My Gleim CMA Experience When Going Through Part 1

my gleim cma experienceAmani is one of our CMA exam bloggers. She writes for us every Tuesday.

I am currently using Gleim CMA’s printed version, as I always prefer to put in my notes and underline what seems important to me. I also printed the summary they provide for each unit, and the audio version of the book, although I’m not a big fan of it and I don’t use it much.

Gleim CMA Book by Study Unit

In studying some people like to focus more on subjects with higher weights, but for me I wanted to put in equal effort while focusing mostly on the weak parts not the weights. The following is an overview of the material:

  • Units 1-2-3: Financial reporting and measurement 15%
  • Units 4-5-6-7: Cost accounting 20%
  • Units 8-9: Budgeting 30%
  • Units 10-11: Performance Valuation 20%
  • Units 12-13: Internal Control 15%

I started with the same order of the units: I finished the first 3 units which were brief reviews of accounting principles and the presentation of the financial statements. It took almost two weeks for me (keep in mind that I study daily after work 3 hours).

Then I jumped ahead to the budgeting part because it represents 30% of the CMA and one of my favorite subjects, followed by costing units which were relatively easy, except for unit 5 in which I struggled a bit.

Unit 10 was easy to go through simple calculations and couple of ideas, but you need to summarize all the formulas in it to have a better grip of it. Later I finished unit 11, it was simple to understand so it didn’t take me much time.

Currently I’m studying units 12 and 13. Although they are not difficult, I’m not great in memorizing definitions. Also, not having practiced internal controls and audit functions or even some of the information technology mentioned in those units, I find it harder to study than I originally thought. Therefore, I decided to go over them more than once or even twice.

Gleim CMA’s book as a whole is not complicated and doesn’t take much time to finish. Each unit ranges from 3-7 days including the end-of-unit questions.

But the difficult part is the online tests: the first ones I didn’t score more than 60-70%; which made me frustrated and I thought my study was not enough so I went back and studied the units again. That wasn’t helpful, as I only scored better in the theoretical subjects. Still with practice I got higher marks, I’m now at almost 75% average and I plan to raise it up a notch.

In conclusion the material by itself is not enough for you to pass, you must practice questions and essays, as many as you can, its a true saying practice makes perfect (almost to be exact).

From Stephanie

Amani I can’t agree with you more on the experience. I had the exact feeling myself when I went through Gleim CMA Part 1 myself. I thought it was a breeze until I hit the practice questions, and boy, it was frustrating! As you said, things get better each time I worked on the questions. It was a great feeling to know I was slowly but surly improving.

About the Author Amani

Hello, I am from Jordan and a recent graduate. I have passed Part 1 on my first try after 4 months of studying. I accepted a teaching position for a CMA review course and therefore have to postpone my Part 2 to 2016.

  • CMA student says:

    Gleim is one review course with naxinum number of practice questions compared to other review courses. Is Gleim test bank insufficient still? 🙁

  • Mallik says:

    Hi Amani:

    Thanks for your suggestion. Where can I find IMA retired questions please.

    • Amani says:

      Dear Mallik, When you become a member of the IMA you will be able to download them for both parts from your profile under the Learning Center tab.

      • Mallik says:

        Hi Amani

        Sorry bothering you. I couldn’t find retired questions of IMA. I am registered IMA member. If you get chance, at your convenience, can you pl send path to locate the questions.


  • CMA Student says:

    Thank you so much Amani & Stephanie

  • SM says:

    Dear Amani and Stephanie,

    Thank you both for this wonderful blog and related inputs especially IMA’s link to retired questions. I am currently using Gleim printed version book. It would be great if you can advise me on the study options stated below so that I can make my exam study planner accordingly.
    Option 1 Are the questions given at back of each study unit in the Gleim book including practice of CMA retired questions- 293 questions for Part1 and 321 questions for Part2 sufficient for our Exam preparation?
    Option 2 we need to study the whole set of Gleim online questions alone- 1990 questions for Part1 and 1704 questions for Part2 ?

    Coming to essays- The Gleim online essays or Sample essays in IMA site

    • Amani says:

      For option one it depends on your knowledge level, if you believe you are proficient with the topics then i would say yes, but for most people its not enough, they refer to other testbanks.

      Option two, also depends, when you reach a level where you think you are ready to sit for the exam, or score at least 75% in tests, then you shouldn’t study the whole testbank, and the opposite is true.

      As for the essays, the IMA essays is a must study to be able to understand how the perfect solution is written, studying complementary essays from gelim online, or the end of chapter essays is never a bad thing.


  • SM says:

    Dear Amani,
    Thanks a lot for your detailed response 🙂 Hope this page serves help to other CMA students as well 🙂

  • Feras says:

    Hello Anani !
    How long time do you think I need to study part 1?

  • trilok says:

    Are all gleim cma product valid for 18 months including the test bank please help me

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