Avoid These Mistakes in CMA Exam Prep

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a prestigious and competitive qualification that is highly revered by professionals in the accounting industry. However, with the respect associated with the qualification, there also comes certain anxiety among candidates preparing for it. This provides scope for mistakes to be made by the students, as commonly observed in the performance of CMA exam results, that can often cost them dearly having to pay the price of time, money, and effort.

Read on to find out how you can avoid these pertinent mistakes when pursuing the CMA course:


Keep track of time

The duration of each part of the CMA exam is 4 hours comprising of 100 multiple-choice questions for 3 hours and two essay questions to be completed in remaining 1 hour. It is advised to allocate 2 hours and 45 minutes and give 1 hour and 15 minutes to the latter. It is extremely important to have timely checks to ensure that you are on track to be able to complete the exam on time. You should ideally have answered all the MCQs before moving on to the essay section.

Test yourself

While studying for the vast syllabus is an important aspect of your preparation for the CMA exams, it is equally essential to test oneself with quizzes, mock exams, question banks, and practice tests to assess and gauge the level as well as the effectiveness of the exam preparation. A common mistake many students make is not knowing when and how to use the different types of CMA study materials. The test banks are very important as they will help you familiarize yourself with the overall test structure and also make sure that you cover every topic in the syllabus. The timed mock exams are another crucial resource that can improve your exam-taking speed and accuracy.

Choose consciously

When making a choice to pick the study material or the training provider for the exam preparation, it is important to keep in mind certain factors that can make or break your journey to success. You must ensure that your choice fits in your budget, the preferred learning style, previous reviews, and the pass rates of candidates associated with the trainers/training institute. It would also be beneficial to look out for a learning provider that makes use of technology offering conveniences such as WhatsApp support, digital recordings of sessions, and online practice tests.

Read carefully

In the essay section of the CMA exam, it is important to be certain about what you intend to convey before you start writing. The examiners are keen on observing the usage of your language with words such as explain, compare, contrast, differentiate, etc. Therefore, ensure that you have sufficiently understood the question before beginning to answer it.

Maintain clarity

One of the criteria to grade an essay in the CMA exam is clarity. By using writing tools such as bullet points, well-spaced paragraphs, and a simple sentence structure you can bring the required clarity to your academic writing. Towards the end of the exam, if time allows, you can review your answers to make sure that you haven’t repeated yourself in the essay or added needless fluff to your writing.

Avoid grammatical errors

Another grading criterion used by examiners to assess the essay section is the “use of
standard English” which means that candidates must be careful about spellings, grammatical mistakes, and punctuation errors.

Have a study plan

A crucial part of exam preparation is to have a study plan in place, and in the case of CMA exam prep, make sure to have study plans for both part one and part two of the exam. Considering the vast amount of conceptual understanding required to pass the CMA exam, it is important to have a comprehensive study plan that focuses on each element of the syllabus sufficiently. You can benefit from having your study plan serve as your roadmap in the CMA exam preparation journey.

Take regular breaks

Not taking regular breaks from the study routine leads to burnout among several
candidates. The pressure is considerably higher when pursuing professional qualifications such as CMA since aspirants are generally in their final leg of education or working professionals and this can cause additional stress from various other elements. It’s advisable that when pursuing the exam preparation, one takes care of their mental and physical health equally, allowing frequent breaks in between long hours of studying.

The CMA is a qualification that requires guts, grit, and significant hard work from aspirants. If you are looking to pursue CMA training in UAE, contact Kaplan to find out how we can help you.