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Surgent CMA Review: Adaptive Learning Technology

Surgent CMA Review has not been on the market for very long. But, the course made a name for itself early on by being the first CMA review course to utilize adaptive technology.

Since then, Surgent has continued to modify their course in order to stay on the cutting edge of CMA review. They also offer Surgent CMA Review discounts so that CMA exam prep can be easier for everyone.

Just as Surgent’s CMA review courses continue to improve, so does their reputation. These days, more and more candidates ask me about Surgent. What’s more, Surgent has received awards from several leading business and accounting publications for their innovative approach to exam prep. And even with these accolades piling up, Surgent is still enhancing their course at full-speed.

Specifically, one of Surgent’s biggest goals with each course revision is enabling candidates to cut down on their study time. I’ve never met anyone who wanted to spend more time studying for the CMA exam. So, I’m sure all CMA candidates can appreciate Surgent’s commitment to efficiency.

With the other notable course features Surgent offers and my Surgent CMA discount, you may want to consider this course for your CMA studies. So, use this information to determine if Surgent CMA Review is right for you.


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Surgent CMA Discount

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Background of Surgent CMA Review

Jack Surgent founded Surgent Professional Education in 1985. Over time, Surgent expanded its brand to include CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and CISA review courses.

Then, Surgent acquired ExamMatrix in 2015 and consequently inherited ExamMatrix’s innovative adaptive learning technology. By applying this technology to all of its review courses, Surgent was able to further distinguish itself in the accounting exam prep industry.

The fact that the leadership team at Surgent Professional Education has over 100 years of experience in education, marketing, technology, and financial and accounting services has also allowed Surgent to quality content for their technologically advanced courses.

Surgent CMA Review Course Options

Surgent has 3 review course options: Ultimate Pass, Premier Pass, and Essentials Pass. And the range of prices for these courses is $699-$1,699. But you can save big on your course when you use my exclusive Surgent CMA Review discount.

The cheapest course option basically comprises the adaptive online course, the test bank, practice exams, e-books, free content updates, mobile compatibility, the pass guarantee, and 12 months of access. Of course, the most expensive option is more tricked out, as it includes all of these resources as well as printed textbooks, printed flashcards, coaching sessions from a CMA exam expert, video lectures, and access until you pass.

You can see the specific course features and prices in this chart.

Surgent CMA Review Courses


Essentials Pass

Premier Pass

Ultimate Pass





Course Access 12 months 18 months Unlimited Access Until You Pass
Free Content Updates
Mobile Friendly
2,800+ Multiple-Choice Questions
38 Essay Problems
E-Books for Both Exam Parts
Personalized Study Plans
Real-Time ReadySCORE
Unlimited Practice Exams
Pass or Money Back Guarantee
60+ Video Lectures
Printed Textbooks for Both Exam Parts
Printed Flashcards for Both Exam Parts
2 1-on-1 Sessions with a CMA Exam Success Coach

Surgent CMA Review Course Features

As you can see, each of Surgent’s self-study CMA courses come with a variety of study materials. However, only the Ultimate Pass course is Surgent’s most complete course. This course is the most complete because it includes video lectures, printed textbooks, practice questions, study plans, and expert coaching.

1. Video Lectures

Both the Premier Pass and the Ultimate Pass courses come with 60+ video lectures. These video lectures focus on providing additional explanations of the most critical exam topics. And because the course is mobile-compatible, you can watch these lectures on your computer or on mobile devices.

These video lectures are nice and short. Each one only lasts for about 10-20 minutes. Also, the lectures discuss specific topics so that you don’t have to watch a lecture about information you already know.

Because I’m a big fan of active learning, I don’t prefer the long lectures that drag on for an hour or more. When we watch extensive lectures like that, we are more likely to slip into passive learning and, consequently, waste time,

For this reason, Surgent CMA’s use of abbreviated lectures is good news. By supplying such concise and digestible video lectures, Surgent’s course equips candidates to concentrate more on active learning like answering practice questions.

2. Printed Textbooks

Each Surgent CMA Review course comes with PDF textbooks for both exam parts. Surgent writes their textbooks in-house and aligns them with every part of the IMA CMA exam syllabus. However, Surgent’s course only directs you to read the sections of the textbook that will strengthen your weak areas. So, your daily study sessions include links to the appropriate parts of the textbook that you need to review.

However, Surgent also offers printed textbooks with Ultimate Pass courses. And unlike in the digital textbooks, the end of each chapter in the printed textbooks presents practice questions and answer explanations. What’s more, Surgent prints their textbooks on-demand and updates them regularly throughout the year. Not every CMA review provider updates their printed textbooks as frequently. So, with Surgent CMA Review, you know that you’ll always get the most updated content in your textbooks whenever you order your Surgent course.

3. Practice Questions

All of Surgent’s course offerings come with over 2,800+ multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and 38 essay problems. Surgent has organized its course into 3 different phases: Assessment, Study, and Practice. Therefore, the course will serve the MCQs to you along with the course content as you move through each of these phases.

The course will also use your performance on the MCQs in these phases to determine which topics you are struggling with. As a result, the course will give you more MCQs about your troublesome topics. In this way, the course will use the MCQs to strengthen your weak areas and prevent you from spending too much time on the content you already know.

Learning from your mistakes enables you to deepen your understanding. And answering the Surgent MCQs equips you to do that because the MCQs also include access to high-quality reference materials. Each practice question you answer points you to explanations, relevant terms, references, and authoritative texts.

If you purchase the Premier Pass or Ultimate Pass course, you can also refer to the videos for more insight into the practice questions and their concepts. So, you can develop your knowledge much faster thanks to the conveniences of the Surgent CMA MCQs.

The only downside to Surgent’s answer explanations is that they don’t cover why the incorrect answers were wrong as well, which is another key part of learning from your mistakes.

Surgent’s course also comes with 38 essay problems and extensive explanations for each. The course will allow you to start answering the essay questions later on in the Study phase after you’ve answered a significant number of the MCQs and earned high scores on these. Furthermore, you will have the chance to complete all of the essay questions before your exam date.

4. Personalized Study Plans

When you begin your Surgent CMA Review course, no matter which package you buy, you must enter your exam date and the dates on which you can study. Then, the course will figure out how many hours you will need to study on your available days in order to complete the course by your exam date.

Furthermore, you can change adjust your study availability whenever you want by adding or removing study days. The course will then adjust your study schedule accordingly.

5. Expert Coaching

Each Surgent CMA course comes with free content updates. However, only the Ultimate Pass course comes with 1-on-1 coaching from a CMA exam expert. Specifically, you get 2 virtual coaching sessions with one of Surgent’s experts. And this coach will help you with exam scheduling, study plans, study tips, testing techniques, review accountability, and more. Additionally, your coach will tailor each of your sessions to address your personal needs.

Strengths of Surgent CMA Review

1. The Only CMA Course with Adaptive Learning Technology

As mentioned, Surgent was one of the forerunners of adaptive learning technology in the accounting exam prep industry. Therefore, when they applied this technology to their CMA course, they were the first to do so. And Surgent’s CMA course remains the only adaptive CMA course on the market.

I anticipate other review providers such as Gleim will put their courses on an adaptive platform very soon as well. But in the meantime, Surgent’s adaptive course is one of a kind. And, consequently, adaptive technology is one of the best parts of Surgent CMA Review.

Surgent has designed their state-of-the-art, proprietary A.S.A.P technology to save candidates as much study time as possible by assessing their knowledge and presenting them with personalized daily study plans. These “daily surges” constantly adjust to your performance with the content and continuously target your weak areas.

Using the adaptive learning system enables candidates to study more efficiently. However, Surgent’s CMA course retains the option to take a more linear approach if desired. And you can even switch between the 2 systems as you study.

Surgent A.S.A.P Technology

The linear approach of Surgent’s course is the traditional self-study method. It lets candidates go through each chapter at a steady pace no matter their level of comfort with the material.

On the other hand, the adaptive track starts in the assessment phase with a series of quizzes. Completing these quizzes enables the course to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. With this information, the course plans your daily study sessions so that you spend most of your time reviewing the content with which you are least familiar.

And to prevent you from getting stuck on a tricky topic, the course fills your study sessions with a variety of learning materials such as textbooks, videos, and practice questions. So, with Surgent’s A.S.A.P. technology, you’re always progressing toward the knowledge levels you need to pass both parts of the CMA exam the first time.

2. The Only CMA Course with an Exam Readiness Indicator

Another bit of technology that defines Surgent CMA Review as a unique and powerful course is ReadySCORE. This study tool is a real-time representation of your exam readiness informed by accurate performance indicators. With your ReadySCORE and unlimited practice exams always at hand within your CMA review course, you can guarantee that you’ll go into the exam fully prepared.

ReadySCORE works by evaluating real-time performance analytics, study time reports, and progress data to calculate your current knowledge level. Therefore, your ReadySCORE is a number indicating your current strength of knowledge per content area and topic.

And Surgent is prudent with your ReadySCORE, so your CMA exam score could very well be higher than your ReadySCORE. For this reason, you can confidently trust your ReadySCORE to reveal how well you would do on the CMA exam.

3. Pass Guarantee and Free Trial

If you fail the CMA exam after studying with Surgent, Surgent will refund you the cost of their course. Alternatively, Surgent will extend your course access until you pass the exam. You can learn more about this guarantee by referring to the terms and conditions.

Surgent also offers a free 3-day trial of their CMA course. This free trial proves that Surgent believes in their product and gives you sufficient time to make an informed decision about their course.

Limitations of Surgent CMA Review

1. New to the Industry

I have assessed Surgent’s CMA review course and been impressed by much of what I’ve seen. However, I also rely on my readers to help me learn about the effectiveness of CMA review courses. So, because Surgent’s CMA course is one of the youngest in the industry, I have yet to acquire a lot of feedback from readers about their experience with it. For this reason, I believe only time will tell if Surgent truly has everything it takes to rise to the top of the CMA review course charts.

2. Lack of Exam Emulation

Unlike Gleim CMA Review and Wiley CMAexcel, Surgent CMA’s practice questions fail to emulate the latest CMA exam format. Specifically, the MCQs and essays don’t look and operate like they do on the Prometric testing computers.

Therefore, if you use Surgent’s course, you won’t be able to get very comfortable with the CMA exam environment prior to your testing appointment. As a result, you may experience some unwelcome surprises that could throw off your testing performance on exam day.

Working with practice questions that have a more similar format and functionality to the questions on the real CMA exam gives you a very desirable advantage. Consequently, Surgent’s lack of exam emulation is a letdown.

My Surgent CMA Review Recommendation

Overall, my impression of Surgent CMA Review is positive. Compared to the other, more established providers, Surgent CMA is a relatively new brand. However, Surgent has made the effort to offer candidates a lot of good resources with their CMA review courses.

Surgent is specifically committed to helping candidates save study time and pass the CMA exam quickly. And I think even the smallest Surgent CMA review course can help candidates do that. However, because the Essentials Pass course doesn’t include video lectures or expert coaching, I believe this course would still only work well as a supplement.

The other course packages could potentially serve as your main CMA exam prep. But, at this point, I think Surgent CMA Review might still be best for candidates who have failed part of the CMA exam with another course. I stay this because Surgent’s content coverage is not as extensive as Gleim CMA Review‘s, Surgent’s test bank is not as big as Wiley CMAexcel‘s, and Surgent’s exam emulation is non-existent compared to that of these other 2 course providers.

Still, because Surgent CMA Review is still somewhat new, I’d love to know what you think. So, feel free to contact me about your studies with Surgent CMA Review so I can share your input with future CMA candidates!

Save Big on Surgent CMA Review Now!

About the Author Stephanie Ng

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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Leave a Comment:

Jon E. says July 30, 2020

Hi Stephanie… I went with Surgent for the price and cause I thought the adaptive approach suited me since I had done prior studies. An important point for those wanting an honest critical review: as of July 2020 Level 2 exam, the exam content isn’t fully covered in the Surgent study material and some study material isn’t covered in the exam. Example, lots of content in Surgent on finance vs operational leases and treatment, yet non existent in exam (again only referring to level 2). Consequently, it cant be relied on as the sole source of study material and this suggests they don’t keep it as updated. Additionally I found questions with wrong answers/explainations suggesting the material is of a lower quality. For someone learning, the answers should teach, but it’s bad if the learners are correcting the educator. Lastly there was a bug that kept my main status screen at a ready score from months before (never updated). On the positive side there is lots of good content, and a good interface, but when comparing with the actual exam test prep package, it feels Surgent is outdated. I wish the content reflected the exam a bit more and didn’t make me think that there is a spreadsheet function in the real test environment like was availble while studying.

Melee says June 17, 2020

Hi Stephanie,

Not sure how latest your review is since I couldnt see a date stamp on the article, but I would really like to know your thoughts on the 2020 surgent review program.
There are plenty of student reviews for gleim and wiley but not many for surgent. Does the prep mimics the exam style

esa says May 23, 2018

Mam….from online we have to write exams or there will be any centers for examination…and what is the process of joining…in cma-us…and there is Instalmemt for paying fees…and also…suggest about ur Institute…

Thank u mam…waiting for ur reply

Esa Bamasdoos says May 22, 2018

HELLO…MAM ..how are u…my self Esa..and I have completed my mba recently…and iam hunting for job…Mam…can u…explain me about the growth and demand of cma -us in gulfs..and what is the time period of this course,structure and fee…and also suggest me the best institute in hyderabad (India)…And by doing job can I complete cma-us…
Thank u mam

    Stephanie Ng says May 22, 2018

    Hi Esa,
    We cover the CMA salary and trend in this page:

    I need to update this page but in general the trend is positive and we have bloggers from the area that validates the importance of the CMA certification in the Middle East. As for institute, I normally don’t recommend live classes – this is a computerized exam and I think it makes the most sense to study online. It’s also a lot more convenient and affordable, with the best teachers recording the videos. The vast majority of candidates in the US take the online courses. I explain the situation here:

    Here is the pros and cons of major CMA review course providers FYI: https://ipassthecmaexam.com/cma-review-course/

    Hope it helps, and let me know if you have any questions. Regards, Stephanie

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