A Brief Look at How the Case Study Scaling Mark Works – Part 2

Well, it looked like an explanation of how the case study scaling mark works was that brief, that it warranted a Part 2. If you missed Part 1, then read through that here first.

Aside from getting the scaled mark of 80/150, awareness of the different competencies for the different CIMA professional levels is vital.

In the operational level, the competencies are divided as follows:


In the management level, the competencies are divided as follows:


In the strategic level, the competencies are divided as follows:

You’ll note that there are 4 competencies: core accounting and finance skills, business acumen, people skills and leadership skills. You are tested on these skills for each case study exam. As you go up each level, the allocation of importance and percentages for the competencies shift. This is similar to being promoted in your company and being given more senior task and responsibilities.

The percentages allocated are applicable to the whole exam, rather than each question. In the exam, you will be presented with 3-4 questions (sections). Each section will have tasks (or “triggers” as CIMA refers to them) that require you to highlight one, two or all competencies. Have a look below (February 2016 MCS Exam Marking Guidance for Variant 5):

MCS Feb 2016 Variant 5 Exam Marking Guideline.png

Source: CIMAConnect

Section 1 has 3 triggers that require you to display your technical, business and leadership skills. Section 2 has 2 triggers that require you to show your technical and business skills. Section 3 requires you to exhibit all skills. And section 4 requires you to demonstrate business, people and leadership skills. All these add back to the percentages for each competency.

You will either receive a weak, moderate or strong indicator for each of the competencies, depending on your ability to prove your skills. You will need to gain at least a moderate level on each competency to pass it.

Ultimately, I believe that it is beneficial for students to know and understand how the marks are structured. There are really 2 main things to remember:

  1. Gain a moderate or strong indicator on each competency
  2. Achieve an overall scaled mark of 80/150

To recap, here’s a look at the whole picture – from case study exam, variant, section, tasks, etc…


>> Need more practice mocks to get a better score? Check out Astranti’s OCS Mock ExamsMCS Mock Exams, or SCS Mock Exams.

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