I Pass The CMA Exam!

Examining CMA Exam Difficulty: How Hard is the CMA Exam?


CMA exam difficultyI received quite a lot of queries on the level of CMA exam difficulty. Instead of giving you a subjective answer, let’s analyze based on the following objective measures. I present my analysis in the following video.

The following is the transccript of the video.

CMA Exam Difficulty Based on Curriculum

The CMA exam is a 2-part exam. The first part covers financial accounting; planning, budgeting, and forecasting; performance management, cost management; and internal controls. The second part covers financial statement analysis, corporate finance, decision analysis and risk management, investment decisions and professional ethics.

When compared to the CPA exam, for example, the scope is narrower. The CPA exam tests all of the above (with varying degree of detail), together with auditing, business law and taxation. There are four parts in the CPA exam instead of two.

When compared to the CFA exam, the CMA exam does not go into such detail. The questions could be lengthy and complex, but they are not designed to test very advanced knowledge in exam topics.

Conclusion: Given its niche position within accounting qualification, the CMA exam covers fewer topics. it also doesn’t go into the detail as required by some accounting and finance qualifications.

CMA Exam Difficulty Based on Pass Rates

We may then conclude the pass rate of the CMA is higher? This is not true. According to the latest results, the pass rates of Part 1 and Part 2 was 35% and 50% respectively. In comparison, the overall CPA exam pass rate was 49.9%.

One important reason of the low rate is the lower eligibility requirement. To sit for the CMA exam, a candidate is only required to have a bachelor degree. It can be from any discipline and from any country.

For CPA exam, the candidate has to accumulate accounting credit hours equivalent to an accounting major, obtain 150 credit hours of education overall (5 years worth of education), and graduate with a 4-year bachelor degree. Therefore, the candidate pool has a much stronger background in accounting, which helps in maintaining a good overall pass rate.

With this analysis, it is inconclusive whether CMA exam is more difficult in this aspect.

CMA Exam Difficulty Based on Readers’ Opinion

This is a somewhat subjective but very useful way to understand the level of CMA exam difficulty. I’ve asked a few readers who have taken both exams.

Most of them agree that the CPA exam covers a much wider topic. This makes CPA exam harder to handle, but difficulty is similar when compared to the CMA exam. Here is a typical feedback:

How hard is the CMA exam compared to CPA? Well, I thought the material was as challenging, but because there are only 2 parts rather than 4, there is less study time overall. I put in as many hours for each section of the CMA as I did for the CPA. I hope it pays off… There is some overlap between the two exams. Part 1 of the CMA Exam has material that is covered in BEC and Part 2 has stuff from FAR. That’s an over simplification because really there are things from all sections of the CPA Exam scattered throughout the CMA Exam. Of course there are subject areas tested on the CMA Exam that are not tested on the CPA Exam. If you can stomach the additional studying for a few more months (and if you have the money!) I definitely recommend doing them back to back while all the CPA info is fresh.”

Check Out My Bloggers’ Struggle in their CMA Journeys

Vinoth Hock CMA customer Amani Gleim customer CGMA vs CMA vs CPA
Vinoth Amani Fifa

Are You Ready to Tackle the Beast?

It’s hard to quantify the difficulty of professional exams, but what we can do is to better prepare ourselves and aim to pass on our first try.

Here is my ultimate guide on your CMA exam prep, with 50 tips to help you achieve this goal.


You may also want to sign up for my CMA exam mini course which is completely free. You can learn more about this e-course here.

Join us if you want to get tips on how to plan,
study and pass your CMA exam… on your first attempt!

About the Author Stephanie Ng

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.

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  • Blade Ballard says:

    This helped a lot

  • shrinivas says:

    I’m planning to pursue for cma . I’ve finished my graduation and I’m a ca inter.
    The only thing I want to know is there any sums in cma which has mathematic like DERIVATIVES and INTEGRATION .. Because I’m very weak in advance mathematics especially the chapters which I have mentioned above. .

    Waiting for positive reply 🙂

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Shrinivas,
      Thanks for your note. There are some coverage of financial derivatives in Part 2, but it is at introductory level and calculation is not required. And definitely no advanced mathematics like sets and integration, no worries. Regards, Stephanie

  • shrinivas says:

    Thank you so much :).. I hope it’ll not be difficult for me…
    And 1 more qst :p …

    I’m also planning to do mba. . So will I get a nice impression by having degree of mba with cma. ?

  • Jittu says:

    Hey Stephaine. How are you?
    I wanted to do CPA , but most people say that the course is too difficult.
    Does CMA carry the same level of difficulty?


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Jittu,
      I believe the level of difficulty is similar, but CPA covers way more materials so it is at least double the time in terms of studying. For CMA, you are done after passing two parts, but for CPA, it’s only half way. So it takes a lot more stamina, and I believe this is the reason why people find CPA more difficult.

      They also have a higher barrier of entry as well. It is harder for international candidates to get qualified for the CPA exam these days. It’s possible for sure though, and you can check it out here: http://ipassthecpaexam.com/cpa-application-for-international-students/

  • Vincent says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I found this website to be extremely helpful and has given me great insight as I weigh my options before taking the CMA.

    I had a question regarding the education requirement. I am just finishing up my first year in financial management and previously came over from doing 6 months of public accounting. Prior to that, I worked an internship in financial management for 6 months but there was a gap of about a year to finish school.

    Does this satisfy the education requirement or do I need to have 2 years of continual work experience in the same industry/position.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Vincent, thanks for your note! In terms of the educational requirement, you’ll need to be pursuing a bachelor degree. I assume your financial management is a degree program and if so, that’s great. The gap shouldn’t be a concern as long as you plan to graduate. You can take the exam as a current student and are qualified for the student discount. You will need to graduate (plus the experience) to get the CMA certificate.

      In terms of experience requirement, your 6 months in accounting and internship won’t count though, as they are looking for 2 consecutive years of relevant experience.

      In case you haven’t read it, for more info on the requirements, please check out this page: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-requirements/

      • Taha Shaikh says:

        hy stephine some people always tell me that MBA is more benificial compare to CMA and some people give advice for CMA and i have interest in accounting so plz tell me what can i do

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Hi Taha, I would say it depends on which MBA program you go through. Unlike CMA which is a standardized program, the quality of MBA program varies greatly. If one gets into Harvard, I am quite sure it is more beneficial to CMA; but if one goes to a diploma mill, it’s of little use. Regards, Stephanie

          • Taha Shaikh says:

            thanks but one thing which i want to ask you that which field will give more handsome salary and plz define me the difference between academic education which is BMA and professional education which is CMA and honestly i interested in CMA so plz guide me about CMA and about their advanteges because i want to do some thing special for my family

          • Taha Shaikh says:

            second thing which i want to know that if i not good in mathematics so should i go for cma or if i will complete cma so can i illegible for good job or earn some handsome salary

          • Taha Shaikh says:

            sir i am waiting for your answer which is best in Pakistan cma or mba plz give me answer as soon as possible

          • Stephanie Ng says:

            Hi Taha, I don’t have an answer specifically for Pakistan but we have a general discussion here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/mba-or-cma/

  • Aniket says:

    Hi Stephanie, what is the minimum passing score for each section required to obtain CMA certification? as for CPA they say its 75% for each section

  • Jijo T.P says:

    I am a graduate, working in middle east for the last 7 years as administration officer ( not as an accountant). I prefer to study CMA but having following doubts:.
    1. Can i go for CMA even I am not working as as an accountant?
    2. After passing CMA exam will get any pass certificate to apply a job (because will get the CMA certificate only after my 2 year experience)

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Jijo, thanks for your note. Yes you can take the CMA exam now but the bottleneck for you would be the experience. You must have relevant (i.e. accounting) experience to get the certification. Passing the CMA exam along won’t get you any official document from IMA.

  • Arif says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    You are doing a great job guiding people in CMA. Is CMA really tough? and how many hours of study I need to do on daily basis as I am working professional I find difficult to take out time.Could you please advice.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Arif, the IMA suggests 100-150 hours of studying for each part of the exam. If you look at my excel study planner (link below), it’s about right. Whether it’s tough is pretty subjective… I tried to somewhat quantify it above but in reality it really depends on your own background.


      Being a work professional isn’t really a problem as the vast majority of candidates (in US at least) take this exam together with a full time job, so at least you are not worse off than others in this aspect. Feel free to post if you have additional questions. Regards, Stephanie

  • Bipin Jalan says:

    Hi, I am presently dealing into financial products, security market. I am also at the verge of completing PGDBA (Finance) from distance learning. I want to develop a career as a Finance manager or similar profile. Do you think CMA will help me with the necessary basic educational Qualification and also help me in finding a suitable Job in INDIA / US / Canada/ UK .

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Bipin, it sounds to me that CFA may be better for you? It’s 100% finance. For CMA, I would say 2/3 accounting and 1/3 finance (as in corporate finance), and is catered for corporate accounting. Regards, Stephanie

      • Bipin Jalan says:

        Thanks Stephanie for your quick response, I am more interested in developing a career in a Finance department ( Finance Manager, Finance controller, CFO & CEO), . Pl guide accordingly.

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          I see Bipin. CMA would work then, but its value depends on which country you work, and which type of company. I believe you have read this post which I discussed this in more detail: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-title-for-career/

          CPA would be the best choice for you in my opinion but it’s hard to get qualified… it also takes at least double the time because there are 4 parts vs 2 parts in the CMA exam. Regards, Stephanie

  • Prashanth Desai K says:

    Hi Stephanie-Myself Prashanth from India…You are doing great job and responding to each queries must have lots of patience and you are proving it…

    1) I am thinking to take up CMA…I always wanted to work in Canada and with my education credentials its difficult to find a job in Canada (I have complete B.Com and MBA distance learning from India and have more than 7 years of work experience in F&A), is this good idea to qualify CMA and find look out for job in Canada???

    2) There are lots of institutes offering classes here, but I want to study on my own as I don’t get much time during my busy weekdays and weekends, so is it possible to register directly with IMA and get the printed or soft copy study materials??? will I get any online class assistance from IMA?

    3) Do I need to go for any practical training after completing CMA or during the course?

  • Raj says:

    Hello Stephenie
    If i do CMA can that be counted as extra credit hours for CPA. If yes then how many & CMA have objectives type questions in exam like CPA or we have to write practical answer?
    Please guide me.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Raj, I am afraid not. CPA doesn’t give exemptions to professional qualifications other than those listed here: http://ipassthecpaexam.com/iqex/

      But in terms of exam content, there are quite a few overlaps. On that you can save time studying for both exams.

      • RAJ says:

        Thank you very much for your kind guidance mam & I really appreciate that.
        Actually I was asking that if I pass my CMA exam then can I get credit hours for CPA exam? For example 30 OR 20 hours which can total up for 120 credit hours to be eligible for CPA exam. please help me. Thank you.

  • Deepesh says:

    I’m planning to pursue for cma .I’m a ca inter. Can CMA Course is difficult than CA Course.what’s their pass rates from India.CMA Course is a practical or a theoretical course like CA Course?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Deepesh, the pass rate doesn’t break down by specific country but it has one by region. The 2015 data is not out yet but here is the 2014 statistics for your info: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-pass-rate/

      As for the other question, I can’t really answer this as I didn’t take CA, but I am in the process of setting up a forum and once I do that, I will invite readers to discuss this further. Hopefully this can be launched before year end! Stephanie

      • Deepesh says:

        Thank You for your concern.
        I have a one more question is that CMA COURSE is a theoretical or a practical course means having a sums and numerical questions or having a theory only.and what is the weighted of both in this course.

  • Deepesh says:

    What is the importance of English language in this Course.Can students must have 100% knowledge/capable to speak English.

  • V Kannur says:

    I want to study CMA and I am afraid that I have completed my studies 12 years back and I don’t have any touch with my books all these years. If I can spent 20 – 25 hours per week, is it possible to complete CMA, because my work schedule and other things permit me only this much hours in a week.


    V Kannur.

  • Karan says:

    I’m doing b.com and thinking of doing CMA. Is CMA Is better for career designation. I’m weak in mathematics can I crack it?

  • doug says:

    I am self employed. Will I be able to use my accounting experience from doing my own accounting as experience?

    Much regard, Doug

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Doug, I have a reader who are also self-employed and has her experience approved. It depends on the nature of work. But she has some correspondence with the IMA in advance. I encourage that you contact IMA as well. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Rob says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I read the pass rates for 2015 as 36% for part 1 and 55% for part 2.
    I am wondering in your experience and from what you have read on this site why part 1 is so much more difficult?
    is this normal?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Rob, when we look at the geographic breakdown of pass rates in 2014 (2015 data not available), you will see that, while pass rate of Part 1 is lower than that of Part 2 in all categories, Asia and Middle East have the biggest difference between Part 1 and 2. These are the two regions where most candidates do not read and write English as their first language.

      Given the internal control questions in Part 1 are quite tricky (as in there could be more than one seemingly correct answer, and you have to pick the best one), the ability to comprehend long, complex questions in English could be a reason.

      Another reason is that most candidates start with Part 1, and move on to Part 2 only if they pass the first part. Because of this the failure rate is bound to be higher in Part 1.

      The third reason I can think of is that some of the Part 2 curriculum is more straightforward. For example, I find professional ethics in Part 2 quite easy as long as you spend the time understanding the standard and how they apply.

      These are all based on my observation and common sense. We don’t have solid data to support but hopefully IMA will be able to shed more light on this in the future. Regards, Stephanie

  • Pawandeep Singh Bhandari says:

    I heard that ACCA decided not to give exemption to US CMA candidates from 2016 pass candidates? Will you please let me know why? Is the popularity of cma is decreasing. I am working in MNC for a USA based Company William Blair in to Portfolio reconciliation profile in backend. And for career advancement I thought to do this course.
    In India there are lots of jobs for Financial Planning and Analysis but I am now so confused that how great this course is ? Will it add value in my resume or its just like an ordinary course?

  • Pawandeep Singh Bhandari says:

    ACCA announced not to give exemption to US CMA candidates from 2016 pass candidates? Please let me know why? Is popularity of cma is decreasing?
    I am working in MNC Company Genpact for a USA based client – William Blair in to Portfolio reconciliation profile in backend. And for career advancement I thought to do this course.
    In India there are lots of jobs for Financial Planning and Analysis but I am now so confused that how great this course is ? Will it add value in my resume or its just like an ordinary course?

  • Faisal Feroz Ali says:

    HEY I am confuse about selecting in ACCA or CMA guide me what should i choose?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Faisal, ACCA is more for general accounting (public and corporate) working in local companies (or companies headquartered in the UK), while for CMA it is focused on management accounting, and it is more recognized in US multinational companies or those with public listing in the US. Also, companies with manufacturing base (vs service companies) tend to appreciate CMA more. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Tejas Gore says:

    Hello Ma’am
    I love the way you enthusiastically answer people around the globe
    You are such an inspiration

    My question is
    Can CMA’s work from india? (I from India)
    And how much does a CMA earn during his work experience phase ?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Tejas, thanks for your note!
      If you mean whether a CMA can fulfill the experience requirement in India, the answer yes. You can both take the exam and accumulate work experience in your home country. But it isn’t a program where someone will identify a job for you. You have to find your own job just like any full time job that you may have. Then, once you work for 2 years, you can ask your supervisor to sign the verification form for you. How much you can earn depends on the type of job you are going to get. Hope it is clear, Stephanie

  • Tejas says:

    How are essay questions assessed ?
    On what basis are they judged and slotted with. Points or marks ?
    2) what is the pasting criteria for essay type questiosn ?
    Thank you.

  • anand says:

    i am an engineer by qualification but somehow due to the downside of the employment market i am currently employed in the FMCG sector more precisely about right now i am in the retail as an assistant branch manager.

    having said that i would also like to point out that i am really glad with my present job ,just to enhance the shift to the fmcg sector i would like to be enlightened if the CMA course would do me any good.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Anand, thanks for your note, and glad you like your job. The CMA program will likely help you understand how the numbers behind the sales and cost mean to you as a branch manager, and this is a really helpful skill as you move up to more strategic positions. But it may not be directly helpful in terms of increasing your salary, for example, because this is a qualification for management accountants instead of for business units. Hope it helps? Stephanie

  • JAYDIP GHOSH says:


    I am B-com hons and MBA (Finance) but I want to study and complete CMA. I am engaged in a pvt. Company . but I seriously want to study this course.My age is 43. I my decision is correct ? pls advice me.

  • Tejas Gore says:

    My query is what exactly does a CMA do ?
    And while searching or enrolling for a job for experience what field should be selected ?

    Thank you in advance

  • Jeni says:

    Hi how long it take to complete a full CMA course

  • Sakshi says:

    Hey I want to pursue CMA with my graduation. But due to its difficulty level I am confused to do it with graduation or not….

  • ibrahim mansoor says:

    sir,i am a b com graduate want know us cma or cma india which is best,and best to get job in canada or middle east

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi ibrahim, it is hard to comment on which is best (both are good), but if you are comparing in the perspective of getting a job outside of India, CMA (US) is better. For Canada though the best is CPA Canada. Typically, if there is a local designation, go for that one. Regards, Stephanie

  • Nina says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am still not sure about the difficulty level of CMA. I cleared CFA level1 on my first attempt w/o much study. I just gave one good read to Schweser notes. That’s all I did. I didn’t solve any mocks, or numerical problems. I scored the highest percentiles on all sections except I guess economics. Since I was planning to stay in loan underwriting/credit analysis, I didnt not pursue cfa any further. For corporate lending etc., CMA definitely looks more relevant and hence I want to pursue it.

    I don’t know I might have been lucky on the exam day or it might have been my background (MS Finance from a top school in the US and several years in credit underwriting). However, I am little scared as I read many people take several attempts to clear CMA.

    1) Is CFA level1(alone) success is no measure to know once’s chances of success at CMA?
    2) When I prepared for CFA1, I thought the schweser notes were not all that easy, but were interesting read. The exam was also pretty similar. However, what I found about the CFA was the bar was set really low. I am pretty sure I random guessed about 20% questions and so it was really not tough come in top 30%le to pass the exam. How does the scoring work in CMA? Do you have to get 50% questions right or CMA also works on percentile and not percentage?
    3) Here is what I am thinking: read the books (Hock) thoroughly and with genuine interest to learn, then take quizzes and mocks, the moment I start hitting 95% accuracy, not study further or take mocks and go take the real exam. I don’t want to be over confident here but neither do I want to overstudy 🙂
    4) Is too ambitious to aim to write both parts just a couple of days apart?

    I am sorry if I am coming across as too presumptuous, but I am just trying to optimize my resources (time and money) here. 🙂

    Thank you and your site is amazing.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Nina, thanks for your note. It’s certainly great accomplishment on your CFA level 1. It isn’t an easy test for the majority. The CMA Part 2 is quite similar to CFA Part 1 in terms of content, which really helps for you, but the question style can be quite different.

      It’s hard for me to tell how you will do on CMA. There are too many factors. You can try signing up for Wiley CMA Review’s 14 day trial, and see for yourself how you do in the exam mode. You can either choose to go straight to the mock exam, or take the mini mock (exam mode questions) at the end of each chapter.

      On 3, Sounds good to me. I would just do that. You might not even need the Exammatrix. You can decide later.

      On 4, sure, can do. No problem to take both parts if you are ready for it.

  • Rohit says:

    I’m preparing for CMA exams currently studying part-2 got my exam scheduled on sept-27 , I was thinking to give both part like part 1 on 1st week of October actually I was prepared for part 1 for may june window but due to some serious reason I was not able to appear for the exam so I need your suggestion. Its been 2 month I haven’t revised part -1 and by august last week I will be tharough with part -2. tell me your opinion how should I move forward only with one or both at once

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Rohit, it really depends how much you are able to retain the materials in Part 1. If you are very confident of Part 2 and have spare time to rework on your Part 1, then sure; otherwise, I would just focus on Part 2 and try the best to pass on first try.

  • Moh'd Roohul Abedin says:

    Respected Ma’am
    Quoting Tejas Gore,

    We love the way you enthusiastically answer people around the globe
    You are such an inspiration.

    I am a Pakistani National and working in Saudi Arabia. My question is related to my son, who is doing his A level (pre engineering) in Saudi Arabia. I wish him to pursue career in Accounting & Finance but cant decide the course to pursue. The final certification target is CPA. But before that and after A level which course can he start, ACCA Or CMA. Is he be eligible to join either of CMA or ACCA after A level?
    Please advise as I am really very concerned about his career. Secondly I would also like to send him abroad after A level for further studies. Please also advise which country would be better among USA, UK and Australia.
    Hope you will help me to get right decision.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Abedin, thanks for your note. You are such a devoting father. If the ultimate goal is the US CPA license, either ACCA or CMA doesn’t help really, because the qualifications are not recognized by the vast majority of states. Having said that, the CMA title is at least quite useful in the Middle East region. In terms of studying abroad, it is another big discussion that is better covered in other sites and blogs. Ultimately, your son lives his own life. Give him the research you gather, and let him make the decision. Have a wonderful weekend, Stephanie

  • Tejas Gore says:

    Hello Stephanie 🙂 iam from India.
    Can you please let me know the number exemptions a CMA candidate or a CMA gets appearing for CIMA ?

  • Nahush says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Iam from India I have already done CIMA/CGMA and hold a diploma in IFRS. I want to do CMA because it includes US – GAAP . In how much depth I will get knowledge on this in CMA

    Please email me your reply on nahush.deodhar[@]gmail.com

    Thanks a lot in advance

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Nahush, in all honestly the CMA exam’s coverage on US GAAP is very introductory — if this is your focus, I would go for the US CPA exam. But then, I see that you’ve already got your CGMA. I understand CGMA is meant to be a joint recognition from AICPA but in reality is it the case? I doubt it. Businesses still value a qualification that is earned. So in my own opinion, to show the US GAAP expertise, US CPA is the one. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Daniel says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Im from india and planning to take US CMA course, I have an experience of 2years in investment banking field so will they consider my experience for CMA certification.

    Thank you,

  • Daniel says:

    I have also completed my BCOM(CA) degree .. am I taking a right decision to do CMA.

  • HABEEB says:

    Hi Stephanie

    I am a CMA student i was waiting for results and i would like to know about any excemptions in doing ACCA after compleated cma if i cleared CMA what are the benifit with other any courses? and i would like to know the grading system also

  • siddharth says:

    Jii Stephanie,I want to know that is CMA course good ,right now I have completed my 12 like I am an average students therefore I should do this or not, I also want to know about it’s duration

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Siddharth,
      I would take the time to decide once you start your university education, because you want to be relatively sure that (management) accounting is the way to go in terms of career path.

  • Fahad says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    I have some queries to discuss.

    Firstly, i have done my bachelors last year in 2016, can I go for CMA ?? Or should I go for MBA ??

    Secondly, I haven’t studied Accounting and Finance in detail in my bachelor. So if I study CMA from any institution so will I get all the knowledge in detail or they will just provode am overview of concepts.

    Because in order to pass CMA exams we need to have deep knowledge of Accounting amd Finance.

    Waiting for you good response.



    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Fahad,
      Thanks for your note. For CMA vs MBA, it’s more of a personal choice as there are pros and cons for each. Please refer to this page for more info: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/mba-or-cma/

      The CMA curriculum is mostly accounting and finance, but the review courses will cover all, but will focus also on exam techniques so it is slightly different from the ones in university. In general, taking these review courses alone is sufficient to pass the exam.

  • jisna says:

    Hi., am a average student but I interested in cma course . And I just attempted tha cpt in ca but I didn’t passed .so I just worried to start up cma .because of confidence reduced..

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Jisna,
      Just to make sure we are covering the US CMA certification here. This exam isn’t easy so it shouldn’t be seen as an easier backup when other professional exams look more difficult. In any case, if one works hard and dedicate enough time and resources on this, it is doable. Please let me know if you have further questions. Stephanie

  • Thomas says:

    I am currently working in KPMG in India.I am planning to do CMA with Gleim self study materials due to lack of time. Is it enough or do i need to go for regular classes?

  • anas says:

    Hi stephanie,
    is there any presentation subjects or a part in cma like mba?

  • RAM SONI says:

    Hi Stephanie

    I want to know that is CMA course good ,right now I have completed my BCOM. I am an average students therefore I should do this or not, I also want to know about it’s duration in india.


    Ram soni

  • Padmesh garg says:

    Hey Stephanie
    I am pursuing B.com(hons) and planning to start with my CMA coaching.
    I have some following queries-
    1.Is CMA would be benefical for me in terms of business skills?
    2.There are two parts so we have to take both the parts on different dates?
    3.what is the scope of CMA’s in Indian market as per demand and packages?

    waiting for a positive response.

  • Naveed Najeeb says:

    I am a BCom graduate.I would like to pursue a CMA course.

    Can I know how many hours to be spent for studying daily for CMA?

    I would like to be a accountant , Is it beneficial?

    Can I know best institutes in India for CMA coaching classes?

  • Naveed Najeeb says:

    Dear Stephanie?

    CMA or ACCA Which is easy? Which has more passing rates?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Naveed,
      They are pretty different in terms of the format and purpose of the exam. Can’t really compare directly as they are like apples and oranges. There are people (especially those from outside of the US) who claim that the CMA exam is easier. I don’t agree — in fact, I don’t think those people even took the CMA exam so they aren’t qualified to make such comments. Just be careful when you read the discussion in various forums.

      If I really have to compare, I would say the CMA takes a much shorter time to complete, but the exam questions are tough. Part 1 pass rate is 35%, just to give you an idea. The exam is mostly multiple choice which is also very different from that of ACCA. Regards, Stephanie

  • BABITA says:

    i am arts graduate with 43% marks i am eligible fore CMA exam .
    Kindly suggest but is the first step of CMA courses.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Babita,
      As long as you pass enough classes to graduate from a bachelor degree (in any discipline), you are qualified for the exam. But if your major is not relevant or that you didn’t do as well before, it’s prudent to allocate more time in the studying. It isn’t rocket science so a university graduate can certainly handle this, but time and effort is required. Regards, Stephanie

  • nash says:

    Hi Stephanie
    Iam a b.com graduate with 56%
    I still being with cma . how much of duration take to pass this course

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Nash,
      It really depends on your experience and background, but the IMA suggests at least 150 hours for each part of the exam. I think that’s about right unless you are very familiar with the materials. Regards, Stephanie

  • JL says:

    I’m currently studying for CMA part 2 and am planning to take CPA after. Do you suggest that I take FAR first or BEC first?

    BEC would be easier for me but because of the 18-month limit, I’m also considering FAR first. Does FAR have a lot of overlap with CMA?

    • Meghan D says:

      FAR has some overlap with the CMA. I do recommend taking FAR first because there will be overlap with FAR, BEC, REG, and AUD (the amount of overlap varies). I hope this helps!

  • Saad says:

    Hi stephanie,

    I want to start CMA. I am a CA finalist with only 2 papers to qualify plus B.Com ( 2 years program). I am currently doing job in Dubai as an Internal Auditor having more than 3 years of experience.

    My questions are;
    1. Is I am elogible to start CMA on the basis of B.Com of 2 years plus CA finalist and
    2. Will my experience be counted to gain CMA certificate after passing CMA exam both parts.

    Waiting for your reply.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Saad,
      Thanks for your note. Normally IMA looks for 3-4 years of bachelor program, but if you have done part of the CA certification, please email IMA and see if they will allow it. IMA is very helpful in this regard.

      Yes I believe your experience can be counted, but you can check with the IMA at the same time. Their email is ima@imanet.org.

      Let us know how it goes! Stephanie

  • Gerry Sharma says:

    Dear Stephanie,

    Is CMA widely used in other parts of the world other than the middle east? Are there streams like Canada/US/Middle Eastern to study?

    I have a MA from a recognized university but my bachelors is not from a recognized institution, can I still apply to IMA?

    Gerry Sharma

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Gerry,
      The IMA headquarters is in the US so US is definitely well recognized. China is also big in that regard. Canada has their own version in the form of the Canadian CPA so I can’t say the IMA CMA certification is popular there…

      On your qualification, I think it’s ok, but it is best to check with the IMA directly. Thanks! Stephanie

  • ABDUL BASIM says:

    I would like to do cma after +2 is it possible…
    And i am a average student I has 61% in +2 science…for me it is possible to finish cma is first attempt in exm …please help

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Sure Abdul, it’s definitely possible. These professional exams are different from the university exams. Don’t worry what you’ve got in the past, but you do need to put in the time and effort.

  • ABDUL BASIM says:

    Thanks for your valuable comment….thanks a lot

  • ABDUL BASIM says:

    I am confused because….
    CMA with partime bcom is better or
    Bcom with partime CMA is better….which most useful to us

  • Aparna says:


    First of all, thank you for all your answers. They were extremely helpful.

    I wish to study for the CMA exams by myself. Can you tell me if IMA has some kind of a study material / textbook that I could use as base material?

    Also, will the articleship training that I underwent as a part of my Chartered Accountancy course (India) be counted as experience for CMA certification?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Honest Accountant says:

      Try Wiley’s CMA study guide. They sell Parts 1 & 2 textbooks and online testing bank separately. They also have a great promotion going on until July 10, 2018. You can also try Becker, Gleim, and others.

  • M.Sivaji says:

    Hi Stephanie Ng,
    I am a Retired Employee from BSNL India.I am 63 years old.I am a B.Sc Graduate from Madurai Kamarjar University,Tamil Nadu.
    I am wasting my precious time simply seeing TV and Internet.I want to utilize my time useful.Am I eligible to appear CMA Exams?.If I am eligible how much amount has to be spend.Please reply me.
    Thanking You,
    Yours Sincerely,
    M.Sivaji,Retired Sub Divisional Er,
    BSNL, Veeravanallur.

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