CMA Exam Practice: Getting Comfortable with the Test

cma exam practice environment

There’s value to the old adage: Practice makes perfect. Especially when it comes to taking the CMA exam, being comfortable with the various computer screens you will encounter, being able to move between them quickly, and understanding how to save and submit a test section will be crucial to your success on test day. With adequate CMA exam practice, you won’t have to stop and think, “Wait, how do I mark that to look at it later?” Or, “Now, where do I click to save my essay draft?”

By knowing exactly what to expect from your exam experience, you won’t waste valuable time figuring out how to answer a question. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on giving the best answer to the question. You’ll have less anxiety on test day because you’ll already know how to navigate the exam.

CMA Exam Practice: The Importance of Exam Emulation

The best way to practice for the exam is to use precise, exam-emulating study aids. At Gleim, we pride ourselves on providing the most realistic exam day emulations for our CMA candidates. Our team of graphic artists and developers carefully use the same fonts, sizes, layout–even the same colors–of the Prometric screens, so you’ll have a familiar experience on test day. There’s comfort in knowing you won’t get any format surprises during your exam. Plus, repeated CMA exam practice with the screens will help you move through the exam with ease, saving you time.

Jacob Jarrell, CMA, had this to say about Gleim exam emulation. “Maybe the best aspect of the Gleim Review System is how the quizzes and practice essays simulate the testing environment. When you get to the actual exam, you will have no surprises in regards to the process, layout, or functionality. I believe just being comfortable and confident is half the battle on exam day.” He was so delighted with the experience, he also stated, “I would certainly use Gleim for any other certifications I might purse down the road, and to earn CPE to keep my CMA certification active.”

CMA Exam Practice: A Closer Look

Multiple Choice Questions

We’ve taken multiple-choice tests aplenty over the years. In this, the CMA exam is pretty much what you’d expect, but you also have the ability to flag questions you want to return to later, as well as a few tools at your disposal.

cma exam practice for MCQs

The top bar shows the question number you’re working on out of the total, your name, and the test part name. The time remaining in your test session is located at the upper right, which is important for time management. You’ll want to keep an eye on this throughout the entire exam.

The middle of the screen shows the question and answer choices. Within that section is an icon for the calculator and the Present/Future Time Value Tables, both of which may be used to figure out mathematical equations as you encounter them.

The bottom bar has your navigation buttons: previous, next, mark, and review. The first two are self-explanatory. The mark icon allows you to flag a question to return to later, if time allows. The review button consolidates your marked questions for you to look over once more before submission.

By practicing with the screens before the exam, you’ll be able to jump right into the questions and not have to work out the navigation.

CMA Exam Essays

In addition to multiple-choice questions you must answer, there are essays you must write to become a CMA. The screens look and function a bit differently than those for the multiple choice.

cma exam practice for Essays

As with the multiple-choice, the essays give the question number, your name, the test name, and the time remaining at the top.

The main essay screen is separated into two columns. Essay questions are centered around a scenario, which is a description of an accounting situation with an entity’s information, documentation, and (usually) financial figures provided. This scenario is in the left column. The scenario is often long enough that you’ll need to scroll down to see all of the information.

You will then be given between two and eight questions related to that scenario. The actual question(s) will always be on the right. Just below the questions is the answer box. It has a word processing element that allows you to write, edit, and save your answer. You’ll want to save frequently so you don’t lose any of your work. You can revise and refine your essay answer as needed, saving and submitting when you’re ready. Some essays have as many as 8 distinct questions to answer, so you’ll want to ensure that you’ve covered all of them before submitting your testlet.

The bottom bar of the essay screen is set up just like the multiple-choice, with navigation tools that allow you to move forward, move backward, mark, or review questions before you make your submission.

Familiar Screens = Comfortable Testing

The fewer surprises you encounter on test day, the more confident you will feel. The Prometric computers at your test center will use these exact screens, elements, and navigation tools, so the more you practice with your exam review in your practice exams, the more comfortable you’ll be. Having more practice questions under your belt will make you more familiar with the overall process, and this will make you more relaxed come exam day.

“I already had the opportunity to study for the PMP test using other materials,” said Gleim user Julio Damiao, currently a CMA and PMP. “. . . I think that Gleim is the best solution I’ve had so far because of its easy-to-use interface and similarity with the actual test (visually and in content).” Having familiarity with the screens helped Julio succeed on exam day.

CMA Exam Practice with the CMA Review Experts

Get a feel for the CMA exam by trying a free demo of the best exam-emulating review course available, which will let you explore and use an entire Study Unit of our CMA Review. With access to knowledge outlines, questions, and video and audio lectures, you can be prepared for success at the Prometic testing center. You’ll be able get plenty of CMA exam practice with the most realistic exam day experience, one that will help you feel more comfortable when you sit for your CMA exam. Try it today!