(COVID-19) Your CMA Action Plan

Originally posted on CMAExamAcademy.com
This article will be updated regularly. Last update: March 23, 2020

You’ve probably had many conversations by now about (Covid-19) so I will not go deep into the topic. However, I’d like to focus on its impact as it relates to your plans to become a CMA.

Due to the unprecedented spread of this coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending social distancing and a sudden halt to non-essential events and activities. They specifically state that most educational institutions should plan for distance and online learning.

No matter where you are in your CMA review course, your exam plans may need to change.

Prometric COVID-19 Updates

Prometric is the organization that facilitates the CMA exam. On March 17, 2020, they issued an update about their test-taking facilities. In accordance with the CDC guidance, Prometric will be temporarily closing its test centers both in Canada and the United States. These nationwide closures started on March 18th and will be in effect for 30 days. They intend to re-open testing centers on April 16, 2020.

The re-opening of testing centers in other parts of the world will differ in dates. For more information about centers in your city, click on this link to look up Prometric’s closure list.

Do Prometric closures impact your CMA exam?

Prometric will be issuing emails to everyone who has an existing appointment or scheduled exam. In this email, people will receive information about how to reschedule their test. No fees will be incurred as a result of this process. Prometric is working directly with testing organizations, such as the IMA.

Where do I find IMA updates about COVID-19?

The Institute of Management Accountants is an important professional association. When you are starting out on your journey to becoming a CMA, you will find information online at The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business. You can visit IMAnet.org for information about scheduled exams. This organization is publishing regular, industry-specific news and updates on its website as well.

The second exam window, May/June, has been extended, but more on that in a minute.

What should you do as a CMA candidate during COVID-19

Here are a few reminders and recommendations. These are based on current information about COVID-19 and the CMA exam.

  • The May/June exam window is being extended to July. However, the US government estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic could extend beyond July. If the pandemic continues, candidates who have paid for their exam will be able to rebook it for the Sept/Oct window without a penalty.
  • If you have already paid for your May/June exam fee and have also booked your exam date, you can either keep the date or postpone it to July. The IMA will waive its rescheduling fee. If you plan to reschedule it for July, please reach out to the IMA directly to start the rescheduling process.
  • Some CMA candidates have already paid for their test and others will wait to pay until after the Prometric centers are officially open again in their city. This is a personal decision you will make at your own judgment.
  • This is a good time to start studying or keep studying for the CMA exam. Self-quarantine creates an environment with fewer distractions, you can be hyper-productive and utilize your time to prepare.
  • Staying active and busy even during social isolation can offset feelings of anxiety or panic. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends routines and rituals to reduce these feelings. Studying can be a great routine to continue through self-quarantine or until the coronavirus subsides.
  • If you are taking an in-person CMA test prep class, ask your instructor for online classroom alternatives immediately.

The CDC reminds everyone that there is no vaccine for COVID-19, as of today, and has the following general recommendations:

  • The best prevention is to avoid exposure
  • Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from people in public
  • Cover your mouth or nose entirely when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds every time you have been in public
  • Use a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol
  • Don’t touch your nose, mouth or eyes if you haven’t sanitized your hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • If you are sick, stay home unless you need urgent medical care and wear a facemask in public
  • Regularly clean and disinfect your home and possessions

Let’s all band together and do our part to stop the spread of the virus. Together, we will defeat it!

Studying for the CMA exam during the pandemic

So, your exam may be rescheduled and the world, in general, is in a unique season due to this pandemic: where does that leave you? Your goal for becoming a CMA is unchanged and you still have to work toward this goal with intention and dedication. Some strategic choices need to be made as you study for the CMA exam during this pandemic.

To stay on track for becoming a CMA, implement the following suggestions as they best fit your specific needs:

  1. Stop watching the news 24/7. I get it. It’s important to stay informed, but new developments don’t occur every hour. Instead, use that time in more productive ways.
  2. If you already planned to take your exam during the May/June exam window (now extended through July) continue studying at the same pace. Best case Prometric centers will open by then. Worst case you’ll have extra time to review what you’ve learned until the Sept/Oct window.
  3. If you were on a time crunch to meet the May/June window, it’s OK to relax a little by taking July into account.
  4. If you haven’t started the CMA process yet, become a member of the IMA first. You can do this as a professional, student or academic.
  5. Start studying for the CMA exam using a proven method. While everyone learns differently, our 16-week framework has provided the best benefit to students. This approach maximizes every minute you spend studying to optimize retention and help you pass the test.
  6. Complete your professional experience and educational qualification forms and submit them to the IMA for processing.  If you don’t have professional experience yet, you can accomplish it within seven years of passing the CMA exam.
  7. If you’re a college student, this would be a great time to pursue the CMA and have it under your belt before you graduate.

Remember that this pandemic will pass. What you do with your time now can set you up for a brighter future. Continuing to pursue your CMA is going to pay off. The IMA’s global salary survey reports a median income that is 36% higher than national averages. Globally, the compensation you can receive as a CMA is consistently above average pay for other skilled careers.

How is CMA Exam Academy responding to the pandemic?

We are grateful in times like these that our globally distributed team has always worked remotely. The impact on the day-to-day operations of the organization has been minimal.

Existing students enrolled in our program will continue to receive the same level of coaching support and resources as they normally have been. New students can be assured of the same.

As the CEO of this small business, I’m committed to continuing uninterrupted support to our students while also ensuring that each team member, and their families, can safely rely on their monthly paycheck during this crisis.

To our existing students, our entire team is here for you! And to new students, we greatly appreciate your business. You’re in good hands.

If you have questions or need clarification about anything in this post, drop them in the comments section below.

Wishing you and your loved ones health and safety.

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