CMA Exam Grading Scheme

The IMA CMA exam uses a scaled score, so candidates are sometimes confused about their final CMA scores. However, the system is easy enough to follow if you know the basics of US CMA passing marks.

But before going over an average CMA exam score, you must know the format of the exam and the types of questions.

CMA Exam Scores and Question Format

The CMA exam is a two-part test:

  • CMA Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics
  • CMA Part 2: Strategic Financial Management

The CMA exam format is the same for both parts, each with 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and two essays. So between Part 1 and Part 2, candidates must answer 200 MCQs and four essays.

On test day, you tackle the MCQs first. If you answer at least 50% of the MCQs correctly, you can move on to the essays. On the other hand, if you incorrectly answer 49% or fewer MCQs, you cannot attempt the essays and will automatically receive a failing CMA score.

Additionally, you are allowed 3 hours for the MCQs and 1 hour for the essay question. If you manage to finish early in the MCQ section, then you can use the extra remaining time on the essays. Once you confirm that the MCQ section is completed, you cannot go back and make changes.

Key Points to Note

  • All MCQs are weighted equally – A simple question about a definition, counts as much as a long question with a lot of calculations.
  • There is no penalty for incorrect answers – Never leave a question unanswered, even if you must guess. A 25% chance is better than a 0% chance.
  • Mark questions to review later – You can come back and look at marked questions later after you have gone through all the questions.
  • Points are awarded for each step – You get points for every part of your answer that is correct. You do not lose points for anything that is incorrect.
  • Show your work for partial credit – By showing your work, math errors that get carried through the whole problem won’t be penalized more than once.
  • Never leave a question blank – Leaving a question blank earns you zero points. If you write something, you have the chance to earn some points.

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.