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How I Approach the CMA Essay Questions

Introducing Our Wednesday Blogger: VinothVinoth is one of our CMA exam bloggers. He documents his CMA journey every Wednesday.

Hope everyone has read my last blog post on multiple choice questions and that you find it useful. This week I am going to talk about how I practice on CMA essay questions, and the prerequisites for essay preparation.

CMA essay questions represent 25% of the CMA exam and again it’s based on the difficulty level you’re getting during the exam day. But I would say that this 25% plays a major role in passing this examination, because in essay section you get two questions and for that you have 60 minutes to complete.

Within these 2 questions, you have 9 sub-questions (5 and 4 respectively), and they cover all topics on one particular part on the exam. Because of this, your studying should cover the entire portion of the syllabus, and you should be confident in all the concepts.

3 Types of CMA Essay Questions: Writing, Numerical and Ethics

Since the examiners do not want to get “stories” from us, we need to provide crisp and clear answers. Keep them short, simple, and to the point, so that you can manage your time during the exams.

When solving the problems in the essay, make sure you cover the steps for each calculation. This is because each step carries points. Explain the formulas clearly, and show how you come up with each figure using calculation as required.

If you are getting ethics questions in the exam, make sure you write the definition the same way as that in the text book instead of using your own words.

Here is my final suggestion / advice: if you are confident and can complete the multiple choice questions before the 3-hour time, you can use the extra time in your essay section. This is applicable only if you score a minimum 50% on the MCQ section and are able to move on to the essays.

In terms of study materials, each service provider has its own methodology and tips for essay sections, but I prefer to use IMA sample essays as well as Gleim. Gleim provides CMA essay questions separately as part of their study materials.

Hope this week’s blog post is useful to all of you in your CMA exam essay preparation.

From Stephanie

Thank you for sharing your first-hand experience on the essay section, both regarding preparation and how it looks like on the exam day. Readers can also refer to this page for tips.

About the Author Vinoth

Dear readers, I am from India and currently studying for the CMA exam from my home country. I chose CMA (vs other qualifications) as I work in a multinational corporation that values this global certification. After passing Part 1 exam in the Sep/Oct 2014 testing window, I had to postpone Part 2 until Sep 2015 due to heavy commitment in work and family. Finally got the good news in Nov. Thanks for reading!

  • trilok says:

    hello Vinoth,
    How do i deal with essay questions please reply for part 1

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