I Pass The CMA Exam!

How to Prepare for CMA Exam: My Recommendations


how to prepare for cma examWaqar is our first blogger from Pakistan. He writes for us every Friday.

I’m here again with one aim: to help you guys (because you want me to keep writing so here I am with another post, and because of Stephine who supports all of us).  Let’s get started.

The main discussion of this post is how to prepare for CMA exam. I’m not saying that these are the ultimate guidelines — it may work greatly for some people while others can do better than this. Anyway, your idea is always welcome in the comment section just as Stephanie likes any new ideas (such as my analysis).

Now, ask yourself why you want to get this certification. Is it worth the effort? I asked myself these questions when I was going through the CMA. If you can answer these questions and have a clear goal to pursue the CMA, then you are all set. You are going to love this quote:

 Your goal is just in front of you, you just need to push a little.”

Here are some points that I found helpful during my preparation. I am sharing these in bits — please bear with me — if I share all of them here this post will get a bit too long. There will be more tips in the coming week.

1. Choose the Right Course Provider

There are lots of course providers for the CMA exam and people get confused. I really recommend Gleim as it was my partner in CMA (and now in CIA) and I love all the content Gleim wrote.

2. Get a Back Up

Gleim is good, and its online test prep is also the best you can get for the CMA exam. It has lots of questions beyond the exam level.

I also used the Wiley Intensive Review and the test bank, but I found it not that helpful as Gleim’s.  I suggest to use Gleim as a primary study material but if you are not satisfied with your practice, you can get other software such as Wiley, Hock or ExamMatrix (note: now known as Surgent), They can be used as supplement or as mock exams.

3. Follow Your Schedule

This is the best part that I want to share with you. Both parts of the CMA exam cover a lot of areas. If you don’t follow a schedule, you will forget a lot of things. For example, if you are going with the flow, studying for a month but then for some reason you don’t study for ten days, or miss a day or two in your study, then you will forget a lot of concepts. This happened to me — it’s not like you will forget hundred percent but likely sixty to eighty percent. This may not apply to some people, but to average candidate like me it did happen. Be consistent in you preparation. A very simple quote to help you motivate:

 Great things take time.”

Hope this helps! I will continue to write everything that helped me get through this exam in the next post.

Lastly I want to say I love your feedback, because your feedback stimulates my mind during our interaction. I’m always around and we can discuss anything (except breaching the disclosure 😀 ) Best of luck to all the candidates who are preparing for the CMA exam.

Waqar Akmal

Note from Stephanie

Thanks for your sharing again! I like how you mentioned that the #1 factor to consider is whether the CMA exam is worth it for the individual. If there isn’t a good reason behind this certification, it’s hard to motivate ourselves, or we will easily get distracted or give up.

I also agree that picking a course that suits our style and needs, together with a solid study plan is very important to passing success. For readers who aren’t aware of our study planners, I’ve got free downloadable excel sheets for your planning that match with the content of Gleim, Wiley and Hock.

About the Author Waqar Akmal

Howdy guys, I am Waqar Akmal, would love to call my self latest in the community. I have recently completed bachelors of arts from Financial Training Center. I didn't pass my Part 1 at first, but gave it a try using a different strategy and passed. My Part 2 was done on my first attempt.

  • Quratulain Khan says:

    Thank you Waqar for valuable tips and suggestions it has given me a new spirit to work harder with determination.
    Thank you once again.

  • Waqar Akmal says:

    hello Qurat-ul-ain, glad I could help and feel free to contact me through the blog i have made a special series of posts to motivate the cma candidates with mixture of cma exam information I think it would help you a lot, do read it in coming weeks !
    Thanks for your feed back !

  • CMA Student says:

    Here’s another wonderful blog writer last like Amani. All your blogs and posts are worth reading and valuable. Appreciate your efforts to share them with us. All the best for your CIA journey too and it’s sure you will succeed that too in flying colors 🙂

  • Waqar Akmal says:

    Thanks so much, I try my best to help and I really appreciate your feedback.

  • faisal says:

    Hello Ahmed. I would like to ask that will u recommend gleim materials to a candidate who has no or very little experience in finance and accounting as gleim materials are summarized?

    • Waqar Akmal says:

      Hello Faisal, I am a perfect example of a little or no experience of accounting background and I found Gleim best out there in market. Gleim is best even for people who have no accounting background !
      Hope this helps.

  • Farhan says:


    How much time did you take to prepare for each part? I’m planning to attempt Part 1 in Jan/Feb. Do I have enough time to prepare considering my full time job?

    I have intermediate accounting knowledge.

    Your insight will help me in deciding the exam time.

    Thank you.

    • Waqar Akmal says:

      Hello Farhan, I think you have at least 5 month to prepare for part 1 if you are going in feb attempt and its enough to get it done and because you are working I understand its difficult for you to study a lot but if you study consistently steady with your routine you can do it !
      Hope this helps.

  • trilok says:

    hello waqar,
    Just wanted to ask that gliem mega question bank and the books would be sufficient because considering the recent increase in prices please reply

  • trilok says:

    hello waqar,
    did you took the gliem cma review or only the online question bank please reply

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