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Surgent CMA Review: Adaptive Learning Technology — Updated for Surgent 2024

Surgent CMA Review has made a name for itself early on by being the first CMA review software to utilize adaptive technology.

Since then, Surgent has continued to modify their course to stay on the cutting edge of CMA review. They also offer Surgent CMA coupons and discounts so that exam prep is accessible to those with modest budgets.

Just as Surgent’s CMA review courses continue to improve, so does the company’s 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 its 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. Thus, I’m sure all CMA candidates can appreciate Surgent’s commitment to efficiency. Plus, Surgent claims its students can be exam-ready in under 100 hours, with an average study time of 93 hours.

Considering this course’s advanced features and my Surgent CMA discount code, you may want to consider it for your studies. We’ll show you how to study for the CMA exam using Surgent. Use the following information to determine whether Surgent CMA Review is right for you.


Disclosure: The I Pass Team may earn a small amount of compensation if you purchase from our links; our team uses these revenues to maintain the site and produce awesome free content just for you!

Surgent CMA Discount

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Background of Surgent Exam 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.

Recently, 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 could further distinguish itself in the accounting exam prep industry.

The fact that the leadership team at Surgent Professional Education has over 100 combined years of experience in education, marketing, technology, and financial and accounting services means Surgent can produce quality content for its technologically advanced courses.

Surgent CMA Review Course Options

Surgent has three review course options: Ultimate Pass, Premier Pass, and Essentials Pass. The range of prices for these courses is $699-$1,299. But you can save big on your course when you use my exclusive Surgent CMA Review discount.

The cheapest course option includes the adaptive online course, test bank, practice exams, e-books, free content updates, mobile compatibility, the pass guarantee, and 12 months of access. There’s also an intermediate option that adds longer access and video lectures. Of course, the most expensive option is more tricked out, as it includes all of these resources and printed textbooks, printed flashcards, coaching sessions from a CMA exam expert, 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
3,945+ Multiple-Choice Questions
65+ 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 comes with a variety of study materials. However, only the Ultimate Pass course is Surgent’s most complete course.

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 any mobile device.

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

Because I’m a big fan of active learning, I don’t prefer courses with 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. Surgent’s course equips candidates to concentrate more on active learning activities like answering practice questions by supplying such concise and digestible video lectures.

2. Digital and Print Textbooks

Each Surgent CMA Review course comes with PDF textbooks for both exam parts. Surgent writes its 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 textbook sections that will strengthen your weak areas. Therefore, 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 digital textbooks, the end of each chapter in the printed textbooks presents practice questions and answer explanations. What’s more, Surgent prints its textbooks on-demand and updates them regularly throughout the year. Not every CMA review provider updates their printed textbooks as frequently. Thus, with Surgent CMA Review, you know that you’ll always get the most up-to-date content in your textbooks when you order your Surgent course.

3. Practice Questions

All of Surgent’s course offerings come with over 4,000+ multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and more than 65 essay scenarios. Surgent has organized its course into three different phases: Assessment, Study, and Practice. As you study, 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 struggle with. As a result, the course will give you more MCQs quizzing you on 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. This is the adaptive learning software called A.S.A.P. Technology that Surgent is so proud of.

Learning from your mistakes enables you to deepen your understanding. And answering the Surgent MCQs equips you to do that because the MCQs direct you 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. Thus, 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 answer choices are wrong, which is another key part of learning from your mistakes.

Surgent’s course also comes with 65+ 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 adjust your CMA study plan from Surgent 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 one-on-one coaching from a CMA exam expert. Specifically, you get two virtual coaching sessions with one of Surgent’s experts. 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 First CMA Course with Adaptive Learning Technology

As mentioned, Surgent was one of the forerunners of adaptive learning technology in the accounting exam prep industry. Since then, other review providers such as Gleim and Wiley have also put their courses on an adaptive platform. But for a while, Surgent’s adaptive course was one-of-a-kind.

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 you’d prefer. The linear approach to 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. If you’re still unsure how to use Surgent CMA, you can switch between the two systems – linear and adaptive – as you study.

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 Surgent 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 three-day trial of its CMA course. This Surgent CMA free trial proves that the company believes in its product and gives you sufficient time to make an informed decision about its course.

Limitations of Surgent CMA Review

1. New to the Industry

I have assessed Surgent’s CMA review course and have 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 Becker CMA, 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 comfortable with the specific 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 with a more similar format and functionality to the questions on the real CMA exam gives you a desirable advantage. Consequently, Surgent’s lack of exam emulation is a letdown. The other two win this round if you’re comparing Surgent CMA vs. Gleim CMA or Becker CMA.

My Surgent CMA Review Recommendation

Overall, my thoughts on Surgent’s CMA review course are positive. Compared to the other, more established providers, Surgent CMA is a relatively new brand. However, Surgent has made an 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 least comprehensive 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 say this because Surgent’s content coverage is not as extensive as Gleim CMA Review‘s, Surgent’s test bank is not as big as Surgent CMA Review‘s, and Surgent’s exam emulation is not a strong point compared to these other two course providers.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Surgent CMA review cost? Even less with our Surgent CMA discounts!

Surgent’s Essentials Pass costs $699, the Premier Pass costs $799, and the Ultimate Pass costs $1,299. Use my exclusive Surgent CMA discount to pay less than the listed prices.

What’s the most popular Surgent CMA course?

Surgent hasn’t released data that identifies its most popular CMA review course.

How long does it take to complete Surgent CMA review?

According to Surgent itself, the average study time for their courses is 61 hours. They also claim you can be ready to take the exam with fewer than 70 study hours.

Are Surgent questions harder than the actual CMA test?

Since Surgent is relatively new to the CMA exam prep market, there’s not much information out there about how the review questions compare to the actual test. At least one commenter on Reddit who passed all four sections of the CPA exam has said that the Surgent practice questions were more difficult.

Does Surgent have a pass guarantee?

Yes, all of Surgent’s courses come with a pass guarantee. According to the terms and conditions, you qualify for a full refund if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Register and pay full tuition for the entire course
  • Achieve a Surgent READY Score of at least 75 on all sections
  • Complete a full practice exam and score at least a 75
  • Sit for each exam within four months of beginning to study that section
  • Attempt all sections within 18 months
  • Fail every section of the CMA exam

If you meet these criteria and want a refund, you must request it in writing.

Can the Surgent CMA course be extended?

While we can’t say for sure that you’d be unable to extend Surgent’s Essentials Pass or Premier Pass access beyond 12 or 18 months, respectively, there’s nothing to indicate that you can. If you want to ensure access until you pass, you’ll need to choose Surgent’s Ultimate Pass package.

Which gives better results: Surgent CMA or Wiley CMAexcel?

Our readers have reported quite a few mistakes in the Wiley CMA course, and now more than ever, CMA candidates are turning to courses other than Wiley to study and pass the CMA exam. Therefore, we’d recommend Surgent CMA over Wiley.

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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