Your Essential CMA Study Materials Toolkit
Want to become a CMA? Earning a Certified Management Accountant certificate is only achievable with a fully-stocked toolkit of the best CMA study materials.
It is mission critical that you organize everything you will need to pass the CMA exam. This article provides a comprehensive overview of everything you will need to set yourself up for success.
CMA Exam Academy has helped thousands of people like you pass the CMA exam. If you want to jump straight into studying, here is a roundup of my top recommended CMA study materials.
CMA Instructor-led Prep Course
CMA Exam Academy is an exclusive 16-week per part online coaching program that shows you, step-by-step, what to study each week and keeps you accountable. It includes all the CMA study materials you’ll need to pass on your first try.
As a disclaimer, I’m the founder of this program. Thousands of candidates asked me to coach them, and this is how I do it.
Get an additional 10% discount at checkout using coupon code CMACOACH.
These textbooks are written by CMA experts and cover every topic on the exam in depth. Whether or not you have a background in accounting, these books are the best study materials to use for memorizing and synthesizing all of the material you’ll encounter on the exam.
CMA Test Bank
MCQ Mastery provides the essential practice you need to include in your CMA study materials. With thousands of multiple-choice questions and essay scenarios from retired exams in a timed practice environment -- and PassRate technology -- you’ll be confident and prepared on exam day.
CMA Formula Guide
Not knowing the right formulas to use and calculations to perform can easily cost you the exam. Use these PDF formula guides to make sure you have every formula memorized.
CMA Audio Lectures
If you want to study on-the-go, make sure you include audio lectures in your suite of CMA study materials. Download these mp3 audio lectures to master core concepts while you commute, exercise, and get stuff done.
A tutor can be your secret weapon, whether you’re just starting out or you need a little support in the home stretch. Work with a highly-educated CMA test prep expert, who is also a CMA themselves.
Keep reading for more detail on all of the important components to include in your CMA study material.
CMA Syllabus: What Your CMA Study Material Needs to Cover
You wouldn’t go hiking in the woods without a map. A CMA syllabus provides a roadmap, giving you all-important benchmarks and measures of concept coverage and test readiness.
CMA Part One study materials will cover:
- External Financial Reporting Decisions
- Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting
- Performance Management
- Cost Management
- Internal Controls
- Technology and Analytics
CMA Part Two study materials will cover:
- Financial statement analysis
- Corporate finance
- Decisions analysis
- Risk management
- Investment decision
- Professional ethics
If you follow a study plan for the CMA, you’ll understand when you are truly ready to take the test. Any good test prep program will provide this, usually in a digital format.
Stick to it and you’ll be as ready as possible.
Best Instructor-led Prep Course: Includes all the CMA Study Material You'll Need
CMA prep courses are the best way to study for the CMA exam. These comprehensive courses are often available online and have tons of vital study materials.
When you buy an online CMA course, you’ll get access to textbooks, test banks, and a roadmap for test prep.
There are plenty of CMA prep courses to choose from, some of which come from major professional test prep distributors. It’s important to do some research. Some are subscription-based and some have unique features, which are all covered in this in-depth comparison of CMA exam prep courses.
CMA Exam Academy
If you are looking for an online instructor-led prep course that will help you understand the CMA subject matter in-depth and keep you accountable every week, there’s no other online CMA prep course that will help you like this one.
As a disclaimer, I’m the founder of this program. Thousands of candidates asked me to coach them, and this is how I do it. My students have an exam pass rate of 90% on average.
Plus you’ll get a 10% discount at checkout using coupon code CMACOACH.
Best CMA Study Books
The CMA is a large test that covers a lot of high-level concepts, sometimes in detail. To adequately cover all topic areas, a CMA textbook is key. Here are some important factors to consider when you look to find a CMA textbook online to buy:
- Be sure you get CMA Part 1 and Part 2. These will often be published separately.
- Read about the author and publishing company. Be sure they are reputable and have the right expertise.
- Check out preview versions or pages to be sure you like the way the textbook is laid out and delivers information.
- See if there are both print and digital versions.
A CMA study book is going to go a long way in helping you master the material.
Best CMA Test Banks
The CMA exam has two types of questions:
- Multiple choice questions
Each section of the CMA will have 100 multiple choice questions and two essays. The Institution of Management Accountants (IMA) regularly issues new questions for the CMA. A handout with a limited number of questions from previous years are available once a candidate becomes an IMA member.
Of course, these aren’t enough to prepare for the exam. Instead, you can buy CMA test banks, usually included with a CMA review course. As long as they are real, authentic questions from previous CMA exams, they will be immensely helpful for practice.
Be sure to include an extensive test bank in your CMA study materials that covers both parts one and two of the exam.
Free CMA Exam Study Guide
The questions on the CMA exam are complex and require critical thinking. Because of this, good CMA review courses will provide answer explanations, formulas and guides. These three kinds of study tools will help you understand why questions should be answered in a certain way. This boosts your foundational knowledge and gives you a leg up on subject mastery.
Having an additional guide to help plan your study sessions and test prep will make sure you achieve the best possible results from your study material.
CMA Coach Study Guide
After passing both parts of the CMA exam on my first try, I wrote this guide that’s packed with study and exam hacks. Now it’s available to you at the touch of a button and absolutely FREE.
Best CMA Explainer Videos
Similar to answer explanations, explainer videos can give a visual explanation of CMA test elements, questions and answers. As long as the person making the video is a qualified expert, their relay of knowledge in this format can help you really understand important ideas and learn the rhythms of the test.
CMA Coach Videos
Watch these videos to learn how to answer multiple-choice questions and increase your chances of passing your exam the first time.
These videos are absolutely free because you are part of the CMA Coach community.
Best Calculator for the CMA Exam
The last tool you’ll need to pass the CMA exam is a calculator. There are certain calculators that are approved for use in the CMA exam. It is super important that you follow the CMA exam calculator rules so yours isn’t banned.
You can refer to the IMA CMA Handbook for details, but the basic guidelines are as follows:
- Must be small battery or solar powered and electronic
- Can only perform six functions
- Square root
- Must not be programmable
- Must not use any type of tape
Get this Texas Instruments calculator from Amazon for a reliable, easy to use, IMA-compliant option.
So, that’s it. Those are the basic study tools that are going to help you pass the CMA exam. Have questions? If you still wonder about which CMA study materials you really need, drop me a comment below!