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CMA Exam Information: What You Need to Know

All About the CMA Exam

Originally published October 17, 2017.

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 exam 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 Opens in new window than just knowing how to generate the numbers; CMAs explain the “why” behind the numbers and turn data into dialogue. They help companies answer the important financial questions: How much will this new sales initiative cost? What’s the return on investment 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. They play an important role on the management team by providing meaningful financial data and analysis that assists company management run a business efficiently and profitably.

Are you interested in a pursing a career as a CMA? Sign up to watch our webinar and find out the top 5 reasons to become a CMA. Read on to learn what you need to know about the CMA exam to help you get started.

IMA Furthers the Management Accounting Profession

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) 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.

ICMA Creates the CMA Exam

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

Why does this matter for CMA candidates? ICMA actually creates the CMA exam. It writes the syllabus (Content Specification Outlines [CSOs] and Learning Outcome Statements [LOSs]) and questions, grades your exam, and ensures the integrity of the exam process.

A Non-Disclosed CMA Exam

The exam questions and solutions are not released to review providers, or the public, until they are retired and no longer included on the exam. IMA is partnered with several review providers, but no exam prep provider has inside knowledge of the exam or any particular connection or relationship with the ICMA. That’s a crucial distinction to keep in mind as you consider CMA review courses. Every review provider, including Gleim, generates their own study materials, including practice questions and mock exams.

In 1981, Dr. Gleim created the first CMA Review course. Since then, more candidates have trusted us to help them pass the CMA exam than any other provider. We incorporate feedback from our candidates to improve our materials and provide comprehensive coverage of CMA exam topics. So many candidates pass with Gleim because our course is designed to make sure you feel confident when you sit for your exam.

What is Prometric?

Before you take your exam, you’ll have to schedule with Prometric. Prometric is a global test-administration company with over 3,000 locations worldwide. The ICMA contracts them to administer the CMA exam. Head here to find a testing center near you and learn how to schedule your exam appointment. You can also schedule a test drive Opens in new window at the Prometric testing center where you’ll sit for your CMA exam.

So, what’s the CMA exam like?

Be ready on exam day by getting an idea of the types of questions you may see on the actual CMA exam. 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.

Plus, every question has answer explanations for both the correct and incorrect answer choices. Your knowledge is reinforced in real-time because you can figure out why an answer choice fits, or doesn’t. We don’t want you to just memorize answers because no one knows exactly which questions will be on your exam. 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.

Our free questions include some retired CMA exam questions – can you tell the difference? Our exam-emulating questions are the most realistic on the market. They’re designed to help you gain important insight into the level of knowledge required for the exam and get feedback on your current skill level. Try our free questions and detailed answer explanations to see if Gleim is right for you.

The Most Widely Used CMA Exam Prep

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.