A Complete Guide to Cracking the US CMA Exam

A Complete Guide to Cracking the US CMA Exam

CMA or Certified Management Accountant is globally recognised as the top credential in the field of management accounting. CMA USA is administered by the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA) and is globally accepted in more than 170 countries.

The CMA USA course is one the most sought-after qualifications in the world of accounting and finance. The CMA exam is an advanced qualifying exam in the field of accounting, finance and management. Professionals passing this exam can achieve the highest positions in companies.

Read on to learn the hacks for cracking the CMA exam for a brighter future.

Eligibility of CMA USA

The CMA USA Course allows students to follow the course at their own pace. Students can obtain the CMA USA credential within a span of 6 months to 9 months if they want to complete it in a shorter time period. However, the course can also extend up to a year if students so desire. 

To pursue a CMA USA degree, one must appear for the CMA exam. Appearing for the exam requires to adhere to the following eligibility criteria:

  • A student must have a bachelor's degree in a related field from an accredited college or university.
  • An individual must possess at least 2 years of professional work experience in financial management, management accounting or any related field. This prerequisite can be completed by candidates earlier than or within 7 years of passing the test.

CMA USA Examination

Candidates appearing for the CMA examination must be aware of the two parts of the test and score a minimum percentage in both the parts.

Part 1 - Financial Planning, Performance and Analytics

This part consists of:

  • External financial reporting decision
  • Cost management
  • Technology and analytics
  • Internal controls

Part 2 - Strategic Financial Management

 The topics included in this part are:

The duration of the exam for both the parts is 4 hours. Each part consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 essays. The essay questions are 50 marks each. Every candidate gets 3 hours to complete the MCQ section and one hour to complete the essay section.

The maximum marks for the CMA USA exam are 500 for each part, where the candidates must score at least 350 in each part to crack the examination. One must be able to answer at least 50% of the MCQs to be able to attend the essay questions in the test. 

Steps to Crack the CMA USA Exam

CMA USA is an advanced-level professional examination that requires a definite level of sincerity and hard work. Here is a 6-step master guide that one can follow to increase his/her chances of cracking the test:

  1. Procure the right material: A lot of material is available on the internet for the preparation of CMA USA exam. Candidates should research and choose the ones that are actually insightful and relevant for the examination. Study materials with software support are great as they allow students to practice for the examination.
  2. Make a good study plan: Candidates should always draft a study plan, including a timetable for the exam preparation. Allotting a specific amount of time to each topic ensures you cover everything in time. Not to forget, the time for revision should also be included.
  1. Take a step-by-step approach: Opting for a step-by-step method while preparing for the examination is a major benefit. Candidates must review the study materials first, followed by a mock exam to check their preparedness. A topic-wise approach is a great method where candidates can take a software test after learning a topic. Taking regular mock tests is vital to analyse your weaknesses and strengths. 
  2. Register for the exam in advance: Registering for the examination in advance helps candidates choose their preferential window of appearing for the examination. Candidates get enough time to prepare for the exam as they get the date of examinations early.
  3. Properly divide the exam time: The exam duration is of 4 hours but includes 180 minutes for objective questions and 60 minutes for essay questions. Candidates must keep a good pace so that they can attempt all questions well. Spending too much time on any particular question can cost you valuable time.
  4. Keep a calm mind: Candidates must not panic and keep calm when appearing for the examination. Keeping composure helps maintain focus and answer questions better. Panicking will make students forget what they already know.


The CMA USA course is of immense benefit as it covers many aspects of finance, including cost management, maintaining proper accounts, risk management, improving the accounting system, looking after the financial capability of an organisation and so on. 

However, cracking the CMA exam is a bit challenging, but the right way of approaching the examination can score a win for you. To scale greater heights in your accounting and finance career, sign up for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) programme by Imarticus. This programme will assist you in your learning phase and help you get through the CMA examination.

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