Preparing for the CMA Exam as an Undergraduate

As an undergraduate, you may not be thinking about studying for or even sitting for the CMA exam, but there are advantages to doing these things before you conclude your time as a student. You have the opportunity to pass the CMA exam before you graduate because The ICMA allows undergraduate students to take the CMA exam with their student membership. Knowing that, as a student, you could not only complete this important move in your career but also have an easier time doing so, learn the benefits to preparing for the CMA exam as an undergraduate and adopt this four-step plan for CMA success today.

The Benefits of Preparing for the CMA Exam as an Undergraduate

By studying for and sitting for the exam early in your college career, you can increase your chances of passing on the first try because your status as a student makes you more accustomed to the test-taking environment and what study approaches work best for you. In addition, the topics on the CMA exam will be very familiar since you will have recently completed the coursework that covers them. Finally, The IMA offers a discount to students taking the CMA exam and awards scholarships to high-achieving accounting students.

A Plan for Preparing for the CMA Exam as an Undergraduate

To successfully pass the CMA exam before graduation, prioritize studying for the exam as you would for your college courses. This approach will help you fit preparing for the CMA exam into your busy schedule. The 4-step plan below can assist you in creating the study schedule you need to pass the CMA exam before you graduate. We advise taking Part 2 of the CMA exam before Part 1 because the order in which you take your coursework best aligns with taking Part 2 first.

The Four-Step Plan for Preparing for the CMA While Still an Undergraduate
Step Time Period Preparation Strategy Exam Parts & Timing
1 Junior Year
September to May/June
  • Over the course of the junior year, complete intermediate accounting, information systems, corporate finance, operations management courses, finance elective, and business ethics course.
2 Junior Year
  • Use CMA review program materials to study for CMA Part 2.

CMA Part 2
End of May or June

3 Senior Year
September to December
  • Complete cost/managerial accounting course.
  • If available, complete undergrad business capstone course and/or case course in finance.
  • Complete auditing course and possibly take first tax course.
  • Use CMA review program materials to study for CMA Part 1.

Senior Year
Winter Break or

  • Use CMA review program materials and intensively prepare for CMA Part 1.
CMA Part 1
Late January or early February

CMA Prep for Passing the CMA Exam

Contact Gleim CMA today so we can help you find the review system that works best for you. You can also get unlimited access to our completely free CMA exam demo and learn why more students choose Gleim CMA.