The Best Way to Study for the CMA Exam

save time checklist for studying for the CMA exam

Start your CMA studies with a test. Admittedly, it does feel a bit counter-intuitive. What good is it to take a test on a subject you don’t know much about? Isn’t that a waste of time?

At Gleim, we don’t think so. Here’s why.

Start Your CMA Review with a Diagnostic Test

The Gleim approach to exam preparation has always involved taking a diagnostic quiz as the first step in measuring your grasp of exam topics. Your score on that quiz will give a good sense of your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re far enough along in your accounting career to begin studying for the CMA, we know you have a lot of knowledge you’re bringing to the table. For example, you might already know quite a bit about Analysis and Forecasting Techniques and not need to re-study some of those sections. But you may find out that you really should focus on Cost Allocation and Inventory Methods. A diagnostic quiz will let you see exactly which topics will require extra study effort and help you develop a study plan that will lead to success on your CMA exam in the most efficient way.

In this case, a low score does not equal failure; rather, it provides the opportunity to study more effectively and concentrate on what’s important for you. So, even though it’s counter-intuitive and likely the opposite of how you studied in school, you’ll find it actually saves you time over the course of your studies.

This learning technique is efficient because you won’t have to spend a lot of time reviewing topics you’re already comfortable with. You’ll still want to look over all of the CMA study units and topics and review the syllabus, but once you pinpoint which areas to focus on, you can use your study time to focus on those. You’ll reinforce what you already know and spend more time learning the things you don’t.

Learn from Your Mistakes Throughout Your CMA Review

All of our quizzes and practice tests allow you to carefully review each answer choice. You’ll see explanations of incorrect answers as well as correct answers. This important step can teach you where your logic went wrong, and once you absorb the details, prepare you to approach the topic again with fresh eyes.

Don’t let a low score on a practice test distract you, because you’ll learn from your mistakes. Every missed question is an opportunity to learn! Seeing the why of a wrong answer–and understanding how to get to the right answer–really helps you retain that knowledge. You are teaching yourself the concepts, seeing them in action on the page, and letting that information soak in.

Create a CMA Review Study Plan that Plays to Your Strengths

Gleim not only offers you analytics on your testing, but also access to Personal Counselors who are happy to help you, however you need help. A Personal Counselor can be your cheerleader when it’s time to perform, your mentor when it’s time to study, or your logistics coach when you are ready to set up a firm study plan.

Your study plan can include all kinds of media options to suit your learning style. You have options. We offer traditional books, both physical and digital, to suit your schedule and preference. You can choose between audio lectures, more detailed video lectures, or presentations that are an overview based on your needs and study habits. The review course gives you access to an online system that includes Focus Questions, a bank of test questions, and essays that mimic the CMA exam itself.

So, consider this: taking a test first may seem a bit backward, but it can actually help you fine-tune your work and give you a boost of confidence when you see how much you already know. You’ll save on study time and be able to target the topics and subjects that you can improve most. Plus, you’ll learn from your mistakes and see the why of the answers, which will help with knowledge retention.

Use this Gleim Free Resource Throughout Your CMA Review

This free CMA Exam Guide from the most widely used CMA Review course covers everything you need to know about the CMA exam–what’s covered, how to manage your time during the exam, how it’s graded, and more! See why Gleim is the #1 CMA prep course today.