Once you’re ready for the exam, CMA scheduling is a fairly simple process. You do need to complete a few steps before picking your exact CMA exam schedule date and time, but these are fairly straightforward. We’ll go over everything you need to know before you set a date with the testing center, and then show you what registering with Prometric actually looks like. Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the CMA scheduling process.
Even if you meet all the qualifications for taking the CMA exam, you can’t skip right to scheduling with Prometric. First, you’ll need to join the IMA, pay your CMA entrance fee, register for the exam with the IMA, and wait to receive your confirmation information. We fully walk you through that process in our CMA registration post, complete with screenshots of each step, but here’s a quick recap.
Anyone who takes the CMA exam must be an active member of the Institute of Management Accountants, also called the IMA. To join, visit the IMA’s membership registration page, and fill in your information as requested. Depending on your career status, you’ll choose a professional membership ($245), an academic membership ($135), or a student membership ($39 for one year, $78 for two years). If it’s your first time registering with the IMA, you’ll also have to pay a $15 registration fee.
At the same time, you’ll also create an online account with the IMA that you can use to pay the CMA exam fee and register for the test. You’ll pick a password for your account and choose the IMA chapter closest to your home address. If you use our CMA exam registration discount code, you can save 15% off your membership fee.
After you’re an IMA member, you’ll have to pay a one-time entrance fee to be able to sit for the exam. This costs $250 for professional members and $188 for academic and student members. Once again, you can save 15% with our promo code, so be sure to check out our CMA review discount page.
At this point, you’re ready to register for a testing window. Still, on the IMA website, you’ll be given a choice between a January/February window, an April/May/June window, and a September/October window. Choose carefully, as you can reschedule the specific date within this window without incurring fees, but you’ll have to pay the full amount again to pick a different window.
For professional members, the fee for each part of the exam is $415. For academic and student members, the fee is $311. Since there are two parts to the exam, you’ll have to pay this fee at least twice. Unfortunately, if you fail a part of the exam, you’ll have to pay the fee an additional time to retake it.
After you’ve registered and paid your fees, you’ll receive the information you need to actually set your CMA exam final schedule. You’ll get an email containing your authorization number and further instructions on how to schedule with a Prometric test center for IMA’s CMA exam.
Prometric is the testing company that gives and proctors a number of professional tests including the CMA exam. To schedule your Prometric CMA exam, visit the ICMA page on the company’s website. A column on the left-hand side of the screen lists several actions you can perform. To pick a test date, click “Schedule.”
This will bring you to a page that will allow you to select the state in which you’ll take the exam. Click on the drop-down menu to make your selection, and then click “Next.”
Next, the website will provide several paragraphs of information about eligibility, seat availability for Prometric’s CMA exam, what to bring, and much more. Note that you don’t have to make any more payments at this step. Make sure you read all of the information before clicking “Next” to continue.
The following page is where you will input the authorization number in your confirmation email. You will also need to type in the first 4 letters of your last name before clicking “Next.”
Unfortunately, this is as far as our walkthrough can go without having a personal authorization number. However, you will continue on to select your appointment, the location of the Prometric testing center for the CMA exam, and the time and date of the test. You’ll have a chance to review and verify all this information before completing the CMA scheduling process.
Simply follow the steps outlined above. As a recap, here’s the whole process in a nutshell:
As far as when to schedule your CMA exam, we recommend getting everything set at least six weeks before you actually want to take the test. This allows plenty of time for the processing of paperwork, giving you one less thing to worry about in the last few weeks before the test.
The first three steps of CMA exam scheduling should only take a few minutes since you complete them all on the IMA’s website and receive your membership right away. However, you’ll need to wait to select your test date with CMA Prometric until you receive your authorization email, and this can take several days.
Additionally, registration for any particular testing window closes two weeks before the end of the window. For instance, the last day you can register for the January/February window is February 15. This suggests it takes at least two weeks for processing.
Yes, you can somewhat easily change your test date through Prometric’s website. In the “Actions” column on the ICMA page, select “Reschedule/Cancel.” You’ll once again select your state. Then you’ll input your confirmation number and the first four letters of your last name. Then you’ll follow the prompts to cancel or reschedule.
Be aware that you can only reschedule within your particular testing window. If you pick the January/February window, for instance, you can only pick another date within January or February. If you reschedule more than 30 days before the test date, you won’t even have to pay a fee. Reschedule with less than 30 days to go, however, and you’ll need to pay a $50 rescheduling fee. However, if you need to pick a new testing window altogether, you’ll have to pay the $415/$311 testing fee all over again.
Because of this, we recommend initially picking a date toward the beginning of your preferred testing window. That way, if an emergency comes up at the last minute, you can more easily move the exam to a later date within the same window. If you schedule toward the end of the window, you’ll have to hope that Prometric CMA availability still exists in those last few days.
On the day of your test, you can present a valid, government-issued passport as your only form of ID. If you don’t have a passport or can’t use it for some reason, Prometric allows you to substitute two other forms of ID. These other forms of ID must be current (that is, not expired) and have your signature on them. At least one of the two must also have a recent photo of you on it.
Here are some types of identification that Prometric will accept for those two other forms:
Be aware that you can’t use a Social Security card or student ID card.
Yes, you can. In fact, we have an entire post devoted to CMA exam calculators. In short, the CMA Prometric calculator requirements specify that it must be a simple, six-function calculator that isn’t programmable. The only exceptions are certain types of pre-approved financial calculators. These models are also allowed:
While you do have to pay at least three fees to get your CMA exam scheduled, note that none of them go to Prometric itself. You do need to pay the IMA your membership fee, your CMA exam entrance fee, and your exam registration fee. Assuming you pass both parts of the exam on the first try, your total costs will range from $849 to $1,345 depending on your IMA membership status. While this is a significant amount of money, it’s less than many other professional financial exam fees.
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.
Sign up below to get started: