Is the exam format the same every year?
The final exam will follow the same format as in past years. You can have a look at lots of old exams at the MBS website - http://support.mbs-worldwide.ac.uk. The exam format always includes three parts:
How does the case section of the exam work?
As discussed above, the case question requires that you demonstrate the ability to solve a case problem. The case is distributed in advance, but the question is distributed as part of the exam. The question will probably have multiple parts, so be careful to identify these parts and be careful to address all parts in your answer. Ration your effort so that you have time to cover all parts of the exam, and if your answer significantly exceeds the recommended word limit, you should review the question - the question is designed to limit the scope of your analysis, to focus your answer in the areas that really count.
There are a lot of readings - which should I focus on?
Everything. Sorry about that, but the readings, the modules and the assigned textbook chapters have been chosen because they are individually and collectively important, and any of the questions can require you to demonstrate understanding that is only really covered in one part of the course material. Even worse, you might be asked to contrast two ideas, and if you can't find the original sources the question will be a lot more work.
The exam is open book right?
The exam is open book, but with the readings, text and modules, there isn't time during the exam to find all of the references you might need unless you are already familiar with each. There is a lot of evidence that people have tried to catch up on their reading during the exam - the occasional paper is handed in with one question answered fairly well during the three hours of the test, but nothing else was attempted. You need to have read and understood all of the material, but you should also have an idea how the material relates to the remainder of the course topics and readings.
Is there a choice of questions, or are all questions compulsory
The second and third sections allow a choice of one of the two alternative questions. Usually (almost always) these alternatives are chosen from different thematic areas of the course, so if you are lost in one of these areas there's still hope.
Will all of the modules be covered?
There's a reasonable effort made to distribute the examination questions equally among the four modules. (module 3 is the workshop)
Any general hints?
Aside from the obvious (study hard, take financial analysis instead) a couple of general comments have been contributed by students in the past.
Good luck with the exam, and if there are any question you would like me to address, email me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org