Gleim CMA Review may be the most popular CMA exam review program on the market. So, let’s analyze the features, pros, and cons of the Gleim CMA 2021 version of this course.
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The Gleim CMA Review for 2021 has three offerings: the Premium CMA Review System, the Traditional CMA Review System, and the Mega Test Bank.
The Gleim CMA Review System includes everything you need for your CMA exam preparation. This is the only Gleim CMA course that includes professor-led video lectures, a proprietary and innovative adaptive learning platform, a no-hassle money-back guarantee, an access-until-you-pass guarantee, the most realistic exam questions, and the ability to get help from experts.
Therefore, if you do not already have a strong background with the exam content, this is the Gleim course for you.
Additionally, the Gleim CMA Premium Course includes the following components:
Yes, you do. With a complete course, you’ll receive access until you pass. This guarantee means your digital materials will update automatically. Having access until you pass is critical because, in 2020, the CMA exam underwent a lot of changes, and materials from 2020 or before will no longer prepare you for the new exam version. Therefore, we highly recommend that you ONLY purchase a course that includes access until you pass.
With the Gleim Premium Review Course, anytime the CMA exam undergoes any changes (big or small) or any new accounting standards are tested, you will get access to updated Gleim CMA study materials.
What’s more, each re-take for the CMA exam costs over $400 per part. Additionally, if you purchase a full review course and not just a test bank, you have a better chance of avoiding any exam re-takes. Consequently, if you invest in a complete CMA course right away, you’ll not only save money but also hundreds of study hours as well. I know a CMA review course is expensive, but it is also a good value. Therefore, a quality course can save you money in the long run and may also help you to become a CMA more quickly.
The Gleim CMA Traditional System is a self-study CMA exam course. The Traditional package does NOT include these features from the Premium system:
The absence of the above features truly makes this course a self-study system. You’ll still have access to an exam mentor to help you plan your studies, but they won’t be able to answer technical questions about the exam content.
However, you’ll still receive:
The price of the Gleim CMA Traditional course is fairly close to the cost of the Premium system. It’s also relatively easy to find a Gleim Premium CMA Review System promo code. Therefore, because the Gleim CMA Premium course offers a much better value for a reasonable price, I recommend the Premium option over the Traditional one.
The Gleim CMA test bank is known as the Mega Test Bank, which includes one book for each exam part. You have the option of having the physical book delivered to you or receiving access to the digital version, which lets you save on shipping fees.
Of course, the test bank contains thousands of questions and hundreds of Gleim essays for CMA review. You also receive access to this test bank as part of the Premium CMA or Traditional CMA course. Once you have it, you can use the Gleim test bank in two different ways:
This CMA test bank is a powerful tool because it shows you the answer explanations for both the correct and incorrect answer choices. In general, the best way to use a test bank is to read all of the explanations, even the ones for the incorrect answer choices, as doing so ensures that you understand the exam concepts and the reasoning behind each answer. Gleim’s test bank gives you this option.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive analysis of the three products Gleim CMA Review offers, check out my chart below.
To summarize, the main difference between these options is that the Premium course comes with a lot of video lectures to give you a classroom experience. The Traditional features everything in the Premium course except the lectures, access until you pass, access to experts, and refund guarantee. Finally, the Gleim CMA Mega Test Bank is just a bank of questions, so you won’t get any lectures, guarantees, or additional support.
|Premium CMA Review||Traditional CMA Review||CMA Mega Test Bank|
|Access Until You Pass|
|CMA Test Bank|
|SmartAdapt (an adaptive learning platform)|
|Price||$1599 (click here to save!)||$1349 (click here to save!)||$999 (click here to save!)|
Gleim CMA Premium and Traditional Systems now include SmartAdapt technology. SmartAdapt is its proprietary, innovative adaptive learning platform. This software is designed to identify where you need to focus and where you don’t. Also, SmartAdapt guides you through learning tools and adaptive quizzes and essays so you can prepare efficiently. Consequently, it will tell you what to study during your final days before your exam and let you know when you are ready to sit for the exam with confidence.
Gleim CMA was the first self-study CMA Review Course on the market in 1981.
What’s more, Dr. Irvin Gleim was one of the first CMAs in the country; you can see his certificate number on the IMA website. He was a highly respected professor at the University of Florida, and he has many years of experience teaching exam review courses for accountants. Finally, Dr. Gleim was actually the first author of the popular Wiley CPAexcel Exam Review!
Furthermore, Amy Ford, the lead instructor in the Gleim CMA video lectures, was one of the top scorers on the CMA exam. Subsequently, she received a Certificate of Distinguished Performance from the IMA. Now, Ms. Ford is an instructor of accountancy at Western Illinois University (WIU), and the IMA named her IMA Faculty Mentor of the Year in 2011.
Gleim is proud of its practice questions, which cover a wide range of topics. If you study best by cranking through lots of practice questions (like I did), then Gleim is an excellent choice for you. The Premium or Traditional Review System guides you through these practice questions with adaptive quizzes designed to let you practice on those topics you need to focus on the most.
In my opinion, Gleim CMA is able to develop such a comprehensive set of questions because they have also created review courses for the CPA, CIA, and EA exams. Therefore, they have a deep and wide understanding of accounting that goes beyond just management accounting.
Gleim’s courses are the best at recreating the CMA exam environment. With a Gleim CMA course, you can learn how the exam operates as you prepare for it. With this experience, you’ll minimize the number of surprises you encounter on exam day. Another great feature of the test bank is the Gleim CMA exam rehearsal mode that lets you take a very realistic CMA exam simulation.
If you get the Premium or Traditional Review System, your course comes with access to a Personal Counselor. Many students need help creating a study plan, tips for sticking with it, and answers to questions about the exam. Thus, the Personal Counselors at Gleim supply a value-added service of presenting solutions to these common issues. However, remember that the Gleim Personal Counselors do not answer technical questions, so you’ll need the Premium CMA Review Course if you want this service.
The Gleim Instruct videos feature CMA exam video lectures from Amy Ford, an ICMA Award Winner and instructor at IMA-endorsed Western Illinois University. The videos are broken down into bite-sized lectures to help the adaptive course guide you to the topics you need to focus on the most. Additionally, the videos also feature walkthroughs of both multiple-choice and essay questions with tips on how to best approach each type of question.
While I appreciate the very detailed discussion about every topic that the books contain, some candidates will find this information hard to read or just too much to read. I personally prefer a format with more bullet points and more white space on each page.
Having said that, if you follow the Gleim CMA study guide in the online course, you will see that it does not require students to read the whole book. Instead, the adaptive course recommends that students focus on the sections they are not familiar with. If you do that instead of simply sitting down to read the entire text, the books will be much less overwhelming.
Also, watching video lectures is a much better way to digest information that can be challenging to read through. So if you watch all the lectures but don’t find the books helpful for reinforcing your weak areas, you can probably skip the books altogether.
Gleim may be better suited for candidates who have an accounting background. Because the course teaches certain concepts at a high-level, some candidates who do not have an accounting degree may not feel at ease with this teaching style. However, the Premium course comes with more than enough study aids. So if you purchase the Premium version, you should be able to catch up on the most basic concepts pretty quickly by using the many different study tools.
The most important think to know about how to use Gleim CMA is to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all its features. Pay close attention to the readings, videos, and questions that the SmartAdapt technology points you towards. When answering practice questions, review explanations even for the wrong answer choices. If you use Gleim to study CMA content, plan a time to take the full exam rehearsal as though you were taking the actual exam. This way, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth while you work on your CMA certification with Gleim.
Of course, Gleim isn’t the only CMA review course on the market. Indeed, it’s one of the more expensive options. But is Gleim worth it? Here’s how it stacks up against the competition.
Both offer access until you pass, expert guidance. Hock has more video lecture hours but a smaller test bank, both in terms of essays and MCQs. Hock also offers flashcards and a mobile app, which Gleim doesn’t, but it fall short on one very important element: final exam preparation.
During your last few studying days, Gleim’s adaptive learning technology and detailed exam rehearsal will put your focus where it needs to be. For the CMA, Hock doesn’t have a similar option. Thus, in the battle of Gleim vs. Hock CMA, Gleim is the winner. Read my full Hock International CMA Review for more information.
Surgent is new to the CMA review game, but it’s quickly gaining in popularity thanks to its reasonable prices and cutting-edge technology. It was actually the first company to use adaptive learning software, and it also offers one-on-one coaching. Like Gleim, you can also receive access until you pass and a refund guarantee.
However, Surgent offers fewer MCQs and essays than Gleim, and it doesn’t have the same exam emulation experience. Additionally, since it’s newer to the market, there’s less information on how well it prepares candidates. Please read my full review of Surgent CMA for more information.
Surprisingly, Kaplan doesn’t have its own CMA test book, course, or other prep materials. Instead, the website directs you to Wiley CMAExcel.
In short, both offer adaptive learning technology, expert guidance, and an access-until-you-pass guarantee. However, Wiley CMA video lectures comprise about one-third more video hours than Gleim. Wiley also has more MCQs, though Gleim has far more practice essay scenarios. Wiley does offer two features that Gleim doesn’t: a mobile app and flashcards. Gleim’s Premium and Traditional Systems are each about $200 cheaper than Wiley’s corresponding Platinum and Gold Courses.
Overall, Gleim comes out on top thanks to a lower price, more essay questions, and highly accurate exam simulation. For a full comparison of these two CMA review giants, read my article on Wiley CMA or Gleim. I also offer a Wiley CMA discount code.
Becker is currently in the process of heavily revising its CMA study notes for 2021. I’ll report back when the company publicly releases the new version.
If you’d like a quick comparison chart for three of the most popular, well-established CMA review courses, here you go. Note that information for Becker will be updated soon.
|CMA Gleim||CMA Wiley||CMA Becker|
|Access until you pass||Yes||Yes|
|Full refund guarantee||Yes||No|
|Adaptive learning software||Yes||Yes|
|Video lectures||45+ hours||65+ hours|
|Practice essays||130+ scenarios||16 scenarios|
|Books||Print and digital||Print or digital|
|Final review||Yes (Exam Rehearsal)||Yes (11th Hour)|
If you are asking me, the answer is: yes, definitely! The pros of these courses certainly outweigh the cons, and Gleim CMA prep is the gold standard in the industry. Additionally, Gleim was the first CMA review provider and is a partner of the IMA. Moreover, the Gleim materials are top-notch and are meticulously updated every year. And finally, the Gleim CMA Review Course is also a very popular choice among my readers. It’s likely the most widely used CMA review course on the market.
Save 20% instantly (no Gleim CMA promo code required to get the cheapest price for Gleim CMA; discount auto-applies but you must check out online)
|Check Out Gleim CMA Right Away!|
| Gavin (US)
Passed Part 1 & 2
on the first attempt
| Amani (Jordan)
Passed Part 1 & 2
on the first attempt
| Waqar (Pakistan)
Passed Part 1 (2nd try)
Passed Part 2 (1st try)
| Vinoth (India)
Passed Part 2 so far
If you prefer a self-study option, you can always purchase Gleim’s Mega Test Bank on its own. You’ll still get the answer explanations and the practice exams without the Gleim online learning materials that come with the Premium and Traditional packages. However, in addition to missing out on the video lectures and textbooks, you’ll also miss out on the refund and access-until-you-pass guarantees. If you’re using Gleim as a supplement to other materials, this might be fine. Nevertheless, I recommend the full Premium system, which can serve as your only necessary CMA exam prep.
The Gleim CMA price will depend on the package or system you want. Specifically, the Traditional System is $1,349, and the Premium System is $1,599. If you want just the Mega Test Bank, that’s $999. However, with IPass’s Gleim CMA coupon, you can receive 20% off. (Note that you don’t actually need a Gleim coupon code – clicking on the link and checking out online is sufficient.) Additionally, with Gleim’s payment plan through Affirm, you can make payments across 3, 6, or 12 months.
Gleim hasn’t released averages on study time the way Surgent has. By my reckoning, the minimum time needed to go through the material is about 80 hours for CMA Review Gleim part 1: financial planning and 60 hours for Gleim CMA Review part 2: financial decision making. To be safe, however, you might actually want to plan on doubling those times. This will allow you to go through all the practice questions, which is the best way to study for the CMA exam using Gleim. To find out more, see my article on CMA exam study time.
Gleim’s CPA review system has a reputation for being harder than the actual CPA Exam. According to threads on the IMAnet discussion board, however, Gleim’s CMA questions drew mixed results. Some candidates said they were harder than the actual exam, but others said they were less difficult than the real thing.
Unfortunately, once you purchase the Traditional Review System or the Mega Test Bank, you are only guaranteed 18 months of updates. You may still have access to the materials after that, but they will no longer be current. If you want up-to-date access until you pass, you’ll need to purchase the Premium CMA Review System.
The Gleim CMA guarantee states that you can receive a full refund of the purchase price if you…
Wiley and Gleim are two of the biggest names in CMA exam prep. Thus, I get many versions of this same question frequently, including…
Wiley itself claims to have an 80% pass rate. Gleim doesn’t publish a pass rate, but based on the candidates I’ve spoken to, about 90% who used Gleim passed. Of course, this is not a scientific, randomly-sampled survey, and both are good courses. Nonetheless, I do recommend Gleim over Wiley because of Gleim’s exam simulator and greater number of practice essay questions.
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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