• You are here:
  • Home »

CMA Exam Registration: A Walkthrough

In order to take the CMA exam, you first have to register with the Institute of Management Accountants as well as the testing company, Prometric. Luckily, CMA registration is simple and takes just five easy steps, although you do need to pay some fees along the way. We’ll break the steps down here, as well as answer some of your questions about the registration process.

CMA Test Registration

Here are the five steps to follow for CMA online registration.

1. Join the IMA

IMA stands for the Institute of Management Accountants, which is the organizing body that certifies CMAs. You must join the organization and pay the membership fee in order to sit for the exam. First, visit the membership registration page and click “join.” You’ll have several options for registration depending on whether you’re a professional, an academic member, or a student.

A screenshot of IMA registration page

The first page you’ll see when signing up for IMA membership

For the purposes of this walkthrough, we’ll select a professional membership. At this step, you’ll provide your email address. If you’ve been to the website before, you may not have to fill in all your contact information again.

A screenshot of the "Tell Us About Yourself" page with a blank for an email address

Type your email address into the blank

Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your contact information. Be sure to fill in all the blanks next to a red asterisk, as that is required information.

Screenshot of IMA registration page with blanks for name and address

Everything with a red asterisk next to it is required information

Scroll down and finish filling in the form, ensuring you tick all necessary boxes.

Screenshot of the end of the contact information form, with blanks for phone number, date of birth, and password

Choose a strong password for your IMA account

You’ll confirm your contact information and then click “Next.” After doing so, you’ll receive a list of IMA chapters and select the one you wish to join. Note that you will receive a free subscription to Strategic Finance magazine unless you specifically opt-out. You can choose whether you’d like your membership to auto-renew, and then you can click “Pay Now.”

Screenshot of IMA page for selecting local IMA chapter and proceeding to payment

The options for chapters will be different for every state. However, when you complete your CMA program exam part 1 registration for the first time, keep in mind that there will be an additional one-time fee of $15. But don’t pay full price for your membership! Instead, use our IMA CMA exam registration promo code to get 15% off. Enter your credit card information to complete your transaction.

Screenshot of "Pay Now" page for IMA registration

Make sure your billing information is correct before proceeding.

That’s it – you’ve now registered with IMA.

2. Pay the CMA Entrance Fee

Once you’ve registered with IMA, you’ll need to pay the CMA Entrance Fee of $280. Note that only registered IMA members can do this. Click “Add to Cart.”

Screenshot of page for CMA Entrance Fee Products

This one-time fee enrolls you in the CMA program.

You’ll be taken to your shopping cart. Click “Checkout.”

Screenshot of shopping cart page for CMA exam entrance fee

Enter your discount code on the next page

From there, you’ll enter your address information, confirm once more than you want to pay the entrance fee, and enter your payment information. Again, check our discounts page for 15% off your exam fee.

3. Register for the Exam

Next, you’ll register for the CMA exam itself. You’ll need to choose your testing window. The windows are January/February, April/May/June, and September/October. Note that you make take the exam in English or Chinese, so make sure you select a window that corresponds to your desired language! Also, double-check your CMA registration to ensure you’ve signed up for the right part.

Screenshot of CMA Exam Registration page showing options for an English testing window and a Chinese testing window

Sign up for the appropriate exam part and language

Click “Add to Cart” and you will once again be taken to your shopping cart page to check out.

Screenshot of shopping cart page containing a Part 1 testing window

This shows the fee for a professional member.

4. Receive Your Confirmation

Now you must wait to receive confirmation of your registration. This should come in the form of an email that contains your authorization window, testing window, and instructions.

5. Schedule Your Exam

Finally, you’ll visit Prometric’s website to schedule the actual exam within your testing window. Click on “Schedule.”

Screenshot of the ICMA page at Prometric's website

This page will also keep you updated about scheduling changes due to the pandemic.

On the next page, select your state from the drop-down menu and click “Next.”

Screenshot of page asking for the candidate's country and state

Clicking on the down arrow will bring up the menu of states.

Read the information review and click “Next.”

Screenshot of information review page

Scroll down to read all the information.

Read the privacy policy review, and check the box to confirm that you’re at least 18 and that you consent to Prometric’s data gathering. To sit for the exam, you must consent.

Screenshot of Prometric's privacy policy

You’ll need to check “I Consent” in order to proceed.

Next, enter your eligibility information. This is the authorization number you received by email and the first 4 letters of your last name.

Screenshot of eligibility page with blanks for candidate's authorization number and first four letters of last name

The IMA will send you your authorization code by email.

Click “Next” and continue to follow the prompts to select your appointment, your test center, and the date and time you will take the exam.

CMA Registration Fees

Your exact Prometric CMA exam registration cost will depend on the membership status you select from the IMA. Actively enrolled college students and those working in academia will pay slightly less than professionals. However, professionals also generally make more money to offset these CMA exam fees.

IMA Membership Fee CMA Entrance Fee Exam Registration Part 1 Exam Registration Part 2 Total
Professional $275 $280 $460 $460 $1,475
Academic $150 $210 $345 $345 $1,050
Student (one/two years) $45/$90 $210 $345 $345 $945/$990

You must pay the IMA membership fee annually, but the CMA entrance fee is a one-time cost. You’ll pay the CMA registration fee each time you take a part of the exam. Thus, you will pay it at least twice, and possibly more if you fail a part of the exam. While these costs may seem steep, they are reasonable compared to other professional certifications. Also, don’t forget that you can take 15% off the membership and entrance fees with promo codes.

Additionally, don’t forget to budget for a CMA review course. I’ve profiled the best CMA exam prep courses for 2021, and this site offers discounts on those, as well.

Deadline for CMA Exam Registration

For the January/February window, you must schedule your exam by February 15. The deadline for the April/May/June window is June 15. Likewise, the last day to register for the September/October window is September 15. However, you’re strongly encouraged to register at least 6 weeks ahead of time so that the paperwork will be processed in time. Also, your preferred testing date may fill up, as seats are limited.

You can reschedule your exam date within the same CMA registration window. For example, if you sign up for the exam on May 5 and later find out you need to reschedule, you can do so for any available date within the April/May/June window. The rescheduling will be free if the date is still at least 30 days away. If it’s less than 30 days away, you’ll have to pay a $50 fee. However, you can’t reschedule for the September/October window without having to pay the full exam fee again.

Therefore, it often makes sense to register for an exam date toward the beginning of the testing window for more rescheduling options. If you’re worried about last-minute jitters, keep in mind that you must reschedule at least 72 hours in advance of your testing time.

CMA Registration for Retaking the Exam

Although you can reschedule an exam within the same testing window, you cannot re-sit the exam within that same window if you fail. You must choose a new testing window and pay the exam fees again. However, your IMA membership will still be good for the rest of the year, and you will not have to pay the CMA entrance fee again.

If you must retake the exam, don’t get discouraged! The current CMA exam pass rate is around 45%, showing that it is a reasonably difficult test. Make sure you use the best exam prep materials for your learning style.