Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

The Certified Management Accountant exam is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of accountants, as well as increase credibility in the industry, and potential earnings.

testing accommodations are available for approved individuals.

What cognitive skills and question levels will be used on this exam?

For the CMA Exam, you must be well-versed in six cognitive skill levels that will be used for the questions of the exam.

The first is Knowledge. Questions at the knowledge skill level are simply to test your ability to recall facts, techniques, etc.

The second is Comprehension. With comprehension questions, you are being evaluated on your ability to understand and interpret the meaning of the material.

The third is Application. As its name states, you will be assessed on your aptitude to use previously learned material in new ways.

The fourth is Analysis. With analysis questions, you are expected to be able to break down the material in such a way that shows you are able to differentiate, find relationships, etc.

The fifth is Synthesis. The ability to synthesize means you can put the components of the material together to create a new idea.

The sixth is Evaluation. With evaluation questions, you should be able to come to conclusions using the material you have learned.

Additionally, each question will be associated with one of three levels. Level A questions will require you to use knowledge and comprehension skills. Level B will require knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis skills. Level C will require knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation skills.

What categories are covered on the exam?

There are two parts to this exam. You must successfully complete both parts to pass the exam.

Part 1 is Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics. This part is four hours long and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and two essays.

Part 2 is Strategic Financial Management. It, too, is four hours in length and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and two essays.

The topics that are covered in Part 1 are:

  • External financial reporting decisions – 15% of questions
  • Planning, budgeting, and forecasting – 20% of questions
  • Performance management – 20% of questions
  • Cost management –15% of questions
  • Internal controls – 15% of questions
  • Technology and Analytics - 15% of questions

The topics that are covered in Part 2 are:

  • Financial statement analysis – 20% of questions
  • Corporate finance – 20% of questions
  • Decision analysis – 25% of questions
  • Risk management – 10% of questions
  • Investment decisions – 10% of questions
  • Professional ethics – 15% of questions

Click for more information on the CMA Exam: Part 1.

What is the cost of the exam?

Once you are a CMA program member and have met all of the requirements, you are eligible to take the CMA Exam. For professional members, the cost of the exam is $415 per part. For student/academic members, the exam fee is $311 per part.

What are the testing dates and locations?

There are three testing windows for the CMA Exam:

January and February

May and June

September and October

The exam is administered at testing sites throughout the world.

What should I do the day of the exam?

Bring a valid, unexpired form of identification that includes your name, signature, and photo.  You are allowed to bring a calculator that consists of no more than the addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square root, and percentage functions.

You cannot bring personal items such as handbags, for or drink, books, or cell phones and other electronic devices.

What happens after I take the exam?

Approximately two weeks after your result is posted to your profile, you will receive an email with your score report.

What is a passing score?

The score range is 0-500. The minimum passing score is 360 per part.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?

An exam part can only be taken once in a testing window. In a 3-year period, you can sit for as many testing windows as necessary.

How Can I Prepare for the CMA Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by 
  4. tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see 
  5. links to both!

Study Guide




Last Updated: November 9, 2023