Skip navigation

I am a student of Institute of Cost & Management Accountants (ICMAB) since 2012. I have appeared in the each and every exams since then. Till now I have complete total of 1000 out of 2100 points. But I can’t pass the very first course. I have I already had 6 attempts but expected outcome never came. Right now I am preparing for upcoming exam. I have solved all past exams. Then I discovered 2 reasons why I can’t pass this subject.
First reason is very simple. My preparation for exams were not that much special. Second reason is the Institute itself. In almost every question set there is some mistakes. There are lots of students who also don’t pass the exam for the same reason.
When there is a mistake in the question paper, students thinks that they made mistakes and reviews the math. It takes time to re-do the math. At some point students give up and move to the next questions. Then when correction is announced, students have to go back to previous maths and do the same once again. It is a wastage of very limited time. Most of the students can’t answer the minimum pass number for the reason. Once again institute don’t consider mistake in the question paper while marking the answer scripts. Also I am sure announcement of correction is not always available. In my 6 attempts, I had only once announcement of correction however there were mistake in 3/4 times.
Institute should be more careful about the quality of their questions so that students don’t have to waste time in the exam.



  1. Dear Mr. Redwan,
    I think your assessment of the reasons that why we do not pass is quite right. I’ll only comment on the mistakes that are done in our question papers for whice ultimately no currections come and recent question paper.

    In my limited knowledge and understanding I feel that the question makers don’t study on recent changes of IAS, IFRS or FASB. So they follow common old erroneous accounting treatments. I also feel that their is a competition among the question makers that who’s question is going to be the most difficult one and the encouragement of ICMAB by selecting those papers perhaps are the reason for this type of practices.

    This term’s, August 14, IFA question paper was almost an anserable paper, but the style that question on Cash Flow is prepared is bit time consuming though it does not contain any issue that we do not know. I have not yet found any time to find mistakes in the paper. There is a question in Inventory from Kieso P9-5, the one of 5/6 maths that I could not solve ever from the book. The question on Equity Journal and Comparative Equity statement was really easy apart form some language that may seem ambiguous though they are not and many fall in that trap and the time required to prepare such a statement. I heard Revenue Recognition related math was difficult and confusing though I did not attempt because I have not studied the chapter this question also contains IFRS 8 related theory that I think was a good move. Amother math has two segment one is related to Franchise and the other to bond. I never know we have Franchise related math in our syllabus (that never exists) but bond math was an easy one. I felt the Franchise math easy and made journal entries based on my understanding though I do not have any idea of the answer since I have not studied any related chapter ever. In a nutshell I think this paper was somewhat answerable unless cash flow math contains some error and the franchise math.

    Anyway, I think the institute shuld not give the responsibily of preparing questions to someone who has passed many years back also new acma’s who don’t study these days. Because their mistakes cost we students’ invaluable time and heir that we lose every second in the examination hall and on the way home (while thinking about the mistakes that we did in the exam).

    Last but not the least I am preparing for the next exam, this time along with Kieso, Smith, Spiceland, CA manual I am going to study CIMA and ACCA accounting books and also revenue recognition chapter.

    • Thanks for your comment. I also appeared on IFA exam. Today I appeared of AFA-1 exam. I was surprised with the question patterns. In IFA, there used to be one math from cash flow statement, one from Income statement and balance sheet. one from inventory (either retailed method or NRV). Some theories and journals. But this time it was exceptional. There was no math from income statement and balance sheet. Inventory math was little bit confusing. same goes for Cash flow math. As you mentioned, Franchise accounting is not part of IFA syllabus. It’s close to lease and hence it can be part of AFA-1 exam. In today’s AFA-1 exam, there was an question about franchisee. There was also a question about consignment accounting and installment sales method. I didn’t find these topics in the syllabus. Though AFA-1 question was easy but still contains outside topics. Funny thing is they mentioned IAS-30 in accounting for bank questions. But IAS-30 has been replaced by IFRS 7 for quite a long time. They are not updated and asks the back dated questions. To be honest, sometime I don’t find difference between ICMAB and our National University. both teaches things from ancient time.

  2. I totally agree with both of u guys but theres one more thing really matters when it comes to passing exams, that is “Luck”. U have to agree. On last session Dec 2014. I took attempt for 3 exams IFA coa and cil. My main target was to pass coa and coil didn’t have any preparation for IFA as it has a huge syllabus. IFA question was easy compared to prev 2 questions. Couldn’t nail it. Pathetic part is couldn’t pass any of the exam. Not even cil. I have seen people passed cil didn’t have minimum preparation neither they have capabilities to write English. Lol. What the heck is going on ? On the other side I passed mmm and it on first attempt but didn’t have minimum preparation. I swear I didn’t have a single question common on mmm I just wrote bull shits and I passed. I guees passing CMA exam depends on 2 vital things, 50% your exam preparation 50% luck. . . . . to some extent 100% luck. Lol. Preparing for next exam. Let’s see what happ.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: