This page is dedicated to the many aspiring CMA in India who visit my site. Let me walk you through some facts, together with steps and tips on how to achieve your goal to become a CMA.
(Indians working in the Middle East may want to check out this page)
Reciprocity between IMA and ICWAI
First of all, some good news. If you are an ICWAI (now known as ICAI) member, you can apply for the US CMA membership as long as you have a valid ICAI certificate. You can go directly to the IMA page here.
The agreement works the other way round as well. If you are a CMA, you can also obtain a membership of ICAI. But there is one restriction — you must take the CMA program outside of India. From my interpretation, it means that as long as you physically take the CMA in test centers outside of India, you are fine. For details, please refer to this document.
I also have a more in-depth discussion on IMA vs ICAI for your consideration.
Profile of IMA members from India
Based on the IMA Global Salary Survey published in March 2016, Indian IMA members have an average annual salary of US$35.8K and total compensation of US$38.3K. The median figures are considerably lower, meaning there are a few professionals who earn a lot more and thus pull up the mean figures.
On the whole, Indian IMA members work pretty hard averaging 48.6 hours per week, which is the longest after the Netherlands.
[Chart 1 to be updated]
If we look at IMA members from Asia (mostly from China and to a lesser extent India), there are more interesting statistics.
Among these members, 51% are CMAs (the rest are likely in the process of pursuing the certification). The median age is 34, which is the youngest among all IMA members. 91% of them have bachelor degrees and 31% have advanced degrees.
In terms of management level, 52% in lower management, 14% in middle management, 19% in senior/top management, and 14% in academia. This compares to the 40% in senior/top position among their peers in the United States. This can be explained by the fact that Asian members are younger, and also the CMA establishment is more recent in Asia than that in the US.
[Chart 2 to be updated]
CMA vs Non CMA Salary in Asia
An important finding from the survey is that CMAs in Asia earn 62% more than non-CMAs in salary, and 67% more in total compensation among IMA members in Asia. The premium has widened significantly over the years.
[chart 3a and 3b to be updated]
When it comes to negotiating compensation, 68% (vs 56% two years ago) of these CMAs say the certification strengthen their negotiating position with their employees, and 85% (vs 75% two years ago) state that the CMA certification improves their chance to move across all areas of business.
How to Become a CMA in India
You can pursue the US CMA certification from India without traveling or working abroad.
The exam prerequisite is simple: all you need is a bachelor degree in any parts of the world. The 2-year working experience requirement can be fulfilled by relevant work performed, again, in any parts of the world. You can read the CMA exam requirements here.
Exam Content and Format
The exam is a 2-parts computerized exam that is 4 hours long each. You have flexibility to take the exam on any weekday within the testing windows, which cover 8 months out of the 12 months in each year.
For the CMA exam syllabus and exam content please click this link.
Testing Center Locations for Aspiring CMA in India
There are currently 9 test centers throughout India:
You can locate the exact address of the exam sites here.
Here are the 8 IMA chapters where you can mingle and network with fellow CMAs:
CMA Exam Passing Rates
This is the latest passing rate by region:
Source: IMA data on 2014 pass rate; 2015 data is not broken down by region
I don’t have specific passing statistics for CMA in India, but Asian candidates have a better than average pass rate but is still not up to the level of the North American. How can we close the gap? Here are my suggestions:
1. Read My Essay Writing Tips
Indians have very good command of English but the writing style may be quite different from the Americans, and therefore, you should work on how to write essays in the standard use of (US) English. I have written this page on CMA exam essay tips specifically with international candidates in mind.
2. Take Self-Study Review Course Instead
Problem with local coaching classes
From my own research and feedback from international readers, a very common reason of failure is that people took local coaching classes that did not adequately prepare them for the exam.
I am sure that there are some excellent live courses out there in the region, but more often than not these coaching are not as good, and more importantly, you cannot tell until it’s too late.
Self-study courses: Cheaper, more convenient, more reliable
Self-study courses, on the other hand, are used by domestic (US) and international candidates alike. By using the same review course as the US candidates, you know the quality of these courses are guaranteed, and you put yourself in a level playing field. Considering the North Americans have a much higher passing rate (50-60%), I would definitely go for whichever review courses they are using.
This is a Summary in Video Format
Here is a short video clip summarizing the above for your easy reference.
Now, How Can I Start The Process?
If you are new to the CMA program:
- How you can grab the CMA title quickly and without leaving India
- My readers’ common issues when taking local coaching classes
If you have started your CMA journey:
- How to get back momentum after failing the CMA exam
- Most popular CMA review courses among US candidates