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Introduction to the Management Information exam


Published: 03 Nov 2021 Update History

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In this guide we will introduce you to the Management Information exam. We will cover what the Management Information exam is, what to expect when sitting the exam, what to look out for and preparing for exam.

The aim of the Management Information module is to enable students to prepare essential financial information for the management of a business.

Main topics covered are:

  • costing and pricing; 
  • budgeting and forecasting;
  • performance management; 
  • management decision making; and 
  • ethics. 

The skills gained from sitting this exam will help with the management side of business. It also prepares you for the Professional Level exams, in particular Financial Management and Advanced Level Strategic Business Management. 

What to expect when sitting the exam

The exam will contain one scenario-based question, worth 20% of the marks. This will cover a single syllabus area: either costing and pricing; budgeting and forecasting; performance management; or management decision making. The remaining 80% of the marks are from 32 multiple-choice, multi-part multiple-choice or multiple-response questions, each worth 2.5 marks.

The total exam is worth 100 marks within an allocated time of 1.5 hours. This provides an approximate time allocation of 18 minutes for the scenario-based question and 2.25 minutes for the multiple-choice, multi-part multiple-choice or multiple-response questions. You may find that some questions will take less than this, and some may take more time. It is important to move on in the exam and answer the easier questions first. You can flag the more challenging questions, so you can remember which ones to return to later in the exam.

More tips

  • Don’t leave any short-form questions unanswered – even if you run out of time, either select an option or add something in for each question. There is no negative marking so you will not be marked down.
  • If there is an empty box in the scenario-based question, make sure you fill it in with a zero.
  • When entering thousand figures, you can enter these with or without a comma separator eg, 1000 or 1,000. 
  • Make sure you know the IRR formula and how to plug it into your calculator.

What to look out for

Time management is key in this exam. Ensure you have practised using the sample exams provided by ICAEW, so you can get a feel for the timing in the real exam. It is common to spend too long on the scenario-based question and run out of time on the other questions. See the tip section to help with this.

Ensure you have read the requirement carefully; it is common to mis-read the requirement and go down a different pathway losing valuable marks. For example, knowing when to include absorbed fixed overheads as the value of inventory under marginal v total absorption costing.

In the exam, you may have to memorise all the formulas and therefore, make sure you have practiced and know them off by heart. The most commonly tested area where a formula is needed is the IRR formula. This is a particularly tricky formula to memorise and is easy to type it into calculators incorrectly. 

Preparing for the exam

Study phase

Allow yourself enough time to work through all the learning materials. There are a number of calculations in the syllabus which it is important to practise. Work all examples yourself to ensure you are happy with them. At the end of each chapter in your workbook you are provided with additional questions which you should complete to confirm your understanding.

When practising questions keep the discount tables to hand in the question bank. This will allow you to get used to using the information that is provided in the exam.

If you have not done so already purchase a calculator from the approved list and use this for all question practice. If you are sitting your exam remotely, you will be able to use your own calculator in the exam.

Revision phase

Management Information is all about understanding the topic areas. The best way to understand different topic areas is by question practise. Complete all the questions in the question bank (twice if possible).  

When completing calculative questions write down workings so you can review these along with the answer to ensure you understand where you have gone wrong. As you get more confident, try and do these under timed pressure. This will allow you to get used to reading, interpreting and answering the questions under exam conditions.

Complete the sample exam on the ICAEW website as this will show you what your real exam will look and feel like.

You can also make cue cards to remember key formulas or points whilst revising. Notes should also be made on areas or questions you are getting wrong. This will allow you to focus more of your attention on these topic areas.