The CIMA official study guide is CIMA connect. Since the new exam format, there is a new product called CIMAstudy.com which works as the online test prep with much better performance tracking functions. The CIMAstudy platform is run by Kaplan.
Kaplan and BPP are the two biggest providers apart from the official CIMA materials. They provide past papers and mock exams in their packages.
The other smaller course providers include:
The first thing we would recommend you do is decide which sitting you wish to attempt your Case Study exam in and then work backwards to decide on when to sit your OT subjects.
There are a few different ways you can choose to do this:
One subject at a time
Studying 1 subject every 3 months allows you to focus on one subject at a time which you may find beneficial as you progress to the higher level subjects.
Flexible study with a break
If you wish to have a bit more flexibility through the year and vary the number of subjects that you take each sitting, either to allow for peak times in work or important events in your personal life, you are still able to sit 4 exams a year but incorporate a break.
For example, you could sit two subjects in quarter 1, one in quarter 2 and Case Study in quarter 4. This would mean you are still sitting 4 exams in a year, but>you have time for a summer holiday.
If you wanted to fast track through a level then you can opt to sit more than one subject per quarter. This means you can complete the level faster to then move on to the next level.
Study at your own pace
With our OT courses starting frequently throughout the year, you can move on to the next level whenever you are ready once you have completed the previous level.
For example, if you completed your OCS exam in May and wanted to move on to the Management level straight away, then you can attend the course for your first OT in Q3 following through to the case study in the May the following year.
I would like to do more research on these CIMA study materials to provide a more objective comments and pros and cons analysis. It’s also in my plan to provide more CIMA exam tips and tutorials.
Study hard and best of luck to your exam!
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.