Here is my analysis of the pros and cons of CMA review courses in 2018 and my recommendation for the best CMA review course based on readers’ experience and comments from major accounting forums.
I don’t believe in people who say their study materials are the absolute best because different courses suit candidates with different backgrounds and learning styles. However, I am confident that you will find one that fits your needs here. Disclosure: The I Pass Team may earn a small amount of compensation if you purchase from our links; our team uses these revenues to maintain the site and produce awesome free content just for you!
|Overall Impression||The most MCQs||The most essay questions||Interesting guarantee||The only adaptive CMA course||Personalized support|
|IMA Licensed / Strategic Partner|
|Test Prep Software|
|# Practice Questions||3,200||2,900+||2,245||2,500+||2,500+|
|Customer Service||Professor mentoring via online forum||Personal Counselors||Email support||Technical support||1-on-1 coaching|
|Free Trial||(14 days)||(Unit 1)||Software trial||(demo)|
|Access Time-limit||Until you pass||Until you pass||Unlimited||Unlimited||12 or 24 months|
|Money-Back Guarantee*||“You pass or we pay”|
|Pricing (2-parts)||$1,800 (save $400)||$1,124 (w discount)||$1,249||$599||$1,324 (w discount)|
|Pricing (single-part)||$1,200||$750||$574||$339||$757 (w discount)|
|Recommendation & Analysis||Wiley||Gleim||Hock||Surgent||CMA EA|
* Conditions apply. Please check with the respective providers for details.
Wiley offers two versions of CMA review material. This is the premium “integrated review course” with 21 hours of video instruction, an interactive online study planner, performance tracking, a final review, textbooks, and test prep software (known as the test bank).
If you are a fan of Wiley CPAexcel or if you learn best by watching videos, this is definitely your best pick.Wiley evaluation + discount code here
Gleim is one of the most popular CMA review courses available and is especially preferred by those who study on their own.
If you have some accounting background and are the type of candidate who learns from practice (i.e., doing lots of practice questions), I have no doubt that Gleim is the best for you.Gleim evaluation + discount code here
People in the U.S. may not have heard about Hock’s CMA review courses, but they are quite popular among international candidates.
If you need more explanations of the concepts behind the topics covered in the CMA exam, but find Wiley too expensive, Hock could be a good alternative. If you need more practice questions, you can get Gleim or Surgent CMA as a supplement.Hock evaluation here
Surgent is an accounting test prep developer that prides itself on a unique offering — a software that learns from your answers.
This is a good choice for those who know the exam content but need test prep software for exam preparation. It is also a great choice of supplement if you are looking for an additional set of practice questions.Surgent evaluation and discount code here
CMA Exam Academy is a relatively new and exceptional product from Nathan Liao, a controller-turned-entrepreneur and founder of CMAcoach.com. The package includes video lectures, proprietary books, a test bank, and his one-on-one coaching via call or email.
This is a great option if you are looking for a live coach offering personal support and progress tracking.CMA Exam Academy evaluation and discount code here
This is the self-study version, also commonly known as the “IMA study materials,” because the content was previously developed and distributed by the IMA.
The textbooks are easy to read and are well organized. Strictly in terms of learning experience, I actually prefer Wiley to Gleim and Hock (although a few of my readers like Hock better). In terms of test prep software, we all think Gleim gives us more confidence to pass the exam.
You can get a more detailed evaluation and the discount link for the CMA Learning System here.
Given that this is mostly a computerized test, the thing that will make or break a review program is the multiple-choice questions. I believe most candidates would agree that Gleim CMA has the best test prep software, free trial, personal counselor support, and access to accounting experts, all with the Gleim Guarantee. What do you think? Drop a note here, and we can discuss.
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:
CMA review courses for each exam part can be purchased separately or as a complete set.
There are several benefits to relying on a CMA review course to pass the exam:
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.
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 and may 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 lecture series that address every area of the exam content so that you can focus on mastering the material rather than compiling it for yourself.
As good CMA review courses deliver the exam content, they also measure your study progress. Tools such as performance tracking software and study planners enable you to review and comprehend all of the exam material in a timely manner. The CMA exam expects you to reach the following cognitive levels with the exam content:
The CMA exam uses multiple-choice questions and essay scenarios to determine if you have attained these cognitive levels. The test banks of practice questions found in CMA review courses give you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned and get comfortable answering the exam questions. A CMA review course that emulates the look and feel of the exam within its test bank also allows you to acquaint yourself with the format and functionality of the exam before you take it, which builds your confidence and minimizes any surprises you may encounter.
Most CMA review courses include some form of customer service. 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.
When you’re ready to pick the best CMA exam prep for you, evaluate your options based on the following traits:
This list is long and not in order of importance. Arrange these qualities according to your personal priorities and weigh each review course against your standards and preferences. Again, different courses will suit different candidates, but I believe you can find the best CMA study material for you that meets your needs and helps you pass.
And if you’re still on the fence after reading my reviews, I highly recommend you take advantage of a free trial from one of my two favorite courses.
|Gleim CMA Review||Wiley CMAexcel|
|CMA Review Trial (Free!)||Demo Gleim||Demo Wiley|
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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