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Is it possile to complete a CIMA level in one year?

Many of our CIMA students ask if it is possible to complete a level in one year. The answer is, you can if you start NOW.

We have been helping students pass their exams for over 10 years. In that time, we have observed how students successfully complete a CIMA level in one year. We admit that it isn’t easy, but with the right guidance and the correct formula, it is possible.
Students who have managed to do a level in one year have done it in one of two ways. Here’s what successful students do.

OPTION ONE: 2 + 1 + Case Study
These students do two subjects in the first semester and only one subject in the second semester. This gives them an opportunity to either repeat a failed subject or to start their Case Study preparation early. They conclude the year with their Case Study in November.

Students who choose this option commit a minimum of 19 hours per week in the first semester and a minimum of 11 hours in the second semester. They also ramp up the number of hours closer to the exam.

OPTION TWO: 3 + Case Study
This option is infinitely harder. These students opt for a faster route and do three subjects in one semester giving themselves semester two to prepare for the Case Study. Although it can be done, we don’t recommend this approach if you are working and studying at the same time. This approach is a big ask and combined with life and work it will be hard to keep it all going successfully.

This is what would be required of you: 

 Semester 1

Per Week

Over 12 weeks


9 - 10 hrs

 108 - 120 hrs


11 - 12 hrs  

132 - 144 hrs


11 - 12 hrs

132 - 144 hrs


31 - 34 hours 

372 - 408 hours

To achieve exam success, you would need to put in around 30 hours a week, which translates to daily study sessions of  4 - 5 hours, every day of the week. Sounds hectic right? It is but if you’re determined enough it can be done.

You need to decide which option works best for you. If you’re stuck and need some advice give us a call, we’re here to help. Regardless of your choice, rest assured, we will be with you every step of the way. 

Every pass counts

The one true measure at IBTC is our pass rates. We stand and fall by our ability to make our students pass first time.

Come to class now and pay later
Waiting for pay day or exemptions? You can come to class now and pay later. CIMA OT classes start 24 February. Join us for part-time weekend and evening classes in Sandton, Pretoria and Cape Town.  Go to and click on the book now button. Alternatively, you can call Robert on 0861 111 411 and he will gladly help you get started.