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Best CMA Exam Review Courses & CMA Exam Prep 2021

Discover the best CMA review course & CMA study materials so you can pass the CMA exam in 2021. Your learning style and budget are the two main factors that may influence your review course decision. Therefore, using these criteria to navigate the prep companies will allow you to choose the very best CMA review course.

There are many different options for CMA exam prep courses. Some courses are feature-packed (and the prices reflect that), while others are pared down, but still comprehensive.

I'll walk you through choosing the best CMA study materials for 2021. First, let's take a quick look at the most popular options and drill-down from there.

Popular CMA Study Guides, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday Discounts

gleim cma course

A robust CMA review course that adapts to you and tells you when you're ready to pass. Gleim is a very popular option among CMA candidates.

Featured Gleim CMA Discount: Save 20% on Gleim CMA Now 

becker cma

Comprehensive CMA review course that's especially a favorite choice of Becker CPA alums.

Featured Becker CMA Discount: Save $700 on Becker CMA Now

surgent cma review discount

A relative newcomer, this course includes the best adaptive technology available. Plus, it can predict your actual CMA exam score.

Featured Surgent CMA Discount: Save 25% on Surgent CMA Now

Let Me Find the Best CMA Review Course 2021 for You!

Now, you've seen the big three CMA review courses above. However, you'll want to review the details provided below to find a course that truly fits your learning style.

I don’t believe people who say their study materials are the best for everyone because different CMA review courses suit candidates with unique backgrounds and learning styles. However, I am confident that you will find a course that meets your needs here. Use this information to find the certified management accounting course that works best for you. 

CMA Exam Prep
Learning Style

Best for visual, auditory, and tactile learners (those who learn by practicing questions)

Best for those who require a trusted brand

Best for those who have failed the exam at least once already

Best videos for visual learners 

Best for visual and tactile learners (those who learn by practicing questions)

CMA Discount 
Video Lectures
# of Practice Questions

4,500+

3,000+

3,945+

3,650

5,500+

Financing
Customer Service

Email, phone, and one-on-one coaching

Virtual tutoring

One-on-one coaching

Teacher support

One-on-one coaching

Access Time Limit

Until You Pass

Unlimited

Until You Pass

Unlimited

Until You Pass

Mobile App
Money-Back Guarantee*

You Pass or We Pay

Detailed CMA Exam Prep Comparison

gleim cma course

Gleim CMA Review

Gleim is one of the most popular CMA review courses available and is especially preferred by those who study on their own. What's more, their adaptive course will tell you what to study and when so you know when you are exam day ready.

Industry longevity 

Gleim is very well-established, as it was the first provider of a certified management accounting course (Gleim has also created courses for CPA, CIA, and EA).

All-inclusive review system

The Gleim CMA Review System offers an integrated learning approach with video lectures, a test bank with the most detailed answer explanations, audio reviews, textbooks, an essay test bank, and an adaptive platform. Consequently, the platform identifies what you need to study and tells you when you're ready to pass the exam with confidence. The course also contains a study planner that tracks your progress, assistance from accounting experts, and a Personal Counselor to help you reach your exam goals.

High-quality test bank

This course includes 4,500+ of the most comprehensive practice questions on the market with an exam mode that closely simulates the actual testing environment you will encounter at the Prometric center. 

Additionally, the test bank includes exam-quality and realistic multiple-choice and essay questions with detailed answer explanations for the correct and incorrect answer choices.

Convenient policies

The access until you pass policy and the money-back guarantee (Premium Guarantee) are very attractive.

Weaknesses

Not the best for beginners

If you have no accounting background, this course may be tough to follow. However, if you have a basic knowledge of accounting (e.g., from one or two introductory classes), you should be fine getting through the material.

Course limitations

The traditional version of this course doesn't have video lectures, access until you pass, or the money-back guarantee.

Recommendations

If you have some accounting background and are the type of candidate who learns from answering lots of practice questions, I have no doubt that Gleim CMA Review is the best for you.

What's more, Gleim CMA is a comprehensive integrated adaptive course with a large test bank and is ideal for nearly all CMA candidates.

Read my Gleim CMA review to learn more.

becker cma

Becker CMA Review

Becker is most highly regarded for its CPA prep material. Although the company used to sell third-party CMA materials, it has recently produced its own comprehensive CMA review courses. These were first released in January of 2021, making them brand new.

Name recognition

We rate Becker’s CPA review material as the #1 prep course for that exam. Thus, it is that good name Becker is using to promote its CMA materials.

Live instruction

Becker’s more expensive Pro Package comes with both live instruction in the form of webinars and a virtual classroom as well as one-on-one tutoring. Candidates who have difficulty teaching themselves from books will benefit from the ability to speak to experts who can answer their questions about difficult material.

Weaknesses

Untested materials

Since Becker’s CMA review courses were released only a few months ago, candidates who are using them to study may not have even taken the exam yet. Thus, it is impossible to say how well candidates who study with Becker do on the actual CMA exam. Additionally, certain materials – like videos for the second part of the exam and the virtual classroom sessions – will be released later in 2021.

Weak guarantee

The Becker Promise Policy is worded unclearly and only useful under a narrow set of circumstances.

Expensive

Remember that name recognition? That’s what you’re paying for. Becker charges far more than any of the other companies on this list. Although they do offer a 14-day free trial, everything else will cost you.

Recommendations

We’re taking a wait-and-see approach here until all of Becker’s materials are released and actual, real-life candidates have had a chance to take the exam after preparing with Becker. Only then will we be able to offer our recommendation on this material. However, if it sounds intriguing, you can always give the free trial a shot.

You can read more about Becker CMA Review.

Surgent CMA Study Material

Surgent CMA, formerly ExamMatrix CMA Test Prep, is an accounting test prep developer that prides itself on being the first to offer adaptive technology in CMA prep. While Becker has since followed suit, Surgent has continued to improve its technology to make studying even more efficient.

Adaptive technology

The A.S.A.P. (adaptive learning) technology analyzes your weakest areas based on your performance in each study session.

Good guarantee

Surgent offers a money-back guarantee  or extended course access as long as you achieve a certain score on all sections of the material as well as the practice exam.

Weaknesses

Sparse books

Most readers comment that the book is not as comprehensive as those of other review courses.

Higher cost for more features

You have to pay for the most expensive course, which is a bit pricy, in order to get the printed books and flashcards, and one-on-one coaching. 

Recommendations

Surgent CMA is a good choice for those who know the exam content but need test prep software for exam preparation. This course is also a great choice of supplement if you're looking for an additional set of practice questions.

You can read more about Surgent CMA Review.

hock international cma discount

Hock CMA Study Material

People in the U.S. may not have heard about Hock's CMA study materials, but they are quite popular among international candidates. And with such a high quality course, we recommend it for all candidates, regardless of location.

Clear presentation

The notes are great and explain the concepts well with classroom-style video recordings.

Unlimited access

With purchase, your access to all Hock certified management accounting courses lasts until you pass the exam.

Best guarantee

Hock CMA is the only review course to offer a You Pass or We Pay Guarantee. If you don’t pass, they’ll pay for your next exam attempt: a $415 value.

Weaknesses

Test bank may not be difficult enough

Some users complain that Hock CMA features fewer complex, difficult MCQs in its test bank. Additionally, it offers fewer essay scenarios than other review courses.

Recommendations

If you need more explanations of the concepts covered in the CMA exam but find Wiley too expensive, Hock could be a good alternative. What's more, despite it being less expensive than Wiley, you won't sacrifice any quality.

Discover Hock CMA Review details.

Wiley CMA Review (Wiley CMAexcel)

Wiley offers highly comprehensive CMA exam review materials. The Wiley CMAexcel Platinum Review Course features 65+ hours of video instruction, an interactive online study planner, performance tracking, a final review, textbooks, and the largest test bank on the market.

Good lecturers

I really like Professor Douglas Clinton, the lecturer in the video. He is both a knowledgeable and lively teacher. You can tell that he is an experienced and well-liked professor.

Interactive study planner

The interactive online planner is very useful for planning your studies and keeping you on track.

Weaknesses

Easy questions

The practice MCQs in the Wiley CMA test bank are not as complex and comprehensive as I had hoped. I personally prefer tougher practice questions to fully prepare me for the exam.

Few essays

Even the most expensive Wiley course comes with only 29 practice essay scenarios. Considering the high price point, this will be insufficient for most candidates.

Recommendations

If you are a fan of Wiley CPAexcel or if you learn best by watching videos, Wiley CMA Review is definitely your best pick.

My CMA Review Course Recommendations

In the end, my decision for the best CMA review comes down to the course that offers the highest quality product. And that course would be Gleim CMA Review.

gleim cma 2020

Gleim's course is excellent for CMA candidates that prefer a tried-and-true approach. And Gleim CMA has helped MORE candidates to pass the CMA exam than any other course.

What's more, the Gleim course includes all the critical features CMA candidates need in their study materials. From video lectures to a vast test bank of highly relevant practice questions and essays, the Gleim offering is comprehensive. Additionally, the cost of Gleim CMA is affordable, especially given the level of support that candidates receive.

For these reasons and more, Gleim CMA is my top CMA review course choice. 

Best CMA Test Banks

The CMA exam contains more than 200 questions and addresses dozens of topics. These topics are fairly broad, so the exam questions could ask you about anything relating to the topics. To prepare for such general coverage of management accounting, you’ll need to answer plenty of practice questions.

You’ll find practice questions in a CMA test bank. Each CMA review provider has a test bank of questions just like those you’ll see on the exam. The benefits of using a large test bank include getting familiar with the exam content and testing environment. You’ll also be able to avoid memorizing questions, which is not the best way to ready your brain to pass.

The size of the test banks available varies, but Gleim has constructed the best test bank available. If you want to supplement another course, you can purchase their test bank separate from the companies' full review packages.

Gleim CMA Review

Gleim’s CMA test bank features more than 4,500 unique practice multiple-choice (MCQs) and 130 essay questions as well as detailed answer explanations for every question. While this test bank does not have the most MCQs, it does include the most essays of any test bank on the market. Furthermore, Gleim’s practice questions represent the functionality and difficulty level of the CMA exam questions better than any other course.

If you want to drill questions until you’re confident in your knowledge, I recommend using one of these test banks.

Best CMA Review Video Lectures

Turning on video lectures is a great way to add some variety to your studies so you can stay focused. Video lectures are video recordings of instructors teaching about the concepts and questions on the exam. Video lectures actually help you process information faster, retain it longer, understand it better, and enjoy it more. As video lectures are so beneficial, I’m glad to report that almost every CMA review provider supplies them.

CMA Review Course

# of Video Lecture Hours

Wiley CMAexcel

66+

Hock CMA Review

62

Gleim CMA Review

45+

Surgent CMA Revew

60+ short videos (time unknown)

Becker CMA Review

Unknown

When comparing CMA review courses based on video lecture content, consider both quantity and quality. Some video lectures are well-made and insightful, even if the number of total hours is not as great.

Hock CMA Review

Hock CMA Review takes a very detailed approach to their videos. You'll learn alongside one of the industry's best teachers, Brian Hock, CMA, CIA. Furthermore, Hock CMA Review divides the video content out into manageable chunks so absorbing the information requires less effort. The videos even feature Closed Captioning so you can read and listen at the same time.

Best CMA Exam Multiple-Choice Questions

Each CMA exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs), and they aren’t your grade-school level MCQs. Instead, these MCQs come in many different formats, some of which are complicated. On top of that, you must answer 50% of the MCQs correctly in order to move on to the essay portion of the exam. Consequently, doing well on these questions requires you to do more than just memorize definitions and formulas.

Instead, you must reach the levels of knowledge listed in the ICMA’s Content Specification Outlines (CSOs). The ICMA designs the MCQs to assess you for the deep comprehension of the concepts, and only by answering hundreds of practice MCQs can you achieve it. Thankfully, you’ll find enough MCQs in CMA test banks.

CMA Review Course

# of MCQs

Wiley CPAexcel

5,500+

Gleim CMA Review

4,500+

Surgent CMA Review

3,945+

Hock CMA Review

3,650

Becker CMA Review

3,000+

Two courses come with the best MCQs.  

Gleim CMA Review

As previously stated, Gleim doesn’t have the most MCQs on the market. But due to the difficulty of the CMA exam, I believe MCQ quality trumps quantity. Gleim has about 1,000 fewer unique MCQs than Wiley, but Gleim’s MCQs are more challenging. They more realistically demonstrate how hard the MCQs are and how they operate, so these are the questions you need to minimize surprises on test day.

Hock CMA Review 

Hock's questions are also high-caliber, and with over 5,500, you really will get plenty of chances to strengthen your weak areas, refine your skills, and build your confidence with MCQs.  

The vast majority of the CMA exam is MCQs, so you can’t afford to settle for sub-par practice MCQs during your CMA review.  

Best CMA Essay Questions

Besides MCQs, the only other type of question on the CMA exam is essays. There are two essay scenarios on each CMA exam part, and these scenarios come with 2-7 questions each. The CMA exam employs these essay scenarios to test your ability to evaluate data, choose between alternative solutions, and justify an action. To do well on the essays, you must be able to write effectively according to the exam’s criteria for clarity, organization, and English usage. Additionally, you have to address all question requirements, supply as much relevant detail as possible, and show your work. Clearly, mastering the essays will take some work!

To refine your CMA essay-writing skills, you must complete a large number of practice essays, which you can find in your CMA review course.

CMA Review Course

# of Essays

Gleim CMA Review

130+

Becker CMA Review

70

Hock CMA Review

66

Surgent CMA Review

65+

Wiley CMAexcel

29

Though practice essays are a given in CMA review, two courses stand out for their quality essay questions.

Gleim CMA Review

As the creators of the first CMA review course, Gleim has the experience and expertise needed to write the best CMA essay scenarios. Conveniently, they also provide the most essay scenarios as well. Gleim’s professional educators have been through enough iterations of the CMA exam to know how its essays work and how to generate practice essays that do the same. The Gleim 130+ essay scenarios also look more like the real thing than anything else. Therefore, you will get the most precise impression of the CMA exam essays when you use Gleim CMA Review.

Becker CMA Review

Becker CMA Review offers the second highest number of essay questions among the CMA review providers. This means that Becker gives you plenty of experience with essay questions before you sit for the exam. Consequently, if essay questions are one of your weaknesses, then choosing Becker CMA Review will be one of your strengths.

You must write essays in order to pass the CMA exam. Therefore, you must use high-quality practice essays to improve your writing.

Best CMA Review Audio Lectures

Wouldn’t it be great if you could study for the CMA exam when you’re doing mentally simple tasks like exercising, cleaning, or commuting? Good news! You can redeem this time thanks to CMA review audio lectures. Audio lectures are the auditory content of a lecture, and they allow auditory learners and candidates on the go to maximize their time.

Several CMA review providers record audio lectures, so you have some options.

CMA Review Course

Audio Lectures

Gleim CMA Review

Yes

Hock CMA Review

No

Becker CMA Review

No

Wiley CMAexcel

No

Surgent CMA Review

No

Since only one course provides audio lectures, I can only recommend Gleim in this category.

Gleim CMA Review

The Gleim CMA audio lectures are basically the Gleim book in audio format. The Gleim books are well-known for being extremely thorough and comprehensive, so that’s good news for the audio lectures. With these resources, you won’t have to miss a thing if you have to listen to rather than read your study materials for the day.

If you plan to multi-task during your review so you can keep each study sessions short and sweet, these audio lectures have your back (and ears).

Best CMA Review Study Planners

If you want to pass the CMA exam, you’ve got to make a plan. Specifically, you’ll need to make a CMA exam study plan. This process involves determining how fast you want to pass, finding time in your schedule for regular study sessions, averaging 1-2 study hours a day, and figuring out when you can finish studying. It’s a very important step toward successful CMA exam studies, and it’s a lot easier to take when you use a study planner.

CMA Review Course

Study Planner

Wiley CMA Review

Yes

Surgent CMA Review

Yes

Gleim CMA Review

Yes

Hock CMA

Yes

Becker CMA Review

No

The ideal CMA exam study planner is simple, straightforward, and easy to use. It’s also personalized and adjusts to changes you make throughout your exam journey. Finally, it should record your progress and hold you accountable with notifications.

Surgent CMA Review

The Surgent CMA Review study planner is one of the best because it also lets you add test dates and input your availability before producing a detailed schedule of all your study sessions. When you add or remove blackout dates, the Surgent CMA study planner adapts your study session assignments accordingly. It also notifies you about missed study sessions.

With effective study planners, you can pick the best test dates and ensure that you’re totally prepared in time.

Best Customer Support

How can you distinguish a good CMA review course from a great one? Customer service. The best CMA courses go above and beyond to offer dedicated support to candidates. Standard customer service includes contact via phone, email, live chat, and social messaging. Exceptional customer service encompasses tapping in to the knowledge of experts for friendly and convenient assistance with specific issues. The two providers that take these extra steps are Gleim CMA Review and Hock CMA Review.

Gleim CMA Review

Gleim CMA Review’s customer service can’t be beat for three reasons. First, Gleim always assigns an exam mentor called a Personal Counselor to each candidate. Your Personal Counselor helps you create a study plan, answers your questions, and encourages you throughout your exam journey. Second, you can work with technical experts to resolve any computer or course access problems. Finally, you can receive deeper insight into exam topics by using the practice question inquiry system within the course to communicate with accounting experts.

Hock CMA Review

Hock CMA is so committed to helping you succeed that the team makes it hard to fail the exam. Hock offers different ways to get in touch with them should you need help. You can ask questions in a forum monitored by highly qualified accounting experts. Additionally, with Teacher Support, you can  email or call the Hock team directly with any questions you need help answering.

Study aids like this can make a world of difference on the path to CMA exam success, so prioritize courses that prioritize you.  

Best Budget CMA Review Course

Many CMA review courses cost over $1,000. Some of these courses offer a lot of value for the price, but if you have limited funds, you still might not be able to pay for them. In that case, I recommend purchasing what I consider to be the best budget CMA review course: Gleim CMA Review.

Gleim CMA Review is the most widely used course in the industry and one of the best courses on the market. So, you don’t really have to settle when you let your wallet choose your CMA review. Gleim CMA Review is a great value, as it includes 45+ hours of video lectures, one of the largest test banks on the market, assistance from Personal Counselors and accounting experts, audio lectures, and more. And with the Access Until You Pass® guarantee, you can take as long as you need to pass the CMA exam and never have to pay for course access or updated materials again.

With my Gleim CMA review discount, you can get study materials for both exam parts for less than $1,000. Gleim created the first CMA review course in the industry, and the fact that they are still making CMA exam prep today is a testament to their quality. When you use my discount to purchase Gleim CMA Review, you can’t go wrong on the CMA exam.

Hock CMA is also highly affordable. In fact, it's even more affordable when you use my Hock CMA discount. And just because you may choose Hock for budget reasons doesn't mean you will get a lower-quality course. Hock CMA is comprehensive, detailed, and highly equipped to teach you all the CMA review concepts. You'll have access to very helpful lectures, a test bank that includes highly-detailed answer explanations, and very thorough textbooks. My readers have been using Hock for years, and it's one of our highly recommended courses!

My Recommendation: Gleim CMA Review & Hock CMA Review

Best CMA Prep Course for Candidates Who've Already Failed the CMA Exam

Failing the CMA exam can happen for several reasons. You may not have studied well enough, long enough, or with the right materials. It may be tempting to blame your review course right off the bat, but you should thoroughly evaluate your own study habits first. If you can honestly say you put all your effort into your studies, used the review course exactly as instructed, and still failed, then you probably do have a good case against your course. When you need to switch out your CMA exam prep, I recommend turning to Surgent CMA Review.

With adaptive technology powering its course, Surgent is the course for CMA exam re-takers. The technology adjust to your study needs, identifies your weak areas, and saves you time as you move through your studies. On top of that, Surgent CMA Review includes a free trial and a great pass guarantee. Finally, this Surgent CMA Review discount makes the low price even better for re-takers. Therefore, Surgent may be just what you need to deliver a passing performance on the CMA exam.

Likewise, Becker’s new CMA review features similar adaptive learning software. It’s the more expensive option, but these Becker CMA discounts will help make it more reasonable.

Alternatively, you may need more help with CMA concepts to help you clear the CMA exam. In this case, I recommend Hock CMA, as they will provide you with excellent customer service. Additionally, should you fail the exam after using Hock, they will pay for your next registration fee -- something no other CMA review course does! Plus, the Hock content, lectures, and course are very comprehensive, so you'll feel confident that you can pass the CMA exam with Hock!

My Recommendation: Surgent CMA Review & Hock CMA Review

Best CMA Review for Accounting Students

Did you know you can take the CMA exam as an accounting student as long as you complete the education and experience requirements within seven years of passing the exam? Sitting for the exam as a student is a great idea because much of the CMA exam content overlaps with your core accounting courses. Additionally, students pay less for IMA membership and CMA exam fees. You should plan to take the exam after your junior year, and to prepare for it, you should use Gleim CMA Review.

Gleim CMA Review is good for students because its thorough exam content reinforces everything you’ve learned in your classes. Plus, it has a great study planner that lets you fit study sessions in between classes, and your Personal Counselor can help you navigate the path to passing the exam and earning your certification. With my Gleim CMA Review discount, you can get one of the best courses on the market at a student-friendly price.

My Recommendation: Gleim CMA Review

Best CMA Exam Prep for Accountants

The CMA certification helps full-time accountants take their careers to the next level with increased skills, salary, job opportunities, and more. You don’t want to wait to enhance your career in these ways, so you should earn the CMA as soon as possible. When you use CMA review that covers all of the exam content in a clear, concise, and relevant way, you can pass the CMA exam faster than you think.

Gleim CMA Review presents all the information you need to know in simple, digestible formats. Additionally, Gleim gives you easy-to-read outlines for every content area. Each course helps you strengthen your weaknesses with video content and big test banks, so they’re excellent for accountants who’ve been out of school and in the field for some time.

My Recommendation: Gleim CMA Review

Determining Your Learning Style

Everyone learns differently, which means everyone has a unique learning style. Your learning style is the combination of tools and experiences you need to understand information. To effectively prepare for the CMA exam, you need a review course that accommodates your learning style. That means that, if you haven’t done so already, you must discover what type of learner you are.  

  • If you understand faster when someone explains a concept to you, you might be an auditory learner.
  • The use of constant movement to help you concentrate can indicate that you’re a kinesthetic learner.
  • When you can greatly advance the learning process by watching a video or studying a diagram, you may be a visual learner.
  • If reading books and taking notes is one of your favorite ways to learn, you’re most likely a linguistic learner.
  • To truly grasp a concept, do you need to see the reasoning behind it? If so, you seem to be a logical learner.
  • When researching a topic by yourself is ideal for your understanding, you may be a solitary learner.
  • Do you prefer working with a group to take on a new topic? You’re probably a social learner.
  • And, if you use a different learning approach based on the information you’re covering, chances are that you have more than one learning style, which is common.

Once you’ve determined your learning style, assess how well each review course promises to address it. You can do this by signing up for course demos. Most providers offer limited-time access to a free course demo, which lets you see how a course looks, operates, and caters to your learning style before you make a monetary commitment. These demos are invaluable for helping you find the best course for you.

How to Pick the Best CMA Study Course

When you’re ready to pick the best CMA exam prep for you, evaluate your options based on the following traits:

  • How customers have reviewed the course
  • How well the course components fit your learning style
  • Who has written the materials
  • Who presents the lectures
  • How much value you will get for the price
  • How long the course provider has been in the industry
  • What kind of customer service you will receive
  • How often the course is updated for the current exam version
  • What guarantees and course access periods are included
  • Whether you can preview the course before purchasing
  • How well the course replicates the exam experience
  • How many practice questions are included

This list is long and not in order of importance. Therefore, you can arrange these qualities according to your personal priorities and weigh each review course against your standards and preferences. As I said, different courses will suit different candidates. However, I believe you can find the best CMA study material for you that meets your needs and helps you pass.

Definition of a CMA Review Course

A CMA review course is a collection of self-study resources designed to prepare candidates for the CMA exam by concentrating on the exam content. Most of the components in a CMA review course can be accessed online. CMA course material often comprises:

  • Digital or physical books
  • A bank of practice questions
  • Video lectures
  • Audio lectures
  • A study planner
  • Performance tracking software
  • Customer service access
  • Limited time access

CMA review courses for each exam part can be purchased separately or as a complete set.

So, why should you use a CMA review course? Let me explain the benefits.

1st CMA Review Course Benefit: Content Coverage

A CMA review course covers and presents the exam content in a convenient and efficient way.

The two parts of the CMA exam assess candidates for their familiarity with a body of knowledge related to the areas of management accounting and financial management.

  • Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics
    1. External Financial Reporting and Decisions
    2. Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting
    3. Performance Management
    4. Cost Management
    5. Internal Controls
    6. Technology and Analytics
  • Part 2: Strategic Financial Management
    1. Financial Statement Analysis
    2. Corporate Finance
    3. Decision Analysis
    4. Risk Management
    5. Investment Decisions
    6. Professional Ethics

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) explains the CMA exam content in the Content Specification Outlines (CSOs) and the Learning Outcome Statements (LOSs). While the CSOs offer a high-level overview of the exam content, the LOSs go into more detail about the skills and abilities the exam expects candidates to have.

As a CMA candidate, you can review this information for yourself, but discovering and learning the specifics of the material and developing the skills you need on your own will take a great deal of time and effort. You will have to conduct a lot of in-depth research, which would greatly increase the duration of your studies. This process may also jeopardize your ability to pass both parts within the three-year deadline. Thankfully, a CMA review course will have gathered and distilled all of this information for you. A quality review course features expertly-authored textbooks and lectures that address every area of the exam content. With these resources, you can focus on mastering the material rather than compiling it for yourself.

2nd CMA Review Course Benefit: Knowledge and Skill Development

A CMA review course ensures that you reach the levels of knowledge and skill that you need to pass in time for exam day.

To measure your study progress, CMA review courses include tools such as performance tracking software and study planners. These tools ensure that you efficiently review all of the exam material. Your CMA review course also monitors your content comprehension because the exam expects you to reach the following cognitive levels:

  • Knowledge: Ability to remember previously learned material such as specific facts, criteria, techniques, principles, and procedures (i.e., identify, define, list).
  • Comprehension: Ability to grasp and interpret the meaning of material (i.e., classify, explain, distinguish between).
  • Application: Ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations (i.e., demonstrate, predict, solve, modify, relate).
  • Analysis: Ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure can be understood; ability to recognize causal relationships, discriminate between behaviors, and identify elements that are relevant to the validation of a judgment (i.e., differentiate, estimate, order).
  • Synthesis: Ability to put parts together to form a new whole or proposed set of operations; ability to relate ideas and formulate hypotheses (i.e., combine formulate, revise).
  • Evaluation: Ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose on the basis of consistency, logical accuracy, and comparison to standards; ability to appraise judgments involved in the selection of a course of action (i.e., criticize, justify, conclude).

The CMA exam uses multiple-choice questions and essay scenarios to assess your cognitive levels. Therefore, CMA review test banks let you answer practice questions so you can apply what you’ve learned. An exam-emulating test bank also allows you get comfortable with the exam format and functionality in advance. With this familiarity, you can build your confidence and minimize any surprises you may encounter.

3rd CMA Review Course Benefit: Support System

A CMA review course supplies a support system for additional information, advice, and encouragement.

Most CMA review courses include some form of customer service. For example, your course may permit access to friendly exam mentors who answer your questions, help you create your study plan, coach you through their course, encourage you through your study struggles, and hold you accountable for your review process. You may also be able to rely on a technical team to assist you with computer or course issues. You can usually communicate with these experts via phone, email, or a system within your course. When you purchase one of the review courses discussed on this page, you’ll be able to enjoy access to CMA experts who won’t let you go through the exam alone.

The Cost of CMA Review

CMA review course prices vary, but the average cost for a full package is well over $1,000. Most of these courses pack a lot of value into their price points, but you don’t want to pay any more than necessary, especially when you consider the other CMA exam fees you’ll have to cover.

If you don’t purchase CMA review with unlimited course access, you may also have to pay course renewal fees. To avoid this, pass each part the first time and/or choose a course with candidate-friendly guarantees.

To make sure you’re getting the best course for you before you buy, explore the free trials that many providers offer. If you discover the course you’ve chosen doesn’t help you pass like you’d hoped, you may need to purchase another course, which will cost you even more. Signing up for a free demo that shows you how the course works and how well it fits your learning style helps you buy the best course the first time.

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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