed syllabus changes to Objective Test exams
- P1 – Minimal changes
- F1 – Group Accounts moved to F2
- E1 – New areas:
- Technology in a Digital World
- Data and Information in a Digital World
- Shape and Structure of the Finance Function
- P2 – Minimal changes
- F2 – New areas:
- Group Accounts (from F1)
- Integrated Reporting
- E2- Introduction to Strategy Management moved to E3
- New area: Business Models and Value Creation
- P3 -Financial Risks moved to F3
- New area: Cyber Risks
- F3 – New area:
- Financial Risks (from P3)
- E3 – New areas:
- The Strategy Process (from E2)
- Digital Strategy
Important – The Case Study exams under the new syllabus will assume full technical knowledge of that level’s Objective Test exams under the new syllabus.
Plan to finish your current level
For students who are currently part-way through a level the best approach is to make every effort to finish that level under the new syllabus. This means sitting their Case Study exam by November 2019 at the latest which would require passing each of the Objective Test exams at the level before the registration deadlines to sit the November 2019 Case Study exams which are:
- Operational Level – 22 October 2019
- Management Level – 29 October 2019
- Strategic Level – 5 November 2019
It is advised that students plan to sit their final Objective Test exam at the level well in advance of these deadlines in case they fail at their first attempt and need to book a resit.
Prioritise the P and F papers
Students who will not be able to finish their current level by the syllabus change should plan to sit the P and F papers before the change as these papers tend to be changing the least.
Leaving the E paper at each level until after the change will ensure that students have the bulk of the assumed knowledge when they come to sit the Case Study exam under the new syllabus.
Book exams early!
It is likely that a large number of students will be sitting Objective Test and Case Study exams in the period immediately leading up to the syllabus change so it is a good idea to book exams as early as possible to ensure you get a place.
If you have any queries please contact us at First Intuition for advice.
For more personalised advice CIMA have launched a microsite with a useful Transition Planner that can be found here.