Should you choose Gleim CMA or Wiley CMAexcel? In our in-depth comparison, you can learn which of the 2 options is best for you. We've evaluated the courses, navigated all the marketing fluff, and presented an honest comparison for your review. Let's start by checking out a summary of the 2 courses.
CMA Review Attribute
Gleim CMA Review - Premium Course
Wiley CMA Review - Platinum Course
Access Until You Pass
High -- If your course expires before you pass the exam, you'll be on the hook for more fees, and you may have to purchase all new materials. Therefore, it's important to select a course with access until you pass.
Medium -- Video lectures could be more important for visual and auditory learners.
Over 45 lecture hours included
64 lecture hours included
CMA Test Bank
High -- Without practice questions, you'll miss out on applying the knowledge you've learned. Moreover, you won't learn about the exam from the questions in a test bank.
Over 3,000 questions included
Over 5,500 questions included
CMA Essay Practice
High -- The CMA exam's essays are notoriously difficult, especially if you haven't worked through a few dozen or so.
130+ unique scenarios
16 unique scenarios
Medium -- If obtaining internet access is a problem where you live, having a mobile app that you can use without being connected to Wi-Fi could be a highly important factor.
Expert Guidance on Accounting Subject Matter
Low -- For some, figuring things out on their own might lead to better memory retention. Conversely, not understanding a concept could send others into a tailspin. With this feature, you'll be able to contact the teams at both Gleim CMA and Wiley CMAexcel with any questions you have. However, we don't think this feature is a must-have.
Detailed Final Review
High -- The final review is where you test all your understanding of the concepts. Furthermore, it's also where you can drill down on your weak areas. Your final review typically occurs 1-2 weeks prior to sitting for your exam.
Final review includes a practice exam and more practice in a question bank.
Final review includes new & unique video lectures, mock exams, and a LOS review document.
High -- If you are not a visual or auditory learner, books may be the primary way in which you prefer to digest information. Additionally, you can review the books virtually anywhere and without internet access.
Digital and physical books included
Digital or physical books included
Low -- Flashcards can be helpful for reinforcing topics but may lead to rote memorization (something you should avoid) unless you create the flashcards yourself.
Over 850 flashcards included
Gleim CMA is MUCH more affordable. Additionally, Wiley hasn't been discounting their courses as of late (or if they do, it's not by much). Taking the CMA exam is already expensive -- why add a high-priced course to the list of costs? And, the Wiley test bank includes far fewer questions and essays than Gleim does. Gleim has over 130 essays for you to complete as part of your study process. In contrast, Wiley has only 16. And because essays are quite complex, no candidate should only have 16 essays on which to practice.
In the end, we crown Gleim CMA the winner, as it's one of our favorites, and we really do love its affordability. Gleim CMA's course is the gold standard. And Gleim has helped more CMAs pass the CMA exam than any other course (most of our readers use Gleim too)! Also, Gleim features an adaptive technology, whereas Wiley's course is not adaptive at all. Consequently, the Wiley CMAexcel platform is a bit outdated as a result.
Gleim has been around since 1974. Gleim started their accounting certification exam prep legacy by publishing CPA review courses, but they also created the very first CMA review course. Then, for many decades, Gleim CMA Review was the only CMA course available on the market. And today, Gleim is still recognized as the CMA exam prep leader. Why? Because more candidates have used Gleim to prepare for the CMA exam than any other course available. Additionally, Gleim is also a strategic partner of the IMA.Wiley CMAexcel merged from 2 courses: Wiley CMA and the IMA's course. Then, Wiley and the IMA partnered to combine the courses into one, and Wiley CMAexcel was born. Wiley was also one of the first CPA review providers, but they are relatively new to the CMA space.
Both courses have fairly intuitive interfaces. However, only the Gleim CMA course's interface provides any candidate guidance.
Gleim CMA recently redesigned its interface. And, although the course interface is adaptive, it's not 100% guided (you'll need to make some of your own study decisions). So, you'll still need to work through the course independently. However, finding your own way is par for the course with self-study systems. Furthermore, some candidates prefer to retain full control of their course, so they don’t use the guidance even when it is available.
Also, if you purchase your Gleim Premium CMA Review course now, you’ll have access to the new version without paying any extra fees. Since the Premium Course includes access until you pass, you’ll also be able to study using both the 2020 course and 2021 course once it comes online.
The Gleim CMA Review course contains over 45 hours of video lectures. And with these lectures, CMA candidates can receive detailed coverage of the critical topics, walkthroughs of multiple-choice questions, and instructions for completing the essays. The best thing about having video lectures in your course is that you can really learn the exam content. And having a deeper understanding of the exam content enables you to answer the complex questions on the CMA exam.
In contrast, Wiley offers over 65 hours of lecture hours, 50 of which come in its main course. The additional 15 hours of video content are part of the final review. Some students may feel overwhelmed by the number of lectures, so take your learning style into consideration. If you don't feel the need to watch 65 hours of lectures, Gleim is a better choice.
Both Gleim and Wiley have roughly the same quality lectures and utilize an impressive team of professors to instruct the lectures.
Both Wiley CMAexcel and Gleim CMA include access until you pass in their respective Platinum and Premium Courses. With this guarantee, you can study for the CMA exam for as long as you need to. And you won’t have to spend any more money on course extensions or upgrade fees. Rather, you'll receive all the updates you need for free, and you’ll also be able to study for any length of time.
However, the Gleim Premium Guarantee is better in that it also offers a no-hassle refund policy. This guarantee allows you to return your course, should you need to, so long as 18+ months haven't passed since your purchase date. The option to return your course makes this guarantee a relatively rare feature, and Wiley does not offer a similar guarantee.
Both Gleim CMA Review and Wiley CMAexcel include access to subject-matter experts should you need further assistance. You can ask these experts when you get stuck on a topic or have questions about a concept you are studying.
Additionally, both Gleim and Wiley provide you with an exam mentor who will facilitate your study planning. Your mentor will also be able to help you register for the exam and provide you with encouragement when you need it.
Only Wiley CMAexcel includes flashcards in its course. Wiley's course has over 850 flashcards digital flashcards, and you can access them in the online course or the Wiley CMA mobile app.
Additionally, you can elect to receive 500+ printed flashcards if you choose the “Print” package version of the Wiley CMAexcel Platinum Course.
Unfortunately, Gleim CMA does not provide its candidates with flashcards. However, they do this purposefully, as they believe creating your own flashcards is a better way to learn. The team at Gleim doesn’t see a huge benefit for candidates in studying with ready-made flashcards. And Gleim isn’t wrong that writing and re-writing topics while creating your own flashcards will foster a deeper understanding of the material. So, we recommend that you give creating your own flashcards a try, unless you run out of study time, of course!
Wiley CMAexcel includes a mobile app with its Platinum CMA course. This app is a helpful feature, as we know many CIA candidates use public transit that doesn’t have Wi-Fi. Additionally, a Wi-Fi connection is sometimes hard to come by in certain regions of the world. Therefore, because Wiley has an app, your ability to study anywhere and anytime is unlimited.
In contrast, Gleim CMA Review does not include a mobile app, nor has Gleim developed one. Instead, the Gleim CMA Review course is accessible online and is compatible with most devices. And last we heard, the Gleim CMA online course was mostly easy to use on all types of devices. The essays were the exception because the course emulates the bulky Prometric environment that you’ll see on exam day. But when you're not trying to practice essays on a phone or tablet, exam emulation is great to have.
Gleim does not provide candidates with pass rate information. And neither the IMA nor other accounting organizations are in the habit of publishing pass rates for CMA exam prep providers. Additionally, because no third party independently audits CMA exam review course pass rates, you should not rely solely on the pass rate data you find on their sites.
However, we know from our surveys that Gleim does, in fact, have a high pass rate. Our candidates have reported a pass rate of approximately 90% when using Gleim CMA’s Premium Course.
Similarly, Wiley CMA also uses surveys to compile its pass rates. Wiley CMAexcel states that 80% of its candidates pass the CMA exam when using Wiley. But again, Wiley CMAexcel does not have its pass rates audited, so making your CMA review course decision on pass rate numbers alone isn't the best idea.
Since Wiley and Gleim offer a variety of learning components, their courses meet the needs of most learning styles. But, one exception is that Wiley CMA does not include any audio lectures in its course. Therefore, auditory learners may be a bit disappointed by a Wiley course. Otherwise, due to the fact that both courses include 40+ hours of video lectures, visual learners can receive effective instruction from these courses.
What's more, both Gleim and Wiley supply traditional learning style components, like books and test banks. So, you don't need to worry if you don't learn best from watching video lectures or listening to audio lectures.
Generally, Wiley CMA discounts have been more difficult to find, and they are often much smaller than Gleim's. Consequently, because there isn't an abundance of generous Wiley discounts, it makes it hard for many CMA candidates to justify Wiley's prices.
The Gleim CMA discounts also align with the price of the course. Generally, the Gleim CMA course discounts range from 20-30%, although 30% discounts on Gleim CMA Review are rare. Usually, Gleim saves its 30% discount for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November. And even during this time, the discount is only valid for a few days. You can access my Gleim CMA discount here. (No promo code is required; the discount is embedded in the link.)
Gleim CMA Review
Access Until You Pass
Help from Experts
High Pass Rates
From this table, you can see that the Gleim CMA course scores more points. CMA candidates have been reporting a surge in Wiley CMA errors, which is why we didn't give them a whole point for their course quality. Similarly, Wiley doesn't have a refund policy included in its access until you pass guarantee. In contrast, Gleim does include a return policy, and it's quite a generous one, at that.
Both courses are solid.
In the end, it comes down to course quality, affordability, and features. We do feel like Gleim CMA is best if:
The reason Gleim may be the best for those falling into the categories above is that Gleim CMA includes more essay questions (learning opportunities) and complete answer explanations for both the correct and incorrect answer choices. Additionally, an adaptive platform like than one Gleim incorporates into its platform can guide you more than a 100% user-based course. So, you'll do less guesswork about your weak areas, how you may perform on the CMA exam, and more.
Lastly, if your course purchase needs to stay within a reasonable price point, you'll definitely want to choose Gleim.
Find Gleim CMA and Wiley CMAexcel discounts. Then, purchase your course!
If you're still unsure about which course is the best for you, please contact me for a thorough and helpful recommendation. Additionally, you can also sign up for my free CMA exam study materials to learn more about the process of becoming a CMA.
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