Strategic Business Management

Strategic Business Management (SBM)

Our view is that SBM is the easier of the three Advanced Level exams and the ICAEW pass rates reflect this. However, to pass this exam, students require excellent exam technique as the number of requirements and volume of exam paper information can be challenging.

Whilst the SBM exam only has two questions, these questions are broken down into separate sub-requirements with the majority of the technical marks allocated to Financial Management and Financial Reporting topics. With regard to the skills marks, the examiners like to test your ability to absorb and analyse financial data and combine this with various pieces of non-financial and narrative information. Therefore, the skills required are very similar to the Business Strategy and Technology (BST) and Case Study exams.

All of our SBM tuition options teach the essential brought forward content as well as the frequently examined advanced technical areas (e.g. overseas investment appraisal and financial reconstruction). Tuition is extremely exam focused and once a technical subject has been taught, we will develop your technique by teaching you exactly how to read, interpret and analyse the exam paper, before showing you the specific technique you should use when generating points and typing your answer for each SBM exam question. The exam techniques you will be taught are those which enabled your tutor to win several prestigious ICAEW prizes and this tuition approach has resulted in several of our students also winning prizes.

A small sample of student feedback is included below:

I cannot thank and recommend Kieran enough. I retook SBM in August after failing in November 2019 and he managed to increase my mark from 48 to 61. Kieran has a fantastic way of breaking down each exam question and topics so that they are easy to understand. If you are struggling with understanding any ACA modules and need help, Kieran is the person to use.

Lindi (SBM resit student who passed first time with us)

I had recently taken the video classes of Strategic Business Management from Kieran and his exam technique was extremely helpful and I was able to clear the paper with 70 marks. His focus on exam technique and using the past papers was what helped me master the techniques and clear the paper.

Harsha (Video course purchaser)

I’ve previously been taught by the bigger tuition providers. I decided to make a change for my finals and Kieran's focus on exam strategy and technique had me sold. His 'Masterplans' and 'Open Book Notes' provided structure to my studying and preparation. The tutorial videos were excellent for covering technical material and his exam masterclasses guided me through the best techniques. I thank ACA Masters for getting me over the line and helping me achieve first time passes in CR, SBM, and Case (Aug 2020).

Hursh (SBM student who has passed his final exams first time with us)

Kieran got me through two tough Advanced Level papers, Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management, after failing both in the previous sittings. Passing with 58 in SBM and 70 in CR. His exam technique focused style kept me focused on how to write the answers to get the marks. Not only that but Kieran managed to break down a difficult syllabus in to simple, easy to understand areas. Couldn't recommend him any more!

John (SBM resit student who has passed his exams first time with us)

Great service. I managed to pass both CR and SBM first time with 63% and 83% respectively, which seems like a miracle.

Freddie (SBM student who has passed all his exams first time with us)

Kieran's teaching and study materials really helped me with my CR and SBM exams, I got marks of 62 and 66 which I didn't expect to achieve! The focus on exam technique through doing past questions helped me learn how to structure answers and understand what the examiner is looking for. It is a much more simplified approach than the courses at the major college tuition providers.

Kam (SBM student who has passed all his exams first time with us)

Further detail on how our approach differs from other tuition providers is included in our 'How to Pass the SBM Exam' article. 

Tuition Options

To get you through your SBM exam, we offer live tuition, video tuition and one-to-one tuition. It is possible to combine different methods of tuition.

SBM Live Course 

Our SBM course comprises four classes which are held on weekends. Each class focuses on a set of frequently examined topic areas and you will be taught: the key technical concepts; the most effective way to read, analyse and work through the exam paper; the key things to look out for in exam questions; how and when to use your open book notes; and most importantly, the specific technique you should use when generating points and typing your answer in the exam. 

Tuition is extremely exam focused and we will work exclusively with past paper questions from recent exams, covering each type of SBM question to ensure that you get up to the required standard as soon as possible – rather than wasting time with ‘warm-up’ questions. 

Our SBM Master Plan categorises all the past exam questions by topic, so that after each class you can go and practice your newly acquired exam technique skills on similar questions and watch your marks drastically improve (hopefully you will join our growing list of prize winners!) 

You will also be coached on how to study effectively, how to structure your revision and be guided as to what you need to do to pass the Advanced Level exams with strong marks.

The classes are structured as follows:​

  1. Data Analysis and Business Strategy Questions

  2. FM-Based Questions

  3. FR-Based Questions, Assurance and Ethics 

  4. Exam Technique Masterclass

In advance of the course, you will be provided with access to our online BST, FM and FAR revision classes which cover the essential brought forward content. You will also be provided with access to our SBM video classes (see below).This enables class time to focus on the advanced areas and exam technique development.

Tuition Fees

There are two payment options for the SBM course.


Option 1: Pay As You Go

Tuition fees are £225 per class.

Option 2: Full Course

For students attending all 4 classes, the tuition fee is reduced to £195 per class.

Therefore, the full cost of the course is £780. 


The full course includes:

- Access to our online FM, BST and FAR classes as most need a refresher on the brought forward content.

- Access to our SBM video classes (see below).

- Open Book Notes for use in the exam (see below).

- Our SBM Master Plan: a detailed step-by-step study plan (see below).

​Please contact us here for availability and course dates. 

Tuition is held online. Online tuition operates in exactly the same way as face-to-face tuition. Our online classroom uses video conferencing (Zoom), virtual whiteboards and electronic study materials. Many students prefer online tuition as they feel more comfortable asking questions using the chat function and because it saves travel costs and time. Classes are recorded so that you can watch each class as many times as you need before your exam. 


SBM Video Course

Our prize-winning Senior ACA Tutor Kieran Doe has recorded an SBM video course. The video course teaches the same content and exam techniques as the live course. The video course offers a lower cost option whilst yielding the same benefits as live tuition.

The initial SBM classes focus on a particular exam topic and teach the key technical concepts in simplified way before demonstrating the optimal exam technique by working through recent past exam questions on the topic in full. You will be taught the most efficient way to read, interpret and analyse the exam paper and most importantly, the specific technique you should use when generating points and typing your answer in the exam. This includes practical advice on how to make effective use of your open book notes when answering questions.

At the end of each class, you can then go and practice other exam questions on that exam topic as this will enable you to implement the exam techniques taught during the class. Our SBM Master Plan (see below) categorises all the past exam questions by topic to make it easy for you to practice similar questions after each class. This enables you to conquer SBM by mastering one area at a time.

The final classes work through recent exam questions in full. This provides practical demonstration of how to identify the separate sub-requirements, allocate your time to each sub-requirement and work through the question from start to finish. 

Having learnt exactly how you should be approaching the SBM exam, you can then attempt other past exams to put these prize-winning exam technique skills to the test and watch your marks drastically improve (hopefully you will join our growing list of prize winners!)

The course is structured so that it covers each examinable area and each type of SBM exam question. As there is a substantial amount of assumed knowledge for most SBM topics, we have included our FM, FAR and BST tutorials as part of the course. We suggest that you watch the classes in the order set out below. However, if you are already comfortable on a particular topic then you may want to skip the revision class. 


The course structure is as follows:​

Data Analysis Questions

  1. How to Analyse the Financial Performance and Position of a Business: BST recap

  2. Performance Analysis, 'General' questions and Ethics: BST recap

  3. Data Analysis questions: SBM exam questions

Business Strategy Questions

  1. Business Strategy: SBM exam questions

FM-Based Questions

  1. Investment Appraisal: FM recap

  2. Investment Appraisal: additional SBM content and SBM exam questions

  3. Finance: Source of Finance and WACC: FM recap

  4. Finance: Gearing: FM recap

  5. Finance: Adjusted Present Value: FM recap

  6. Finance: Ungearing and Regearing Beta Equities: FM recap

  7. Finance: Bond Valuation: FM recap

  8. Finance: additional SBM content and SBM exam questions

  9. Business and Equity Valuation​​: FM recap

  10. Business and Equity Valuation​​: additional SBM content and SBM exam questions

  11. Hedging Basics and Hedging Interest Rate Risk: FM recap (2 parts)

  12. Hedging Foreign Exchange Risk: FM recap (2 parts)

  13. Hedging: additional SBM content and SBM exam questions

FR-Based Questions

  1. Assets: FAR and CR recap

  2. Assets: SBM perspective and SBM exam questions

  3. Financial Instruments and Hedging: FAR and CR recap

  4. Financial Instruments and Hedging: SBM perspective and SBM exam questions

  5. Leases: FAR and CR recap

  6. Leases: SBM perspective and SBM exam questions

  7. Groups: FAR and CR recap

  8. Groups: SBM perspective and SBM exam questions

Assurance Questions

  1. Assurance: SBM content and SBM exam questions

SBM Full Exam Questions

  1. SBM Exam Technique Masterclass (July 2018 Q1)

  2. SBM Exam Technique Masterclass (July 2018 Q2)

  3. SBM Exam Technique Masterclass (Nov 2018 Q1)

  4. SBM Exam Technique Masterclass (Nov 2018 Q2)

  5. SBM Exam Technique Masterclass (July 2019 Q1)

  6. SBM Exam Technique Masterclass (July 2019 Q2)

You can purchase each individual SBM class for only £30 by clicking on the 'rent' icon below. You can then watch the class as many times as you need to ensure that you have understood the technical principles and mastered the exam techniques taught during the class. You can stream the classes directly below and view them on any device which has internet connection within the 72 hour viewing period. If you require access for longer than 72 hours, we suggest that you opt for the Full Course Offer - see below for details.

Full Course Offer

You can subscribe to all of the classes for £350 and enjoy a viewing period of 6 months. Just click here to purchase. Once payment has been made, you can view the full course here. 

Please note that our study materials are sold separately - see below. 


One-to-One Tuition

If you are struggling with a particular area, then one-to-one tuition is also available. We suggest that one-to-one tuition is used to supplement the tuition provided by the online classes to address any specific areas where you require intensive support. 


Tuition fees are £95 p/hour. 

Please contact us here if you wish to book.


Study Materials and Open Book Notes

SBM Open Book Notes

Our prize-winning ACA tutor, Kieran Doe, has developed our unique SBM Open Book Notes which are specifically designed for use in the exam. The notes include:


  • Easy-to-use summarised technical notes for each Financial Management and Financial Reporting subject area 

  • Calculation proformas and reminders 

  • Exam tips for each type of SBM exam question (Business Strategy, Data Analysis, FM, FR, Assurance and Ethics)

  • A reminder of points to include for 'common exam scenarios'​


A sample can be found at the bottom of this page. 

SBM Master Plan

To ensure that you use your study time as effectively as possible, we have broken the syllabus down into 'examinable topics' so that you can allocate your time to specific examinable topics. For each topic, we have  listed all the past exam questions which examined the topic. There is also a reference to how frequently the topic is examined, the extent to which it is examined and the online SBM class which demonstrates the exact exam technique to use for that type of question.

A sample can be found at the bottom of this page.

Payment and Delivery

The price for both the SBM Open Book Notes and the SBM Master Plan is £40. You can purchase below; if you wish to use another payment method then please contact us.

Once payment has been received, you will receive the materials via email within 48 hours.

Please ensure that you check your junk mail in case your email settings divert our email to junk.

Contact us here or email

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ACA Masters is the trading name of Accountancy Exam Masters Limited. 

The ICAEW Partner in Learning logo, ACA and ICAEW CFAB are all registered trademarks of ICAEW and are used under licence by ACA Masters.

Our business address is Unit 101, 60 Chalton St, Somers Town, London, NW1 1HS.

Our registered address is 160 Kemp House, City Road, London, England, EC1V 2NX.