As you make your way to becoming a certified management accountant, careful planning and preparation are key elements to successfully passing the CMA exam. The CMA program offers students three testing windows a year to complete CMA exams and also provides a structured approach to writing the two-part exam.
In this ‘go-to’ guide, we discuss what you need to know about the exam dates, entrance fees, testing centres and more.
Snapshot of Important Exam Information
The CMA entrance fee is a once-off registration fee that allows you to book exams for a period of 36 months after you have paid this fee. The CMA exam schedule is open to students during the same window period every year.
The best way to ensure that you prepare adequately for the exam is to book it BEFORE you start preparing to write it. This way, you know what time you have and you can plan to write by the scheduled date.
CMA Exam dates
No bookings will be made after the late registration final date.
CMA Exam Registration
Starting 1 January 2024, you can request an exam appointment through the IMA’s testing partner, Prometric.
The Institute of Management Accountants has provided over 3000 testing centers worldwide, clearing all obstacles to writing the CMA exam, wherever you are in the world - or might be travelling to.
Once you access the Prometric website, you can search for local Prometric testing centers nearest to you. There are also options available for those with movement difficulties, sight difficulties and those in the military.
Schedule an exam appointment
Once you have paid the CMA entrance fee and received authorisation from the ICMA, schedule your CMA exam on the Prometric website: www.prometric.com/ICMA. You can also schedule, confirm, reschedule or cancel your appointment on this website within the allocated timelines.
There are no restrictions to when you book your exam since the website is open for bookings seven days a week. You will receive a confirmation number when you schedule your exam, and you should keep this number for the day of the exam.
Exam dates are allocated according to the number of seats available at your nearest testing center. Each exam window allows multiple opportunities for the students to complete their exams - so no student should fear not getting an allocated slot.
Pay exam fees
Each part of the CMA exam attracts an exam fee. These fees depend on your membership type with IMA. Exam Fees will not be waived for students, nor will any fees be refunded if you do not write your exam.
Should you wish to postpone your appointment for the same testing window but a different date, you must do this at least 24 hours before the exam. If you wish to transfer your appointment to the next testing window, you will be charged a fee. The request must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than five days before the scheduled appointment.
If you cancel your exam date with a Prometric testing center within less than 72 hours of your exam, you will forfeit your exam fee, and you will need to purchase a new appointment.
When exam day finally rolls along, you must ensure that you take all necessary documentation with you to the testing center. Here are some items that you will need:
- Confirmation of exam appointment (bring along the confirmation number you received)
- Have a valid form of identification with you - if you do not have proof of identity, you will not be permitted to take the exam. The name on your ID must exactly match your authorisation letter. All ID documents must be original.
- Bring only an approved calculator with you. Please check the Prometric site for requirements
- Prometric will provide paper and a pencil
CMA testing is computer-based, yet CMA exam results are only released 6-8 weeks after the exam date. The exam's passing score for Part 1 and Part 2 is 360 out of 500. Here are the expected release dates:
A full performance report will be emailed to you by IMA when all your scores have been concluded.
If you have failed and want to rewrite the exam, you will need to start the process again by accessing the Prometric site and booking an exam appointment.
To ‘self-study’ or ‘not to self-study’ - that is the question!
That is the question we plan to answer as best as possible. The truth is you can prepare for the CMA yourself. Nothing stops you from doing that. The greater consideration is whether you want to do this alone and run the risk of having to re-write the exam multiple times when there is a safer and simpler option to follow.
This brings us to the topic of CMA review courses.
A CMA exam review course is offered by CMA tuition providers that covers all the topics of the CMA exam and gives you additional practice exams and support so that you can pass your exam the first time.
Packages differ per provider, and you should carefully consider which benefits you need and/or want to successfully prepare for your exam. They will charge you anything from £1,315 to £1,480 and some will include the cost of annual CPE in their fees - which is a bonus!
Read Our Resource: Preparing for the CMA Exam. It gives you everything you need to write your exam and pass the first time!
The benefits of studying with a tuition provider are numerous. Here, we’ve listed 3 of the top benefits for your consideration.
Be led by an experienced management accountant
CMA review courses are usually led by experienced CMA tutors with a great deal of experience in the accounting and financial industry. These tutors are highly skilled management accountants and can help you understand the nuances of applying advanced financial management principles to real-life situations
Be held accountable for your progress and results
The structured approach offered by online tuition is a great help when planning your study schedule and ensuring you cover all the topics necessary to pass the exam. Additionally, each class will cover several topics in depth and provide you with an avenue to ask questions.
Be prepared to pass
Mock exams and practice questions make up a large part of the online tuition framework. Not only will you be able to practice for the exam, increasing your confidence, but you will also receive ideal answers to the exam questions. This will help you identify areas of development.
When can I achieve CMA certification?
You will achieve certification once you complete parts 1 and 2 of the CMA exam and conclude the practical experience requirement. The CMA will then award you with a numbered certificate and also a letter of confirmation, should you need one for your employer.
We’ve reached the finish line
For those students who wanted all the basic and yet vital information regarding the CMA exam dates, we hope that this guide has created the first step towards booking an exam date. If you have other questions, have a look at our FAQs below for the most asked questions about CMA.
Good luck with the 2024 CMA exams!
Finding answers to your questions can take a long time - and we know what it feels like just to need a simple answer and not be able to find it. So, we’ve compiled some Q&A to help our CMA students.
What types of questions does the CMA exam consist of?
The CMA exam consists of 100 MCQ questions which you have 3 hours to complete, and 2 essay-type questions that you have 1 hour to complete.
What topics are covered in the CMA exam?
The exam consists of two parts, covering the following topics:
Part 1: Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics (% of the total exam)
- External Financial Reporting Decisions: 15%
- Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting: 20%
- Performance Management: 20%
- Cost Management: 15%
- Internal Controls: 15%
- Technology and Analytics: 15%
Part 2: Strategic Financial Management (% of the total exam)
- Financial Statement Analysis: 20%
- Corporate Finance: 20%
- Decision Analysis: 25%
- Risk Management: 10%
- Investment Decisions: 10%
- Professional Ethics: 15%
How is the CMA Exam graded?
The CMA score allocation is 0-500 points, and the minimum passing score is 360 for both exam parts. Multiple-choice questions represent 75% of the score, and the essay questions cover 25%.
A candidate must score at least 50% on the multiple-choice section to advance to the essay questions, but you do not necessarily have to pass the essay sections to pass the CMA Exam. You can be awarded points in the essay questions if your answer shows how you calculated your response.
How much does CMA certification cost?
CMA costs can be tricky to pin down, but the average cost for a student is between £2770 - £5800. These costs include CPE and a review course.
Read our Resource: CMA Certification Cost
What are the benefits of having a CMA designation?
In a simple answer, management accounting is the future of accounting. The skills offered by the CMA program and other similar qualifications prepare today’s financial professionals to be tomorrow’s thought leaders. The increasing focus on data analysis, strategic management, and the performance of organisations globally make this highly advantageous for anyone wanting a lucrative career in finance.
Read our Resource: CMA Benefits