Study Advice

First step towards your own learning journey: know where you are now

Learning is a very important journey towards realising your personal goals in life and success. Therefore, it’s important to take control of this journey and plan around your personal attributes and circumstances. Create your personal SWOT to become aware of insights that can shape a successful CIMA journey.

Personal SWOT Analysis for CIMA students

Think about the personal strengths, weaknesses and threats you face as 21st century learners without losing sight of the opportunities. Becoming aware of these insights can shape a successful CIMA journey.

To start get you thinking, draw up your personal SWOT, you just need to download the template and fill it up. And to make it even easier for you, we have listed some examples for each category:

Strengths may include:

  • I enjoy studying
  • I have a supportive family and/or study buddies at work
  • I am able to attend college/follow a formal course of study
  • I am able to attend a revision course or question based day
  • My employer is very supportive
  • I am on an approved CIMA Training & Development scheme*
  • I get time off for exams and/or study
  • I am able to take holiday around exam time
  • I rarely have to work overtime
  • I can study at work
  • My work is very relevant to my studies
  • I am really interested in the subject material
  • English is my first language
  • My writing skills are good
  • I am very organised and self disciplined
  • I can read and/or type quickly
  • I am a self-starter and can remain focused

*CIMA Training is CIMA’s approval scheme for employers, it sets quality standards for training in areas such as study and exam leave and financial support. Employers can also access advice on planning your training, accessing CIMA resources for training and so on.

Weaknesses may include:

  • I always run out of time in exams
  • My typing speed is very slow
  • I struggle with some aspects of maths and worry I’ll find some exam topics hard
  • I’m not sure my basic skills are good enough to start CIMA studies
  • Generally I am a procrastinator and fear of failure makes that worse
  • My employer isn’t interested in my studies
  • I am self financing and can’t afford a formal study course
  • My employer pays for study books but I find it hard working through them on my own
  • I work very long hours/I travel a long way to work
  • There are no colleges near me
  • My work isn’t at all relevant to what I am studying
  • I have many family commitments which impinge on my study time/have no where quite at home to study
  • I get terrible exam nerves and always underperform
  • There are no other CIMA students where I work

Opportunities may include:

  • This qualification is my passport to a great career
  • For every exam I pass, I may get a promotion/pay rise/chance to find a better job
  • I could encourage my employer to find out register with CIMA Training*
  • I could get my employer to use the CIMA Training resources to help plan and support my studies
  • I can look for a CIMA Registered Tuition Provider** to even access free resources from them
  • I could use the great online study options and apps that are available so that I can study whilst travelling
  • I could book onto a revision course or “question based day” to get some contact time and inspiration just before the exam
  • I can access lots of free resources in the CIMA Study Planner
  • I could try to set up/join a study buddy network on Facebook or What’sApp
  • I could ask my employer to provide some study leave or allow me to take holidays around the exams
  • I can invest in CIMA Aptitude to help me practice for the OT exams
  • I could investigate courses to help fill my skill gaps eg speed reading, typing, personal effectiveness, time management
  • If I go into work an our early each day, I can do some self study whilst it’s quiet
  • I can ask my employer whether I can have a placement in another dept or work on a project which matches my current areas of study
  • I could identify my personal preferred learning style to help with my studies or find out how to cope with my exam nerves

**The CIMA Registered Tuition Provider scheme recognises those employers who work with CIMA and receive all the latest updates on the qualification and resources to support their teaching.

Threats may include:

  • There is no face to face CIMA tuition in my area, which is my preferred method
  • I have a limited amount of money to invest in study resources
  • I need my holidays for family activities so can’t use leave to help with study
  • I am starting a new project /job just as I am planning to begin my CIMA journey
  • If I take up the exemptions I have been offered, I may have knowledge gaps
  • I’m being moved to a new site miles away from where I live
  • If I fail an exam, I won’t be able to afford to resit for months
  • I’ve never been great at written exams so I think I’ll be ok with Objective Tests but worry about the Case Study exams
  • I will lose my job if I fail my exams
  • If I don’t complete my exams soon, my family will suffer or be unhappy with me
  • I really want to do CIMA and make a better life for me and my family but I’m worried about failure

Make sure to make the time to create your SWOT to help you better plan your studies.