CAUTION - THIS POST RELATES TO THE CIMA 2010 SYLLABUS, SO IS NO LONGER VALID
Hi David. I have passed my Operational level subjects on the exams I wrote in Nov 2012 & intend to start the Managerial level this month for May exams. I want to do 2 subjects (per semester) at a time and I am not sure which subjects I should start with and what I will do thereafter until I finish the strategic level.
This is an interesting question. Your comment doesn't make it clear whether you've now finished Operational Level, or just passed your first two exams. It doesn't really matter, though, as I'll explain...
Your situation is complicated (and your choices limited) by CIMA's rules about what exams you're allowed to sit, when. CIMA treats the Operational and Management Levels (6 exams) as a 'block', and allows tou to sit any combination of 1-6 exams in any order. However, CIMA won't allow you to start the Strategic Level until you've passed all of the Operational and Management Level papers. You're not allowed to sit a combination of Management and Strategic Level papers at the same exam sitting. Also, when you sit the Strategic Level for the first time you have to sit all three exams.
If we just look at the six Operational and Management Level papers, there are various combinations you could choose if you want to sit two exams at each exam sitting. Bear in mind that the papers are, to some extent, progressive - F1 leads into, and so on. It's not essential that you sit exams in sequence, though, as you could study for P1 and P2 at the same time, and sit the exams at the same exam sitting. I wouldn't, however, suggest that you sit exams out of sequence (for example, P2 before P1, etc.), as you might find you have a knowledge gap. Other than that, the choice is yours.
Some students combine papers according to their own strenghts (i.e. they attempt their 'best' ones first), while others try to combine a numerical (P or F) paper with a wordy (E) paper, just for variety. There's no best way - too much depends on your skills and preferences, and what you've already passed.
I hope that helps. If I haven't managed to deal with your specific situation just post a comment and I'll try to help you more.