About the CMA Exam

About the CMA exam and designation

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification is the leading advanced professional certification of accounting and financial management professionals. It is recognized as a universal benchmark for management accountants and financial professionals. This certification demonstrates an accountant’s competency in financial planning and management expertise.

Education and experience requirements

CMAs are required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or to have a professional accounting certification. In addition, they must have a minimum of two years of work experience. Finally, candidates must also possess an active membership in the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

CMA exam requirements

CMA candidates must successfully complete both parts of the CMA exam:

  • Part 1 – Financial Reporting, Planning and Performance
  • Part 2 – Strategic Financial Management

About the exam

You can sit for the CMA exam within specific testing windows that occur throughout the year.

CMA testing windows

  • The CMA exam is offered three times a year during two-month testing windows: January/February, May/June and September/October.
  • You will schedule your CMA exam with the Institute of Management Accountants testing partner Prometric.
  • Remote testing is now available through Prometric’s ProProctor service.

If necessary, you may reschedule your exam through the Prometric website; however, there is a $50 rescheduling/cancellation fee for changing your exam appointment within 3–30 days of the original test date.

Section One

Financial Planning, Performance and Analytics

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Exam question count:
    • 100 multiple-choice questions
    • Two 30-minute essay questions
    • Must score a minimum of 50% on multiple-choice questions to proceed to the essay portion of the exam

Section Two

Strategic Financial Management

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Exam question count:
    • 100 multiple-choice questions
    • Two 30-minute essay questions
    • Must score a minimum of 50% on multiple-choice questions to proceed to the essay portion of the exam

Overview of exam difficulty and pass rate

While the CMA exam has a low pass rate worldwide, you can drastically increase your odds of passing on the first attempt with the right study tools at your disposal.

Learn more about the CMA exam difficulty and average pass rates.

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