How Much Should You Study to Pass the First Time?

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Les Brown

How much of the material should I know to pass the exams on your first try? I bet you are asking yourself this question. I did when I was studying. Fortunately, the IMA has identified various levels of coverage to help us prepare for the exams, and the cognitive skills every candidate should have. These cognitive skills are:

  1. Knowledge: Ability to remember previously learned material such as specific facts, criteria, techniques, principles, and procedures (i.e., identify, define, list).
  2. Comprehension: Ability to grasp and interpret the meaning of material (i.e., classify, explain, distinguish between).
  3. Application: Ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations (i.e., demonstrate, predict, solve, modify, relate).
  4. Analysis: Ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure can be understood; ability to recognize causal relationships, discriminate between behaviors, and identify elements that are relevant to the validation of a judgment (i.e., differentiate, estimate, order).
  5. Synthesis: Ability to put parts together to form a new whole or proposed set of operations; ability to relate ideas and formulate hypotheses (i.e. combine, formulate, revise).
  6. Evaluation: Ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose on the basis of consistency, logical accuracy, and comparison to standards; ability to appraise judgments involved in the selection of a course of action (i.e., criticize, justify, conclude).

How Does This Apply to You?

You need all six of these skills to pass the exams. Going through practice questions is the best way to know where your skill level is. What I did was to test myself before studying a new section. It was the perfect way to compare my skill level to this list. Once I knew the areas that I was lacking, it was much easier to focus on that, and not so much on the areas I had shown strength.

Please don’t feel discouraged if you feel like you are lacking some of these skills. You can learn them and many have already. It is totally within your reach. Be disciplined in your studies and you’ll succeed. There’s a very sweet reward at the end of the road, and that is your personal satisfaction of passing both CMA exams.

Your Turn

Was this helpful to you? How else could I help you? Drop me a comment below and let me guide you through your exam preparations.

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Until next time,
Nathan

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10 Comments on “How Much Should You Study to Pass the First Time?”

    1. Maged, Look for my email in your inbox in a few days. I’ll send you curated content to help you with the CMA exam.

        1. Please click here to check the coaching course at CMA Exam Academy. It includes all the study tools you need to cursh the CMA exam on your very first attempt.

  1. I’m sorry MR / Nathan but i have the same problem that I haven’t the books that I should study from

    1. Hi Mohamed,

      I highly encourage you to get textbooks to study from. What is your budget? I may be able to provide you with a solution that fits your needs.

      1. I too need a solution and details about the text books. Budget is mid level and for good quality of text books/solution I can stretch the budget.

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