Operational Level Exams
The Professional Qualification is made up of two types of computer-based assessments:
- 90 minute Objective Test for each of the three subjects within a level
- A three hour case study exam which you can sit when you have completed all Objective Tests at that level and want to progress to the next level.
Dates and scheduling
Objective Test are available all year round. We recommend that you schedule an exam at least 2 weeks in advance of when you would like to sit. Case Study exams are available in 4 windows a year, the exams run for five days from Tuesday to Saturday in a set week. You need to book on to your exam by the exam entry deadline set by CIMA.
Our Kaplan centres are approved Pearson VUE exam centres which means that you can sit your exam in the same Kaplan centre where you come to study. Choose your preferred location and book your exam online. For alternative dates and locations, you can also sit your exam at a Pearson VUE exam centre.
You must pass (or be exempt from) all three Objective Test at a level before you can move onto the case study exam. When you have passed the case study exam you can move onto the next level and start the Objective Test for that level. The Strategic Level Case Study exam is the last exam that you will take.
For information on pass marks for Objective Test and Case Studies, please visit www.cimaglobal.com/results.
E1 Organisational Management
Aim of the syllabus
E1 focuses on the structuring of organisations. It covers the structure and principles of underpinning the operational functions of the organisation, their efficient management and effective interaction in enabling the organisation to achieve its strategic objective.
It lays the foundation for gaining further insight in both the immediate operating environment and long-term strategic future of organisations which are covered in E2 and E3.
Introduction to organisations (25%)
- Discuss the different types of structure that an organisation may adopt.
- Discuss relationships between Internal and external sources of governance, regulation and professional behaviour.
Managing the finance function (15%)
- Discuss the purpose of the financial function and its relationships with other parts of the organisation.
- Explain how the finance function supports the organisation’s strategies and operation.
Managing technology and information (15%)
- Demonstrate the purpose of the technology and information function and its relationships with other parts of the organisation.
- Explain how information systems support the organisation’s strategies and operations.
Operations Management (15%)
- Demonstrate the purpose of the operations function and its relationships with other parts of the organisation.
- Apply tools and techniques of operations management.
- Demonstrate the purpose of the marketing function and its relationships with other parts of the organisation
Managing Human Resources (15%)
- Demonstrate the purpose of the HR function and its relationships with other parts of the organisation
P1 Management Accounting
Aim of the syllabus
P1 stresses the importance of costs and drivers of costs in the production, analysis and use fo information for decision making in organisations. The time focus of P1 is the short term. It covers budgeting as a means of short-term planning to execute the strategy of organisations. In addition it provides competencies on how to analyse information on costs, volumes and prices to take short-term decisions on products and services and to develop an understanding on the impact of risk to these decisions. P1 provides the foundation for cost management and the long-term decisions covered in P2.
Cost accounting system (30%)
- Discuss costing methods and their results.
- Discuss the role of quality costing.
- Explain the role of environment costing.
- Explain the purposes of forecasts plans and budget.
- Prepare forecasts of financial results.
- Discuss the principles that underlie the use of budgets for control.
- Analyse performance using budgets, recognising alternative approaches and sensitivity to variable factors.
Short-term decision making (30%)
- Explain concepts of cost and revenue relevant to pricing and product decisions.
- Analyse short-term pricing and product decisions.
Dealing with risk and uncertainty (15%)
- Analyse information to assess risk and its impact on short-term decisions.
F1 Financial Reporting and Taxation
Aim of the syllabus
F1 covers the regulations and preparation of financial statements and how the information contained in them can be used. It provides the competencies required to produce financial statements for both individual entities and groups using appropriate international financial reporting standards. It also gives insight into how to effectively source and manage cash and working capital, which are essential for both the survival and success of organisations. The final part focuses on the basic principles and application of business taxation. The competencies gained from F1 form the basis for developing further insights into producing and analysing complex group accounts (covered in F2) and formulating and implementing financial strategy (covered in F3).
Regulatory environment for financial reporting and corporate governance (10%)
- Explain the need for and the process of regulating the financial reporting information of incorporated entities.
- Discuss the need for and key principles of corporate governance regulation.
Financial accounting and reporting (45%)
- Explain the main elements of and key principles underpinning financial statements prepared in accordance with international financial reporting standards
- Produce the primary financial statements of an individual entity incorporating accounting transactions and adjustments, in accordance with relevant international financial reporting standards, in an ethical manner
- Produce the consolidated statement of financial position and consolidated statement of comprehensive income in accordance with relevant international financial reporting standards, in an ethical manner.
Management of working capital, cash and sources of short-term finance (20%)
- Describe the source of short-term finance and cash investment.
- Evaluate the working capital position of an entity.
- Analyse the short-term cash position of an entity.
Fundamentals of business taxation (25%)
- Discuss the types of taxation that typically apply to an incorporated entity and the regulatory environment for taxation.
- Explain the taxation issues that may apply to an incorporated entity that operates internationally.
- Produce computations for corporate income tax and capital tax.
Operational Case Study
Case studies cover all 3 pillars within the Operational level. The exam is broken down into timed sections with tasks being set based on 'trigger' information, delivered at various points during the exam. The previously unseen trigger information will build on pre-seen material that you will receive a few weeks prior to the exam. The questions will be discursive and involve minimal calculations, short answers, essays. Some tasks will also be linked.
For example: the Operational Integrated Case Study could involve creating costings for a product (P1 task), followed by advising on how best to market the product (E1 task), followed by the impact on the financial statements of holding more inventory (F1 task).