Best Certified Management Accountant Exam (CMA) Review Course [Updated for 2020]

Surgent CMA Review is the best CMA review course according to several independent review sites, including Accounting Institute for Success, Crush the CPA Exam, and Financial Analyst Insider. Surgent also received a Silver Stevie Award from the American Business Awards for ReadySCORE, our exam-readiness metric.

As you begin your CMA Exam journey, you’ll want to decide for yourself which is the best CMA review course for your individualized study needs. This course comparison guide is to help you decide between top CMA Exam review course providers, and help you in choosing a course that will help you pass the CMA Exam as quickly as possible. Ready to Buy? Click here!

In this article:
- Overview
- Independent Research
- Comparing CMA Course Providers
- Comparing Course Features


Overview: Surgent vs. all leading CMA Review course providers:

Certified Management Accountant Surgent Gleim CMA Review Wiley CMAExcel
Price - Full Course $699-1699 $625-750 $900+
Price - Individual Course $499 $1049 - $1249 $900 - $1800
Pass or Money Back Guarantee Yes Within 18 months No
Adaptive Learning Software A.S.A.P. Technology™ SmartAdapt™ No
Exam Readiness Indicator Yes No No
MCQ Count 3,945+ 2,900 5,500
Essay Problems 65 40 10
Unlimited Practice Exams Yes No Yes
IMA Strategic Partner Yes Yes No
Free Automatic Content Updates Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Enabled Yes Not optimized for mobile Yes
Unlimited Access Yes Yes Yes
Video Lectures 60+ videos 45+ hours 50+ hours
Flashcards Yes No Yes
Print Textbooks Yes Yes Yes
Customer Support Customer Success Team available via Phone, Email, and Live Chat. One-on-one CMA Exam coaching also available. Personal Counselor, and Accounting Team Instructor Mentoring and online support from subject matter experts

Independent Research

In fact, independent reviews of CMA review courses can help candidates get an unbiased idea about if a review course will work for them. Surgent CMA Review is currently the top-rated CMA review course across several independent, third-party reviewers.

Accounting Institute for Success

The Accounting Institute for Success (AIS) focuses on helping accounting professionals gain their credentials on the first try. Surgent CMA Review is ranked as AIS’s top CMA Exam prep course.

AIS calls Surgent CMA Review “one of the most comprehensive study tools on the market”. They cite Surgent’s ability to cut out wasted study time with smart technology that turns weak areas into strengths.

Crush the CPA Exam

Bryce Welker started Crush the CPA Exam after his own struggles to gain the credential. Now, Crush the CPA Exam guides accounting professionals through various credentials with tips and test prep course reviews. Crush the CPA Exam ranks Surgent CMA Review as their top-rated review course.

Crush the CPA Exam particularly likes Surgent’s A.S.A.P. Technology™ and unlimited CMA practice tests. They rank Surgent as the top CMA review course, because our goal – to get you to pass your CMA Exam – is clear, and the price point reflects that goal.

Financial Analyst Insider

Created by Lou Haverty, CFA, Financial Analyst Insider is a resource for aspiring finance and accounting professionals to help advance their careers. Surgent CMA Review is ranked as Financial Analyst Insider’s top CMA review course, citing the lower price point, adaptive learning algorithm, comprehensive test question database with detailed explanations and comprehensive analytics, and one of the strongest pass guarantees in the industry.

Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®)

Surgent is proud to be a strategic partner of IMA, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business. IMA’s Senior Vice President of Global Business Development, Jim Gurowka, said, “Working with Surgent as a strategic partner will help many individuals master what they need to know to earn their CMA certifications and benefit the entire profession.”

American Business Awards

Surgent CMA Review’s exam-readiness metric, ReadySCORE™, received a Silver Stevie at the American Business Awards for the Technical Innovation of the Year. ReadySCORE was called a “remarkable and innovative feature.”

The best CMA exam review courses and study materials:

Surgent CMA Review

As the leader in adaptive learning technology, Surgent takes their students’ success seriously. Using our proprietary adaptive learning software, A.S.A.P. Technology, Surgent CMA Review chooses which content you need to see based on your current knowledge level, so you don’t waste time studying content that you already know. Plus, our exam-readiness feature, ReadySCORE, shows students an estimate of what they would score if they were to sit for the CMA Exam in that exact moment, so you can feel confident on exam day. These features are why Surgent students are getting exam ready faster and passing at higher rates than competitors’ students.

Gleim CMA Review

While Gleim's course touts adaptive learning software, it doesn’t present students with the materials they need to study to improve their comprehension levels. Instead, students must find their way through the materials on their own. The course also lacks an exam-readiness metric to let students know when they are ready to sit for the exam. Choosing a review course with the highest number of questions might seem like the best choice, but that many questions can feel endless and waste time when you have no metrics for determining if you’re ready for test day.

Wiley CMAexcel

Wiley Platinum CMA Review is well known for their 135 30-minute long “bite-sized lessons.” The short length of each lesson allows CMA candidates to learn key concepts in digestible chunks, but the course’s software does not guide candidates towards which videos they truly need to watch. Wiley lacks any adaptive technology that can help gauge candidates’ knowledge of exam topics and guide them towards the topics they need to spend more time studying. This means Wiley students must go through the study-everything approach, wasting countless hours on topics they already know. And, for being the most expensive course on the market, that’s a lot of time and money to waste.

Comparing Course Features

Make sure that your CMA prep course has all of the best features to help you succeed on exam day.

    Surgent CMA Review
  • Gleim CMA Review
  • Wiley CMAexcel

Adaptive Technology

Studying with a course that has adaptive technology is the quickest way to get to a passing score on the CMA Exam. Check to ensure that the review course does not have you going through every topic, drilling every MCQ, or watching every video. Make sure the review course is not missing a thorough assessment or real-time algorithms. All of these are sure signs that the course is not truly adaptive.

Exam-Readiness Indicator

Even after studying for hours, you may not feel ready to sit for the CMA Exam. That’s why it’s important for your review course to have an indicator of exam-readiness, like Surgent’s ReadySCORE. An exam-readiness metric should show you what you would score if you were to sit for the CMA Exam at every step of your CMA Exam study journey, not just at the end of a practice test.

Course Materials

Your review course should cater to your individual learning style. Make sure that your review course offers a variety of material types to cater to your personal learning style, like video lectures, physical textbooks, flashcards, or mobile compatibility.

Instructor Support

Sometimes certain topics require more than just a thorough read. It is important to be able to have a one-on-one with a subject matter expert when a topic requires a more thorough explanation, and your review course should offer this as an option.


The IMA updates the CMA Exam when industry changes are identified. Your review course should offer free, automatic updates, so that your study materials are always relevant to the exam you’ll be sitting for.

Practice Exams

The best way to familiarize yourself with the CMA Exam format and questions is to take practice exams. Your CMA review materials should have plenty of practice exams to help you feel prepared for when you take the actual exam, so you aren’t going through the same test bank of questions every time.

Pricing and Payment

You want to make sure that the price you’re paying for a CMA review course is fair. Surgent is competitively priced, and considering other courses’ software limitations, Surgent can help you save both time and money.

Pass Guarantee

Surgent is the only course in the CMA Exam review space to offer a pass-or-money-back guarantee, which means that we’re not just fairly priced – we also care about helping you pass the exam.

Need more? Check out what this Surgent CMA Student Has to Say:

ASAP technology is very useful. The answer & explanation provided are easy to understand and clears the concept thoroughly. I have tried Wiley material but I definitely preferred Surgent - Minaz H.

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