Joan is one of our CMA exam bloggers, originally from the Philippines, now working in Dubai. Joan blogs for us every Wednesday.
When I made the decision that I wanted to be a qualified accountant and chose the CMA path, I was ready for the challenge. Little did I know that the word CHALLENGE was an understatement on the route to becoming a CMA.
For someone who has not practiced for years, I found it difficult to start at first. I spent months just familiarizing myself with the content, language, and terminologies of the review material. In order for myself to stop procrastinating, I booked my exam, which somehow really helped or rather forced me to start following my study plan.
So much has been said about the reasons why one will or will not fail the CMA exam. And it’s embarrassing that in spite of being aware of the reasons, I didn’t bother much until I got my score -FAILED.
I never really stuck with the study plan I set. I was always behind my schedule. And whenever I was ahead, I started slacking off.
I always found an excuse to slack off, whether I need to spend time with family, my hectic schedule at work, a family emergency, being sick, or simply being lazy. I had plenty of preparation time for the exam. And still, it wasn’t enough to master everything for a very obvious reason that I PROCRASTINATED most of my review time.
I let myself get distracted easily. Culprit? Social Media, TV series, chit chats with friends, and a lot of drama. I lacked self-control and I let a lot of unnecessary extra-curricular activities get in the way of my real priorities.
I underestimated the required mastery of the topics in order to get a sure pass result. It was a half cook job on my part. I thought it’s enough to know the topics in the CMA Exam Part 1. It wasn’t; MASTERY is required in order to pass.
I didn’t finish both the multiple-choice questions and the essay part of the exam – I scored 320 on my first attempt. There were a few easy questions that I didn’t get right because I simply didn’t know how to answer them. Had I studied more seriously, I probably would have PASSED.
I thought I could handle everything at the same time. Yes, some of us may be good at multi-tasking. I believed I am good at it too, but when it comes to exams like the CMA, you cannot take chances.
Failing an exam means more resources required – time, money, and emotions. I failed to assess my priorities, and I never wanted to give up any of them. That is, I thought I could manage like always did but I didn’t – I UNDER-PERFORMED in everything I did. I was all over the place and was so STRESSED!
If you are currently preparing for an exam part and you are guilty of any of the above, gather yourself and get back on track; it’s not too late yet. Keep your eyes focused on your goal. If you feel you aren’t ready don’t hesitate to re-schedule the exam. BETTER DELAY THAN FAIL.
Joan, thanks so much for your candid sharing on your first attempt. I can see how candidates fall so easily in any of these pitfalls. As you said, they can be overcome, either by discipline or simply by not underestimating the difficulty of the CMA exam.
320 is pretty close especially if you’ve experienced all of the above! I am really glad you’ve taken a good thought and have identified several ways of improvement. I have a good feeling that you’ll make it next time.
Kumusta kayong lahat (it means “how are you all” in Filipino)? I am Joan from the Philippines and I will be sharing with you my experiences, challenges and stories all throughout my CMA journey.