CMA Exam Calculator Rules

Fret not!  You can use a calculator during the CMA exam!

But there are some rules and restrictions regarding which types of calculators you are allowed to bring.  Let’s take a look at them now so you can be prepared with the right calculator when exam day comes around.  

According to the IMA’s CMA Handbook, calculators for use during the exam must:

  • be small battery or solar powered electronic calculators
  • be restricted to a maximum of six functions –addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square root, and percentage are allowed.
  • not be programmable
  • not use any type of tape

Candidates may use the following calculators:

  • Texas Instruments BA II Plus
  • HP 12c
  • HP 12c Platinum
  • Hewlett- Packard 10BII

But which calculator should you choose?  Here are some pros and cons for each model to help you decide:

Texas Instruments BA II Plus


  • $26 on Amazon
  • Very straightforward and user friendly
  • Many statistical features


  • Might take more keystrokes to complete the same tasks as HP models
  • Less sensitive keyboard

HP Models


  • Fewer keystrokes to accomplish tasks
  • Sturdy keyboard


  • Older models
  • More expensive
  • Not as user friendly as the Texas Instruments BA II Plus calculator

As long as you keep these rules in mind when selecting a calculator to practice with and use during the exam, you’ll be alright.  

Oh! And make sure that your calculator has fresh batteries on exam day! A dead calculator is definitely not what you need in the middle of your test.

Check out these tutorials on YouTube:

Texas Instruments BA II Plus
HP 12c


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