Exam Requirements / Eligibility
Those who wish to have a great career as an accountant can pursue the various courses conducted by CIMA and get certified. The CIMA professional certification and the globally recognized CGMA certification are two of the most coveted certifications in the accounting world.
The following candidates can enroll in the courses conducted by CIMA:
- School leavers: Candidates who have just finished school education or are about to finish school can join the CIMA examinations. This will enable them to get started early. By not waiting till they complete their graduation, they will save several years by heading straight into the profession after doing CIMA.
- Graduates: Students who are still pursuing their graduation or have already completed it can join the CIMA course directly.
- Masters degree holders: Candidates who have done their Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or Masters in Accounting, can also join the CIMA course to give an additional boost to their careers.
- Professional qualification holders: Candidates who have already completed or are pursuing a professional course like CA, CFA, ACCA or CMA, or have already gained the membership in a recognized IFAC body can join the CIMA course to enhance their careers. They can get exemptions in several papers of the CIMA courses.
- Others: Candidates who do not have an educational background in accounting or possess any prior professional experience in accounting can also join the CIMA course. Enrollment to the courses are open to everyone, even to those who are completely new to the world of business.
Courses of CIMA
CIMA conducts two certification courses which lead to the CIMA certification and the prestigious CGMA certification:
- CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting
- CIMA Professional Qualification
All registered students of the CIMA course can enroll for the examinations once they complete studying for the prescribed papers.
Certificate In Business Accounting Exams
The CIMA Certificate In Business Accounting course is meant for students who have very little or no accounting experience. This will give them an early entry into the world of finance and business in general.
Students who are new to accounting can take up the CIMA Certificate In Business Accounting course to get the necessary knowledge of accounting that will help them to get a formal entry into the CIMA professional qualification.
Receiving the CIMA Certificate In Business Accounting is also an essential step in becoming a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Without clearing the business accounting exams, no student can be awarded the CGMA designation.
There are four subjects covered in this examination as follows:
- BA1 Fundamentals of Business Economics
- BA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
- BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
- BA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance, and Business Law
The examinations are of 90 minutes duration and are held in the Objective Type format around the year. These exams are available on demand in over 5000 Pearson VUE centers around the world.
Students receive scaled scores in the range is 0 – 150 for these examinations. They need to score 100 or above to pass
Professional Qualification Exams
The professional qualification exams consist of 3 pillars and 3 levels and consists of a total of 12 examinations: 9 objective type and 3 case study based.
Objective Type Exams:
The objective type tests are computer based and are of 90 minutes duration each. These are conducted in 5000 Pearson VUE centers in many countries across the world. Since the tests are available on demand, taking these exams is very convenient. The marking of these exams is done by the computer itself. The student gets a provisional result immediately upon submission of the answers, and a final confirmation within 48 hours of appearing for the tests.
Presently CIMA provides scaled scores to students in the range is 0 – 150, and the pass marks are 100. Students need to score 100 or above to be declared successful.
Case Study Based Exams:
The candidates have to take the Case Study exams to demonstrate their ability to do research and analysis, presentation of information and persuasion and communication skills.
In a Case Study exam, a real-life business scenario is presented to the students. Along with it, several time bound tasks are set for students. These tasks are based on pre-seen material released to them by CIMA prior to the examination.
The schedule of release of the pre-seen material is as follows:
The pass percentage for the case study exams Professional Qualification exams is 60%
This is the first level of the professional qualification exams. There are 3 papers in which objective type examinations are held, and 1 case study examination is also included in this level. On passing this level, students are awarded the “CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting”.
The papers in which objective type examinations are held are:
- E1: Organizational Management
- P1: Management Accounting
- F1: Financial Reporting And Taxation
The pass percentage for the case study exams Professional Qualification exams is 60%
This is the next level of the CIMA certifications and upon completion of this level students get the “CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting”.
This level also consists of 3 objective type examinations and one case study examination.
The papers In which objective type examinations are held are as follows:
- E2 Project and Relationship Management
- P2 Advanced Management Accounting
- F2 Advanced Financial Reporting and Taxation
The strategic level is the final level of the CIMA examinations and just like the other levels, consists of 3 objective type test and 1 case study examination. The aim of this level is to teach the students how to make strategic decisions and also to help them to understand where those decisions can be implemented. This level empowers the students to develop a long-term vision and a strategic vision.
The papers contained in this level are:
- E3 Strategic Management
- P3 Risk Management
- F3 Financial Strategy
CIMA allows various categories of candidates to avail of exemptions in several papers in the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and CIMA Professional Qualification. Candidates who have completed their graduation, post graduation, and professional certifications can claim exemption in several papers if the course they studied contained subjects that are covered in the CIMA examinations.
Exemptions can be claimed by:
- Graduates with a qualification listed in the database of CIMA accredited programmes.
- Graduates who have completed a degree programme which is similar to the CIMA syllabus.
- Candidates with an MBA or a Master’s in Accounting.
- A member or student of Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
- A passed finalist or member of ICWAI or ICMAB, or a member of ICMAP.
- Those who are studying or have completed a relevant qualification with another professional body.
Students qualifying for the exemptions will have to apply to CIMA and pay the exemption fee for each paper in which they are claiming an exemption.
You can check here whether your qualification makes you eligible for exemptions.
The registration process for the CIMA examinations is extremely straight forward. Students can register for the examinations online through their MY CIMA account.If you do not have a MY CIMA account, then you can create one over here.
After logging in, students need to confirm their details, select test center, check availability, and book a seat by paying the required fees online.
Exam Date & Schedule
The objective type examinations are Computer Based and are held round the year around the world in more than 5000 Pearson VUE centers. Students can enroll for these examinations at any time in a center of their choice.
The case study examinations are held in 4 examination windows in a year, in the months of February, May, August, and November. These are also held in the Pearson VUE centers which are available in almost every country around the globe. Students can book their seat in the Pearson VUE center near them, and appear for the case study examinations.
Test Centres & Location
To make it extremely easy for the students, the CIMA examinations are conducted in more than 5000 Pearson VUE centers spread across the world. students in the UK, USA, Asia, Africa, India, UAE and the other parts of the world can book a seat in any of these test centers and conveniently appear for the examinations. Tests for both the objective type examinations as well as the case study based examinations are held in these test centers, making them the one stop destinations for any CIMA candidate wanting to appear for the tests.
The CIMA examinations are challenging, but not extremely difficult. With regular study and hard work, you can get through in the examinations with ease. It requires learning a large number of concepts related to accounting and business and applying those concepts in real life. If you are diligent, then you can sail through the examinations. However, the exams are certainly not easy and you should be prepared to put in a lot of hard work into it..
There is no minimum and maximum age limit specified for CIMA. If you are interested in joining the course early, then you can do so right after passing the school examinations. In case you have already worked for a few years, even then it is a great idea to join CIMA in order to boost your career. The excellent opportunities that the CIMA qualification provides will ensure that you will get well rewarded for your efforts.
Before Graduation Or After Graduation
Candidates can join the CMA course both before and after completing their graduation. The course is open to anyone who is interested in entering the world of accounting and Finance. The Institute encourages students to join straight after completion of the school examinations so that they can start early and get qualified at a young age. This ensures that they can have a longer career and get ample opportunities to reach the senior most levels.
If you are thinking about pursuing the CIMA course, then you can start as soon as possible.