Right here! You’ll get access to CMA exam questions for Part 1 and Part 2 when you sign up for a free account.
Our free questions are not simply a random test bank—they’ve been selected by our editors to follow the topic weighting of the CMA exam and are representative of the kinds of questions you may actually see on your CMA exam.
Just like in our courses, every question comes with explanations for the right and wrong answer choices.
When you’re done, you’ll get a score breakdown by topic area.
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Our question library contains some retired exam questions released by the ICMA. Not all of the questions you receive will be retired questions.
The CMA exam is comprehensive and robust, and will challenge your understanding of the material and test-taking skills.
There are two main components of the CMA exam, both of which measure your understanding of financial planning, performance, and analytics as well as strategic financial management.
When you’re considering CMA exam questions and what could be thrown at you on the day of the test, knowing the tips, tricks, and best practices becomes essential. Keep reading to get all the information you need to prepare yourself for any and all CMA exam questions.
Passing the CMA exam requires you to be very familiar with multiple-choice questions (MCQs). You’ll need to focus much of your study and testing time on MCQs, so we’ve provided you with all the information, examples, and advice you need to prepare for them.
The CMA exam consists of two parts:
Each part of the exam consists of 100 MCQs and two essay questions. The MCQs are worth 75% of your total score for each exam part, and you must answer 50% of the MCQs correctly in order to progress to the essays.
The exam will present the MCQs in a random order; the order of the questions won’t reflect the order in which the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs) present the exam topics.
You’ll have 4 hours to complete the entire exam (3 hours for MCQs and 1 hour for essays). If you finish your MCQs early, you’re allowed to carry over any time remaining to the essays.
The ideal way to break down your time is:
The first obstacle you’re going to face on the CMA exam is the multiple-choice section. Knowing how to answer multiple-choice questions will be key to your CMA exam-day success.
To start, it’s important to understand the anatomy of a multiple-choice question.
There are several different types of MCQs. Most CMA exam multiple-choice questions just feature four single-statement answer choices and look like the example to the right.
Our candidates have reported that the less traditional MCQs discussed below can be among the most difficult to answer confidently, but you can learn the best way to approach them by accessing this supplemental video from Gleim CMA.
Some of these standard MCQs have a negative stem, which means that the question stem contains words like except, not, false, least, etc. Some examples of negative stem MCQs can be found below.
The ICMA will most likely print the negative words in bold, as we did above, but you should always read the question carefully and completely. Answering these questions will be counterintuitive because your goal will be to select the wrong answer choice, and the remaining answer choices will all be correct. Giving the question stem all of your attention will help you detect when the exam’s expectations have switched in this way.
The CMA exam multiple choice questions will always give you four answer choices, but occasionally, these answer choices will allow you to specify that two or more true statements apply to the question.
Other MCQs have several variables within each answer choice. The answer choices are presented in columns, and you must select the answer choice that contains the right mix of variables.
When it comes to taking the CMA exam, there are some tips that can help maximize your CMA exam score. Learn how to avoid common mistakes on multiple-choice questions and what to expect on exam day.
To give yourself the best chance at success with the multiple-choice sections, follow these tips:
Whether you’re an accounting professional or an accounting student, you probably prefer working with numbers over words. However, as a CMA candidate, you will need to be a proficient essay writer. Nowadays, CMAs are expected to have written communications among their on-the-job skills, and so the CMA exam requires you to write essays. Don’t worry though, we have everything you need to know about the essay portions of the CMA exam.
The CMA exam uses essays to test your ability to:
Essays allow you to demonstrate these abilities and skills in a situation that more closely reflects the real world than multiple-choice questions can. Furthermore, CMAs are called upon to provide analyses and recommendations based on the numbers, and fulfilling these responsibilities requires strong written communication skills. As an accountant or accounting student, you’ve already learned how to effectively communicate. Therefore, you should focus on learning the topics and practicing in a realistic exam environment.
On top of the 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) covering these topics, there are two essay scenarios for each exam part. The essay section contains 8 to 14 written response or calculation questions based on two scenarios describing a typical business situation. There are typically 4 to 7 questions per scenario.
As a reminder, the total testing time allocated for each of the two CMA exam parts is 4 hours. You have 3 hours to answer all 100 MCQs. Spending the entire 3 hours answering the MCQs gives you a maximum of 1 hour total to finish the essays for both parts of the exam. When you finish the MCQ section in less than 3 hours, your remaining time from the MCQs will carry over and extend the one-hour time allocation for essays.
After you finish answering and reviewing the MCQs, you’ll have the option to move on to the essays if you’ve answered at least 50% of the MCQs correctly. If you don’t answer at least 50% correctly, you will not be allowed to move on to the essay section.
We recommend that you aim to answer each MCQ in 90 seconds to give yourself either 30 extra minutes to review your MCQ answers or to respond to the essays. You can also divide this time between the two activities however you see fit. Keep in mind, you cannot return to the MCQ section once you’ve entered the essay section, so you’ll need to complete your review of your MCQ answers before you move on to the essay section.
Refer to the images and descriptions below to learn about how a CMA exam essay question looks and operates.
The following graphic is an example of how the essay question will look on the day of your test. Keep reading and cross reference the numbers on the page with their description below!
As you’re taking the test, you will also run into essay navigation buttons. These buttons exist to help you navigate through the test—it’s helpful to know how they work and what they look like!
The following graphic demonstrates a practical scenario in which you write your actual essay. Before anything else happens, the answer box will open onto a separate screen, as seen below.
As a reminder, the breakdown for the two types of CMA exam questions count toward the following percentage of your total score:
MCQs are automatically graded online, but essays are not. Instead, subject matter experts grade the essays, and you can receive partial credit for your answers. For example, if an essay asks for three reasons why a selected alternative action is good for a business, and you provide only two correct responses, you will receive partial credit for those two responses. Likewise, you will receive partial credit for having the correct formula for a calculated response question even if your answer contains a mathematical error resulting in the incorrect answer. The possibility of receiving partial credit is the reason why it’s important to show your work on the calculation questions on the CMA exam.
The ICMA grades essays on both the correctness of your answer, your knowledge of the subject matter, and writing quality (communication skills). The subject matter experts will only grade responses relevant to the question asked.
The specific criteria for grading the essays is:
Each question within the CMA exam essay section requires you either to write a response or complete a calculation pertaining to the scenario provided. Read the question carefully so you can identify the requirements. Then, outline the grading concepts and any related information on a piece of scratch paper.
When submitting a calculation, show your work! The more on-topic information you provide, the more partial credit you can receive. To create a table, use the spacebar to separate the columns, and label all columns and rows. Include all supporting calculations, but focus more on getting the question correct than perfecting the formatting.
When crafting a written response, be as detailed as possible and mention anything you can on the topic to maximize your score. Proofread and edit your answer once you finish your first draft, but only expand on it if time permits. You want to make sure you can address each question before the total testing time expires. So, you should hold off on improving your answers until you’ve responded to every question and started your review.
When you prepare with the most-widely used CMA review course on the market, you’ll have everything you need to excel at the CMA exam essays. Gleim CMA Review covers the ICMA’s Content Specification Outlines and Learning Outcome Statements better than any other provider. We do this so you can be completely confident in your knowledge of the exam content.
Our course also includes the largest test bank and most realistic MCQs and essay questions on the market. Such a high-quality test bank affords plenty of practice and familiarity with the exam questions. See how well Gleim prepares you to pass by learning more about the exam from our free CMA exam guide.
Each part of the CMA exam has two essay scenarios. The CMA essays describe a scenario and ask several questions that require a written response, a calculation, or both. CMA essays are not graded by a computer. Your CMA essay will be graded by a subject matter expert, and partial credit may be given, so be sure to show your work!
While the CMA essays can seem daunting, they can be conquered with a good study plan and by employing these CMA essay tips: