My Secrets to Passing Both CMA Exams the First Time

My secrets to passing the CMA exam the first time

There is one question that I get asked the most by CMA candidates. I can totally relate to it because that’s the same question that I had before my prep studies.

The question is, “Whose material will help me pass the exam!?” For a complete review of each CMA course, click here.

With so many options to choose from, I understand your concern and worry over picking the wrong one. There’s also the concern of buying expensive material, spending months studying and fail because the material was not good enough to prepare you to pass the exams. Add the cost of paying for the exams on top of this and it just becomes too expensive.

Your answer is here. Look no further than my definitive guide on how to pass CMA Part 1 and Part 2, leveraging proven strategies and insights from someone who has successfully navigated this journey.

I will share with you exactly what I did and the materials that I used (including the costs) to pass both CMA exams on my first try. I believe that this information will be useful to you because it’s derived from experience, and that experience yielded excellent results. Are you ready? Here we go:

Originally published in 2018, this article was updated and republished on April 11, 2024.

Which CMA Part Should I Take First?

I took the Part 2 exam first. I made this decision because I was told it was the easiest part. After taking Part 1, I agree with that statement. If you have experience in manufacturing, then perhaps Part 1 will be easier for you than it was for me. If you’re a finance major, my recommendation is to start with Part 2.

Below, I will share my secrets to mastering the CMA USA exam, which includes discipline, the right study materials, and strategic exam tactics.

CMA Part-Two Exam Preparation, Cost & Materials

CMA Part-Two Exam Preparation

I prepared for a total of 3 months, and this is what I did:

a) Each day after work, I went to Starbucks, bought a latte, took out my iPad and my CMA textbook from my messenger bag and studied for 3 to 4 hours max. I took a 10-minute break in between hours and walked around to stretch my legs.

b) During the weekends, I studied at a Starbucks 3 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the afternoon, and 3 hours at night. Again, took a 10 minute break in between hours.

c)  After finishing a section, I took the online practice test for that section. If I didn’t score at least 80%, I would go back and study the topics that I didn’t do so well in. This process was repeated until I scored 80% or higher. Only then I moved on to the next section.

d) Another helpful tactic is to take the IMA’s Interactive Practice quiz, which uses old CMA exam questions. This new feature is helpful in exam preparation, along with the practice questions, both multiple choice and essay, available on the IMA website.

e) There’s no such thing as too much practice! If you would like access to thousands of practice questions, check out our online test bank, including 27 essay simulations and over 4,000 multiple-choice questions and answers.

CMA Part-Two Cost & Materials:

Now as far as the cost and the materials that I used for Part 2:

a) I had to register and pay $140 for the IMA Membership (now $295), $200 for the CMA Two-Part Program Entrance Fee, and $350 for the CMA Part 2 Exam Registration (now $495 per part). The total is $690 to fulfill IMA’s pre-requisites to take the exam.

b) Now for the material, here’s the breakdown: $195 for the LMS – CMA Online Intensive Review course, and $500 for the IMA book (no longer sold by the IMA). The total is $695 for materials.

c) The grand total cost for preparing and taking the CMA Part 2 exam was $1,385.

CMA Part-One Exam Preparation, Cost & Materials

CMA Part-One Exam Preparations

Preparing for this exam also took me a total of 3 months and used the same method as in Part 2. “If it ain’t broken, why fix it?”.

CMA Part-One Cost & Materials

a) Because I didn’t take both exams within the same year, I had to pay $140 again for the IMA membership (now $295). By the way, this fee has to be paid every year, even after you have become a CMA.

This time around I skipped the CMA Two-Part Program Entrance fee because I took the second exam within three years of taking the first one. And paid $350 for the CMA Part 1 Exam Registration. The total is $490. It’s lower than what I paid for Part 2.

b) For Part 1, I used a different review program. I bought their books for both parts because I wanted to compare their books to IMA’s. If I hadn’t bought both parts, I would’ve saved some money. Total cost for their materials, which included class recordings, was $475. For this part, I bought the LMS-CMA Online Intensive Review product again and paid $195 for it. The total for materials was $670.

c) The grand total cost for preparing and taking the CMA Part 1 exam was $1,160

As you can see, preparing for the CMA exam is not only time-consuming but also costly. These are good reasons to pick the right CMA review test prep system to ensure exam success. If you are not sure which is best suited for you, feel free to email me at nathan at cmacoach dot com, and I will help you pick one. I’ve done it for many, and I’d be happy to help you as well.

Unlike you, I didn’t have anyone to go to with questions or ask for help. When I became a CMA, I decided to guide you and others like you to pass both exams on your first try, and join the elite group of CMAs.

My Recommendation

Now we come back to the first question: Which material is better for your CMA exam preparation? Each review course has its pros and cons. It’s a matter of understanding which one will suit you best and match your learning style.

But between the two that I used, I would recommend LMS –  Intensive Review, but unfortunately is no longer available in the market.

(UPDATE: At the request of thousands of CMA candidates, I’ve launched CMA Exam Academy where I personally teach the CMA subject matter through our 16-week CMA Accelerator Program. If you are looking for an instructor-led CMA prep course, check it out.)

Today, we’ve explored the best way to pass the CMA exam through a balanced approach of rigorous study, practice tests, and strategic review of complex topics.

Did explaining the process (the secrets) that I used to pass both exams on my first try help you? Did I miss anything? If I did, use the comments section below to leave your questions and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

Back to Frequently Asked Questions

Nathan Liao

Hi, I’m Nathan Liao (aka the CMA Coach)! For the last 10 years, over 82,000 accounting and finance pros came knocking at my door seeking guidance and help. If you’re also aiming to conquer the CMA exam on your very first try—without wasting away time or money—you’ve found your ultimate guide. Dive in deeper to discover more about me and the dedicated team that powers CMA Exam Academy. Click here and let’s embark on this journey together!

277 Comments on “My Secrets to Passing Both CMA Exams the First Time”

    1. Hi Eshwar,

      To pass the CMA exam, you need to do well in both the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and the essay sections. You must answer at least 50% of the MCQs correctly to proceed to the essays.

      A passing score is at least 360 out of 500, or 70% overall, combining the MCQ and essay scores. The MCQ section makes up 75% of your total score, while the essay section accounts for 25%.

  1. Hey Nathan! Well its stupid to ask this..i have CMA inter exams in 15days.. and haven’t prepared anythind due to health issues. Now i want to utilize this time. I just want to clear g1 this december 2023.. please tell me some or the other way to cover the syllabus within given time. Please. I need some hope. And yeah everyome kept saying i couldnt give this attempt. But clearing g1 this dec 2023 is really reallyyy important for many reasons including my mental health. Just give me some hope and a study plan. Please. Thankyou!

    1. Hi Varshini,

      Firstly, it’s not stupid at all to ask for help – that’s what I’m here for! It’s completely understandable to feel overwhelmed, especially when health issues have set you back.

      With 15 days left, here’s a quick plan:

      – Practice Efficiently: Use past exam questions to understand the format.
      – Study in Short Bursts: Short, focused study sessions are better than long ones.
      – Take Care of Yourself: Rest well and eat healthy.
      – Stay Positive: Believe in yourself and your ability to pass.

      I also wrote an article on my blog with the best strategies to prepare for exam day. You can read it here:

      Remember, every bit of effort counts. You can do this!

  2. Hii…Nathan Sir!.. It feels very motivated while I’m reading your comments and story…. Meanwhile I’m Girija from India doing 2yr….I wish to do CMA(ICWAI) after getting graduated…..Give me some tips to pass it out…! And also give an advice of doing CMA (US)…
    As I’m from India…..Which one is better for my upcoming career…?…CMA(ICWAI) or CMA(US)….. Suggest me Nathan Sir….. Waiting for your reply…..

    1. Hi Girija,

      It’s nice to meet you.

      Currently, I only offer coaching for the US CMA exam. You can learn more about it here.

      The Indian CMA is great if you want to build your career in India. The US CMA is globally recognized so it’s great for candidates who want to work as management accountants in other countries or for multinational companies.

  3. Hi Nathan
    How are you?
    I am Annie from India. Actually I booked my exam for part 2 in feb 2020. But I have not prepared at all. Can you please help me with some tips, that how I will crack the exam in one month.

    1. Hi Annie,

      An effective way to prepare for the exam is to study one section at a time from your textbook, then take practice exams (50 MCQs) in your test bank of that section only until you score 86% or above on it. Repeat that for all sections, aim to score 86% or above on each of them, and also review the material in the textbook as needed.

      After you’ve completed every section that way, move on to the final practice exam (exam simulation) and practice on it until you reach the same 86% score or above. Make sure you can recall all the formulas quickly and practice on your speed, too.

      The podcast below will help you tackle the essays:​

      And for more study tips, please check out my YouTube channel:

      Good luck!

  4. hey Nathan! my name is Ajay and I am from India.
    I had enrolled with Wiley’s to prepare for CMA and had given my first attempt for part 2 in June.
    Unfortunately, I didn’t clear it. I scored 330 / 500. I am planning to give the second attempt in September mid for which I am gonna start my schedule from tomorrow. Can you provide some tips for me, on preparing for my next attempt? What all should I consider the most? where should I concentrate more?

    1. Hi Ajay,

      I’m sorry you didn’t pass on your first attempt. You were close to the passing score though, that means you have a strong foundation.

      What I’d recommend you to do is take practice exams in your test bank of each section separately and aim to score 86% or above on each of them, and also review the material in the textbook as needed.

      After you’ve completed every section that way, move on to the final practice exam (exam simulation) and practice on it until you reach the same 86% score or above.

      The podcast below will help you tackle the essays:​

      Also make sure you can recall all the formulas quickly and practice on your speed, too.

      Good luck, Ajay!

  5. Hi Nathan,

    My name is Nitin, I have completed my CA Inter in India and also have completed 3 years of Articleship. Can i pursue CMA on the basis of my CA-IPCC (CA Inter) qualification.

    What are the chances of cracking the exam?
    Please Guide me

    1. Hi Nitin,

      I believe CA Inter qualifies for the CMA education requirement, but nonetheless I recommend you to check that directly with IMA.

      As for your chances of passing the exam, I believe you can absolutely do this and I’d love the opportunity to help you via my coaching course.

      I’ve had students with no prior accounting background who, with my help, had successfully completed the course and passed the exam on their first attempt. I’m confident you can pass the exam with flying colors, too!

  6. Hi Nathan,

    Appreciate your efforts in summarizing your CMA journey for the benefit of others. I am a working professional/mother and I am trying out CMA (coached by Miles in India).

    Please can you draw a day-wise planner for part 1 & 2 to help people like us, who find very least time to cover the vast syllabus

    1. Hi Grace, congrats on making the decision to pursue the CMA designation. That’s great!

      About a study plan, since you have signed up with a review course provider, my advice is to work with the study plan they have provided you with to make the most of your investment with them. Working with a different study plan than theirs may make the process more confusing in the end. Thanks, Nathan

  7. Hi my name is Ruth, I’m trying to get ready for my cma exam. i have took it 2 times and i can’t pass it, so what must ido ?

    1. Hi Ruth,

      One way to assess whether you’re ready to take the exam is to take mock exams of each section and score at least 85% but preferably higher. Once you’ve done that take another exam of the entire part until your score is above 85%. Thanks, Nathan

  8. Hi, Nathan!
    Thank you for the tips.
    Where I live, there are no materials and courses to pass the CMA exam.
    I will try to buy books from other countries. I think it’s the only way to study. Do you think it is possible to pass studying only for books? What materials do you recommend? I have an accounting degree.

    1. Hi Juliana,

      You are welcome 🙂 Where do you live? Most review courses ship to most of the world. That’s definitely the case with my flagship course, CMA Exam Academy. We ship for free to your home or office.

      The bigger question here is if there are prometric centers in your city/country where you can go and take the CMA exam. Please check out Prometric’s site here to check exam sites near you. Thanks Nathan

  9. Hi Nathan,

    I am 42 years old, lives in India and wish to enroll for USA CMA, can you guide me whether I am eligible for the course, its fees structures, duration and scope etc.

    I am very passionate about study and at any cost I want to become a USA CMA. Please advise

    Mohammed Dilaawez Shaikh

    1. Hi Mohammed,

      You’re eligible to enroll in a course and take the CMA exam.

      Nonetheless, to get your certification after passing the exam you’ll need to submit the education (Bachelor’s degree) and experience qualifications to IMA.

      You can fulfill those requirements either prior to within 7 years after passing the exam.

      Check out our coaching course here. If you follow the step-by-step program inside the course, you’ll complete the course and be ready to sit for the exam within 12-13 weeks.

      If you have any other questions, please let me know! 🙂

  10. Hello Nathan,

    I’ve been going through the comments and thought about asking for my own query. The thing is I attempted CMA P1 in Jan/Feb 2017 and couldn’t clear the first part (MCQs) of the exam itself, my preparations were good but that constant time ticking really added a lot of pressure to answerthe questions ASAP. Maybe I should’ve done better in preparing with Mock exams to get used to the time limit.

    Anyhow, I’m going to start my classes for CMA P2 (I’m not going to attempt P1 again until I’ve cleared P2, and I decided not to repeat P1 again since my P2 classes are starting soon. I had paid for both at the same time. The material for P1 was from Gleim). The institute I’m going to attend has changed their study materials from Gleim to Wiley. Is this better or worse for me? I have a Bachelors in Econ & Finance with very basic Accounting knowledge.

    My classes are from Nov-Dec 2018. I’m thinking of going for the May/June window this time instead of Jan/Feb to allow me to prepare better. What would you personally recommend?


    1. Hello Nathan,
      I wanted to do us cma. I am doing the Master degree. I am the average student. Can an average student crack the us cma exam?

      1. Hi Venu,

        It is possible to study for the CMA exam while doing your master’s degree.

        It’s best to focus on the CMA during their last year in college, not before. The exams are hard, and since you have to pass the 2 parts within 3 years from the enrollment date, it’s best to make sure you’ll have enough time to focus on the CMA.

  11. 8/24/2018

    Anyone interested in trying out the CMA exam? I have a MBA and MA in finance. Can I sit for this exam? I have no work related experience in either acc/fin fields. Can I pass?

    1. Yes, absolutely! I’ve had students with no prior accounting experience who passed the exam after completing our coaching course and I’m confident that if you follow our program you’ll pass on your first attempt, too!

  12. HI Nathan ,

    This is lakshmi ,I need to pass CMA (ICWA) Final both the groups.I am an employee.How can i prepare well?

    can you please suggest me on the same

    1. Hi Lakshmi,

      Currently, I only coach for the US CMA. But wish you best of luck on you ICWA exam!

    1. Hi Swamy,

      First, please check the CMA exam roadmap here to learn all the steps you need to take to become a CMA.

      The next step is enrolling in a CMA review course. I recommend you to opt for my coaching course as it includes everything you need to prepare for the exam, and if you follow the study plan inside the course, I guarantee you that you’ll pass the exam on your first attempt. Inside the course you’ll be guided step-by-step in your journey towards exam success.

      If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  13. Hi Nathan,
    I have completed bcom and was wondering which should I choose CMA India or CMA US.can you help please?

    1. Hi Sachin,

      If you plan to build your career in India, then the Indian CMA is definitely more beneficial, as it focuses more on the Indian market and therefore is valued more than the US CMA.

      However, ICWAI is not much recognized outside of India.

      The US CMA is a global certification and if you want to work in other countries too, then the US CMA is the way to go.

      The good news is that both institutes have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable mutual recognition of the certificates. You can learn more here:

      Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

  14. Hello Sir..
    I really felt happy that u care for us. Thank you so much.
    Sir, i just gave my 12th examination..and m very confused about my higher studies.. But now i thought to do cma.. But sir m not good at maths ..and there’s no one to guide me.. Please help me

    1. Hi Mili,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      You can get one-on-one instructor help via my coaching course, check it here. Along the course, you can ask me as many questions as you need to truly grasp the material and overcome any mental blocks.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns, and I’ll gladly clear everything up for you 🙂

  15. hi,

    I am using Gleim CMA review textbook.
    My friends are using the Gleim textbook and question bank in order to prepare.

    I am thinking on depending on textbook since all those tools are costly to me. Do you
    think it is possible to pass by depending on the textbook alone?

    1. Hi there,

      I encourage you to get a test bank, it’s a crucial study tool that will help you get familiar with the questions and prepare you for the real exam. With a test bank you’ll increase your chances of passing the exam on your first attempt.

      Check here the CMA Exam Academy test bank. It uses adaptive learning technology that will diagnose your strengths and weaknesses by content area and then tailor your study sessions to focus on your learning needs

  16. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for great article and helping people.

    I have done bachelors in science and moved towards analytics. Have been working In finance for around 7 years now and have exposure to mostly all processes from re-engineering perspective. 3 years back i moved to FP&A role and reevaluating the decision made from long term perspective. I love finance and analytics both, i see CMA as a good option to ladder up in career but a bit confused if my science background it might be difficult to move outside. Let me know your views please…

    This will help me make better decision. Thanks

    1. Hi Abhijit,

      It’d be difficult to move outside without an accounting accreditation so obtaining the CMA will give you broader opportunities than not having one if you want to stay in the finance/analytics field.

      The CMA can be obtained by anyone with a bachelor’s degree. The IMA has allowed this because many professionals find their passion in Management Accounting later in their careers. So regardless of the field of study, anyone can pursue the CMA.

      Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  17. HI This is Shashank, hope ur doing well

    i Just wanted to ask is CMA difficult to pass and studying for 8 hours a day is enough to pass the exam ?

    1. Hi Shashank,

      I am well, thank you. Hope you are too 🙂

      The CMA exam is definitely not easy, but with the right set of study tools and strong commitment you can surely pass the exam.

      I recommend my students to follow the 12-week study plan when preparing for one part of the exam, as it has proven to be the most efficient of all.

      Check also my CMA coaching course here. It has everything you need to successfully prepare for the exam and pass it on your very first attempt.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to help.

  18. Hi Nathan,

    I plan to prepare for exam before enrolling for CMA. Where can i get the study materials for preparation?

    1. Hi Shilpa,

      Check my CMA coaching course here.

      It includes all the study tools you need to efficiently prepare for the exam and pass it with flying colors.

      Let me know if you need anything else, I’ll be happy to help.


    1. Hey Jagadish,

      You’re probably referring to the Indian CMA, because there’s no Inter group in the US CMA. I only coach for the US CMA, click here to learn about it.

  19. hello sir

    1. Hi KD,

      Click here to learn more about the CMA certification, and if you feel that’s the path you really want to take, then I’ll be happy to help you prepare for the CMA exam via my coaching course. I’ll be there for you every step of the way until you succeed on your exam.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  20. Hi Nathan,

    I have a MBA and is currently working for Student Accounts department in a college. Learning with lectures and doing exercise is most efficient learning style for me. Which preparation materiel/company shall I use?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Sur,

      Check my CMA coaching course here.

      It includes in-depth video lectures on each topic tested on the CMA exam, online interactive textbooks, unlimited 1-on-1 coaching, and a test bank with adaptive learning technology that will help you focus on your weaknesses.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reply below.


  21. Good day,

    How are you doing ??
    I took the course for CMA in Wiley , but I did not pass the exam part one .
    So, I have to go with Glim or I can pass next time with Wiley ??


    1. Hi Sukaina,

      I highly recommend you to go with my Coaching Course, as it is the only one that provides unlimited 1-on-1 coaching for you to ask as many questions as you have along the way. Check it here.

  22. i am planning to sit for cma exam. i am planning to take exam 2 first in September. i already buy the wiley cma excel. i stil have 4 days to return. is it good to study from this review?

    1. Hi Aman,

      Yes, Wiley materials are good, especially for people who are more advanced in the accounting field.

  23. Hello

    I’ve joined CMA and my part 2 exam is due next month and I got 24 days remaining.
    I am a busy person and I would like to know how to study and pass the exam.


    1. Hi Muhammad,

      I recommend you to practice as much as you can answering multiple-choice questions. Scoring 80%-90% on your practice exams is a good indicator that you’re ready for the exam.

      If you haven’t yet, prepare a sheet with the formulas and make sure to memorize them all. You may also review your weak points with the textbook to get stronger in them, but don’t cram too much. You better spend most of your time practicing multiple-choice questions instead.

      Best of luck on your exam!

  24. When is it worth asking for a regrade. i just received a 350 on part 2 and felt my essays were strong. but perhaps not as strong as I thought. I am kind of torn on asking for this.


    1. Dave, you are very close to the passing score – I think it’s worth asking for a regrade before attempting another exam. Good luck!

  25. Dear Nathan
    How are you
    I am new to this can you please guide me, first let me introduce you about my background. I have done intermediate commerce in 2006 and unfortunately due to some family problems I was not able to continue my studies. From the same period till now I am still on job in a manufacturing firm as an accountant. Now I want to study more to grow up and meet the needs of recent accounting models.
    I have heard so much about CMA as a good short and valuable certification.
    Can you please guide me from the beginning till end

    1. Hi Faizan,

      I surely can guide you through this journey. First of all, please check the roadmap to becoming a CMA here to get an overall idea of the steps you need to take to become a CMA.
      You can enroll in my CMA coaching course here. Within the course you’ll be guided step-by-step towards your exam success. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

  26. Hi Nathan,

    Great article, hope you are doing well. Ive worked in for about 12 yrs now. My company just gave us the opportunity to take the CMA exam and they will pay the fees. I am on maternity leave for the next few months and will have a lot of down time to study, so this is an exciting opportunity for me.

    My question is this – are there any requirements to register with IMA or take the CMA exam? I dropped out of high school and have never gone back to graduate or get my GED. I’ve worked my tail off to get where I am career wise and have been able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Will this hurt me?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Christine. There are experience and education requirements which you can also fulfill within 7 years after passing the CMA exam. The minimum education requirement is to hold a bachelor degree, but you may want to contact them for a possible exemption.
      Hope everything goes well for you! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  27. Hello Nathan,
    I just want to ask about the grading system of ima.
    To open the 2nd window one has to answer 50 mcqs correct or has to get 50% of 500 to go for 2nd window

    1. Hi Muhammad. You’ll only need to answer 50 out of 100 MCQs correctly to get to the essay section.

  28. Hello Nathan
    I am currently studying for cma part 1 and I have my exam on 27 Feb.Somehow I decided to take this part with just 2 months of studies.I am on track with the study planner but I am only able to get 50% average with the units I have completed by now.What would you recommend me to do.Should I take this exam with ease and study for the next testing window as I am not able to get good scores?I have a full time job and I am from non accounting field.I am looking for guidance.Would greatly appreciate your help.Thank You

    1. Hi Trupti,

      Students with no accounting background take on average 250-300 hours to prepare for the CMA exam if they self-study. Taking into account the fact that you have a full time job, it does make more sense to aim for the May/June exam window.

      If you need additional help with your studies, please consider joining my coaching program here. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  29. Hi Nathan,

    You are doing a great job…

    I have done MPA (Finance) in the year 2009 and now I am doing self study for CMA ..I took free trial package of Wiley which seems good but due to some financial constraints i am not able to buy the full course…One of my friend has given me Gleim 2015 study material plus multiple choice questions as well…so what i want to ask is…. is it enough to study the given material and practise the questions to pass the CMA or its a waste of time because i am not taking any tuition or any Course package like WILEY or HOCK?? Moreover i want to appear for CMA Part 1 first in June 2017 and than for Part 2 in October 2017…. so 3 months to pass Part 2 is a healthy period or not

    1. Hi Ahmed,

      Yes, three months is already a sufficient to review for each part. If you are going to self-study, I would advise enrolling in an online course to help you thru your CMA exam journey. To know more about our courses, please check this link.


  30. Hi Nathan,

    I have been out of school for 10 years with a Finance degree. I have been doing corporate FP&A during that time (manufacturing the last 2 years). I’m leaning towards the Gleim review materials. Do you think it’s a good idea if I try to test in Feb of 2017 or push it to June 2017 and take part 1 and part 2 in October 2017? Or both parts in June? Just nervous with the entire study process as I have been out of school for so long.


    1. Hi Ross,

      I strongly suggest that you take either or both parts in May/June or September/October 2017 testing windows. We can help you thru our online course. Please check this link.

      Thanks and Regards,

  31. Hi Sir,

    How are you doing?

    Dear sir I have done MBA IN FINANCE, AND GRADUATION IN COMMERCE, but I was not good in my academic. Like I was an average student.

    Now time has changed I want to do study and want to go on peak. So my brother (C.A. , C.S., ICWA) he suggested me to do CMA from pwc’s academy. I joined it also and I have chosen to take exam first for part 2 as they suggested.

    Every thing is OK I just want to know if you help me for this or is there any tips for ratio analysis I am loosing my too much time on that part. I am getting confused every time when I saw the question related to ratios on online test Bank.

    Currently I am working in a Canadian company as an Accountant in Dubai .

    1. Hi Lakshman,

      Don’t worry about being average in your past. With determination, discipline and hardwork, you can work your way to successfully passing the CMA exam.
      We can help you thru your journey. We have a customized weekly study plan, assessment drills, easy-to-memorize formula guide, online interactive textbook, e-mail support and a study community to keep you on track. Please check this link for more information.

  32. Hi Nathan,

    My name is Srikant mallik. Currently I am working as Sr.Accountant in dubai. I have planned to join CMA. Could you please guide me how difficult it would be for a working man and only one day is off in a week in my company. Is it possible to clear the exams without practical classes coz I am working so I would prefer to study at home and from Internet. Please guide

    Waiting for your response

    Thank you

    Srikant Mallik

    1. Hi Srikant,

      Actually, most of our students in the CMA Exam Academy are employed while reviewing for the CMA exam. With determination, discipline and hardwork, you can work your way to successfully passing the CMA exam too. We can help you thru your journey. We have a customized weekly study plan, assessment drills, online interactive textbook, e-mail support and a study community to keep you on track. Please check this link for more information.

      Thanks and Regards,

  33. Hey Nathan,
    I’m Nishitha.Hope your doing good!
    I took up the wileys learning system for part one. I am thinking of taking up the exam in February 2016.I am giving continuous practice tests for now.My scores are improving.But my main concern is is the test bank enough for me to pass the exam in first attempt? I am worried after looking into all the above comments.Please help me out

    1. Hi Nishitha,

      One of the key to passing the exam is practice.Great job for improving your scores. In my opinion, you may start working on your speed and accuracy. Being able to finish the MCQ with accuracy will give you more time to answer the essay questions. After that, I think you are more than ready.

      Thanks and Regards,

  34. Hello Nathan .. Thank you for the priceless article and insights ..
    I intend to take the part 2 in May (don’t think I can commit to the January date) ..
    I was about to pay the fees for enrolling and becoming a member in IMA, but would not it be wiser to just wait few months – since i will be studying anyway … rather than wasting the membership money on a time that I wont use ..
    especially since I will get the material and pay for them outside of the IMA .. i am getting Hock Int’l and Wiley part 2 plus bank ..
    btw i also emailed you about which material suits my background ..
    Thank you for your patience ..

    1. Hi Ahmed,

      Yes, I think it would be better to delay payment of the IMA membership to prolong the membership period.

      Thanks and Regards,

  35. Hello Nathan

    Am Sudharshan. Hope you’re doing good. It is indeed very nice to have a guide like you with an expertise in the field.
    Am planning to take up CMA by 2017. To be frank its been 6 years since I had studied. Am doubtful if I have to take up classes or can prepare on my own. Also please suggest some good material to use.

    Thanks in anticipation.


  36. Hi Nathan,

    How much time i need to study everyday to pass the exam from the fist time ?? And do i need more than 8 weeks to study for every part ?? I already finished Wiley courses with the instructor .

    1. Hi Malek,

      It will approximately take 12 weeks to prepare for the exam about 25 hours if you self-study or about 15 hours with a coach.


  37. Hi brother.
    I am reading ima suggested reading list recomended books for the prepration of my part one. kindly advice me am i on the right track?

    1. Hi Hassan,

      It would be great to read the IMA’s recommended books too for a broader reference.


  38. Hi Nathan,
    I had given cma exams both group nd was not able to pass just for 14marks only.. Plz u suggest me that how to write as i think there is problem in my writing section..

    1. Hi Ankita,

      Please check our CMA Exam Academy courses using this link.

      To know specifically what your weaknesses are, you must check the report sent by Prometric which indicates your performance on each of the key topic areas in the multiple choice section as well as their overall performance on the essay section of the exam.


  39. Hi Dear,

    Thank you for the information.
    It’s really helpful.
    So basically based on your article the hours needed to study for each part around 450 hr ! , isn’t this alot of time for each part only?!

    1. Hi Amjad,

      The length of time devoted for the CMA exam vary from person to person. But generally, the more time invested along with smart studying tools and techniques equates to higher probability of passing the CMA exam.


  40. Hi Nathan! Good day! I would like to take up CMA US exam sometime next year or 2 years from now. I’m currently taking up Masters in Business Management and I don’t I can balance studying for the exam. I’ also working at a government agency.

    I’d like to ask if you still a copy of your free Part 1 Textbook as of this date (Aug.23, 2016)? I would like to have one. I’m just not sure there is still some stocks since its a limited offer. I’d like to know. Thank you very much! 🙂

    1. Hi Rolando,

      Unfortunately, the offer has ended. BTW, we will be launching our 2nd edition next year, a perfect timing for you since you are
      planning to take the CMA exam next year.

      Keep in touch!


  41. hi sir how r u? i have one doubt sir avarage student get study cma? becase many people suggestion is avarage student well no enter the cma? so i need ur suggestion sir…thank you

    1. Hi Raju,

      You can always go from being average to excellent.

      We can help you through our CMA courses, please check this link to get started.


  42. Hi Nathan,

    I’m a Finsnce Director for a manufacturing company. Which study guides do you suggest, Gleim, Wiley, or Hock?

    Thank you,

  43. Hi Nathan

    I am currently pursuing my BCOM Honours and am planning to take up Banking and Insurance as my elective in the third year. I am planning to take up CMA exams as an Additional professional course to add value to my resume. Is it possible to take both of them together or is it better to take up Finance and Investment as my elective and go for a CISI certification? What is your opinion?

    1. Hi Ashwin,

      I am not familiar with the CISI certification but definitely a CMA credential will add value to you as a professional.

  44. Hiii,

    I’m using Wiley materials for Cma exams. For section a external financial reporting the topics covered are in detail and are not included in learning outcome statements. How to go about it.

    1. Hi Ruchika,

      In my opinion, if you are using the Wiley textbook, it is best to dig into the detail to expand your knowledge after reading the LOS Q and A summary.

      By the way, our interactive online textbook answers each LOS on a detailed level. For details and inquiries of the courses offered, you may check this link.

      Thanks and Regards,

  45. Hii nathan….very much inspired from your article…i have a very important question to be asked..i have just passed my graduation and opting to choose cma and i will give my exam in i am thinking that should i try only for the first part or both the parts at the same time bcoz time limit is also an very important factor..i need ur help..


    1. Hello Radha,

      Yes you can pass the CMA even with a full-time job. There are three ways I can do this for you and you can pick one or more:
      I have a lot of free content in my blog and my FAQ page. You can browse here: The second way is to join me in a webinar I host each week here:
      And the third way is to check out the guides and coaching programs I currently offer to candidates who are finding great success at passing the exam:

      I hope this helps.


  47. Hi Nathan,
    I’m currently doing my final year in college and also want to pursue CMA simultaneously. Is it advisable to do so? Will I have enough time to prepare and clear both the parts?

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Yes many college students opt to take the CMA exam to be more competitive in the marketplace after graduating. if you have the time to study for it, it’s a fantastic idea.


  48. Hi..thanks saw u comparisons….if I take cma u.s foundation then when I can take d exam and how many years it ‘ll take to complete full cma and can u tell me in India cma u.s is value r not

  49. Hi Nathan,
    I want to start my CMA, a person told me to register by his login and take cma both parts in $450 only.
    my question is:
    Is it possible to register with him will be beneficial for me?

    1. Hello Saqlain,

      Thanks for reaching out.
      Each candidate needs his own account with the IMA. Accounts cannot be shared.


  50. Nathan,

    Iam planning to join CMA. I have one doubt about the exam pattern , that is, in the exam we just tick mark in the correct answer. or need to write the explenation the correct one,,??

    1. Hello Jamsheed,

      Well, in the exam, candidates will be required to make calculations on paper using their calculator, then select the answer in the multiple choice question.

      Thanks for reaching out.

  51. hi Nathan
    i took both part exam offer,
    jan-feb window for 2nd part and
    may-june window for 1st part.
    I completed my 2nd part exam in Feb window but failed, pls tell me can I rewrite 2nd part exam in may-june window instead of 1st part by using this same offer.

    1. Hello Mohmmed,

      You can take the Part 2 exam again but it has to be in a different window from the one you originally took.


  52. Hi Nathan,
    I have the Gleim materials from 2011… should I purchase 2016 version or does it make sence if I use these old ones?

    1. Max, if you self study between 20 to 25 hours per week. With a coach or instructor between 15 to 20

  53. Nathan
    One more doubt. I heard that there are three exam schedules. (January/February, May/June, or September/October). What this exactly means ?. I know that for each Part we will get 4 HRS time. Then what this Two month is for ?. How we have to write exam. Say Part 1 in Any day of January and Part 2 in any day of February ? Pls explain.

    1. Hi Muhammed,

      The exam windows allow candidates to take the exam within those windows only. The exam cannot be taken outside of those 3 exam windows.

      You can take the exam any day available within those windows. To find available dates, you’ll need to register with the IMA and look up exam dates available in your area.

  54. Nathan
    Great article about CMA. I am a Indian Chartered Accountant, now working in UAE. Now I am planning to take CMA also. I am really benefited from your article. Could you please clarify whether the 3 years article ship which we have done for our CA Course is enough for Practical experience requirements of CMA?

    1. Muhammed,

      I’m glad to know that the article helped you out.

      I’m not very sure about your question. To ensure your experience is convalidated please contact the IMA directly at They will give you definitive answer. Thanks

  55. Is CMA equal to an MBA ? I’m really confused !! Which one should I choose ? I’m really interested in pursuing CMA though but may parents are asking me to for an MBA

  56. Hi Nathan,

    I’m planning to take the CMA exam Part 1 sometime in February. I found a CMA study guide Part 1 Mometrix Test Preparation book on Amazon. But it’s published in 2010. Do you think it’s okay to purchase this one or should I consider buying a book that’s published in 2015? Also, do you think a CMA study guide test prep book and IMA’s practice exam questions would be enough for me to pass the exam? Because the online study material is very costly.


    1. Hi Siti,

      Any edition prior to 2015 is not up-to-date. I wouldn’t use them if I were you. If you plan to buy review material, buy 2016 edition. Most providers have them already in their shelves.

  57. Hi,
    I am a B.COM and I have started CMA Part 1 and I am confused whether I should give exam in February or June because still our two sections are remaining and I have not much good practice and my teacher said that we have to give attempt in feb but the thing which confuses me is that if I will appear for exam in june then a huge gap occurs and may be I start forgetting the concepts so I need your fair suggestion


    1. Marium,

      I always recommend to take one part per exam window. Taking both parts together can diminish your chances at clearing both parts. Study one part and take it in February, then study the second part and take it in June. You’ll have much better chances at passing the exam.

  58. Hello Nathan, Myself Jagannath sahu , I m pursuing now cma final 2012 syllabus and also I m working in one Mnc company. Can you please help me out how should I proceed with my both final groups in June 2016. And also which study materials should I prefer.

    1. Hi Jagannath, I would strongly encourage you to use the 2015 syllabus. The 2012 version you have is now outdated.

      You can learn more about the various CMA review courses on this chart. If you have questions after reviewing it please let me know and I’ll help you choose one.

  59. Hi Nathan,

    Thank you for creating this wonderful site. Reading from your blog, I gained insights on how to pass the CMA exam. I followed your advice about taking first the Part 2 of the exam . I found it easier, less stressful, more convenient since the topic content in Part 2 is lesser compared to Part 1. Because it is less stressful in studying Part 2, I became more motivated to study Part 1 especially after receiving email that I passed the Part 2 on August 11, 2015 with the score of 400 points. Because I became more motivated to study Part 1, I scored higher by 20 points (I got a score of 420 points in Part 1!), and now my certification is already completed on November 18, 2015 (see the CMA directory). It took me six months to become a CMA . I am very grateful to all my friends and my family who supported me and to you Mr. Nathan.

    Thank you once again.


    1. Hi Jean,

      I’m so happy for you! This is awesome news!! Congratulations on passing both parts on your first attempt. You absolutely deserve it. Here’s to your future success as a CMA 🙂 Cheers!

  60. Hi Nathan- thank you for publishing the above information, I have found it to be exceptionally clear and helpful when considering a tentative plan of action for the CMA. I am a very recent graduate with a B.S. in Economics, my current role is as a plant analyst. I admit I have some trouble bridging some gaps between my educational background and my current role and am seeking more understanding regarding cash flow, over head cost determination etc.. I was hopeful that studying towards the CMA certification would make me more proficient in my field and the designation is certainly worthy of time and dedication, understanding that I struggle with some accounting principles do I have a fighting chance in using the CMA for educational and hopeful certification purposes or is this something out of my reach and perhaps accounting classes instead would be more attainable/worth my while and money? Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


    1. Hi Nina,

      Thanks for reaching out and for your kind words.

      The CMA can definitely bridge the gap between your educational background and your current role as a plant analyst. It will even enhance your skills and knowledge. The CMA is definitely within your reach if you choose to study hard diligently. Anyone can achieve it. It’s a matter of how bad you really want it 🙂

      I’m here to help if you have any other questions. Cheers

  61. If you read carefully the above comments I guarantee you will pass the CMA , Mr. Nathan Liao Thank You

  62. Hi Nathan,

    Hope you are doing well. My major is Finance and I graduated last year, I’m currently working in a big four firm as an Auditor. I want to obtain CMA designation and I have few questions to you. Which textbook do you recommend me to buy ? do they have q bank questions ? how about attending live classes since I always prefer to study in the class ? in what way I would receive an advantage if Im a CMA designated?


    1. Hi Rami,

      Thanks for reaching out. I’m glad to help. I recently wrote an article about this. Would you like to read it? I think it’ll help clear a lot of your questions, so click here. But feel free to post a comment if you have more questions. I’m always here to help candidates like you 🙂

  63. HI Nathan,

    I have some questions if you may,
    1. The 3 years period to finish the CMA certificate, begins from the first sign-in as a member or passing the 1st exam?
    2. How many questions are the “50% of MCQ’s” I should complete rightfully to pass to essay part?
    3. I went for Part 1 exam before this year’s update and failed. I felt disappointed and waited so long for the 2nd trial, which is btw in the next few days and I need an advice before exam, What would you advise me to focus on?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Mostafa,

      The clock starts when you enter the CMA program, not when you take your first exam. There are 100 MCQ questions in the exam and you need at least 50% to pass to the essay section.

      Did you get a letter from the IMA listing the areas that you were weak on in your exam? I would suggest focusing in those areas before your next retake.

      Best of luck! I wish you exam success!

  64. Hi Nathan,

    I have completed my CFP from India. I have also done my graduation in commerce. I want to pursue CMA, do you think CMA will be a good choice to enhance my career further. Also how difficult it is to crack the exam if we have a basic understanding of accounting concepts.

    1. Hi Darshan,

      The CMA designation is always a good investment for those who want to work in management accounting.

      The exam pass rate is 35% because most people self-study. If you are interested in increasing your chances at passing and would like to work with me, check out my online coaching program with no obligation. Let me know if you have any questions.

  65. Can i pass cma exams at the first time by studying only Wiley CMA EXCEL text book that given from institution

  66. Thank u for your reply 🙂 . I have one more ques for part 1 practice should I use hock practice software or gleim ? And if gliem then its 2015 version would be useful for the coming windows attempt ? or I have to buy a new version coming..?

  67. Hi !!
    Your article is very helpful. I want to join your online program ,how can I do it? ..


    1. Hi Amna,

      I’ll be sending you very valuable content via email in the next few days. You’ll be notified when open enrollment runs again very soon 🙂

  68. Hi Nathan, i just need your help on this.

    I am currently working and registered as a student instead of paying progessional Member.
    Im planning to sit for exam in Sep/Oct.

    How can i resolve this. Is there any way i can pay the difference amount or i can go a head and sit for exam.


  69. Dear Nathan, thanks alot for this wonderful summary that you made about the two exam parts. it was really beneficial. for me, i used Wiley CMAExcel book and online test bank, it was really great in terms of explaining the concept in details and delivering some really helpful examples/problems. but i am afraid i won’t pass because i didn’t put the needed effort. Now, i just have one question please. if, say, one does not pass an exam and is willing to re-take the exam again, are they required to pay the Entrance & Membership fees again?

    Thanks for your Help, sir.

    1. Hi Loai,

      I’m so glad my post was helpful 🙂

      In the event that you fail the exam and re-take it in the next window, you’ll have to pay for the exam fee again but not for the entrance or membership fees.

  70. Hi Nathan,

    Great to see the work that you are doing for helping the aspiring CMA candidates across the world,I am currently working in banking for past eight years and have a ambition to clear the CMA exam hence i had done lot of research across various website but the has caught my eye ok as i read across various post it seem that giving part 2 is easier taken as a guidance now the question that i have in my mind is that we do have various institue in india offering the CMA course at a cost of 120k to 150k indian rupees but wht i want to know here is as written here in the website by you that to opt for Wiley CMAexcel so does it cover the entire syllabus of the part that we are opting or it is just the add ons to the orginal study material issued by IMA a conducting body of CMA course . i have registered by e-mail for the post , i am really confussed between various institute and subject material been offered , bottom line is which is the correct path and approach to clear CMA exam in first attempt.


    1. Hi Uttam,

      I totally relate to what you are going through. I was very confused as well when trying to figure out how to begin this journey.

      Tell me more about you such as work experience, educational background, etc to help you choose the best CMA review course to fit your needs.

  71. Hi Nathan,

    Thank you for your time..

    I did my part 1 exam on June 2013 and i got 330 score, then I repeat the exam on the next window, also I got the same score 330. after that, I didn’t re exam or study.
    So, I need your advice, do you suggest to study part 2 , or re study part i and pass it first!


  72. Hi Nathan,
    I am a CPA & MBA Finance, with strong accounting & finance background. I had started preparing for final strategic group of CIMA from UK (initial 2 groups were already exempted), where I have to pass 3 exams + 1 case study exam. As I heard about CMA from US, with similar course syllabus but with 2 exams, does it make sense to switch to CMA instead of CIMA, even when I am trying for immigration to Canada ?


    1. Balley,

      Canada has its own CMA credential. The CMA-US is not recognized in that country. If I were you, I would look at the CMA-Canada program.

  73. Hello Nathan,
    I am currently in ACCA studying paper F7 and F8. Last year, A friend of mine was on the same stage as I am now, he decided to go for CMA along with his ACCA keeping the pace slow taking only F9 for the exam session that was ahead of him by then that was I guess June 14, and started CMA from a local college. He cleared his F9 and as well as both the CMA parts in just 8 months of time and he is now qualified ACCA and offcourse CMA.
    He is suggesting me to shift to this approach.
    Its very supportive and always been pleasant to see successful Professional like you guiding and helping the young people following your paths.
    Hamza Akber

    1. Hi Hamza, thanks for reaching out. Your friend is very dedicated and ambitious. Good for him 🙂

      If you can devote as much time as he has to studying for the ACCA and CMA, I don’t see why you couldn’t do both. The CMA exam is tough though and I always encourage everyone to take one exam at a time to prevent overwhelm. Having said that, if you feel you can do both, go for it 🙂

      Check out my #1 Online Coaching Program if you are interested in being coached by me.

  74. Nathan,

    I am doing ICWAI, final level. Will it be easy for me to do CMA. Please enlighten me about the syllabus and portions. I’d like to know if what i have studied in ICWA will help me clear CMA.



  75. HI Nathan,

    I gave up my part 2 exam on Feb 2014 and was expecting good grades but when they result were out i was suprised by my marks because i got only 340 marks. When i went back to IMA they have informed that if you want you can opt for re grade it would cost around $100.

    Pls advise if i shall go with re grade or just go ahead and prepare for June window.

    How much are chances to pass through re grade ?


    1. Rizwan, if I were you, I would pay for the re-grade. It’s not 100% sure the score will change, but it’s worth trying instead of having to pay for the exam again and spend another 3 months studying. Time is money my friend 🙂

      1. Nathan,

        I have given for re-grade thought there is only 1% chance though will give a try and meantime i am preparing my self for june window so if results are negative i shall keep myself prepared for exam.

        Thanks for your response and agreed time is money 🙂

      2. Nathan,

        I have given for re-grade thought there is only 1% chance thought will give a try and meantime i am preparing my self for june window so if results are negative i shall keep myself prepared for exam.

        Thanks for your response and agreed time is money 🙂

    2. Dear Rizwan,

      A similar incident happened here and I was wondering if I should try and regrade. What happened with your results? Could you please share your experience?

      Thank you!

  76. Hi Nathan,

    I have appeared part 1 during Feb and got result 340.Do you have any advise if I can ask IMA to review it again and do have any such review previous experience from some of your guys.

    Please advise



    1. Binoy, if I were you, I would ask the IMA to review the exam again. It’s $100 but totally worth a try. Best of luck!

  77. HI,

    I gave up my part 2 exam on Feb and was expecting good grades as i was confident compared to part 1 but i got 340 marks only. When i approached IMA for justification on grade they said you have option of re grading but adding to it they explained whole process of initial grading & explaining how quality intensive it has been before publishing result.

    Now this makes me confused whether is should send for re grading or not because spending $100 and getting same grades would definitely be disheartening. But something strike my mind i did MCQ good & Essay i wrote both good enough expect one or two question. When i cleared my part 1 i was able to write only 1 essay but now i gave all efforts still its fail

  78. I have registered during 2012. i have attended part 1 and 2 once. both failed in essay part. I would like to attend during may 2015. but the syllabus changed. I have 2 questions
    1- should i re register again
    2- which syllabus should i write the exam

    1. Hashir,

      Yes, you will need to re-enroll and pay your dues to take the exam in 2015. I invite you to attend my webinar to learn more about how to move forward to prepare for the CMA exam.

  79. Hi Nathan,
    I am using Part 1 Wiley CMAexcel for my preparation.
    For Section A (External Financial Reporting Decisions), I found there are more topics covered than what is required in LOS (eg Pension). My doubt is should I be learning all or follow the LOS.
    Time is a constraint.

  80. Hi Nathan !! How r u ?? I found ur article very helpful..
    I want to take cma part 1 exam in Feb 2015 as I have only about one month ..if I start today from scratch with 8 to 10 hour study daily ,could I be able to pass part 1 exam of cma ??? .. I have an accounting background … Please reply me soon I would be very thankful for ur help as I am very upset because I am left with little time …

    1. Hi Amna,

      If you study 8 to 10 hours daily, I believe you’ll be able to pass the exam in that amount of time. But more than the hours your focus should be studying until you fully understand the subject matter. That’s what is the most important. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m here to help.

  81. Hi Nathan,

    How different are the exam questions to the one provided by Hook or Gleim in their system. Are some of the questions exactly the same, or are they big differences?


    1. John,

      There are some differences but many of the questions are drawn from retired exam questions. In other words, they are drawn from the same source.

  82. Hey nathan;

    I have just cleared my CMA foundation ;my intermediate exam will be next yr in dec I would like to ask will it be good to opt both the groups??further more if I opt group2 before group1 is it allowed??

    1. Shristi,

      Yes, you can take Part 2 before taking Part 1. That’s what I did actually.

      I would not recommend that you take both parts in the same testing window. Take one part per window to ensure you pass on your first attempt.

    1. Mohit,

      I recommend that you take one part per exam window. It’s too much content to memorize if you attempt to take both parts together.

  83. hi nathan … I am very inspired by you and want to pursue my career in CMA. I have higher secondary school certificate in accounting and commerce, further I also passed Foundation diploma in accountancy U.K. please advise me is it worthy for md to start CMA, if so what review course would you recommend for me and how many hours of study is required to crack part 1 in my first attempt.

  84. Hi Nathan,
    I have a silly question, if I got 340 in the exam .can I ask IMA to re-review my exam or it’s a final result.

    1. dear Khaled,

      I faced the same problem ,please update me with what you did after Nathan advice to ask the IMA to re-review your score.
      please I need your reply ASAP.

  85. hi nathan
    i am preparing for my part 2 cma exam is it true that i should first pass part 1 then part 2 ??? another question i am using Hock materials they are so informative but yet sooo detailed am i going to need all of these detais in the exam? i am in the middle of section b which includes so much details on finance i feel really lost in all of these details without any questions at all 🙁
    what should i do i want to take the exam during febrauary God willing
    heeeelpppp me with ur opinion

    1. Basma,

      You can take Part 1 or Part 2 in any order. I personally took Part 2 first. I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling using Hock’s material. Have you considered enrolling in my Academy? I think you need a coach to help you through the concepts and problems. Since you already have Hock textbooks, I would enroll in my video course only.

    2. Basma, i am facing the same problem! have you got any solution?
      i am studying part 1 too, and i am in section (B) right now, it’s so informative specially in sections have not much numerical problems.. but i can’t say it didn’t make me aware of all info i read, it just deals with you as a zero background student, and this is something good in some parts, and so boring in others.

  86. I Completed my graduation in Economics in 2014 and now preparing for cfa level 1 . Am I qualify for CMA (usa ) .

  87. Hi,

    Quick question on the CMA exam. You are allowed to have a calculator with you, but do they provide any paper or spreadsheet that you can use to take note of your intermediate steps when solving a problem (multiple choice part)? For example, an exercise on cash collections, could you write somewhere the Sales and the collections patterns?

  88. Hi Nathan Liao,

    I am glad that i found this website. I am a CPA and planning to take the CMA soon. whose study material do you recommend to me? Gleim, Wiley or Hock?

  89. Hi Nathan,
    Hope you are well !
    I am planning to attend exam on 22.10.2014 and I almost cover the topics and scoring80-85 marks in Gleim online Materials , But I didn’t practice the essay’s. Kindly give suggestion for practicing essays and Final Review questions..


    1. Vineeth,

      The Gleim system should have Essay questions for you to practice with. Please check your textbook and online test bank.

  90. HI Nathan

    Good Day!!!

    i just want to know that what is the percentage for pass the CMA exam.
    can you provide the passing detail score and percentage and also let us know how we can cover the passing percentage.


    Muqeet ur rehman

  91. Hi nathan,
    hope u r doing good.
    I have completed my BCOm and MBA FInance nd now planning to do CMA.I find part one DIfficult.Is it advisable that I can do part 2 first with any coaching by self studies and practice questions. I am using hock software.
    I will be really grateful if u please help me out in this.
    Thanks and REgards
    sarah zach

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Yes its possible but you’ll need to study very hard on your own. Having an instructor will make it easier for you if you are having a hard time understanding the concepts. Check out if you are interested in working with me one on one 🙂

  92. Thank you Nathan; it’s great help that you giving answer to all questions.
    All of us appreciated it.
    I have one question.
    My friend took CMA Exam and He passed it all.
    He have study materiasl (I mean books)
    Which he no longer need it.
    If I take these books from him and prepare for exam; am I eligible for exam???
    I mean Is buying books part of eligibility to write exam???
    Because books so expensive and my friend have it.
    Thank you

  93. Hi Nathan
    How are you?
    Nathan can u suggest me which part i should take first?? Either level 1 or Level 2
    because m to much confuse.


    1. Hamza,

      If you have a strong background in manufacturing then take Part One, otherwise Part Two.

  94. Hi Nathan ,

    Thanks a ton for you sharing your expireance ,

    I am Commerce Graduate and wanted to do CMA and wanted to write one group in Jan Feb 2015, hence kindly sugest me which Group would be better for me to attend

    1. Hi Vishwa,

      By group I think you mean part am I right? If you have a strong background in Manufacturing then I would suggest you take Part-One first. Otherwise, go for Part-Two. Have you purchased a review course yet to self-study? Check out my comparison chart to help you choose.

      If you prefer to have an instructor, check out my CMA Academy flagship course.

  95. Hi,
    Question, as i am tight on budget and would like to start studying as early as possible, do you recommend me buying the study material 1st and start studying and then whne the funds become avail in a few weeks, pay for my CMA registration of $240? or should i register 1st?

    1. Nas,

      If you plan to register a few weeks after purchasing your material is totally fine. You don’t need to register first to begin preparing for the CMA exam.

  96. Hi how are you , l want to thank you about your effort , this website helped many people to pass the exam , I want to tell you that I use hock material study , it’s good but I feel confuse , how I should study , and I hate reading and saving information on my head , I love dealing with numbers only and solving equation , so how can u advise me ? Really I need help

    1. Nayef,

      Check out this video I did a little while ago about how to prepare for the exam. Let me know what you think and if you have additional questions. Thanks

  97. Hello,
    Thank u so much for your article..I am from India..I am doing my graduation course duration was 2010-13 but because of my CA exams i have not completed my i still be considered as a student to avail discount in IMA fee.? I will complete those backlog subjects in march 2015. I wish to appear for sep/oct 2014..please clarify this..Thank u

    1. Hi Sushma,

      I believe you’d still be considered a student but check with the IMA to verify this. They have the last word on this.

  98. Hi Nathan

    I read in your comment that not to take both papers in one testing window….
    my question is that i have taken an admission in a university, which is in pakistan and they are saying that we finish our course in 6 months so what you recommend for me? is 6 months are enough to prepare both papers and than give these both papers in 1 testing window or should i give 1 part in jan and another one in feb… what was your openion???

    1. Muhammad,

      My personal opinion is that 6 months is enough to prepare but not both parts simultaneously, and definitely not taking both parts in the same testing window. Remember that 65% of candidates fail the exam. It’s best to study for 3 months for one part, take the exam, then study for another 3 months for the second part and take the exam.

      Splitting the effort in this manner will increase your chances of passing the exam dramatically.


  99. HI Nathan,
    Iam planning to take up CMA next year. Can you tell me if the books are only sufficient or is there a necessity for an online class because I had enquired about the online course where they give two day online class for 2 months which is provided CPA / CMA university with the study materials but this is expensive the next option is that gleim guys give a complete study package but no online classes . So can you suggest which will be better and iam planning to give my part 1 in october do u think july to sep will be enough to prepare for part 1????

    1. Hi Jisna,

      What is the cost of the CMA online classes you looked into?

      If you have a good accounting background, self-study is an economical way to prepare. However, if you know that you are the type of student who needs lectures, then an online course will be more expensive but will benefit you better. Tell me a little more about yourself and I’ll guide you to the best option that fits you.

      If you start preparing in July, there will be sufficient time to prepare for the CMA exam in the Sept/Oct testing window, but you’ll need to study each day consistently.

      If you decide to go for an instructor-led course, check out my Academy.


  100. Hi Nathan,

    I am graduate engineer since 1993. During 1995-2001 part of my job was budget forecasting/planning, costing analysis for new projects, cash book, pay roll, day to day maintenances and construction expanses, overtime, pensions etc (in addition to my core responsibilities).
    I am interested in CMA certification to get detail idea about accounting and budgeting etc. I can spent 4 hours daily (average) to study CMA material and can comfortably carry out self study plan. I have following questions.
    1- Whether my part time experience (during 1995-2001) will be valid to fulfill CMA requirment i.e. ” Two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management”.
    2- Based on my 4 hour daily (average) plan, is it worthwile to sit in exam in JAN 2015 for both parts or I have to change my paln.
    3- Based on my entirly diffent field, which course provider you will recomend for me i.e. among WIELY, GLIM, HOCK etc.


    1. Asad,

      Here are your answers:

      1. I believe it will fulfill it BUT please contact the IMA to ensure it. They have the final say on this.
      2. 4 hours a day is sufficient time to study and prepare. I wouldn’t advice you to take both exams in the same testing window. Many candidates make that mistake and fail. If you can, start studying now for the Sept/Oct testing window, and only then prepare for the Jan/Feb 2015 testing window for the next part.
      3. I would recommend Wiley for you. Their textbooks are very detailed and will help you prepare well. Gleim is a very good option too but it’s tailored for candidates with an accounting background.

      let me know if you have any other questions.


  101. Hi,

    Hope u r well
    i enrolled in jan-2014.
    I am planning to attend CMA exam on Septemberor October-2014 window and planning to attend part 1 first .i brought Gelim materials and some times i need to spend lot of times for solving some problems.I need your advice for making plan for success fully completing the CMA .Now I am working as an accountant .


    1. Hi Imam,

      Gleim is a great system to use when preparing for the CMA exam. I believe the system comes with a customizable study planner. Have you used it?

  102. Hi,

    Hope u r well

    I am planning to attend CMA exam on September window and planning to attend part 2 first .i brought Gelim materials and some times i need to spend lot of times for solving some problems.I need your advice for making plan for success fully completing the CMA .Now I am working as Sr.Finance Executive and U can spend 2-3 hrs daily


    1. Hi Vineeth,

      Have you signed up to my free study course? If you have, you’ll receive a weekly email that’ll guide you step by step on what you need to study.

  103. Hi Nathan,
    I have completed Part II CMA exam and struggling to pass Part I. Kindly advise. I am following Hock materials and Gliem for MCQ questions.
    Your advise please

  104. hello sir,

    I am graduate I want to ask u tht is better to opt for mba or cma…
    is cma having the job opportunities…

    1. Hi ,
      I am a MBA holder and now planning to do CMA .on my 9 years experience i learned that Cerification is must for getting good positions .

  105. Hi Nathan

    You are helping everyone and we are so grateful for this.

    My question is simple. My bachelor degree is finance but I feel I am not really good at accounting. Which material would you recommend for me to read?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Latif,

      I’m very glad to help 🙂

      I would go with Wiley in your case. They go over the content in detail so you will not miss a thing. Gleim is tailored more for those who have an accounting background. Best of luck!


    1. I would use Wiley since your teacher is using that system in his class. Wiley is a fantastic course so you’ll be fine with it.

  107. sir i would like to ask you question that sir how i can prepare my self for cma exam.which kind of study material i should use like a galim or hock .please sir i will wait for your answer.

  108. Hi Nathan great article, I have a small question that are text books enough for passing? Secondly how do you prepare for essay questions, Is the software in exam I.e spreadsheet difficult to use?

    1. hey thank you. I appreciate it.

      The review course from Gleim, Wiley, or ExamMatrix are enough to pass the CMA exam. Each of their test banks include a section of essay questions that will help you prepare. Also read my articles on how to answer essay questions. Doing both will better prepare you for it.

  109. Nathan; hello:
    Hope all is well. i have done mba major in finance.
    What cma total cost, does ima procides study materials once becoming its member, suggest me less costly matwrials of study & will i be able to pass cma or nor

    1. Faridullah,

      The IMA doesn’t provide study materials as a member. You will need to purchase them separately. To learn more about the cost of the IMA membership and the CMA exam please read this article.

  110. Hello Nathan,

    Firstly appreciated so much your efforts in this blog, it’s really informative 😉

    BTW I have a question and tried to search for it on google but didn’t find any clear answer regarding it, A friend of mine is in the beginning of his CMA studies, and he is going to take the exam within May/June 2014 testing window, and he will start by Part 1, suppose now he succeeded in his Part 1, now he will go and study for Part 2, my question now:

    What will happen if he failed Part 2, is it a must to retake and pass Part 1 again along with passing Part 2 ?

    Or his Part 1 success will still be valid and he will only apply for Part 2 again ?

    Appreciated your help in advance


    1. Muhammad,

      This is a very good question. What’s great about the CMA is that if you fail one part (I hope your friend doesn’t), you can retake just that one part. It is not a requirement to retake both parts. Best of luck.

      1. Nazar Ali.S

        I am graduate with 15 years with accounting background
        Can I passible for CMA doing
        Tell me possible India and Abroad opportunities

  111. hey,
    im a fresh graduate, currently working as a financial analyst, and im planning to start the CMA, but i want to do it on my own, 2 hours on work-days and 3-4 on weekends,
    also i plan to take part 1 in the May/June window?
    what do you think ? should i register at a course knowing that they are twice a week for 7 months ?
    is self-study (with some online tests and videos) enough to pass, or do i need to see professionals ?

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Amanya,

      Taking a live course or a self-study course depends on how you prefer to learn. Do you learn better on your own? If so, a self-study course will be a good fit. However, if you learn better with a live instructor, then definitely go for a live course.

      1. Well, i prefer to study on my own, using Hock material and online tests,
        May i ask you another question, is the sections order important or is it okey if i study section C then A and B, i feel this way is better but am not sure if C content is built up on A and B, What do you think Nathan ?

        Thank you for replying 🙂

        1. Amani,

          If you feel more comfortable studying in the manner you described, I don’t see why not. I wouldn’t worry so much about the order but about learning the content in whichever manner best fits you 🙂

  112. Hi, how are you doing?

    I have basic background inmfinancial accounting. I will be using only the ipad version of hock cma and practise those questions only. Wil it be enough to understand and pass the exam? I have lots of time on my hands and incredible dedication. But, i need to know before i invest if it is a wise decision.

    Can only an ipad paid version of hock cma , get me through?

    Thanking you in anticipation

    1. I’m not sure that an ipad version will suffice to prepare for the CMA exam. I would advice you to seek a full review course. It’ll be more expensive but worth your money.

  113. Hi Nathat,

    Sharing your experience is really a nobel thing i do thank you for it.

    I am a finance’s bachelor holder since 2008 and i have never worked in the field. i can say i have ZERO experience.

    i will register for part one and planning to attempt CMA exams in MAY/JUN windows.

    i know there is nothing called impossible. But i need you advice.


    1. Hi Moel,

      It’s great to see that you’ve made the decision to become a CMA. To start, I would check out my page on How to Become a CMA. Read it and let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can help you with. Best of luck!

  114. Dear Mr. Nathan,

    Many thanks for you.

    I am joining BIBF Bahrain for CMA Part 2 starting 16th Nov. 2013 for 2 moths and planning to take the Part 2 Exam in February 2014 , so do you recommend to pay for the IMA membership and register for the exam from now or after taking the course?.

    Warm regrards

    1. I would recommend that you pay for your IMA membership and register for the exam at least 2 months ahead.

      With your registration you will have a set exam date which will serve as a motivator 🙂 Best of luck!

  115. Hello Nathan
    You said that “took out my iPad and my IMA book (now sold by Wiley) from my messenger bag and studied ”
    But, could you please advice, did you do any written notes/conspectus of your IMA book?? Or it was enough for you just reading and making online mcq?
    Thanjs in advance for your comments

    1. Hi Madina,

      I created flash cards from the content and also practiced writing out formulas over and over until I memorized them.

  116. Hi Nathan,

    I’m really very happy to find out your article about CMA. I read it thoroughly & i found it really helpful.

    I need your advise for making a decision please.

    I’m working with a company as an accountant since one year & before that I had MBA in Finance.

    What would you recommend to me that shall i go for any kind of certification in accounting (i.e CMA) to strengthen my CV or would it beneficial for me to get experience first for few years and then plan for certifications?

    Please advise.


    1. Hi Muhammad,

      Obtaining an advanced credential, such as the CMA, will always be beneficial. If you feel like it is the right move for you, why wait? As accountants, we know that time is money 🙂

      If after passing the CMA exam you don’t have enough experience yet, the IMA gives candidates up to 7 years to fulfill the experience requirement. Also with a CMA credential, you may be able to move up into management accounting faster than without it.

  117. Dear Nathan,
    For any person with financial background , I think the best preparation tolls for CMA is to use IMA Texkbook for studying , and practice throw using question bank of Gleim Practice Application .
    What do you think about this ?.\


    1. Hakam,

      I’ve seen many candidates use more than one review course and fail the exam. I would advice to use one course if possible. The topics presented in each course may differ from one another and may cause confusion more than anything else.

      With your background in finance, I would recommend Gleim.

  118. Hi
    I am from Saudi Arabia
    I just graduated form my university. My major is finance. I want to get CMA certification
    Which is best for me
    Gleim or Hock?

  119. Hello Nathan,
    I graduated with MBA in November 2012, I am deciding to take CMA exam although I don’t have accounting background. I went to an Institute and they are offering 3 hours class twice a week starting on 31st August 2013 with Part 2 and finishing it in the mid of October and starting part 1 straight after that to sit for both Exams in January. Can you kindly provide me with your expertise on this whether I shall go ahead with it.

    1. Hello,

      Congratulations in obtaining your MBA. That’s a great accomplishment!

      Your plan to take both exams in January is an ambitious one. I think it can be done, but I’m a bit concerned that you may not have enough time to prepare. I recommend at least 3 months of preparation for each part, and that recommendation is for folks that have an accounting background. In your case, since you don’t have an accounting background, you may need an additional month or so.

      Having said that, taking a course at an institute will be very helpful and will give you a very good idea of your level of comprehension of the material.

      I’ve listed a few excellent resources that may help you achieve your CMA credential. It is the CMA Toolkit page. Please check it out and let me know if you have any other questions. I’m always here to help you out.

  120. Pingback: CMA Exam Passing Rates | CMA Coach

  121. Nice Article Nathan
    How to manage to CPE requirement here we don’t have chapters nor any institution in Ghana – Accra

    I plan to write exam in June 2013. When I should register and pay the exam fees

    Is it advisable to write both parts in May/June 2013 ( Dec to May 6 Months) is enough to cover the syllabus assuming that 2 hours study in a day………….

    1. Hi Siva,

      Thank you. I’m glad you found it helpful. Let me answer your questions in the same format as you have posed them:

      1) CPE Requirements: As an IMA member, you have access to free online live webinars, and also to products that can be purchased to fulfill the required 30 hours of CPE. I personally attend almost every free webinar and start chipping away little by little. Each webinar is 1 to 1.5 hours. Here’s a link to the IMA’s Learning Center where you can find more information about the webinars and other products.

      2) Exam Registration: The IMA’s website recommends that candidates register for their exam 4 weeks in advance. I personally registered 3 months in advance. By doing so, it pushed me to study and not procrastinate. Click here for more info on exam registration.

      3) Sitting for both exams: If you plan to sit for one exam during the 2013 May/June window, I would advice you to sit for the second exam during the 2014 January/February window. If you sit for the second exam during the 2013 September/October window, it may be too close to each other and not give you enough time to study. But if you have the commitment and the time to take both exams back to back, I don’t see why you couldn’t do it.

  122. Hi Nathan,

    How are you ? Hope everything is fine at your end. So, Nathan you prefer to study part 2 first & please also help me in essay questions. I have just text book to prepare for the exams.


    1. Hi Tariq,

      I’m doing great, thank you. I hope you are too.

      I will be writing an article tonight about how to prepare for the essay questions and I’ll let you know when it’s posted, but let me give you a little preview. In essence, an essay question will ask you to make multiple calculations and explain them. These are the quantitative measures, and the question will also ask you to make qualitative decisions, in which you’ll need to explain why you chose an answer over the others. I’ll get into more detail in the article.

      Thank you for posting your question. I’m sure many others have the same one you do.

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