Thursday, 8 May 2014

2014 CMA Case Exam

To everyone who just wrote the May CMA Case Exam, how did you find it? Please share feedback, your thoughts, what you felt was most/least challenging, what you wished you spent more time reviewing before the exam, etc. so that future candidates can get a sense of what to expect.




GOOD LUCK!! 

221 comments:

  1. Hi - Great Blog! really helpful and mitigates some of myths regarding the case exam - 90+% pass rate!

    So since we have a community going here, I wanted to ask, from your experiences, how different is the grading for the actual case exam compared to practice cases that are nationally marked? If you got a (ME-) even though you did not do an implementation plan, financial forecast, Exec Summary, conclusion in the final practice case exam, and replicated that in the actual case exam, what would happen?

    Thanks!

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  2. Huh! That's exactly my question also (no impl/action-plan, forecast, concl, summary). Oh, and I forgot the lease-formula, so I 'assumed' it out :). I think it will gain at least 50 points, and less than 70, so somewhere around the 60-mark, but where...(?).

    Will it take the 'old' 6 weeks for the results to come in, or the more 'recent' 8 weeks; what do you guys think?

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  3. If you forgot to do an implementation plan, financial forecast, executive summary and conclusion. You will not pass. The case exam is marked much stricter than the practice exam. The goal is not to have a perfect paper, the goal is to apply the concepts taught. That means finishing the exam but allocating your time on the areas that will garner the most marks.

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    Replies
    1. Your right, I wrote the case exam in August and I forgot to do an implementation plan, compare the available financing to the cost of alternatives and conclusion and I got 54.

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    2. OHHHHHHHHHHHHH SSSSSSSS********TTTTTTT! lol - Now I really hoe they get this done in 6 weeks. I am dying to find out.

      Delete
  4. I agree that missing such key areas would likely result in a fail. there are X amount of points you can get and they are allocated depending on each aspect of the exam so when you miss so many key areas, you miss on many potential marks. My personal belief is that it is better to touch on as many areas as possible but not in depth than to do few areas but in depth (remember, it is all about maximizing marks per minute!) would you get more marks spending 30 minutes on recommendations but skipping imp. plan or would you get more marks spending 20 min on recommendations and 10 on implementation? I always leaned to the second.

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    Replies
    1. Case Master, you are absolutely right! I took Dorothy Timmerman's case exam writing course, the number one thing she hammered home was "Finish the exam"! A lot a x-number of minutes to each section move on to the next even if you haven't finished. The goal is to get as many marks as possible.

      I believe that the marking should be completed by the week of the 16th or 23rd of June. I don't believe a repeat of last years 9 week timeframe is going to be tolerated.

      Delete
    2. What if you finished the exam but had weak quants and implementation plan because you were pressed for time and rushed through in the last 30 minutes of the exam?

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    3. If you finished the exam, you should be fine. My quant for the geo-thermal alternative was weak, but I finished it. The exam is a marathon, it would be nice to finish first, but finishing is the important thing.

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    4. Even if I bombed the geo-thermal alternative and made terrible mistakes in the proforma? The rest of the quants wasn't great but at least I finished. Qualitative analysis was decent I think. But implementaion plan and exec summary were rushed through. I'm very worried.

      Delete
    5. CMA is not interested in whether you can add or if your numbers balance. They are only interested in whether you can apply the case exam format. Finishing the exam is the most important thing, a friend of mine wrote May 2013, she told me to make sure you complete the comparison of available financing to the cost of alternatives, so that the recommendations make sense. Complete the financial forecast even if its for one year, implementation plan and exec summary. She got 74!

      Delete
    6. Great site, this waiting is killing me, did you guys find that this exam had the most Advanced Financial Accounting items (IFRS)? The balance sheet had goodwill which wasn't tested for impairment, the net losses were not carried forward to offset against future income and the non-disclosure of executive compensation. Sounds like a CA exam?

      Delete
    7. I believe the accuracy of the quants is not a deal breaker at all. I remember I was told that when pressed for time, just do 'ball park'. Obviously not ideal but better than nothing. However not doing NPV for key alternatives I think would be a very costly mistake.

      I know for a fact that I had errors in my quants, and I still did just fine.

      Delete
    8. I also noticed a great deal of financial reporting issues in this year's case exam. I anticipated this when the backgrounder was released and brushed up on my IFRS standards and used a few by memorizing some sections. Cross fingers that the markers noticed in my implementation plan.

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    9. I agree. Complete the exam and show competency in your approach.

      Delete
  5. Hi Case Master,

    I think I did ok in most area. The only area I miss is one of the target of 100M. If I miss the target will I fail?

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I dont think that simply missing one target would be enough to fail, there are many other components to consider.

      Delete
  6. 6th week starts Monday! I can't wait anymore!!! CMA - over deliver by sending out the results today. Lead by example.

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  7. I Emailed CMA and they told me that the results will be ready in the 8th week......OMG.....

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  8. 8th week, of course.
    the suspense is killing me. back to pretending it never happened until then

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. How do we have a number on the pole. are the results out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My bet is that it is either people who are very confident in either their success or failure, or people who voted based on their 2013 exam and did not notice it is a 2014 poll...

      Delete
  11. 1 more week. I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. really?! im getting more and more Anxious !!

      Delete
  12. I think results will be released on July 2nd exactly 8 weeks after the exam and exactly full 6 weeks before redo on August 13th.

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  13. I bet results will be available on July 2nd (8th week) as that leaves exactly 6 weeks for the August exam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My hope is that they would see fit to release the results this week as it falls within the 6-8 week timeframe we were given. The papers are marked, why draw this out longer than necessary?

      Delete
    2. At this time the marking is complete, why not release the results this week as it falls within the 6-8 week timeframe. I for one would like to get on with the next phase, drawing this process out seems to serve no purpose other than to stress us out even more.

      Delete
    3. I hope we will get the results this week, I am becoming obsessed. It is not healthy!

      Delete
  14. The papers are marked already? We were given a 8-10 week marking period.........i searched online and last year it took them 9 weeks to get the results...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The CA's UFE exam is 13 hours over three days in Mid-September. The marks are released in the first week of December, 10 weeks. Case Exam is 4 hours and it takes the CMA 8 or 9 weeks to release the marks.
      Am I missing something?

      Delete
  15. Per Casemaster: "I will also put up a poll for the May 7th CMA Case Exam Pass Rate (I had one for the last exam and the results were quite representative of the actual averages). " CMA Canada and none of the provinces publish pass rates, so how do you know if the poll is representative of actual averages? Do you work for CMA Canada or a provincial CMA office and therefore have access to pass rates? Try calling CMA Canada or CMA Ontario or CMA Alberta or CMA Quebec or CMA Manitoba or CMA xxx and ask "what is the CMA Case Exam pass rate". Let us know what they say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on the actual pass rates that i experienced while completing the program as well as from talking to candidates in oter classes. As i say in the about me section, all info is strictly based in my experience and from my interactions with other candidates.

      Delete
  16. tick tick tick...

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  17. I think the poll should probably be re-set before marks are released.

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  18. As per latest (non-confirmed source), quote: "Grades will be released around 1 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday July 2nd". Again, no source, so please take with a grain of salt, and don't shoot me if last-minute issues result in the CMA not releasing them before Monday July 7 (as per 2013).

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  19. I think the "non-confirmed source" mostly likely has it right.

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  20. I graduated in Accounting/Economics with straight A"s"(3.96GPA) and was exempt from the entrance exam. Also received an entrance bursary for CMA SLP. Then I completed Masters Diploma in Finance with honor roll. However, for the first time in my educational career, all I care about is 60.

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  21. Did everyone pay for both the CMA Candidate fee and CPA Student fee? That was almost $500 for both. I guess no one is expecting the results today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you gave your own answer. Even if the CMA could release the results earlier (which is not unlikely), they would never do that before the due-date of the membership fees on July 1: pay first, results later. Secondly, they wouldn't want to set a possible precedent (and people complaining) for the upcoming two exams.

      Delete
  22. Do you know where the results will be published?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll be on CMA Canada website: www.cma-canada.org.

      Delete
  23. For the ones who missed the email from CMA-NS, quote:
    "The Case Exam results is scheduled to be released to candidates on Wednesday, July 2. I will send an email once they are posted with instructions on how to access them. Note that the marks generally come out late in the day.

    CMA Canada normally includes feedback with the grade for students who do not pass the exam. Due to the high volume of writers for this exam they will not have the Failed Comments ready until July 11. I will let the students who don’t pass know once their feedback is posted."
    Unquote.

    Good luck everybody! (myself included :), I'm gonna need it this time)

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  24. Is it out? does anyone know yet?

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  25. I have not received an email yet from CMA saying the the exam results are out.

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  26. Apparently some are saying if you don't receive an e-mail you didn't pass. Others are saying if you do receive an e-mail you fail... Starting to get a little anxious. It would have been nice for CMA to have told us in advance how / when they would be releasing marks.

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  27. "Apparently some are saying if you don't receive an e-mail you didn't pass"
    I dont think CMA would do that. That is a terrible strategy for any organization

    It will probably be the same as the entrance exam.
    You will get an email with a login link using name and member number and will get access to a pdf with your results

    ReplyDelete
  28. On the "May 2014 CMA Case Exam" forum on RedFlag Deals, someone from Quebec posted that they received an email this morning with their mark.

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  29. I've been refreshing this blog and the red flag deals every few minutes...

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  30. The Quebec results came out at 11 am today. Good Luck to everyone else!! Extremely stressful but I passed!!!

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  31. Although every Province may be a bit different from the other, it does seem that this afternoon is indeed show-time. Good luck you all!

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  32. @Anonymous from Quebec:
    Did you receive your mark directly in the email, or did you receive a link? If the latter, could you share the website-address where you needed to login? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The link was sent to my email and redirected to me https://www.cma-quebec.org/en/Login.aspx?item=/membrescandidats/examen602&user=ocmaq\Anonymous&site=website

      Good luck!!

      Delete
    2. Ah, okay, from the URL, quote "www.cma-quebec.org", I see that it is Province-specific. Thanks a bunch, and congratulations to you!

      Delete
  33. Too late, they're already at the bar....

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  34. I'm living in SK and I was told by CMA SK to keep an eye on CMA Canada home page; the office will not send us the notification about the result. So I bet the Quebec results were sent through email as there is noting posted on website yet.

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  35. Anyone from AB received anything?

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  36. What about Ontario?

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  37. Nothing in Alberta

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  38. nothing in Ontario

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  39. nothing from ontario

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  40. Nothing in SK

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  41. Nothing in AB Henry said this: According to CMA Canada, it will be released today, but I have not received confirmation. Once results are available, it will be posted to the CPP Discussion Board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks! Henry is a great guy, IMHO.

      Delete
    2. Cute too... did I just write that?

      Delete
  42. Nothing from CMA - BC :(

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  43. Nothing from NB

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  44. that`s just cruel, ON nada

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  45. this is the longest day

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  46. Manitoba's Email from 08:13 CDT:

    -----------begin-------------------

    Dear Candidates:

    The results for the May Case Exam are anticipated to be released sometime today.

    Please go to the CMA National home page at http://www.cma-canada.org/ to access. Candidates can log on to view their personal results as follows: login is their first initial + last name (no spaces) and password is their member ID. Please follow the instructions carefully.

    For unsuccessful Case Exam writers, a re-write will be available on Wednesday, August 13. A re-write application will be included in your results envelope that has been mailed to you.

    -----------end-------------------

    And then later followed up with at 10:23 CDT:

    -----------begin-------------------

    Dear Candidates:

    Further to my email this morning the link to the results will only be evident when the results have been posted.

    When they are available there will be a link provided on the CMA National home page at http://www.cma-canada.org/ to access.

    Until then please be patient.

    -----------end-------------------



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  47. nothing in NL

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  48. I wish I lived in Quebec!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one wishes that... haha jk.

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    2. hahaha you are not JK lol

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    3. hahahahahaha you both need to get a life! lol

      Delete
  49. If its true that Quebec marks have actually been posted the rest of us should at least be notified either way. Its ridiculous that we have to google/chase forums to see when the marks will be up. I wonder if QC actually did get their mark....

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  50. Either way, it should be a standardized release time country-wide. It's just not fair to make the rest of us wait, plain & simple.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! I just got an email saying marks will be released today (finally word from the higher ups). I am in NL, and the email says it "should" be released before the National office closes today.

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    2. Should????!!!! what???

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    3. I feel overtime is coming up :)

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    4. haha I'm saying "should" but the actual email says they're scheduled to be released today. So we will see in a few hours I guess!

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    5. @NB: link? (please!)

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  51. marks are out!

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  52. please provide link!

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    Replies
    1. http://www.cma-canada.org/ExamResults_MayCE_2014/asp_exam_loginform.asp

      Delete
  53. go to cma canada

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  54. http://www.cma-canada.org/ExamResults_MayCE_2014/asp_examlogin_error.asp

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  55. Result is out. Passed. 77%

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  56. From BC, results are out! I passed :)

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  57. From Sask. I passed! :)

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  58. ON is Up
    http://www.cma-canada.org/ExamResults_MayCE_2014/asp_exam_loginform.asp

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  59. PASSED!!!! whooo hooooo

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  60. PASSED

    ALL GLORY!

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  61. Passed! From the DeGroote School of Business, Ontario!

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  62. Passed at 84%

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  63. PASSED. So happy. I can finally enjoy summer

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  64. Wow. I'm seeing a few high marks. I passed the three practice cases with ME, ME+ and ME+ (all within the time limit provided), but only got 65% on the case exam. I'm curious to know why.

    I guess I have to live with not knowing why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am somewhat in the same boat, I got BE on the first 2 practice cases and then ME- on the last one and felt as if i would have improved again with the case exam, but only passed with a 64. Alot closer to failing than I had hoped but oh well a pass is a pass.

      Delete
    2. I don't know if you're in the same boat. An ME- is consistend with a mark in the 60's.

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    3. Actual exam is more competitive and they mark it harder.

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    4. I guess you didn't read what i said very carefully as i said "somewhat" in the same boat. As in I expected a higher mark.

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  65. Passed! 74% in Alberta. My practice cases went BE, ME- ME

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  66. Anyone know if we receive detailed feedback later on?

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  67. I felt the markers throughout the year were terrible with the assignments. I got BE/BE/ME- and passed with 76% I didn't really do much different for the actual case exam, because I knew I had the winning formula and just stuck to what I knew. Turns out it worked out for me, congratulations everyone finally we can let loose and enjoy our summer!

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  68. I don't think you can rely much on the assignment marks, the markers were not very good. I never got above an ME on any assignment, and highest practice exam was ME-. I got 81% on the Case Exam.

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  69. Passed 72% from ON. I got ME-, BE and BE on my practice cases and yet passed the case exam.

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  70. I got a BE, ME+ and ME - on practice case exams. But, barely passed with a 65% on the case exam. I am from CMA - BC.

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  71. I would assume marks for the practice cases were told to be harder on candidates so they would take the case exam more seriously and try to improve on their weaknesses. Classic teaching model. I remember the practice entrance exams being much harder than the actual one too.

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  72. I got ME+, ME and ME+ on the practice cases and failed with a 44 on the case exam!!! This is BULLSHIT

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    Replies
    1. Not to mention I was done the exam in 3 hours, it was a joke..... I am suing CMA

      Delete
    2. I was a re-write from August 2013. With similar practice case exam marks as you. And had IS marks of ME+, in all three. Yet, last year I failed with 41. I passed this year with a 65 :).

      PS: from BC

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    3. Take a good look once you get your personal feedback on the areas you can improve. But if you did finish in 3 hours next time take the extra hour to go over things to look for integrative links etc. They create the exams to be 4 hours.

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    4. Sorry to say but if you finished this exam in 3 hours, you obviously missed a lot. The exam is designed to be finished in 4 hours, and there are probably still marks you won't get because of time constraint. I got ME-, ME, ME- and passed with an 81. I suggest taking a weekend course with Dorothy Timmermans (if you are in ON), her method is flawless and the $400 you would spend on her course plus the rewrite fees might be less expensive and more valuable than suing CMA...

      Delete
    5. Ive already contacted my lawyer and he says I have a solid case

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    6. Of course he said that, all he sees are the dollar signs from billable hours. What do you realistically expect to gain from this?

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    7. In Alberta, there is a case course by Peter Fung, caseworkshop, AT Hotmail DOT com. There is also someone who does one on one tutoring Rubina Suleman, rsuleman AT Hotmail DOT com

      Delete
  73. BE, BE, BE. Passed with 70!

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  74. PASSED! :) From Sask.

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  75. Passed- 72% from BC ! :)

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  76. Fail, 55% sad

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    Replies
    1. Might be worth appealing for 5 points.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely, appeal. Could be worth it for 5 points.
      If you do have to re write, try the practice exams, I did them to death, didn't bother with the practice cases they made us submitted and the case exam went great for me. Just my opinion.

      Delete
    3. Sorry, meant the old case exams...did those a few times and didn't bother putting any effort into the practice exams...went great for me.

      Delete
  77. I think I will ask for an audit

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    Replies
    1. How to ask for an audit? I would like to know too.

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    2. I believe everyone has the right to appeal their final marks, albeit at an added cost. You would have to coordinate with your provincial offices.

      Delete
  78. Passed with 63% Alberta, barely made it but who cares pass is pass :)

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  79. BE's on all of my case assignments and I passed with a 77!! :)

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  80. ....... By BE's I meant ME- LOL

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  81. I got BE, BE, ME-, passed 66%, Thanks god

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  82. How do I appeal for an extra 5 points? Where do you go for that?

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    Replies
    1. Contact your provincial office. You have to pay, but it can be done. It will just be marked by another individual. To provide a 'second opinion'.

      Delete
  83. ME-, ME-, BE....PASSED! AB :)

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  84. It almost seems like if you did bad on the module assignments you got better feedback than the ones who were getting ME or ME+s. Hence,the discrepancies in results as discussed above. I barely passed. I had ME+s in the modules.

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  85. From speaking to former students or from past experience, anyone know the likelihood of having their marks re-evaluated? I failed with a 55% Considering to appeal and see how it goes before I consider paying over $600 for another re-write in August

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    Replies
    1. i.e. the likelihood of having their marks changed. So in my situation brought up to 60% from 55%

      Delete
    2. I have heard it is not worth it.
      The CMA % is a formula and they wont give you 5 extra marks. Its basically you were close but not quite there.

      But the pass rate the second time around is really high

      Delete
  86. i.e. the likelihood of having their marks changed. So in my situation brought up to 60% from 55%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Henry Teng, the coordinator for Alberta, says that no exam mark challenged has ever been over turned. So likelihood = 0%

      Delete
    2. Exam papers that hover around 60% (plus, minus) are double and triple marked already.

      Delete
  87. I failed in the August 2013 case exam and tried again in May 2014. This time I passed , still lower than I expected but who cares.. I can enjoy now the summer..
    Congratulations to all who passed and those who will re-write in Aug 2014, I put a lot of operational issues, I put 8 compared to 4 in Aug 2013, this time it worked.

    from Ontario

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BE, ME- AND ME- in the practice cases. 64 for a pass. I finished but cannot say I did enough justice to the quants

      Delete
    2. I calculated .75 debt equity constraint, 10% ROI target, but did NOT
      calculate 50% cost of sales target (I chose not to because I feared I will run out of time). My quants for the 3rd alternative was weak, and I only had time to do 2 minor issues. It's a miracle.....but I passed with
      60%

      Delete
  88. Congrats to all. Thought the exam was more straight forward than previous years especially the NPV calculations.

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  89. Really disappointed and angry but not with myself. ME ME- ME- during the year and AE, ME+ in group discussion and feedbacks. Failed with 47% in May2013 but expected the result as I was aware I had written poorly. Didn`t take the august rewrite to give myself enough time to properly prepare which I did for May2014 exam. Still can`t believe I failed again with 51%. Not comparing myself to anyone else, but what I can`t accept is how on earth there is only a 4% difference between a half written exam in 2013 and a fully developed case for 2014. I was so confident I had done well. I gave my absolute best which apparently is not good enough. Not trying again. Some hard work down the drain. Farewell CMA. Good Luck and all the best to everyone in this forum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i think you should still try again.

      Delete
    2. Dont be discouraged, I had the similar marks as you and failed even more miserably, my first time around. This time I passed (study old exams, not the ones which did good but the ones who failed), utilize negative feedback! Try it one more time! Dont give up!

      Delete
    3. I got BE, ME-, ME- in SLP year 1. I failed May 2013 and Aug 2013 case exams miserably with 39% on both. This time I got 60% on the nose. Be pissed off for a while and let your yayas out......then refocus, and start studying for the Oct rewrite. It's worth getting your letters.
      Study till it hurts and good luck!

      Delete
    4. I think your only mistake was waiting an entire year to take the rewrite....

      Delete
    5. Might as well try again. There's only one more opportunity and you'll regret it down the line if you don't. Don't let all your prior preparation go to waste. 9% is not all that much to make up. Go for it! Giving up is worse than failing.

      Delete
  90. I just wanted to share that one of my moderators had told me that in the past, any test that resulted in a fail, would automatically get marked a second time by another marker. If those two marks had a big discrepancy (he used 10% as an example) that it would be marked a third time by a third marker. Not sure if the final grade is an average or not, and not sure if this was still the process for the May 2014 exam. Good luck to those appealing/re-writing.

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  91. I wrote the case in May 2013 got a 42%. Wrote August 2013 receive a 58%. Wrote in May 2014 and got a 44%. CMA Alberta told me to write a letter why I should receive a 4th write. They said they have never denied someone a 4th attempt as long as you can write a descent letter with a good excuse (not I did not have time to re-write). That being said I am confident I will have a 4th attempt in August. They advised me to start studying while I wait for an answer.


    Case Master or other candidates. Please please please offer me feedback on how I can pass. This is my last shot and I am desperate. I do not want to spend all the time and money on transition to CPA.

    Feedback I have received in the past has been to do the past exam cases for practice. Can anyone, Case Master?, offer me some tangible feedback/steps to pass in the August re-write. I would appreciate any feedback at all.

    Thanks from a desperate Alberta candidate!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Contact Peter Fung. Everyone I know from his prep class passed. Best $500 I spent. Good luck.

      Peter Fung's email: caseworkshop@hotmail.com

      Delete
    2. I failed my first time, this is what I did differently:

      Thoroughly went through 3-4 prior cases. Attempted the cases as if I was in that situation. Marked my own results with the successful attempts. And keep repeating. Repetition will improve your speed and ability to grasp important knowledge. Go through the backgrounder as if you are, once again attempting the case.

      As far as the case itself, what I did differently was:

      - I included the SWOT analysis within the situational analysis of the body of the report.
      - Appendices only contained calc's for ratios (before I included calc's and explanation). This time ratio analysis (qualitative) was within the body of the report.
      - Minor Operational Issues was briefly discussed in the executive summary in bullet points (I had roughly 6-8). I did not discuss this other than on the detailed on implementation plan.
      - I tried to use as many quant tools for the major issues, as much as possible. This was simple as they didnt provide CCA, so I utilized NPV, ROI and Payback, for each.

      As for the rest, keep it simple such as forecasting start from the bottom line in the previous year and add net income for each alternative within that forecast.

      Ensure you quickly show that Financing will support.

      Also I tried my best to use bullet points in the body as much as possible. Not full sentences or large paragraphs! As they end up getting to convoluted, simple and straight to the point. Within some points include links, the simplest ones is linking pro's and cons of alternatives to stakeholder preferences. Other simple ones is pros and cons to constraints and targets. Use all of those links! Maximize the marks for those links. Within implementation plan links to operational issues is recommended.

      I hope that will help in August 2014.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    3. Great Thanks for the advise!

      Delete
    4. Just curious, what did you use as 'extenuating circumstances' for your letter of appeal to write for the 3rd time. In BC, if we fail twice we have to write a letter elaborating on the extenuating circumstances which caused us to fail twice.

      Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    5. Stop thinking about this as an exam. Moderators kept telling us this but I never got it until the last practice case. Put yourself in a senior management role and ask yourself what is the problem and what would you need to see to accept the solution.

      Identify the goals and constraints in the situational analysis and make sure you prove you've met them after each alternative and in your recommendations. This is likely the most important matter. What would a CEO say if you've recommended something but don't have the funds or can't meet a bank covenant?

      INTEGRATION. Integrate everywhere. Integrate with pros and cons in each alternative. Inegrate in your recommendations (both recommending FOR things you are recommending and AGAINST things you aren't). Integrate in your implementation plan "It is recommended to do A because it will help mitigate B."

      Final thought make sure you follow their format, this is the only thing that doesn't relate to real life but they want to see their precious format. Make sure you hit on every header and sub header.

      Delete
    6. Just curious, what did you use as 'extenuating circumstances' for your letter of appeal to write for the 3rd time. In BC, if we fail twice we have to write a letter elaborating on the extenuating circumstances which caused us to fail twice.

      Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    7. Extenuating Circumstances

      I honestly don't think it is about making things up. I am in the process of writing my letter so am in the same boat. I do not know what will be approved or not. I started a new job that has required many overtime hours and lots of dedication to prove I am the right fit for the position. That's what I am basing mine on. Good luck! Hope we both get the re-write.

      Delete
    8. I think the best advice I can offer is to make sure you complete every component. Study the breakdown and practice past exams until your comfortable and able to complete every component within 4 hours. Emphasis integration throughout your response and you should pass even if your quants / outcome are mediocre.

      Below is the breakdown / timeline I used. Hope it helps and good luck!

      Agenda / Timeline Minutes Allocated

      Copying Important information from Backgrounder 8

      Reading / copying key info from additional information 13

      Memo 2

      Exec Summary 5

      Intro 2
      Purpose
      Scope

      Situational Analysis 60
      Mission
      Vision
      Strategy
      Goals/Targets
      Stakeholder Prefernces
      Constraints / Covenants
      Risks
      KSF's
      SWOT

      Financial Analysis
      Ratio
      Liquid Current
      Solvent Debt to equity
      Activity Asset turnover
      Profitability Profit Margin
      Benchmarking
      Financing Available

      Identification of Major Issue 5
      major issue
      minor

      Identify / Rank Strategic Alternatives Available 2
      at least 3

      Evaluating Alternatives 90
      Qualitative
      Integration of situational analysis
      pros and cons equally balanced
      Quantitative
      quantitative calculation
      financing available
      goal/target met

      Recommendation 8
      Reasoning
      solves major issue
      cons mitigated

      Implementation Plan 30
      Change Mgmt - staff / hiring
      Resources - asset purchases, cash needed
      Address minor issues
      Action Plan
      task
      date - timeline
      person in charge
      resources needed
      cons resolved

      Conclusion 5
      Summary
      (chosen alternative, major goals achieved, how to implement)

      Financial Forecast 10
      incrementals from chosen alternatives
      incrementals from implementation add-ons for minor issues
      inflation / assumptions 2%

      Delete
  92. Just curious, what happens after an unsuccessful 4th attempt. Are there any options left?.I took the CMA accelerated program and passed entrance exam. Can this be applied towards anything else? Designation, certification anything ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would have to ask your CMA advisor/contact. There is a bridging process to go from different stages of SLP to CPA. 3 attempts is the maximum and then you have to write a letter to get the 4th try. After 4 I would say you are out of luck. Then you have to do the bridging courses.

      Delete
    2. I failed for the 2nd time with the same mark as the first. Not sure where I went wrong especially knowing that I followed all the requirements i.e the format, showing finances available, balancing pros and cons and most important integration. But than again, I would want to attempt this again. CMA BC requires an appeal letter from re-writers for the 3rd time. Not sure what they would be looking for and what extenuating reasons can be given. Any suggestions? Thanks!

      Delete
  93. I wrote May 2014 Case Exam from Alberta & failed. Would appreciate if anyone can share his/her re-write experience? Any tips for success?

    Also anyone willing to share Dorothy Timmermans's notes/tips? I can't go to Toronto to attend her session. Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter Fung has cases courses in Calgary and Edmonton. caseworkshop AT Hotmail DOT com
      Phone: 403 547 0287
      Also, in Calgary there is a lady who does one-on-one coaching, Rubina Suleiman
      rsuleman AT Hotmail DOT com
      The email addresses are types with the AT so that the spam bots don't bombard Peter and Rubina with email.

      Delete
  94. I passed first time around with pretty decent mark (over 80%). I studied hard by doing following:
    Prior to exam:
    1. Develop template based on the previous sample exams. memorize this template and always type it before even reading the case.
    2. Memorize standard introduction and conclusion wording as well as sections required for executive summary.
    3. Develop Alternative Analysis template that includes CapEx, NPV, Fin available. After practicing several cases with logical template, you would just fill out the numbers.
    4. Think and resolve minimum set of op issues that seem to be repetitive throughout cases (Change Management, Communications, Ethics, IT, etc).
    5. Current situation ratios: know what ratios you doing and what numbers from fin statements you'll use on exam. This way you can just type in the required numbers on exam (adding the most recent year) and enter formula which can be copied to all required years.
    Do as much prep as you can prior to exam so when you writing - you have blocks of report already there and just add case specific details.
    on exam:
    type in template first, then scan quickly the case so you know what the alternatives are about. when detail reading the case - add details right away in appropriate sections so by the time you finish reading the case - half of your report is done already.
    I did all qualitative analysis first: added SWOT in the body of the report tying to Pros and Cons by copying SWOT points into alternatives pros/cons sections after which I already had all Alternatives qualitative analysis, Then I finished the current state ratios.
    For alternatives I typed in prepared quan analysis template for first alternative and copied it to next 2 sheets for alternative 2 and 3. then you just fill the blanks and see which alternative(s) makes most sense.
    In recommendation, (use your previously created in template decision matrix) and just populate it. Add some narrative point to make it more convincing (which can also be copied in exec summary to save typing).
    Make sure you hit all the points in the rubric.
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow there are some great points here. Thank you so much. I will defiantly try and template everything and practice using these with the previous cases.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. I can concur with this template approach to the exam. I also got over 80% and followed this, almost identically. Give them what they are looking for. The most important point is to make sure you include ALL sections, better to write something about everything than too much in one area.

      Delete
  95. First time writer here. BE,BE,BE in the practice exams. - Passed case exam with a 75%. I struggled heavily with the time constraint and would get lost in the quants. Once it finally stuck in my head that the quants do not have to be perfect, things got easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks I am in a similar situation!

      Delete
  96. I will be writing the case exam for the first time in August, 2014. Thanks for all the feedback from the May exam! If anybody wants to discuss the backgrounder once it is released, there is a thread on redflagdeals already started http://forums.redflagdeals.com/forum-august-2014-cma-slp-case-exam-writers-1504493/

    ReplyDelete
  97. I have a concern and would like as much feedback as possible. I was a part of a nine candidate study group that put in dozens of hours and 100% effort into all the assignments, practice exams, and the final case exam. We all felt so confident going into the exam and I, for one, was sure that we would all do great. I don't know if being unsuccessful was really in any of our thoughts. We discussed things after the exam and everyone felt good about it. I found out I was unsuccessful and felt terrible, as did all of you who got the same result. It wasn't until I found out that at least 5 of our group of nine were unsuccessful. We are absolutely stunned that this happened. The success rate from the group that, in my opinion, tried the hardest in our area was no higher than 45%. Is this representative of the exam on a national level? I don't think it is, considering the poll above shows a 80% success rate. Any advice on whether we should pursue a widespread audit in our province? I really am at a loss for words right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What was the range of grades of the 5 that didn't pass. If it was a similar range, it goes to show that you were all prepping the wrong way. What were the grades of the 4 that made it. I'm guessing they barely passed.

      Delete
    2. I would be interested to know the marks broken down by province and nation wide. It's too bad CMA doesn't release an analysis on the results like the CA's do.

      Delete
    3. I am in the exact same situation as you - I studied hard, got ME-, ME, ME on the practices, had a template with headings and wrote everything in as I went. I got a 49 and was absolutely floored. I am planning to rewrite but also strongly feel like getting a re-mark. Everyone I talk to makes me feel like my failure was a fluke or something - people who didn't finish/thought they failed did fine and I am sitting here having completed everything but with a failing grade. Argh!

      Delete
  98. It seems like we were all in the 50s and 60s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Change your strategy. It's obviously not working. I recommend Dorothy's course. She streamlined the requirements very well to help students put a well constructed case together with the "bang the markers on the head" approach. Good Luck - hope you make it in August!

      Delete
  99. It looks like there are two courses to help students pass the case exam:
    In Alberta - Peter Fung, caseworkshop AT Hotmail DOT com and in Alberta a lady who does one on one tutoring Rubina Suleman, rsuleman AT Hotmail DOT com. In Ontario, there is Dorothy Timmermans. Google her for her course.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Quite a range here. Razor thin margin for me. Passed with a 61% in AB (of course I thought I did much better but it's a pass). Going to enjoy the rest of the summer now.

    ReplyDelete
  101. The same. Got 65%, and honestly I thought I will fail - I covered almost everything (except Executive Summary), but some areas were covered really light. Did quants, chose my approach and followed it. Missed some issues, but did a solid recommendation (EmRen has the best example for it). Going to enjoy the rest of the summer too.

    P.S I purchased old cases from a guy at the RedFlagDeals - they are a great help, as they show how to deal with issues and give you examples for quants.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I would like to know passing rate stats by province. Are exams marked nationally or every province has it`s marking team? Feels like some places got it harder than the others.

    ReplyDelete
  103. got my feedbacks today, this is bs, don`t agree with a lot of whats written but can`t argue with the markers can I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am finding that comments do not make sense. Perhaps there has been mix-ups with things....so much that I've read and investigated do not make sense .....I think it would be worth it to appeal.

      Delete
    2. Where did you access your feedback?

      Delete
    3. Where did you access your feedback?

      Delete
    4. Where did you access your feedback?

      Delete
  104. The exams are marked nationally.

    ReplyDelete
  105. feedbacks are only available to those who didn`t pass I think, found in same page as the exam results

    ReplyDelete

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