I Pass The CMA Exam!

What Happens If You Fail the CMA Exam

fail cma exam

Whether you just received the bad news or you simply dread that moment, you need to know what happens if you fail the CMA exam. I know that failing the exam is devastating after you’ve made such a big investment of time, money, and effort. But if you are serious about passing the exam, you’ve got to move on from a failure. Let me help you consider your options, evaluate what went wrong, and, most importantly, discover how you can pass your next attempt.

What Happens If You Fail the CMA Exam

First things first: if you fail part of the CMA exam, you have 2 options. Your first option is to take that part again. You can’t do so in the same testing window, but you can sit in as many testing windows as necessary to pass both parts within 3 years.

Your second option is to quit the CMA certification process. Please don’t do it! Quitting on the CMA is unproductive because

  1. You’re already an IMA member and qualified to sit for the exam.
  2. You’ve paid the exam fees once.
  3. You still have a CMA review course.
  4. You’ve already put a good deal of time, money, and effort into the exam.
  5. You now have experience with the exam.
  6. You wouldn’t be able to enjoy the many benefits of earning the CMA.

These are just a few of the many reasons not to give up on the CMA. Doing so would be disadvantageous and wasteful. If you need more motivation to keep going, just remember why you wanted to become a CMA in the first place. That logic is still valid despite a CMA exam part failure. Once you’ve got your spirits up again, you can take the following steps to retake the exam part you failed:

  1. Register for the exam again
  2. Pay the exam fee again ($415 for professionals, $311 for Students/Academic members)
  3. Schedule another testing appointment with Prometric

4 Most Common Reasons Why People Fail the CMA Exam

After you decide to retake your failed exam part, you must determine why you failed. That way, you can correct your review process as necessary and pass next time.

Almost all candidates who fail the CMA exam do so for 1 of 4 reasons:

  1. Insufficient study time
  2. Inadequate study effort
  3. Shallow understanding of exam concepts
  4. Lack of time management

Reason 1: Insufficient Study Time

Unless you take the CMA exam right after or even before graduation, chances are that you will have to balance your schedule with work and studying. You may also need to allocate time to family or other commitments as well.

So, let me ask you: Before you failed, did you study all of your CMA review course topics? Or did you skim over the exam content without taking time to understand the details?

If the answer to that second question is yes, then congratulate yourself: You found the reason for your CMA exam failure.

Tips for Increasing and Improving Your Study Time

In this case, I would suggest you do the following:

  • Complete the Entire Course: You can go back to the beginning or continue to study where you left off if you feel you really understand the previous sections. You should also answer plenty of practice questions to make sure the concepts have sunk in.
  • Find Your Weak Areas Using the Diagnostic Tools: Most CMA exam test prep software includes diagnostics that you can use to identify your weaker areas. These areas should be your top study priority, so reread the text and answer practice questions about these topics specifically. As you answer the practice questions, read the answer explanations for both the right and wrong answers. Then, keep taking quizzes on your problem areas until you get high scores every time.
  • Utilize Your Idle Time: If you lack sufficient study time, you may have to sacrifice some activities, so you can come up with enough. For example, have you tried waking up earlier to study? If not, push your morning alarm back an hour or so. If you have a long commute, use it to flip through flashcards, read the textbook, or listen to audio lectures.
  • Choose a Better Study Environment: Studying at home can be hard at times because it’s a comfortable, familiar space with a lot of temptations (TV, bed, fridge, etc.). It’s also where your family is. Therefore, you might need to pull yourself away from your home base to study effectively. I know quite a few candidates go straight to the library after work to study for 1-2 hours. Have you tried doing that? You may also want to camp out in a coffee shop, park, or your office until you’ve clocked in some quality study time.

Reason 2: Inadequate Study Effort

If you failed the CMA exam, you have to honestly ask yourself: Have you really put enough effort into your studies? Consider whether you really understood the topics and the concepts behind them or if you just read through the text half-heartedly, only to forget half the information the next day.

You must also ask yourself how focused you were during your studies. If you gave yourself 2 hours to review, did you dive right into the book, watch some videos, and then complete several practice quizzes? Or did you make yourself some coffee, check your email, jump on to social media (*gasp*), and then answer some practice questions for the last half hour?

I know it’s hard, but you can’t let the temptation to take it easy prevent you from earning the CMA certification and enjoying all its benefits for the rest of your career!

To help you stay motivated, I’ve put all my treasured motivational quotes into this video clip:

I also have some more motivational quotes that you can use to succeed on the exam, in your career, and life.

Reason 3: Shallow Understanding of the Concepts

In some cases, you may know for certain that you spent enough time and effort on the CMA exam and still failed. At this point, the next possible reason for failure could be that you didn’t really grasp the concepts as deeply as you thought you did. Your CMA review materials may have been too general or too complicated to understand.

Tips for Improving Your Understanding of Exam Concepts

Earlier, I suggested that you re-read your textbook. But, I know that this step doesn’t always help non-linguistic learners very well. If reading and taking notes isn’t the best way for you to learn, you must find an approach that compels you to learn more actively.

If you’re a visual learner, you should watch the video lectures. Auditory learners should listen to the audio lectures. Kinesthetic learners should use flashcards or read digital textbooks, so they’re interacting with the computer. These steps will help you develop your knowledge in a way that addresses your learning style.

But one additional thing that everyone should do to increase their comprehension of the topics is to answer more practice questions. Answering practice questions allows you to apply what you’re learning. It also equips you to strengthen your weaknesses until the relevant concepts naturally come to mind when you read the question.

Practice with new questions

If you’ve chosen a course with a large test bank, you probably still have more than enough practice questions to answer. But if you believe you need a new set of questions, I recommend switching to Surgent CMA Review. The adaptive learning technology that powers this course will tell you where to focus your efforts. It will also continuously serve you the questions you must answer to be prepared for the exam. Surgent’s system is beneficial if you just want a supplement instead of another full review course.

If you aren’t sure if Surgent CMA is right for you, check out Surgent CMA vs. Gleim — a comparison between Surgent CMA and the #1 most widely used CMA prep course.

Of course, if you just need to score a few more points to pass the CMA exam, you might only need to keep studying for a short period of time. In that case, you could consider a monthly subscription service for CMA materials. For example, NINJA CMA Review includes multiple-choice questions and essays, practice exams, and access to private study networks. What’s more, it’s also available for a low monthly price. So you can study the concepts you missed on the CMA exam, retake and pass it, and then cancel your NINJA subscription.

Reason 4: Lack of Time Management

In my experience, more candidates fall into this category than the first 3. As they can verify, time management is crucial for CMA exam success.

The best way to improve your time management is to develop a time management system. Then, apply it every time you complete a practice quiz. Using a time management system allows you to refine the skill of reading, contemplation, and answering questions with the exam time limit. Remember, you must answer 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 essay scenarios in 4 hours. When you use questions that emulate the exam content and the exam format and functionality, you can also get comfortable with the Prometric testing environment.

To better manage your time, you must work with a test bank that covers all of the exam content and recreates the exam layout better than any other course. For this reason, I highly recommend using Gleim CMA Review. Gleim has the most comprehensive and exam-emulating CMA exam questions. Additionally, the Gleim course comes with a tried-and-true time management system.

Also, you can utilize Becker CMA, which allows you to have unlimited access at the Pro package level. This means you won’t have to pay for CMA study materials again even if you don’t clear the exam on your first attempt.

And if you can’t decide between Becker and Gleim, read my Becker CMA vs. Gleim analysis.

What to Remember If You Fail the CMA Exam

Failing the CMA exam is not the end of the world. You can overcome and pass that part. Don’t worry — the CMA exam is an exam that everyone can pass with the right knowledge and tactics. For more insight into recovering from a CMA exam failure, read the stories of guest bloggers Vinoth and Joan. If you’d like more specific advice for your situation, share your story below. I’ll try my best to help. Finally, check out these absolutely free CMA exam study resources!

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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Leave a Comment:

Mr. JAY says October 9, 2019

Hi Stephanie,

I sit the recently concluded Sep 2019 exam. I find the MCQs part easy, however; I did not able to answer well the easy part, 4 out of 13 questions to be specific. I just wonder – 3 questions have 3-4 possible answers in my case, because it requires identification with explanation. Will it be graded equally or the credit is based on the # answer-basis? Sigh. With that, it consumed my time in easy portion. A bit worrying now while awaiting the result next month.

    Stephanie Ng says October 17, 2019

    Don’t focus too much on what you did wrong/might have done wrong. You did the best you could. And if you found the MCQs easy, you should have done fairly well on the essays too (because you’re applying the same knowledge, just in a different way). You’ll receive partial credit on the essay questions too, so as long as you showed your work, I wouldn’t worry too much!

      Mr. JAY says November 11, 2019

      Thanks Stephanie for the good advise.

      Glad to share the good news: I passed the CMA Part 1 exam. Now, determined to start my Part 2 journey.


        Stephanie Ng says January 30, 2020

        Thanks for sharing, Mr. Jay! Congratulations 🙂

Rob R. says April 11, 2019

What happens if you don’t pass with in 3 years? Are you banned from taking the tests again?

    Stephanie Ng says May 8, 2019

    No, but you’ll need to reapply to the program (and pay all the fees again).


Rakesh Goud A says December 14, 2018

Hello Stephanie ,


I have given My part-1 and part-2 in May June’17 windowand I failed in both parts scored 230 in each part.
second time I have given my part-2 exam in Jan-Feb’18 window this time also I failed but scored 310.

than I prepared part-1and given exam in May-June’18 window unfortunately I failed in this exam also scored 310.

I clean the slate and prepared the Part-2 and given exam in Sep-Oct window. two days back I got results and scored worst figure It’s 290.

I have weak areas identified :
Time management: In order to solve the tuff MCQ questions I spent lot of time on them. It was impacted on other easy MCQ questions.

Essay questions as always not at all clear they mixed 3 to 4 concepts and asked the questions, It has taken almost 15 minutes in each case to understand and remaining 30 minutes to Answer 10 questions from both cases.

This time I’m planning to give again my Part-2 in Feb 4th week.

Can you please help me to start my preparation effective approach.-Thanks in advance.

Rakeysh A

    Stephanie Ng says December 18, 2018

    Hello, I can help, but as this is pretty involved, can you please send me an email to stephanie[at]ipassthecmaexam.com?

Claudia says September 5, 2018

I used your advice for time management and study and passed Section #2 which I took first and will sit for Section #1 in October 2018.
Word of advice for anyone sitting for the exam:
1) Be prepared to have your calculator reset. I lost time because they had reset my calculator and I was trying to get my settings back and alas…..I had hit the start button. Lesson learned, rest the settings on the calculator first before hitting the start button.
2) Be prepared for a complete shake down at the test site. Yes, they not only looked at my glasses but made me give thumb print, took my picture, I had to roll up my pants for them to see if I was hiding anything, pull out my pockets, then they scanned me with a wander to see if I was hiding anything. Such a sad state of affairs that people have cheated that we need to be treated this way. I’m not saying anyone was mean, it’s just that I was not prepared for any of this. I already had test anxiety and this just added to it. Another lesson learned. Once you are in the room and have reset your calculator, take a few deep breaths and try to get your concentration back. It took me about 10min once I started taking the test. Then I really had to boogie. I didn’t get to about 5questions at the end but I know I would have done better if I had taken a breather before I started. As they say, hind sight is 20/20.
I feel great that I passed even with my anxiety but I know I would have gotten a better grade if I had taken the time before hitting the start.
Good Luck to everyone taking the test and remember to breathe!!

    Stephanie Ng says September 7, 2018

    This is great advice, Claudia! I think others can definitely learn a good bit from this feedback 🙂

sayed sameed says August 27, 2018

how many attempts are there in cma if we failed in 1st attempt??

    Meghan D says August 27, 2018


    There is no limit that I’ve heard of, and you are definitely allowed to take it again. So get started on your next attempt ASAP. Also, here’s another article on failing the cma exam.

Najeeb Hamayun says August 14, 2018

First time I appeared for CMA part 1 exam in 2013 , Failed , scored only 320. second time in 2015 again failed and got 350 , third time in 2016 again failed and got 350 marks than a little break and again appeared for exam in June 2018 this time I passed with score of 400. Now preparing for part 2. Bottom line : Never give-up.

    Stephanie Ng says September 15, 2018

    Yes, don’t give up!

    Kind regards,

sita says August 13, 2018

Hi stephanie,
I just got my CMA part 2 results.I got my score as 350 fail came too close.This is my second attempt.1st attempt i scored 340.I am unable to understand where i am going wrong. i studied by my own using gleim review materials for preparing both the parts im done with my part 1. Please let me know how do i prepare for my next attempt and what other materials do i have to refer? or should i take up some coaching classes. Its very important i clear it in the next attempt.Please need your suggestions

    Stephanie Ng says September 15, 2018

    Did you complete the Gleim practice exam/Exam Rehearsal before sitting? If so, what was your score?

    Kind regards,

Sita says June 12, 2018

Thank u so much for your response. Feeling very much relieved now 🙂 🙂

    Stephanie Ng says June 13, 2018

    So glad to be helpful, most welcome!

Sita says June 11, 2018

Hi stephanie,
I took part 2 exam today ..I completed my multiple choice and moved to essay . But while doing last question in essay time run out dialog box popped up and I could not end the session. Will all of my answers would have been saved ?? Really worried let me know

    Stephanie Ng says June 12, 2018

    Don’t worry Sita you will be fine. There is autosave. This is one of the most common exam experience questions I have, and so far no one has been in trouble when they forgot to save. Relax and take a well-deserved break! Stephanie

Lawrence Merkel says February 21, 2018

I wish IMA would give a more detailed scoring on one’s CMA exam score. Their present scoring is vague and does help one to adjust for the retake. Using a S for satissfactory, M for marginal and U for unsatisfactory does very little to help one for the retake. They have all the data. If one scores a 50% on the M/C section the essay part is made available to the exam taker BUT THEY HAVE NO CHANCE OF PASSING even if they score a 100% on the exam. IMA needs to improve the answer section on the easy part. Very antiquated!

Suhas says February 16, 2018

Hi Stephanie, I just took the part 2 exam today, but was not able to complete the last 2 parts of the 2nd essay question. Does not completing it mean that I will fail.

Janardhan says January 24, 2018

Hi Stephanie,

I had a nightmare experience, I wrote part 2 last June and got 340, which said Failed and I wrote part 1 in Oct and I got 320, again Failed, I rewrote part 1, put in all the efforts which I missed last time, but alas, I din even clear the MCQ section and I was not allowed to proceed to essay questions. I know I will have to motivate myself to work hard, thats about it!!

But my question is , I noticed that when I wrote part 1 in Oct I found MCQ questions to be easier than the ones I got to write in Jan, so is there by any chance there is a possibility, that the second time writing or repeaters get to face difficult questions or did I just get unlucky? also, plz tell me are they people who are facing the same issue as me, who are writing it for 3rd time.

I need your help!!

Plz advise

Deepak says October 12, 2017

I’m not good in accounts I’m a below average student.
Had completed graduation.
Should I have to go for CMA or some job.
I’m afraid that I can not pass the CMA exam
Need your suggestion!!

    Stephanie Ng says October 14, 2017

    Hi Deepak,
    It’s hard for me to tell, but I believe that a few years of practical experience in accounting in general will help a lot in your CMA exam performance. So I suggest you find a job to get started. In any case most candidates take the exam while they are on full-time job so there shouldn’t be a conflict. Good luck! Stephanie

Lawrence Merkel says September 18, 2017

I wish the IMA would provide more details on the grade score by area. I think this can be accomplished without compromising the integrity of the CMA exam process. Providing CMA candidates with a “S”, “M” or “U” does very little for the candidate why they passed or failed. I would like more detailed info within the 6 areas on the Exam. Since I did not pass what does a “M” and “U” equate to a grade percentage and could the 5 areas on the multiple choice be expanded to show more detail along with a percent grade.

The other thing I wish the IMA would do is change the Prometric test which I believe the IMA controls. Under the current process, if one has a 50% on the multiple choice section they move on to the essay section. But, the candidate has no chance at all in passing the CMA Exam unless there M/C section grade is above a 65%. If a 65% is achieved on the M/C section one must get a 93% on the essay to achieve 360 points to pass.

If one achieves a 70% on M/C (263 points) and a 78% on the essay (97 points), a passing grade will be achieved.

Per Mr. Robert Ewalt at IMA, It is true that those getting only 50% of the MC questions have no chance of passing. As you know, the MC score and essay scores are combined based on 75% / 25% to produce a “raw score” for the exam as a whole. This raw score is converted to the published “scaled score” with two additional factors. First, the conversion is not linear. Generally a 65 or 66 raw score is converted to 360, the passing score. Of course 360 / 500 = 72%. Second, each candidate’s MC questions and essay scenarios are drawn from two sets of possible questions. The sets each candidate receives are designed to be equally difficult, but it turns out there is often a small difference in the level of difficulty. This difference is adjusted during the scaling process, so that same scaled score represents the same level of skill.

Does IMA give a more detailed performance report?

SARA says February 16, 2017


    Stephanie Ng says February 16, 2017

    No need Sara. You can take them one at a time, in any sequence. Regards, Stephanie

Gyan Singh says August 30, 2016

Is is mandatory to click on save button after completing the essay ans??

    Stephanie Ng says August 30, 2016

    Hi Gyan, while it is good practice to save your essay from time to time, there is an autosave feature. No worries. Regards, Stephanie

SAHL YUSUF says January 20, 2016

Hi Stepahnie,

I wrote my Part 2 exam twice but failed to succeed in each sitting scoring firstly 350 and second time 340 which I felt was easier than the first but I scored lower in the second which seems funny.

I wanted to ask how can I crack it open once and for all finally as I need to complete my CMA by will of my heart but every time I fail, I feel bad whether I will fail again next time. It doesn’t give me guarantee to continue. But I have a strong will.

Help me this time as I got feed back report stating areas such as essay writing, Marginal Analysis and Financial statement analysis as M and U.

Help me how should I prepare next time to crack open this exam.

    Stephanie Ng says January 20, 2016

    Hi Sahl, I assume that you couldn’t identify the action based on the article above? Your writing looks decent to me so it shouldn’t be the main issue, so you might want to focus on the weaker areas’ MCQ. Exammatrix has this technology that feeds you the questions in the weaker topics, it sounds pretty powerful and is especially good for retakers in my opinion. Would you like to give it a try? It’s a bit more investment though, I hate to suggest that you need to spend more money. But see if it is worth it. https://ipassthecmaexam.com/exammatrix-cma/

Brett says August 17, 2015

Hey Stephanie
I’m regular visitor to your blogs.
I scored 310 in Part 1 in May-June 2015 window.
I was unable to finish the MCQs and the essay in 4 hours.
I tried my best to read and solve the questions as fast as possible but 2 hours 50 minutes into the paper, I only completed around 65 MCQs. In the last 10 minutes, I randomly clicked around 30 answers. Luckily I got pass the MCQs into the essay questions.
But I did not know what should be the length of the answer for each essay sub question. So I missed question: 4, 5 & 6 of essay.
Please, can you advise what time management strategy to follow? Or any other tips?
Also, given my score of 310 and above facts, would it be wise to appear both parts in next test window?
Many thanks!

    Stephanie Ng says August 18, 2015

    Hi Brett, let’s see if time management is the only issue. Sounds like it is, as you managed to get 310 by randomly answering 30 questions!
    If so, I would make sure you time yourself during your practice questions. There are exam modes in all the major review courses. You just have to keep practicing to speed it up. I would definitely stick with Part 1 when the memory is still fresh.

    I have some other tips here too which you may find useful: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-prep-tips/
    Good luck!

      Brett says August 18, 2015

      Thank you so much for that prompt reply and the link.

        Stephanie Ng says August 22, 2015

        Sure thing 🙂

Debi says August 12, 2015

I just got the news that I failed the exam, got 340 as score. Would you suggest to retake the exam as soon as possible (Sept-Oct window) or give some time and retake it in Jan-Feb window?

Rani says July 16, 2015

I got 340 ion part 1 . I wrote exam in May. actually I did exam well. I felt easy while doing MCQ s & essay. I am not understanding why I got failed score. !!! Can you give your suggestion …

    Stephanie Ng says July 18, 2015

    Hi Rani, I am sorry to hear that. What did the diagnostic report tell you in terms of stronger and weaker areas? Regards, Stephanie

      Rani says July 27, 2015

      Hi, I have received report. First 2 sections U & other 2 S & 1 M. Can you tell how should I prepare for exam and how to get good score to pass.. Thank you

        Stephanie Ng says July 27, 2015

        Hi Rani, I believe U means underperform right? (there should be an explanation on the report somewhere). If so, focus on the first 2 sections. There are also some areas that you know you don’t do as well. Also get more practices on those as well. Have a good attitude, keep working hard, and you have a good chance of success! Stephanie

          Rani says July 30, 2015

          Thank you …. I started working on part 1.

RASHID says June 11, 2015

Hi Step,
I would like to ask you, can we get retired questions of previous CMA exams again. I mean is there any chance of previous exam questions in future CMA exams. Is it helpful to practice previous questions?

    Stephanie Ng says June 12, 2015

    I believe Amani, our blogger, mentioned a link where you can get these questions. Please check out her blog: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/author/amani/

      RASHID says June 12, 2015

      I didn’t find the answer of my question either from you or from Amani Blog which you referred.
      Thanks anyway.

Mohamed says June 4, 2015

Hi Stephani
am taking the exam in the mid of june 2015 , am doing my exam like 3 hours environment and got 79 and with some review got 85 % , i have a weak area which is the financial reporting i worked on it but so far getting around 60% at best in this section in both exam trials ,
my question do you suggest giving them more time or concentrate on the rest of the subject which i had a better understanding and doing well in the practice questions
another question is this grades enough to pass the real exam ? keep in mind i am using HOCK as exam median while studied via Gleim

thanks for the Help

    Stephanie Ng says June 6, 2015

    Hi Mohamed, I would definitely work on financial reporting or other weaker areas. There isn’t much value add to keep working on your better areas. It’s by recovering more points from the weaker areas that you can increase your scores. Best of luck! Stephanie

Binoy says May 19, 2015

Hi Stephanie,

My first attempt was in Feb 15 and got 340 score.The performance shows:-
Financial statements -Satisfactory
Internal Control-Satisfactory
Budgeting -Marginal

Actually I have not really practiced for Essay because of my presumption that
Essay is just bundles of question from MCQ.
But I realized the importance of practicing Essay for its time management and delivering bullet points.

Please add you advise to enhance me in my practicing for the next attempt.



    Stephanie Ng says May 19, 2015

    Hi Binoy,
    I understand… that good thing is that you are pretty close to pass!
    Since our last correspondence I’ve written this mega post on CMA exam prep tips. Hope it’s useful: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-exam-prep-tips/


Rejo says August 27, 2014

Can I use 2013 textbooks for 2015 exam

Rejo says August 27, 2014

Dear Stephanie,

Is there any diifference between 2010 and 2013 Textbook of Hock. One of my friend is willing to offer his old material.
Any change in the syllabus?

    Stephanie Ng says August 27, 2014

    Hi Rejo, since there is a 5-year difference between 2010 and 2015, I think it is quite risky… I can’t really answer your questions because my site didn’t even exist in 2010 🙂

    For 2013… better but given the 2015 change, you will be missing one section on financial reporting. More info here: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/new-cma-exam-changes/

Haris says August 15, 2014

Dear Stephanie,

My first attempt of June month for part 1- result is out and got 330 scaled score and failed. I believe that reason is time management as I was pushed to choose blindly around 12-15 Multiple Questions due to to lack of time. Further I couldn’t write essays as I wish due to misunderstanding the no. of sub Questions in Essay part. I was given first essay question with 2 sub question in a page and surprised to see another 2 sub questions in next page where I expect second essay question. Any way I am going to concentrate on practicing Hocks & Gleims – software for improving the time management. Thank you very much for your support through this site and I hope my reasoning will help other fellow readers of site.

    Stephanie Ng says August 15, 2014

    Dear Haris,
    Thanks for your sharing. It’s very important for readers to read fellow candidates’ first-hand experience. I see what you mean, and it is very common among candidates. No worries — since you have a solid plan, I have a good feeling that you will make it next time! Please keep us updated, Stephanie

sarada akella says March 13, 2014

Your page is really motivating me .I have recently given my CMA part ! exam and my score was 330. I am using glliem online material. I am planning to take my exam in june 2014 please let me know other than gliiem that can make me pass. And awaiting for your valuable suggestion which will help me out.
with regards
sarada akella

    Stephanie Ng says March 25, 2014

    Hi Sarada, thanks for your note! It depends on the reason why… if you feel like you don’t understand the materials, either Hock or Wiley could be helpful. Otherwise, if you haven’t completed your practice questions or that you score low in the practice questions, the solution might simply be completing them or redo that ones you did wrong. Hope it helps! Stephanie

Ornell says November 6, 2013

Hi Stephanie, I’m a senior in college and one of the rep from cma just came by to my school and now im interesting in taking the exam in jan or feb. i want to study just by myself. is there any book i could study with and pass. or lone book will not make me pass it. any suggestion will be appreciate. bytheway, i am saving my money to sit for the cpa. so my money is for a cpa program because that was my first choice. thats the reason why i just want to use a book and cut cost.

    Stephanie Ng says January 21, 2014

    Hi Ornell, Wiley has a book but it’s very expensive. I think the least expensive option, at least for now, is Gleim. You can take a look here (2013 pricing): https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-course/

shahnaz says September 24, 2013

ur web page is really a helping guide,
i want to ask that can i know about the exam date of CMA October
coz i am planning to give my exam part 1 next month
also need guide line
i have gleim and hock software

thank u

Liv says September 17, 2013

Hi Stephanie,
I appreciate your website. I am about to take Part 2 of CMA exam in Dubai in 2 weeks time. I enrolled in a review school which uses Gleim. Its a pretty concise book. Though a friend of mine took it a week ago, and she found out that not a single item appeared in the exam and its in a different format/approach. Now I am thinking that prolly they used Wiley. I was in a limbo for 1 week and couldn’t function/review, thinking I am not as prepared as I thought I was. Now I am thinking of purchasing Wiley Online testbank but afraid time is not enough coz will be taking the exam in 2 weeks time and im sure delivery will take some time. bit confused now. Is there any free Wiley test bank i can access somewhere? Hope you can reply to my email privately. Thanks Steph!

    Stephanie Ng says September 18, 2013

    Hi Liv, I have had so many readers who passed the CMA exam with Gleim, so there is nothing to worry about. It is true that since the computerization of the exam, the format can vary quite a bit from one candidate to another. Perhaps your friend got unlucky and got a set that was quite different from the rest…

    Almost everyone told me that Part 1 is difficult. It is supposed to be difficult no matter which review course you take, because the questions are long and complex. But at the same time, since everyone finds it tough it’s all right 🙂

    Getting back to your question, I don’t think you should start working on a brand new set of practice questions with 2 weeks away. I would just go over the Gleim questions that you did wrong before, and make sure you understand the concept behind those.

    One last note, the ICMA (CMA exam administrator) does not use Wiley or any questions from the CMA review providers. It’s more like the other way round, or at least the providers are trying to do that. Hope this will remove one concern that you may have. Best of luck to your exam! Stephanie

Wilfred says July 11, 2013

Hi Stephanie, I used Gleim as my main materials, though I used others I found useful in a specific topics.

Wilfred says July 11, 2013

Hi Stephanie, I used Gleim as my main materials, though I used others I dound useful in a specific topics.

    Stephanie says July 12, 2013

    I see… generally Gleim works well so shouldn’t be the main problem. Let’s wait for the performance report that shows your performance as satisfactory, marginal, or unsatisfactory for each of the 5 key topic areas from the multiple choice section of the exam as well as the overall performance on the essay section of the exam. With more data it is easier to get a solution. If you prefer to email me privately, you can send your result to stephanie@ipassthecmaexam.com

Wilfred says July 11, 2013

Just got the result today for Part 1 and it’s FAIL. During my review, I almost got 90-94% for all the practice questions on the average. I couldn’t think of any effort I could give more than what I did. There must be someting I am mising. That’s the reason I’m sharing this, looking for a different thought that could convince me to do it the 2nd time.
During the exam, I felt confident with my answers except for 3-4 that looks hard for me.
I appreciate a unique comments that would ring the bell. Btw Im already a CPA in the Philippines which should be much tougher task because I need to take 8 subjects in 1 sitting for 4 days in 2 consecutive weekends.
I always beleive GOD is in control and He has a reason

    Stephanie Ng says July 11, 2013

    Hi Wilfred, it does sound unexpected… which set of practice questions did you use? Stephanie

    Liv says September 17, 2013

    Hi Wilfred,
    I have the same apprehension. Do you have any Wiley stuff /online questions you can share with me? I am thinking that they could have used Wiley questions. thanks!

pooka wagh says July 10, 2013

I feeling to hard to read…
I don’t knw from where to start…
M not to good in studies….
But I wish to become a successful women in this career…
Plz help me…

    Stephanie Ng says July 10, 2013

    Hi Pooka,
    You can try setting up your goal one step at a time by creating mini milestones that are challenging but doable. When setting these mini-goals it is good to consider your existing work and family commitment so you won’t feel too overwhelmed or sacrificing too much in order to achieve them.

    In terms of career, getting the qualification is only part of the jigsaw puzzle. A great resume and interview skills, together with active networking are also key to success. I am in the process of setting up a new website on this given the very big demand on these topics:

    Nothing much there at the moment, but I have done a lot of research and am ready to write. Stay tuned! Stephanie

Sant says June 13, 2013

Hi Stephanie,

I picked this motivational quote from your collection, it helped me immensely-

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

I did fairly well this time, expecting passings marks atleast.

    Stephanie Ng says June 28, 2013

    Hi Sant,
    Glad you like this quote! I also wrote this particular down on post-it and stuck it on my desktop when I went through the exam.

Thuran says June 7, 2013

Hi Stephanie,

Are there any major differences with the Wiley CMA books vs the books published by the IMA itself (2010 exam format I.e.)?

    Stephanie Ng says June 27, 2013

    Hi Thuran,
    For the 2013 version it’s actually from the same author — I guess wiley is just getting the distribution right and likely be able to profit from it 🙂
    In the future though they might be adding value to the content itself…

Lily says May 15, 2013

I had the exam which wasn’t that much difficult, unfortunately I run out of time and didn’t answer all the MCQ’s .. am in a very sad mood .. but your article helped me lot .. thank you very much ..

    Stephanie says May 15, 2013

    Dear Lily, I am glad it’s helpful. Well the most important thing is to see this positively so next time you’ll be able to work better on time management and pass this exam! It does sound like you can. Best of luck to you! Stephanie

Abdulrahaman says March 31, 2013

Really I hardly studied CMA from 4 month ago, but I can not get the exam because of the situation here in Syria, so I abandon these certificate before reading your article however, I hope that will be a motivation for me to continue my efforts to study once again.

    Stephanie Ng says April 4, 2013

    I hear you… I also read a lot about the situation in your country here. It must be a lot more difficult to get the study done over at your place, but I can feel that you will make it! Look forward to hearing good news from you! Stephanie

Shaad says February 17, 2013

Thank you so much for the Inspiration that you have given. I had been going real easy about this and was not getting anywhere. Its been of great help.
Got the right motivation to move forward.

Thank you again,

    Stephanie Ng says February 18, 2013

    Hi Shaad, that’s good to know! Best of luck to your next attempt on the CMA exam, Stephanie

Michele says December 26, 2012

Hi-This was a great article and great timing as I’m trying to study during Christmas break for the first exam in January. How do you know when you are ready to take the exam?

    Stephanie Ng says January 27, 2013

    Hi Michele, I guess if you work on the practice questions and say get 3/4 of them right. This is a very rough estimate — I would aim to redo the 1/4 incorrect ones until you get all of them right. Best of luck to your exam! Stephanie

Sameh Adel says November 13, 2012

Dear Stephanie,

I would like to thank you for this great website, I really needed some motivation and somebody or something to wake me up.

I have been through the Exam 2 times with a very close marks to the passing score, 330 & 340, and I was very disappointed and became afraid to fail again if I continued.

Now, I am starting over the study, but especialy after reading and subscribing in your website, it gave me a more push that was needed in this time. I was afraid to fall into the dark area after time, effort and money spent for aquiring this certificate. But at the end it deserves all of that.

Once again thank you.
Sameh Adel

    Stephanie Ng says November 19, 2012

    Hi Sameh, I am very glad to hear that! In a way it is not rocket science, but our commitment in work, family etc can really affect our ability to stay dedicated and motivated for the study. I hope the newsletter and/or facebook posts will bring you together with all the aspiring CMAs and you guys can all cheer each other up. Best of luck in your next attempt. You can do it! Stephanie

Brenda Davis says September 27, 2012

My certification date is coming up, and I would like to study online with some practice testes I have been studing on my own, please help me.

    Stephanie Ng says January 27, 2013

    Hi Brenda,
    For practice tests, Gleim is the best in my opinion:

    Although CMALS is having a brand new review course provided by Wiley which I would think must be good as well, given Wiley is #1 in CPA review books and test bank. Will let you guys know when I am done reviewing the new version.

      Stephanie says May 15, 2013

      Update: for the 2013 version at least, Wiley is simply taking the CMALS content and publish it, so its role is essentially a distributor. I’ll try to figure out whether they will have more say in the editorial front in later versions.

Chille says August 1, 2012

Hi Stephanie,

I’m glad i found your site. It has been months that I have stopped with my CMA review due to lack of time or should i say lack of commitment…I think I need a big PUSH right now to go back where i left off..I subscribed to your e-course to keep me inspired and focused..


    Stephanie Ng says January 27, 2013

    That’s great to know Chills. It’s not rocket science. I am sure you can rework the study plan and put in sufficient time and commitment, and pass it on your next attempt! Stephanie

Prashanth Subbarao says March 24, 2012

Hi Stephanie:

When I try to confirm the subscription I am getting an error as below,

You 404’d it. Gnarly, dude.
Surfin’ ain’t easy, and right now, you’re lost at sea. But don’t worry; simply pick an option from the list below, and you’ll be back out riding the waves of the Internet in no time.

Hit the “back” button on your browser. It’s perfect for situations like this!
Head on over to the home page.
Please let me know how do I go further.



    Stephanie Ng says March 24, 2012

    Hi Prashanth,
    Thanks for your email. Sorry I mistyped the url address in my blog but I have fixed it now. In any case you have already signed in. Welcome and see you there! Stephanie

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