Taking CMA practice tests is one of the best ways to improve your scores. According to the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), pass rates for 2015 were just 36% for part 1 and 55% for part 2. By attempting one or more practice tests under conditions that simulate the actual CMA exam, you will learn how much time it takes you to finish the exam and pinpoint your weak areas so you can focus your studies.
As a rule, the more practice tests you take, the more familiar you will be with the format and content of the actual CMA exam, which will help you complete it more quickly and under less stressful conditions. To skip ahead and see the list of CMA practice test providers, click here.
Top 6 Reasons To Take A CMA Practice Exam
1. Become Familiar With the Test
Practice tests are often based on actual exams from previous years, so you will get a feel for the structure and types of questions that typically appear on the CMA exam. Being familiar with the content and structure of the exam will help you answer questions more quickly and accurately. For each part of the exam you will get 3 hours for the multiple-choice questions and 1 hour each for the 2 essay questions. You must score at least 50% on the multiple-choice portion to continue and take the essay questions. You will probably want to build in time to review and come back to those questions you aren’t sure about. Practice will help you create additional time for reviewing your answers when you take the exam.
2. Learn Which Topics to Study
Certain topics are emphasized more than others and tend to appear more often on the exam. By taking mock exams, you will get a feel for which topics are tested more frequently and be able to concentrate your studies more on those areas. Unlike many other tests, if you fail a part of the exam, you will get a performance report via email. This report rates your performance as satisfactory, marginal or not satisfactory for each topic on a particular exam part. If you fail, you can use this information to study for the exam before you take it again. If you have a solid study plan in place that includes several practice exams, we hope you won’t have to take the exam more than once!
3. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Practice exams will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you frequently tend to get a certain type of question wrong on your practice exam, you will know what to go back and study. You’ll also know which areas you’ve mastered, so you can save time by not spending any more time on those topics.
4. Retain and Apply Knowledge
Practice exams give you a chance to apply what you’ve studied. Many of us learn by repetition and use. You are more likely to remember what you’ve studied and be able to answer questions correctly if you practice them repeatedly.
5. Spread out Your Study Sessions
Research shows that “chunking” information while you study makes it easier to retain. By spacing out your studies and taking practice exams at regular intervals, you can study, take a practice test, see your progress, and go back to studying some more. This will help you avoid cramming at the last minute, which is much less effective.
6. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Practice exams will make you feel more prepared on the day of the exam and reduce test-related anxiety. You won’t waste time reading instructions you already know or trying to figure out the structure and content of the test if you are already familiar with it from taking practice exams. Studying with many practice tests will also give you the experience to know if you need to move more quickly through questions, or if you are on track with your current pace.
How Many Practice Exams Should I Take?
Well, the answer is as many as possible, but it will depend on your schedule and time constraints. Taking one or two practice exams is obviously better than none, but in general, the more practice tests you take, the better prepared you will be when you take the actual CMA exam. If possible, take several practice tests early on in your studies so that you can identify knowledge gaps and address them in your overall study plan.
If you have time, try to take at least 6-10 full length practice exams. That may seem like a lot, but research shows that the more practice you get, the faster and better you will become at answering questions correctly, which is the key to passing the exam. Most commercial test review companies give students access to a test bank with a few thousand questions, providing the opportunity for an unlimited number of practice exams in a simulated test environment.
CMA Practice Exam Providers
Several companies offer CMA practice tests that you can buy separately so they are much more affordable than buying a complete CMA review course. Most of them simulate the actual exam’s computer screen and timing for each question. Companies that offer practice exams for purchase include:
1) CMA Exam Academy Self-Study Mastery
Free Trial? No.
Number of Practice Exams: Create an unlimited number of practice exams from CMA Exam Academy’s huge Test Bank.
Number of Practice Questions: 2,000+ questions in Test Bank and 30+ essay questions with model answers for CMA Part 1; 2,500+ multiple-choice questions in Test Bank and 35+ essay questions with answers for Part 2.
Format: Access to “CMA Bootcamp” review course, including adaptive learning technology to measure progress and focus your studies, 100 hours of video or audio (mp3) review lectures, and simulated exam mode to help you prepare for the test while practicing questions from the test bank. Course includes e-textbooks and formula guide.
Design & Content of Online Test Bank: CMA Exam Academy gives students access to a realistic model of the exam while they are in simulated exam mode. Questions are similar in structure and content to those on the exam. Model answers for essay questions are helpful for constructing essay responses on the exam.
CMA Exam Academy Self-Study Mastery: $597 each for CMA Parts 1 and 2. Use coupon code CMACOACH at checkout for a 5% discount.Take Me To CMA Exam Academy!
2) Gleim CMA Test Bank
Free Trial? Yes, there is a free demo of Gleim’s Premium CMA Review Course, which includes the Mega Test Bank. There is also a free CMA Quiz available to identify strengths and weaknesses and familiarize students with exam format and Gleim Review format. Click here to access free demo.
Number of Practice Exams: Create an unlimited number of practice exams from Gleim’s large Mega Test Bank.
Number of Practice Questions: Gleim claims it is the largest test bank in the industry, with 2,900+ multiple choice questions (part 1 & 2 combined).
Format: Online test bank allows students to create unlimited practice tests that closely resemble the actual CMA exam to prepare themselves for the exam. Includes answer explanations for correct and incorrect answers.
Can You Create Custom Practice Exams? No.
Design & Content of Online Test Bank: Practice test format and questions closely resemble the actual exam. Students report that multiple choice questions on the exam are very similar to those in the test bank and that practice essays are perhaps even harder than the essays on the exam. The test mode is more or less identical to what you will encounter on the day of your exam, including a time clock and built-in calculator (although you can bring your own calculator to the exam if you like).
You can mark questions for review and see them on the review page at the end. Click the “grade” button once you are finished and the software will grade your practice exam and provide detailed performance analysis. An Essay Wizard option is available for purchase if you need additional help with essay questions.
Gleim Mega Test Bank: $798 for CMA Parts 1 and 2, or $399 per part.Take Me To Gleim CMA Review
3) Hock CMA Practice Questions
Free Trial? Free sample questions and trial quizzes are available here.
Number of Practice Exams: One full mock exam (includes 100 new MCQs not included among practice questions and 2 essays).
Number of Practice Questions: 1,349 multiple choice questions for Part 1 and 1,049 for Part 2 (in addition to separate section of essay questions).
Format: Multiple-choice questions, essay questions, essay videos (step-by-step instruction on how to approach and answer essay questions), electronic flashcards, and mock exam. Detailed explanations for both correct and incorrect answer choices are provided. Untimed study session mode for practice questions with immediate answers and feedback, and timed exam simulation sessions with feedback only once the exam has been completed.
ExamSuccess multiple choice questions are compatible with Windows and Mac computers. No Internet access required after the initial registration, although the online version can be used on any Internet-connected device (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.)
Can you create custom practice exams? No.
Design & Content of Online Test Bank: The ExamSuccess software for multiple choice questions is straightforward and easy to navigate. Read the question, choose the correct answer from the multiple choice options, and either proceed to the next question or click the “see answer” button to check if you are correct and to see the explanation.
Hock CMA Exam Questions: $299 (Questions for Exam Part 1 or 2 only)/$499 (Questions for Exam Part 1 & 2)Take Me To Hock CMA Review
4) Wiley CMAexcel Test Bank
Free Trial? No, but they do offer free pop quizzes here.
Number of Practice Questions: 2,000+ multiple choice questions, and 35 essay questions per part.
Format: Self-study modules for parts 1 and 2 and access to the Online Test Bank. Modules include practice questions and answers, examples, references, a CMA glossary, and 35 practice essay questions in addition to the complete text of ICMA Learning Outcome Statements. The Online Test Bank includes 850+ multiple-choice questions for Part 1 and 1000+ multiple-choice questions for Part 2, a grade book to track your progress, and full-length practice exams that simulate the actual exam, including 5 exclusive essay questions each for parts 1 and 2.
Can You Create Custom Practice Exams? Yes, in online test question bank.
Design & Content of Online Test Bank: The Online Intensive Review gives students access to a series of online self-study modules with interactive exercises and access to the Online Test Bank. This course is best for students who have significant experience in management accounting, and are looking for a short review course. Note that the essays are not available in the Practice Questions or Section Test mode, and that they are not graded by the software. The ungraded essays are included in the Practice Exams to more effectively simulate the actual exam.
Wiley CMA Online Intensive Review (OIR): $470Take Me To Wiley CMAexcel