5 Tips to Pass the CMA exam in the First Attempt

Being an advanced professional certification, Certified Management Accountant (CMA) demonstrates a strong understanding of accounting and financial management skills required by current dynamic companies.

The sooner you achieve the CMA certification, the sooner you can start your journey towards a top-level management position. So, here are 5 tips to pass the CMA exam in the first attempt:


1. Ensure the plan is viable

In order to create a successful study plan, it takes time, effort, and in some cases can prove to be costly as well. Having a well thought out plan ensures that you don’t lag at the end of the term and can cover all the important elements of the CMA exam. One method to ensure that your plan is effective is by following the SMART technique. The SMART technique refers to checking and ensuring that the chosen plan or goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.


2. Immerse in a real testing environment

By practising in an environment like that of the exam day, you can equip yourself better to manage exam day stress. The questions are prone to be presented in indirect ways to test whether the candidate understands the accounting principles and concepts. Therefore, just scanning the content for main points won’t work as almost everything that is included in the course content is important.


3. Engage Your Brain When Studying

Going through the course content repeatedly can be mentally exhausting and ineffective over time. Here are some methods you can incorporate to engage your brain:

  • Highlight the important parts of the book
  • Jot down notes on the margin or make flash cards for quick access
  • Identify your learning method: Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic


4. Pay Attention to Key Definitions and Terms

Multiple choice questions are most commonly tested for essential concepts, definitions, and terms. Hence, it’s crucial to understand the important terms and be able to differentiate them to prevent confusion or misunderstanding.

Another area where you must pay close attention to is the terms in question statements. Certain words such as least, most, and so forth make a significant difference towards the correct answer. Therefore, don’t be quick to select an answer and rephrase the question to your understanding of the question is confusing or unclear.


5. Refine Your Skill in Educated Guessing

It is not surprising that candidates repeatedly get caught by questions they have never seen before. Therefore, it is exceptionally imperative that candidates hone the craftsmanship of “educated guessing” during their practice sessions. One good way to identify the correct answer would be through the process of elimination or relating it to a similar concept.


All in all, the CMA exam doesn’t just focus on the understanding of crucial accounting and financial management skills, and therefore passing the exam requires more than skimming through the main key phrases or statements.