CMA Exam Part 1: Certified Management Accountant Exam Part

cma exam part 1

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam has 2 parts, each focusing on a different set of topics. Together, Part 1 and Part 2 serve as an objective measure of your knowledge and competence in the field of management accounting. You must dedicate your studies to getting very familiar with each part, so let’s start by introducing you to CMA exam Part 1.

CMA Part 1 Syllabus

CMA Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics

Content AreaCoverage PercentageCoverage Level
A. External Financial Reporting and Decisions15%Level C
B. Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting20%Level C
C. Performance Management20%Level C
D. Cost Management15%Level C
E. Internal Controls15%Level C
E. Technology and Analytics15%Level C

As you can see in this table, Part 1 of the CMA exam is called Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control, and it addresses five content areas.

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) creates the CMA exam and shares the body of knowledge each exam part will cover in the content specification outlines (CSOs). The ICMA uses the CSOs to

  • Lay the foundation for the development of each exam part,
  • Ensure each part has consistent coverage,
  • Communicate the details of the exam content to interested parties,
  • Help candidates prepare for the exam, and
  • Equip review providers with information for their courses.

The CSOs put a coverage percentage next to each exam part topic in order to represent its relative weight. Additionally, the CSOs assign a coverage level to each exam topic. The coverage levels range from an introductory knowledge of the subject matter to a thorough understanding. The ICMA defines the three levels of coverage as:

  1. A: Requiring the skill levels of knowledge and comprehension.
  2. B: Requiring the skill levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis.
  3. C: Requiring the skill levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

The coverage levels build on each other, so Level C may contain the requirements of Level A and Level B.

The CSOs don’t tell you the order or the frequency of the topics on the exam.

Topics of CMA Part 1

Part 1 is all about financial reporting, planning, performance, and internal control. If you took the CPA Exam, then Part 1 will feel like an intro to FAR, a bit of AUD in terms of internal control, and a big, more in-depth version of BEC.

In the CMA Handbook, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business that offers the CMA certification, summarizes the topics of each CMA Part 1 content area.

A. External Financial Reporting Decisions

  1. Financial statements
    • a. Balance sheet
    • b. Income statement
    • c. Statement of changes in equity
    • d. Statement of cash flows
    • e. Integrated reporting
  2. Recognition, measurement, valuation, and disclosure
    • a. Asset valuation
    • b. Valuation of liabilities
    • c. Equity transactions
    • d. Revenue recognition
    • e. Income measurement
    • f. Major differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS

In this section, you’ll be required to know the items in these documents and how they relate to each other:

  • A balance sheet
  • An income statement
  • A statement of changes in equity
  • A statement of cash flows

If you have studied any accounting before, this should be a relatively straightforward section, and most of these questions should be computational.

B. Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting

  1. Strategic planning
    • a. Analysis of external and internal factors affecting strategy
    • b. Long-term mission and goals
    • c. Alignment of tactics with long-term strategic goals
    • d. Strategic planning models and analytical techniques
    • e. Characteristics of a successful strategic planning process
  2. Budgeting concepts
    • a. Operations and performance goals
    • b. Characteristics of a successful budget process
    • c. Resource allocation
    • d. Other budgeting concepts
  3. Forecasting techniques
    • a. Regression analysis
    • b. Learning curve analysis
    • c. Expected value
  4. Budgeting methodologies
    • a. Annual business plans (master budgets)
    • b. Project budgeting
    • c. Activity-based budgeting
    • d. Zero-based budgeting
    • e. Continuous (rolling) budgets
    • f. Flexible budgeting
  5. Annual profit plan and supporting schedules
    • a. Operational budgets
    • b. Financial budgets
    • c. Capital budgets
  6. Top-level planning and analysis
    • a. Pro forma income
    • b. Financial statement projections
    • c. Cash flow projections

Budgeting is the biggest section of Part 1. You’ll be expected to calculate various items such as the cost of goods sold, cost of goods manufactured, and other items in the budget. You’ll also see some conceptual questions such as the definition of budgeting. The coverage of section B is more in-depth than that of section A. The concepts are not difficult, but questions can get lengthy and complex in some budgeting scenarios.

C. Performance Management

  1. Cost and variance measures
    • a. Comparison of actual to planned results
    • b. Use of flexible budgets to analyze performance
    • c. Management by exception
    • d. Use of standard cost systems
    • e. Analysis of variation from standard cost expectations
  2. Responsibility centers and reporting segments
    • a. Types of responsibility centers
    • b. Transfer pricing
    • c. Reporting of organizational segments
  3. Performance measures
    • a. Product profitability analysis
    • b. Business unit profitability analysis
    • c. Customer profitability analysis
    • d. Return on investment
    • e. Residual income
    • f. Investment base issues
    • g. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
    • h. Balanced scorecard

In this section, candidates are tested on the ways performance is evaluated in a corporation. Most of the evaluation tools should be familiar to those who work in the accounting department of a corporation. There are certain elements, such as standard costs, that are used mostly in manufacturing companies as opposed to service-oriented companies. If you are working in a financial institution or other service companies, you may want to spend more time understanding the standard cost concept.

D. Cost Management

  1. Measurement concepts
    • a. Cost behavior and cost objects
    • b. Actual and normal costs
    • c. Standard costs
    • d. Absorption (full) costing
    • e. Variable (direct) costing
    • f. Joint and by-product costing
  2. Costing systems
    • a. Job order costing
    • b. Process costing
    • c. Activity-based costing
    • d. Life-cycle costing
  3. Overhead costs
    • a. Fixed and variable overhead expenses
    • b. Plant-wide vs. departmental overhead
    • c. Determination of allocation base
    • d. Allocation of service department costs
  4. Supply chain management
    • a. Lean resource management techniques
    • b. Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
    • c. Theory of Constraints
    • d. Capacity management and analysis
  5. Business process improvement
    • a. Value chain analysis
    • b. Value-added concepts
    • c. Process analysis, redesign, and standardization
    • d. Activity-based management
    • e. Continuous improvement concepts
    • f. Best practice analysis
    • g. Cost of quality analysis
    • h. Efficient accounting processes

The focus of this section includes the various costing methodologies, and you are expected to be able to complete a full set of calculations.

E. Internal Controls

  1. Governance, risk, and compliance
    • a. Internal control structure and management philosophy
    • b. Internal control policies for safeguarding and assurance
    • c. Internal control risk
    • d. Corporate governance
    • e. External audit requirements
  2. System controls and security measures
    • a. General accounting system controls
    • b. Application and transaction controls
    • c. Network controls
    • d. Backup controls
    • e. Business continuity planning

The internal control questions in this section are almost all conceptual. They are not difficult to understand, but they can be ambiguous. Picking the best answer can be pretty hard when a few of the answers seem to be somewhat correct. Don’t’ get frustrated if you breeze through this section but discover that you do poorly on the practice questions. It happened to me back then, but things started to click after I stayed focused and reworked the tough questions that I got wrong.

F. Technology and Analytics

  1. Information systems
    • a. Accounting information systems
    • b. Enterprise resource planning systems
    • c. Enterprise performance management systems
  2. Data governance
    • a. Data policies and procedures
    • b. Life cycle of data
    • c. Controls against security breaches
  3. Technology-enabled finance transformation
    • a. System development life cycle
    • b. Process automation
    • c. Innovative applications
  4. Data analytics
    • a. Business intelligence
    • b. Data mining
    • c. Analytic tools
    • d. Data visualization

This section of Part 1 is new, so we have yet to develop a strategy for it. However, as with the other areas of the CMA exam, you may be able to use life experience as the foundation for your knowledge. Yet, you should still study the concepts in your CMA review course to ensure that your knowledge is deep. You don’t want to underestimate any part of the CMA exam.

CMA Exam Part 1 Format

Each part of the CMA exam features 2 types of questions and a specific number of each:

  • 100 Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)
  • 2 Essay questions

You’ll have 4 hours of total testing time for each exam part, divided like this:

  • 3 hours for the MCQs
  • 1 hour for the essays

You must answer at least 50% of the MCQs correctly to be eligible to move on to the essay section. If you are eligible, the exam will present the essays to you after you’ve answered all of the MCQs or after 3 hours have passed, whichever comes first. Once you leave the MCQ section of the exam, you can’t go back: you must remain in the essay section.

In the essay section, you must complete 8-10 written response or calculation questions based on 2 scenarios describing a typical business situation.

CMA Part 1 Questions

On the CMA exam, the MCQs have 3 parts:

  1. The question stem: includes the question, necessary details for answering the question, and sometimes, irrelevant information as well.
  2. The correct answer choice: responds to the question stem better than any of the other answer options.
  3. The 3 distractors: appear to be correct at first glance but are actually incorrect.

Aside from the typical, straightforward MCQ question, there are a few other types of MCQs that you’ll see on each exam part.

  • Negative question stem: includes words like “except,” “not,” “false,” and “least” to demonstrate that the correct answer choice is an exception.
  • Combination of correct answers: asks which of three to four numbered statements are correct by providing answer choices with different combinations of the statement numbers.
  • Multiple variables: presents multiple columns of variables and asks candidates to select the answer choice comprising all the correct variables.

Essay Questions on CMA Part 1

Part 1 of the CMA exam contains 2 essay scenarios to which you must respond by answering about 3-5 questions. The essays may ask you to write a few paragraphs or perform a calculation.

Subject matter experts grade the essays, and they will award partial credit. So, when answering a conceptual essay question, you should write as much as you can about the topic so you can maximize your points. Do the same for computational questions by showing your work, as you can receive points for using the correct formula even if you made a mathematical error, for example.

If you must make a chart or table, keep the formatting simple and focus on organizing the information clearly.

CMA Part 1 Pass Rate

The historical pass rate of CMA Exam Part 1 is around 35%.

CMA Exam Pass Rates

Part 135%35%36%35%40%

*The ICMA has adjusted when it releases data. These rates span January through October of their respective years.

CMA exam Part 2 tends to have higher pass rates than Part 1, so Part 1 has a reputation for being more difficult. But with neither part putting up pass rates much higher than 50%, it’s clear that basically, the entire CMA exam is quite challenging.

Passing Score and Grading Process of CMA Part 1

A passing score for either exam part is 360. The CMA exam scores are scaled scores that range from 0 to 500. The ICMA transforms your raw score (the number of questions you got right) to a scaled score so that the scores can be reported with uniformity and consistency, no matter which test form you take.

CMA Grading Process

You won’t receive your CMA Part 1 exam results of pass or fail immediately because the ICMA grades the essays questions offline, and this is a long and laborious process. The ICMA grades all of the CMA exams taken within a testing window at the same time so that the grading is consistent, accurate, and fair. Furthermore, the ICMA performs sample grading first to ensure that they account for every solution. Throughout the grading process, reviewers check the grades. And, after the grading is complete, the reviewers conduct an additional review of exams that are on the border of passing.

To calculate your final score, the ICMA adds the score of the MCQ section to the score of the essay section. Your score for the entire part will be a scaled score reflecting the total weighted score of pass/fail. Your total score determines your pass/fail status: you don’t have to pass both sections.

Exam results are released about 6 weeks from the end of the month in which you tested, and your results will be emailed to you and posted to your online profile. If you failed an exam part, you will receive a Performance Report in an email from Prometric about 14 days after your results are posted to your candidate profile. In your Performance report, you’ll see whether your performance was satisfactory, marginal, or unsatisfactory for each of the key topic areas in the MCQ section. You’ll also see your overall performance on the essays.

CMA Part 1 Study Time

Both Part 1 and Part 2 of the CMA exam are offered at Prometric testing centers around the world during these three testing windows:

  1. January/February
  2. May/June
  3. September/October

Different voices in the CMA exam industry have suggested different amounts of study time for Part 1.

CMA Exam Part 1 Study Time in Hours

IMAGleimWileyHockMy Recommendation
Part 1150-1701209015080 minimum / 170 maximum

My minimum CMA exam study recommendation for Part 1 is based on the amount of time you will need to complete the following activities in the Gleim CMA Review System specifically:

  • Complete the diagnostic quizzes
  • Read the textbook
  • Answer the True/False questions
  • Watch the Gleim Instruct videos
  • Take the MCQ practice quizzes
  • Complete one practice exam

My maximum recommendation also includes answering all of the practice quizzes in the test bank and reviewing the answer explanations for your incorrect answers.

The amount of time you need to study for the CMA exam depends on how familiar you are with the material when you start your review. However, no matter how much you know when you start, you must plan to put in the necessary amount of review time to reach the cognitive levels at which the exam tests.

If you already feel comfortable with some of the Part 1 topics, you might be able to base your study schedule off the minimum amount of time I recommend. If most of the CMA exam material seems foreign to you, you may want to assume that you will need the maximum amount of study time I suggest. Here’s how many weeks and hours per week you would need to study to reach these study time marks:

CMA Exam Part 1 Study Schedule

Total HoursNumber of WeeksHours Per WeekHours Per Day
Minimum80810~ 1 ½

Study Plan for CMA Exam Part 1

Take these steps to make your CMA Part 1 study plan:

  • Identify the number of study hours you have available each week by evaluating your current weekly schedule.
    • Create a general timeline of your week that includes all the activities you do and how much time each one takes.
    • Total the number of free hours you have to see if it is enough to accommodate your CMA exam studies.
    • If you need more study time, determine which activities you can remove or reduce for a temporary period until you pass the CMA exam.
  • Plan to study for 1-2 hours a day.
    • Complete a few short study sessions or one longer study session a day.
    • Study at the time that is most convenient for your mind and body (when you feel awake, alert, and comfortable).
    • Use your study planner to stay on track.
  • Schedule your exam date.
    • Once you know how many weeks you will need to be completely prepared, you can check the calendar to see what CMA testing window you plan to test in.
    • Contact Prometric (either via their 800 number or website) as soon as possible to secure your preferred test date.
    • Have 2 or 3 equally ideal test dates in mind in case one of your preferred dates is not available.

CMA Part 1 Practice Questions

You can gain access to free CMA Part 1 practice questions in a number of places.

  • Free CMA Exam Questions from Gleim
  • Free CMA Exam Review Pop Quiz from Wiley

You can also access my FREE CMA mini-course to start your CMA exam preparations.

CMA Part 1 Content Overlap with Other Professional Exams

For those of you who are deciding between different qualifications or want to leverage the knowledge you gained from a professional exam you just took, I have good news.

There is quite a bit of content overlap among the CMA exam and the following accounting and finance exams:


The biggest section in CFA Level 1, the Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA), is essentially the same as Section A of the CMA Part 1 exam. While the knowledge base is the same, the focus is slightly different: the CFA approaches the material from a more analytical perspective, while CMA comes at it from more of a reporting perspective. 


Section A of the CMA Part 1 exam is the lite version of Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) in the CPA Exam. In other words, if you passed FAR, you shouldn’t have any issues with this part of the exam.

A big part of Section E on Internal Control overlaps with the Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the CPA Exam. Section E primarily covers the role of internal control within the company, while AUD concentrates more on the external auditor’s perspective.

The Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) section of the CPA Exam also covers some elements of Section B, C, and D in the CMA exam. In this case, the CMA exam is more in-depth, but you will encounter similar questions on strategic planning and cost accounting in BEC.


The Internal Control section shares the same fundamental concepts of the internal audit exam. The CIA exam goes a lot deeper in its own niche, but these 2 exams share a lot of content and even have a similar style of questions (more conceptual and not very clear cut).

How to Pass CMA Exam Part 1

There aren’t many things to memorize for CMA Exam Part 1, but you do need to have a clear grasp of the concepts and be able to distinguish the subtle differences between them.

As you answer CMA practice questions, you’ll see that some of them are very lengthy, but don’t get frustrated. Just take the time to complete the calculations. If you are running out of time, mark the long questions and work on the short ones first.

I suggest you read the questions slowly and get familiar with how the questions are presented. Once you’re used to the format and the type of calculations you must perform, your rate of accuracy with the questions will go up dramatically.

If you work on the practice questions, understand the underlying concepts, and rework the questions you got wrong, your chance of success will be very high. Best of luck on your exam!

More Help for the CMA Exam

When you learn and apply all this information about CMA exam Part 1, you’re well on your way to passing. However, to give yourself the best chance at CMA exam success, you should also invest in the best CMA review course for you. My comparison of the most popular CMA review courses will help you make your decision. Then, you can use my CMA review discounts to save big on your preferred CMA exam prep.

You can also learn all about the CMA process and how to pass each part on your first attempt in my free CMA e-course. Learn more or sign up below!

Next Step: Check out CMA Exam Part 2

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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  • Jay says:


    My name is Jay and would like your advice. I joined the CMA in Jan 2014 but till now I have not given the exam. I joined at the some time of promotional offer so my validity is till Dec 2015. I would like to give the exam in 2015. Can you please let me know which part I will give first. Also I have the Gelim Material (it is as per the old syllbus) and also the IMA book. Can you please let me know which one I should refer. Also how any hours I need to consume for the exam. I realy want to give and pass the exam because I am in the Management accounting field. Please provide your valuable suggesstion so that I can plan for this exam.


  • Cheenu says:

    Hi Stephanie

    Can you please recommend me some books / online study material as I wanted to get myself registered for the CMA part 1.


  • shahid says:


    • Hi Shahid,
      Please prepare using the new syllabus. Stephanie

      • Golam kibriya says:

        I am student of Chartered Accountancy(Final) can you guide me regarding the study time devoted for each part.
        And Im planning to give my exam on May/June so giving both parts at once is advisable ?
        what should be the time gap between part 1 and 2 exam

        • Hi Golam, I didn’t take the CA myself, but from what I learn from my readers, most of the topics are covered. But the difficult part for Indian candidates is to get used to the exam format and question style — some candidate tend to think that they know all the materials but fail because they don’t have enough practice in the specific format. So I encourage that you work on that.

          You may want to check out this page on how to start the process:

  • yasin says:

    I started my part 1 yesterday using wileys cma book. I joined some private coaching centre in my location. .they are completed section A-financial statements. But seriously unable to understand and am feeling very difficult. .Please kindly give me suggestions to understand the concepts pls

    • Hi Yasin,
      Understand the quality of instructor varies… but if you pay for the private coaching, they really should do a better job in teaching you the concepts. If they prove to be totally no use, then come back to us and we’ll see how we can help you. Regards, Stephanie

  • Aleksandar says:


    I took Part I exam yesterday. I expected to do a bit better, but… I guess there will be a second chance if this one fails. I feel that I might be close to the passing thrashold.

    My question is, how long it takes to receive the results (pass/fail), and in what format do they inform us of the result – i.e. do we receive an email, or do I have periodically to log on to see if result has been posted?

    Many thanks upfront! BTW – great web-site.


  • Shubham Jordan says:

    Ma’am how hard can part 1 exam get? I m just a school leaver

  • Afif shehab says:

    Hello all,
    I am planing to set for the CMA exam, I will start preparing for the exam next month. Anyone can suggested what is the minimal/ average time required to prepare for the exam.. Thanks

  • Vijay aron says:

    Dear madam,

    Do you know anyone attend CMA part 1 exam on May/June 2015 ?

    Then Which Section is asked More questions in May 2015 Exam?

    Please Inform me As soon as Possible …… its Urgent ……

    When ever Got answer inform me as quickly…………

  • arun says:

    Sir my self arun sharma and i passed in 2003 with 55% passing marks. Can i do cma and what is the process of registration and how many exam in it. Pls guide me .

  • Mohammad Ali says:

    Hi there Stephanie,

    You gotta wonderful thing going on here. Keep up the good work and kudos to you for providing us with so much information to work with.

    My current private instructor is ACCA qualified and has a very impressive track record in terms of the amount of people he has helped pass for the CMA exam. And begs to differ with what you’ve outlined in one of your articles. i.e a pre-requisite to getting CMA is to have a Bacelors degree in any area of study along with 2 years of work experience.

    I’m actually a US citizen with almost 60 credits towards a Bachelors degree in accounting (from the US) and have absolutely no work experience whatsoever in this field. (60 credits does not mean I have an Associates because my college offered 180 credit degree)

    Would it possible for me to sit at the exam without all these requirements? Or will IMA accept me if I fail to comply with there requirements?

    • Hi Mohammad,
      Thanks for your kind words! On your question, it’s fine for you to take the exam now as someone who is pursuing a bachelor degree. I assume that with 60 credit hours now, you will be continuing the studies and get a bachelor degree. In fact, the degree can be 3 or 4 years, doesn’t matter in the eyes of IMA.

      It’s also fine for now not to have any experience. But once you pass the exam and are ready to get the certification, you must have the 2 years of experience. So what student candidates do is to take the exam while they are in college, pass the exam (during or right after college), then start accumulate the experience after they graduate. So typically they won’t become a CMA at least 2 years after graduation. Hope it is clearer? Regards, Stephanie

  • mustafa says:

    Heloo . first of all I would like to leave my question of CMA exam and i need your help and support regarding this issues ,i start reading and collect the information about CMA EXAM since three years, but i could not , am confuesd to select , , the method of CMA , some times ifound HOOK , AND CLIEM , IMA , please advice me to select Which is better and easy , also there are some changes , in this year 2015 , for all Verion ,
    is there any link to download the new verion . . your support for this would be highly apprecaited .

    many thanks

  • Shahan says:

    I am planning to take part 1 exam in january 2016. Can you suggest me the weightage pattern of the part 1 exam topics. I am planning to do selfstudies,which material will be suitable for me. I have moderate knowledge of accounting

    • Hi Shahan,
      I would first cover all exam content. While there are different weighting, candidates can’t afford to miss a section. Once you cover all, then focus on the weaker areas to make sure they don’t drag you down. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Mohammad Ali says:

    Okay. I understand, it’s been a while since the last time I asked you the question (before) but I just bought more material (just books and practice questions of Gleim, Hock and Wiley) and now I can’t decide which one to use completely. To help you answer this question, lets just assume, I have absolutely no accounting knowledge or experience whatsoever. I don’t have the slightest of ideas. I hope that paints a clear picture, Steph. I’m good at theory cause I like to read. Gotta knack for turning tedious stuff into interesting stories but can’t stand the calculations sometimes. I hope that helps too.

    I was just curious (for mailing purposes) to know where all these CMA exams get checked? Is it in the US or at random? I live in Saudi Arabia and we don’t have any mailing system for our apartment addresses. We especially purchase PO boxes to receive mail. I’ll just have to inform the person in charge (at the PO box office) to keep an eye out for the location the results will come from. I know they come in after 6 weeks of attempting the test. But actually knowing the location will certainly be a sigh of relief. Thanks so much once again, Stephanie.

    PS: I replied through my email to you but was n’t sure if you got it or not.

    • Hi Mohammad, I suggest that you pick one primary study material. If you’ve got all of them (really? That’s a big investment) then flip through them as see which fit your learning style. Study from that book only. But when it’s time to work on practice questions, you can use all that is available. Again, start with the test prep that match with your reading material first. The others can be used as a supplement.

      It’s great that you are good in theory but the CMA tests how people put theory into practice. So you might need to work on more questions to get used to it. I am afraid some of the computations could be quite complex (e.g. the cost accounting section). But it’s not supposed to be hard. Once you figure it out, you should be able to get them right every time. Hope it helps! Stephanie

      I did get your email and replied — short answer is, I have no idea, but you’ll likely get your results via email/online I believe? Stephanie

  • Shruti says:

    hi,I m pursuing cma(institute of cost accountants of india)final,but it’s very difficult to clr it off so I planned to quit n join cma USA,but I really dnt know how difficult it is,so can u plz tell me the difficulty level compared to indian cma?

    • Hi Shruti, I heard there are similarities in terms of content, but with 35% pass rate for Part 1 and 49% for Part 2, I can’t say the US version expected to be an easier exam. Typically those who got the Indian CMA can apply for the US CMA under the reciprocal agreement, so I don’t think anyone would take both exams, and therefore, no one really can answer your question.

    • mohammed says:

      hi shruti,

      CMA us is very easy to clear. already i cleared my part 1 successfully.

    • karthick says:

      hi shruti.

      buzz me i will help me regarding ur queries.. becoz am successfully completed my icwa & cma (usa)

  • Ruchka says:

    Hiiii mam,

    I’m finding very difficult to study Cma part 1 section a external financial reporting. Kindly help me with some ppt or some notes on external financial reporting. I will be highly obliged. Kindly help

    • Hi Ruchka, section A covers introductory financial accounting. You can get any text book on introduction to financial accounting, study some examples, and see if it helps. Regards, Stephanie

  • karthicj says:

    Hi Shashank..

    Me too from India..yes..u can apply also doing my CMA and my sister me..karthicknatarajan54[@]

  • hemachand says:

    hello Stephanie Ng
    thank you a lot from your website,i have gained a lot of info about CMA,i have few questions about CMA certification exams
    1.Is the essay part will be theory or can it be problems too? i allowed to to bring a calculator and a piece of paper to do a rough work into exam hall.
    3. i am a bit slow in typing can i be able to complete essay part in 1 hour.
    4.if i paid for both parts exams and am i opt to write one part in this window and want to postpone other part to next window,is it possible to do ?
    5.if i choose to write both part in one window is there a minimum time gap between two exams(as window is about 2 months).

    Thank you for your time and guiding a whole community through this platform much appreciated

    • Hi Hemachand, you are most welcome and these are good questions.
      1. They can be both.
      2. You can (and should) bring a calculator, but IMA has rules on which calculators are accepted. Please read this post:
      As for scratch paper, they will be provided at the prometric center.
      3. Typically not a problem, at least I haven’t heard of such from my readers. But it depends how slow you are, you know… you can try it yourself and see. This is an easy problem to solve though as there are typing games online that can improve your speed within a few days.
      4. No, can’t postpone it to the next window. You can only reschedule within the same window. If not sure, it is better to take one exam per window.
      5. No, you can even take them on the same day — one morning and one in the afternoon — if you can handle it 😉

      Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Mehtab says:

    thank you a lot from your website,i have gained a lot of info about CMA,.i used to read your articles some time.your tips were very helpful for me because i had attend CMA exam part 1 on Jan-31-2016 now i am waiting for results so what should i do now wait for result or study for other part

  • Alvira says:

    Can u please help me with cma USA part 1 2016 syllabus?
    Is it the same as for 2015??

  • nsrinu cma usa says:

    Hi sir my name is srinu cma usa student.
    Following month start my self study cma usa my attemt may june which meterials I can choose best meterials already I have a cma usa part1 gleim 2015 edition any changes part1 cma 2016. I am willing to purchage 2016 meterial for part1? Any updates are you send me my mail.

  • lekshmi says:

    I am MBA Finance but I have n’t worked in Finance field and hence I have lost touch with some of the concepts. It is almost five years since I passed out college. I am eager to do cma and make a career in finance. My friends who works in finance say that knowledge of financial modeling helps in understanding Financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting. And from IMA website I got to know that they have increased the weightage of the aforementioned topic to 30% and there also I saw a mention of the advantage of knowing financial modeling. So could you please tell me know if I should do an online financial modeling course before I start my CMA prep. Will it help in refreshing the concepts in corporate finance and accounting topics?

    Also please suggest if I should take the online course review or classroom training with any IMA approved course provider considering that I have been out of touch with finance for the last 5 years. Please help

    • Hi Lekshmi, in my opinion you don’t need to take anything other than the review course designed for the CMA exam. This exam covers a lot of topics but in my opinion they don’t go that deep.

      If you are planning to increase your chance of getting into finance, the CMA program may not be the best way to go though. For investment banking, for example, certifications are not going to help in landing a job. For asset management, hedge fund etc, CFA is a lot more relevant. You can check out my (work-in-progress) site on CFA here:


  • Houssam says:

    My name is Houssam and I am studying international business management I want to do the CMA but I don’t like the accounting part too much but I am well with it my question is the CMA suitable to me

  • Rakesh Goud says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    I wanted to Join US CMA, and I’m a semi qualified ICMAI (India).
    Can you please help me to know
    ->The registration date and examination dates?
    ->how many study hours required to complete the syllabus?
    ->Complete Course Cost excluding private coaching ?
    -> how much Can Mater Attitude charging for coaching?

    It will be great help if I get answers for above my questions.

    Thank you,
    Rakesh Goud,
    Hyderabad, TG, India.

  • SAI NARAYAN says:

    Hi Stephenie,

    I want to join CMA. I want to know which is he best one (Ex: Wiley, Hogg, or any other authors. I have gone and compared the details given in your website. But I am really confused. Can you please guide me which one I should go for . I have a bachelors degree in Accountancy. So I have knowledge in Accounts and commerce.

    • Hi Sai, it depends on which learning style you prefer, as well as your background and budget. It is hard for me to just give you a suggestion without knowing that. Both are pretty good, no worries.

      My general recommendation is Gleim (I specified my reasons on that comparison page) if you absolutely cannot make a choice 🙂 Stephanie

  • Vidya says:

    Hello i just went through the article and i need some help .

    My current qualification is CA intermediate passed also known as Intermediate professional competence course of Institute of chartered accountants of India and passed my Bachelor of Commerce distance program from Bharathiyar university . As i have completed my CA intermediate prior to Bachelor of Commerce i was exempted from the regular Bachelor of commerce course which is a 3 year course and had to write only 3 papers as per the tie up program provided by the institute of chartered accountants of india and bharathiyar university which is also known as BU ICAI joint education program . And i got the bachelor of commerce certificate . Also currently im doing mba distance education not yet finished .

    So my question is am I eligible for the CMA exam ? Please help me as i dont know what to do

    Also how to become member of IMI ? Im already a registered student of Institute of chartered accountants of India . Kindly guide me

    How to pay the entrance fees ?

    And is it compulsory that we need to pass either part 1 or part 2 whichever we are writing first inorder to write the next part ?



  • F says:

    Hello All,

    I want to appear for CMA part one.I need to know which material is best to give detail explanation.
    How much effective time is required to study for Part one ?

  • abhinav gokllani says:

    hi Steph,
    I would live to know what are the changes for 2017, I have the hock 2016 material but I plan to sit in 2017.

  • Ameer hamza says:

    hi…! i have done bsc(hons) in financial management. if i do CMA can i get some examptions..?? reply me

  • Muzaffar says:

    Hi dear Stephine,

    please let me know, about cma fee structure, whats a difference in student and young professional, there is a big difference in fee. please let me know i just finish my and i have One year experience

    • Hi Muzaffar,
      The discount to student is a lot bigger than young professional, and you can check out the fees breakdown here:

      Assuming you do not live in the US, please note that the young professional discount only applies to those from US, Canada and Mexico. Also, if you have graduated, you are not entitled to the student discount. This means that you’ll be considered a regular member.

  • Sohini Roy says:

    Hi am Sohini Roy. I am doing CMA from miles.. I hv a planing to give exam on coming section January and February. Can I do registration online ya I hv to miles office??

    • Hi Sohini, you might want to talk to Miles on this, but I personally wouldn’t apply via any third party — I want complete control on important things like this. The registration can be easily done online.

  • ishwarya says:

    is there any extrance to join cma course to join in cma..plz help me..i am very much interest to do cma

  • Mel says:

    Hi,t yea

    I am Mel, planning to sit CMA Exam part 1 next year, I have 2013 wiley materials, is this credible, If you have latest materials, can you share with me please to my email. Thank you in advance

    • Hi Mel, 2013 is likely too outdated given the new format in 2015. I am afraid it could be a breach of ethics to share review materials without the approval from the providers. Regards, Stephanie

  • bushra says:

    I have done masters in economics I want to do cma what do you say

  • rohit says:

    Is there any changes in CMA part 1 topics or section for 2017.
    Currently I have 2015 study material

    • Hi Rohit, no major changes in terms of the topics. But course providers were new to the 2015 new syllabus when they prepared the materials back then, so they have been changes and improvements based on customer feedback since then.

  • parvathy mohan says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I had registered for my part 1 exam for this May-June 2017 testing window. But I now, believe I will need more time to study and would like to slow down the process and take the exam in September. Do you know whether I can transfer my exam fees to September?

    Is there a deadline?

    • Hi Parvathy, I don’t think you can postpone the exam to the next window (you can double check with IMA by emailing them). In your case, maybe you can try taking the exam anyway? Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Regards, Stephanie

  • samer shams says:

    is there any changes in CMA part 1-2 topics or section for 2017.
    Currently I have 2015 study material

    what your suggestion

  • Mansoor Akhtar says:

    My name is mansoor, from Saudi Arabia.

    I have plan to appear for Part 1 in sep-oct 2017 exam window.

    is their any fix time for CMA syllabus change ? like they make new edition in 2015. after how many years, CMA changed syllabus / question bank ?

    i have one confusion, if i got register in sep-2017, but i didn’t get pass (unfortunately) untill sep-2019, and in 2019 CMA changed their syllabus of Part 1 and Part 2.

    in this situation, if i appear in exam in 2019, i need to follow 2017 syllabus or 2019 syllabus .

    • Hi Mansoor,
      1. Typically, the IMA announces major changes well in advance (>1 year). Since we haven’t heard anything, it’s safe.
      2. Let’s say if you pass Part 1 and fail Part 2 and then the syllabus changes. Then all you need is to take Part 2 in the new syllabus. Is that clearer? Thanks, Stephanie

  • Bao says:

    Hi Stephan,

    I read through the CMA Learning Outcome Statement of Part 1 Section A External Financial Reporting Decisions. I don’t see the topic bonds or pension plan. But in Wiley and Gleim Materials, they include them in Section A.

    I don’t know should I learn these topics or not and whether I miss something from the LOS.



    • Hi Bao, hmm I don’t remember the topic details… maybe you can ask Wiley / Gleim customer service? Typically if the topic is covered in the core review materials (not appendix), I wouldn’t skip it. Stephanie

  • Sohini Roy says:

    I appeared part 2 on June. But I didn’t complete essay questions.. I will appear part1 on June can I give part 2 on this time?

    • Hi Sohini, I don’t quite understand… basically one cannot take the same part twice in the same testing window. If you have taken Part 2 in June, you can’t take Part 2 again in June. Regards, Stephanie

      • Sohini Roy says:

        Mam I have registered part2 on June and part 1on October. I have already given part 2 on June. Bt in the exam I couldn’t complete the one case study. My question is that if I fail on part 2 exam can I give part 2 exam on October with my part 1 exam?

  • Deepak pandey says:

    I am confused between CA and CMA Courses, i know about CA and scope in CA, bt i dont know about CMA, please tell me scope in CMA

  • Thoufic says:

    Hello Mr. Stephanie Ng,

    I’m a MBA(Finance) graduate with 4+ Years of experience, now i’m planning to do any Certification in Accounting, can you please suggest me which one is good scope in future,
    and also tel me which course are available with exception?

    Kindly do the needful!


  • Vladimir says:

    Hi Stephine,

    I am planing to take CMA test, and I would like to go into more detail for studying.
    If you could recommend books for each section in part 1 and part 2, It would be great.

    There are five sections in part 1:

    External financial reporting decisions – What books/ authors would you recommend.
    Planning, budgeting and forecasting
    Performance management
    Cost management
    Internal control

  • Lavanya says:

    I am a graduate planning to do CMA(us) I am confused is that have value in this corporate world…? Please suggest me good institution to join in Bangalore

  • Revanth Kumar says:

    Hello Ma’am,

    I am very thankful to you for your valuable suggestions previously.

    Basically I am a Qualified Chartered Accountant from ICAI, India. I want to pursue CMA USA and can u please guide me whether CMA USA will add value to my profile and if so what are the likely oppurtunities that i can get with both these qualifications put together.

    And one more query is that as per MoU between IMA and ICWAI,India in 2009, there is a point which clearly states by pursuing CMA USA, u can get the certification from ICWAI India as well provided you should get the certification from outside India. If it is so, whether by appearing for CMA exams in India whether am I eligible to get certificate from ICWAI India? If not what needs to be done to get the certificate from both the institutes.

    Thanks and Regards

    Revanth Kumar.

    • Hello, thanks for your note!
      To see whether the CMA certification is useful for you, please check out this page:

      On the MoU, yes there is a clause saying one should get the certification outside of India, but they don’t really define it. Many of my readers believe that it simply means physically taking the exam outside of India, but I am not too sure. If one studies in India, does it count? I would check with the IMA directly on this before proceeding.

  • xyz says:

    i am a student of ba(economics)1st year…can i appear for us cma in december 2019…and can i work as cma after clearing both the parts within a year?

  • Wali Muhammad Chandio says:

    Nicely and concisely structured information. Left no stone unturned. I must praise the author for the wonderful work.

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