Insurmountable Model Answers and How to Beat Them

Hi Tutor MJ

I had recently bought the mock exams for MCS. I tried my hand on the first and second mocks. I found the mocks tough.

Regardless though, I had thought that I produced decent answer scripts, but when I saw the model answers provided by the tuition provider for both mocks, I was literally shocked at the volume. It looked like I was expected to produce an encyclopedia with the length of the answer.

Before I attempt mock 3, I just want to know. Do I really have to produce answers as lengthy and as detailed as the model answers provided? If so, I might be fighting a losing battle. I don’t think I can do this.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Your student


Dear Max

Most students really get shocked when they first see the model answers. The length, depth and structure can seem insurmountable.

But learning the model answer word for word is not how you study for a case study. Remember that the model answer is exactly that…”model”. It does not mean that it’s the one and only correct answer.

The model answer provides a sample of the structure, format and quality of answers required to handle a case study scenario. It provides insights, opinions and key points that you could raise when answering the requirement. Sometimes, it even highlights how students can utilise theories for answer construction.

I mentioned once before that the logic of model answers, whether it comes from CIMA or a tuition provider, is not to spoon-feed students the words they need to say. It is to show the train of thought involved in addressing the requirements, and how you arrive at a conclusion in the end.

So don’t be disappointed. If you thought of the same key points provided for in the model answers, you are more than halfway there. That means you have started to think like a CIMA case study student. If you are thinking up other key points that are outside of the model answers, this is even better – “outside the box” thinking.

The best thing is when this technique becomes so second nature to you that you look at everything you do professionally in the same way. At this stage, you will have become the well-rounded management accountant that CIMA wants you to be.

All the best for the exam!

Your tutor,

For more mock materials, try some of Astranti’s – OCS, MCS, SCS.

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