Program Details of CIMA

CIMA is a comprehensive management accountancy course which aims at bringing holistic development and not merely making the candidate financially literate. CIMA’s program flow focuses on sharpening analytical and decision making skills, so that the candidates can grow as a finance professional as well as an entrepreneur.


  • The CIMA syllabus talks about 3 Pillars and 3 Levels. Pillars are nothing but a body of knowledge (could be thought of as a set of related subjects). The syllabus in each of these knowledge areas gets more advanced with very level.

The 3 Pillars are:

  • Enterprise: This set deals with effective strategy implementation
  • Performance: This set teaches financial tools used for the strategy implementation
  • Financial: This set talks about the preparation and interpretation of financial reports to make decisions.

CIMA also has 3 Levels, which have to be attempted and cleared in the order as listed below:

Operational Level :

  • Basic level that will teach you the preparation of financial statements and introduce you to financial analysis tools.
  • On completing this level, you receive the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting

Management Level :

  • The focus in the second level is on group accounts, project management as well as making pricing and product decisions.
  • On completion, you receive the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting

Strategic Level :

  • This is the third and final level that focuses on financial strategy formulation, risk management as well as strategic relationship management.
  • To complete the qualification, once the exams have been cleared, candidates have to prepare and submit a ‘CIMA career profile’ for the assessment of their work experience.
  • Once the work experience is verified (minimum 3 years), they become Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA).

Exam format :

  • All exams are computer based
  • There are 9 objective tests (3 for each level) and 3 case study exams (1 for each level)
  • Results for the objective tests are available immediately
  • Case studies will test you on all the 3 pillar subjects of that particular level
  • Case studies are examined manually so the results take time to come

Exam dates :

  • Objective tests
  1. You can take the 9 objective tests on demand and via computer with results available immediately
  2. There is no rigid rule on how many tests to take in a time period
  3. As soon as you pass one, you can move on to the next objective test
  • Case studies
  1. Case studies are available 4 times a year

Exams per Level:

  • Operational Level:

1. Objective Exams:

A) Organizational Management (Enterprise Pillar)

B) Management Accounting (Performance Pillar)

C) Financial Reporting and Taxation (Financial Pillar)

2. Operational Case Study Exam

  • Management Level:

1. Objective Exams:

A) Project and Relationship Management (Enterprise Pillar)

B) Advanced Management Accounting (Performance Pillar)

C) Advanced Financial Reporting (Financial Pillar)

2. Management Case Study Exam

  • Strategic Level: 

1. Objective Exams:

A) Strategic Management (Enterprise Pillar)

B) Risk Management (Performance Pillar)

C) Financial Strategy (Financial Pillar)

2. Strategic Case Study Exam
Exam difficulty level: The CIMA exams are moderately tough (not too difficult)

  • The passing rates range from 50-60% and several papers have pass rates above 60%
  • Test takers say that time management during the exams is crucial
  • The vast syllabus can be challenging at times


If all the exams are taken and cleared in the first attempt within a 3 years time frame, the fees is ~GBP 1,400 (Do confirm with CIMA website for latest fees)