The Pre-seen Is Out. What now?

The Pre-seen Is Out. What now?


Upon the receiving the pre-seen, most students find it hard to figure out the next step. This becomes a real issue for students coming through the exemption route, be it the Finance Leadership Program (FLP) or the Gateway route.

This blogpost spells out the steps you need to follow, when preparing for the case study exam within 6 weeks.


Step 1: Develop a study plan


This is the most important step when kickstarting studies.  As per our experience, many students are full time employees or entrepreneurs, which makes studying an added burden on their daily routine. Hence, developing a study plan is essential to pass the case study exam.

When developing a study plan, we recommend that you adhere to a daily or weekly routine, without disrupting your work-life balance. You can get in touch with our tutors via the online discussion forum to gain insights into best practice pertaining to study panning.


Step 2: Start asap


It is extremely beneficial to get a head start, even before the pre-seen is released.

You can start revising OTQ syllabus content at the same time, reading through blog posts created by TCS’s Tutors, which are specifically developed for the case study.

You can also refer to our website or  our YouTube channel to gain an insight into exam technique for each case study. The exam technique videos cover the following.

  • Structure of the case study exam
  • How marks are allocated
  • Dos and Don’ts
  • Developing answer plans
  • Tips on time management
  • Understanding the examiner’s mindset
  • How to bounce-back from failure


Step 3: Attend the three weekly webinars


TCS online holds three webinars free of charge, which spells out the best approach towards passing the case study and planning your studies.

The webinars cover the following areas.

  • Webinar 01: Exam Prep
    • Exam structure
    • Marking criteria
    • Examiner's comments
  • Webinar 02: Pre-seen Analysis
    • Pre-seen analysis: Part 01
    • Pre-seen application technique
    • Industry analysis
  • Webinar 03: Answering Technique
    • Discussion of mini mock
    • Answer planning technique
    • Time mamagement technique


The webinars will commence a week before the release date of each pre-seen in lieu of OCS, MCS & SCS. 


Step 4: Analyzing the pre-seen (Duration: 1 or 2 days)


The pre-seen spells out all the necessary information pertaining to a fictious company and its industry. You need not remember all nitty-gritties of the pre-seen, however, you need to remember the most important parts and most students struggle to do this.

You need not worry too much, since TCS provides an Annotated Pre-seen in each sitting, which is elaborate yet concise. TCS’s Annotated Pre-seen will make it easier for you to remember the most important information.

That’s not all. We also offer 4 pre-seen analysis videos which covers the entire pre-seen and all 4 videos are conducted by our Lead Tutors. Going through the Annotated Pre-seen and Pre-seen Analysis videos is all you need to gain a thorough knowledge about the pre-seen.


Step 5: Going through the additional material (Duration: 1 or 2 weeks)


TCS provides additional material, which will ensure that you possess all the necessary background knowledge, before you start attempting mock exams. The additional material comprises of the following.

  • Exam technique video
  • Annotated pre-seen
  • 4 pre-seen analysis videos
  • Industry analysis
  • Strategic and Financial analysis
  • Top 10 likely issues
  • Familiarization kit for each case study
  • Theory recaps (Revision Cards) covering OTQ syllabus content


It takes about a week or two to go through all content. Our tutors have made sure that all additional material is easy-to-use, concise, yet descriptive, to make studying easy.


Step 6: Practicing mock exams (Duration: 4 weeks)


This is the most important step! You need to start attending mock exams (ideally after a week or two after the pre-seen is released) right after you complete going through all the additional material.

TCS offers you 5 exam standard mocks and suggested answers. Further, you can attempt all 5 mocks on TCS’s exam platform, which is akin to the platform provided by Pearson VUE. Getting accustomed to real-exam conditions beforehand will help you immensely at the exam.

Feedback to 3 of these mocks will be provided by our Tutors within 48 hrs. You can also get in touch with our tutors via the online discussion forum. Refer a sample of Personalized Feedback provided by our tutors.

After receiving feedback, it is recommended to re-attempt the mocks and compare it to suggested answers to finetune your answers.


Step 7: Creating and maintaining a positive mindset


Usually when facing a highly competitive exam, students tend to be too backward looking, worrying unnecessarily about missed study targets which creates an unnecessary doubt about passing the exam. Closer to the exam, this coverts to extreme levels of stress and tension.

The only solution to this is to maintain a “can do” attitude throughout the study program. As mentioned earlier, there are 6 weeks between the pre-seen release and exams. You need to maintain a positive attitude throughout these six weeks. This will help you experience increased levels of positivity at the real exam.

In fact, if you adhered to the previously mentioned 6 steps and the time plan provide by TCS, you have nothing to worry! Attempting 5 exam standard mock exams and going through additional material is all you need to pass comfortably.

As per my personal experience as a CIMA student and as a tutor, positivity gets you marks!  Students with a positive attitude finds case study exams to be highly enjoyable and end up scoring more than 90 marks!

Refer to the blogoost Building a winning attitude to better understand tips to build and maintain positivity throught the exam preparation process.


Concluding thoughts


I’ve been tutoring for the last 10 years and am yet to find an individual who’d says that CIMA case study exams are easy! The problem will be worse if you are coming through the exemption route (FLP or Gateway).

While this is the case, we at TCS have got your back! We are offering the one-stop solution to all your case study related issues via well-crafted content, mock exams, and feedback. All these services are provided in a single online learning platform. You can get in touch with our tutors 24/7 as well, which is extremely beneficial closer to the exam.



Looking to pass your case study exam in the first sitting? You are just a click away. We at TCS provide exam standard mock exams and suggested answers, along with premium quality additional material which consists of videos and content which are concise and downloadable. In fact, all our products come with a Pass Guarantee!

You can attempt all mock exams under real exam conditions via our very own exam platform, which is akin to the platform of Pearson VUE. Professional feedback is provided for three mock exams and all answer scripts will be marked by our Lead Tutors with more than 10 years of CIMA tutoring experience.

You will also have access to the online discussion forum moderated by TCS’s Lead Tutors and you can share your knowledge, clarify doubts, and connect with Lead Tutors and colleagues 24/7, via the discussion forum.

Checkout our website on to get a glimpse into the type of services offered by TCS. You can also gain an insight into the quality of material provided by TCS by referring to the sample material which are included under each product page.

You can access the free content by accessing our website. The free content consists of pre-seen analysis video 01, video on exam technique and a mini mock exam and suggested answers.

About this blog

  Nic Jones
  10th May 2021