CMA Exam Information: What You Need to Know

There are a lot of acronyms in our accounting world: CMA, ICMA, IMA. What do they all mean? And how do they affect you, a CMA candidate?

The Role of the Management Accountant

A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a management accounting and financial management professional. Being a CMA means more than just knowing how to generate the numbers; being a CMA means understanding what the numbers mean. A CMA provides important financial data that assists company management in making decisions about running a business efficiently and profitably. They help companies answer the important financial questions: How much will this new sales initiative cost? What’s the ROI on buying that company or developing and launching that new product?

CMAs often work closely with upper management, and their knowledge, skills, and experience influence the direction of these organizations. Having meaningful financial data and analysis allows a CMA to function as an important part of the management team.

The IMA Furthers the Management Accounting Profession

The IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) is the association of accountants and financial professionals that focuses on education, research, and professional events for management accountants. It is a worldwide organization with a multifaceted mission. It produces conferences for CMAs; provides continuing professional education courses; publishes newsletters, books, and magazines; and assists with the logistics of administering the CMA exam, such as processing registrations. It does not, however, create, write, or score the CMA exam itself.

The ICMA and the Administration of the CMA Exam

The ICMA (Institute for Certified Management Accountants) is the exam administration and certification division of the IMA. It is responsible for evaluating CMA applicants’ credentials and administering the continuing education requirements for CMAs.

Most importantly for CMA candidates, the ICMA is also the organization that actually creates the CMA exam. It writes the syllabus (Content Specification Outlines [CSOs] and Learning Outcome Statements [LOSs]) and questions, grades the exams, and ensures the integrity of the exam process.

A Non-Disclosed CMA Exam

It is important to understand that the exam itself is non-disclosed. That means the actual test questions and solutions are not released to review providers or the public until they are retired and therefore no longer included on the exam. This also means that no single exam prep provider has any sort of inside track regarding knowledge of the actual exam. All course providers have the same access and none have any particular connection or relationship with the ICMA. That’s a crucial distinction to keep in mind as you consider CMA review courses.

Although the IMA does have an “official” CMA review product, it is only as good as the 3rd party provider can make it as it has no connection to the ICMA and does not receive any more exam details than any other review course. Each review provider, including Gleim, generates their own study materials, including practice questions and exam emulations. We’re proud of all of our review materials, including our diagnostic quizzes; practice essays; audiovisual discussions;the largest test bank on the market; online study outlines; and, of course, our comprehensive books, available both in print and digitally.

Being the most widely used CMA exam prep provider since 1980, Gleim is uniquely positioned to obtain critical feedback of how our material can be improved. As we aggressively solicit feedback from our candidates on how we can improve our coverage, Gleim CMA review continues to evolve to remain closely aligned with all topics tested on the CMA exam.

Previous CMA Exam Questions

Once questions are retired and released to the public, we quickly incorporate those questions into our review materials. We know they’re valuable because they give candidates hands-on experience with the style, depth, and breadth of the CMA exam questions. They’re a terrific way to practice your test-taking skills and gain insight into the various topics covered on the CMA exam. You get real-life knowledge that gives you a clear look at typical exam questions.

And with our signature answer explanations that explain the reason each answer choice is incorrect or correct, your learning is reinforced because you see better understand why an answer choice does or does not fit with the concept being tested. At Gleim, we don’t want you to just memorize; we want to help you understand the concepts so you can apply them to similar scenarios and questions. With this experience, you’ll feel much more confident when taking your CMA exam.

Try a sample of the released ICMA questions and the Gleim signature answer explanations to gain important insight into the level of knowledge required for the exam and get feedback on your current skill level.

The Most Widely Used CMA Exam Prep

You know that becoming a CMA will help your career in many ways, so making the choice to sit for the exam is an important first step. Choosing the right CMA exam prep is the second step, and Gleim is the #1 CMA exam prep course – having trained more CMAs than any other review course. Gleim CMA Review covers every inch of the ICMA’s Content Specification Outlines and Learning Outcome Statements and gives you the most comprehensive coverage in bite-sized learning sections. Access the free CMA Review course demo for unlimited access to one full study unit.