Will Typos Earn Me Negative Marks?

Hello Tutor MJ,

I just came back from my first attempt with the Gateway Case Study Exam. I have to say that I am not particularly confident about this exam. Only now do I fully understand why they call this exam a “race versus time”. 45 minutes for each task are flying so fast that in 2 of the 4 questions I wasn’t even able to finish typing the word “regards”.

English is not my first language and at the exams, I tried to spend some time, structuring my answer in the note pad. But after the first question (that I did not complete), I realized that with my speed, I only had time to write directly in the body of the emails, and I did not have the time to review anything that I wrote.

These days, it’s easy for foreign managers to use the autocorrect function that any writing software provides. My question is, as there is no such autocorrect function within the PearsonVue platform, and without reviewing back what I wrote, for sure, there are a lot of typing mistakes. How will this affect my marks?

I will appreciate if you can help me out when I do my second attempt. Thanks a lot.


how bad are

Good day Giuseppe

You are not alone in this. Many students, even the ones that speak English as a home language, worry about going into the CIMA case study exams and achieving a low mark because of spelling mistakes and typos.

You are attempting CIMA at the Gateway/Management level, so I have to believe that your knowledge and handle of the English language are of reasonable standards.

The good news is that CIMA is not marking you on your grammar and spelling prowess. You will not be marked negatively if you typed the words wrong and interchanged the letters in a word to produce an unrecognisable word in the English dictionary.

Yes, CIMA marks you on how well you convey your business decisions and use the logic behind the theories. But you will still be able to do this even with some misspelt words. Let’s take for example,

“Turnover can be continously and esaly monotored in order to identfiy changing shopping habits. As we are new in County X it will help address the issue. On the other hand Caroline’s consern is valid because we are not online users so tracking customer habits in both countries can be diffcult. We need to act in a proffessional mannaer when we deal with our customers and those of our partners.”

The message is still understandable.

One caveat that CIMA requires is that your sentences and paragraphs have to make sense though. There definitely should be no guessing game on the examiners’ part.

One trick that I can share is that in order for you to ensure that you don’t get confused with your answers is to try and keep your sentences short. The longer the sentences, the more chance that it can get convoluted. Short sentences do not mean short paragraphs. Paragraphs will still require the depth and detail even if your sentences are short.

Possible convoluted sentence – “As a company although we have many stores in our home country our business involves a lot of many value products which customers are happy to come to the store and it helps us as we do not have to do home deliveries.”

Simpler re-worded paragraph – “We have many stores in our home country. The stores are located for convenience and easy access. Our customers are quite happy to physically come to our stores to purchase our products. We do not need to do home deliveries.”

I hope this helps you a bit. Getting better on these techniques comes with time and practice.

All the best with the preparation.

Your tutor,

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