9 Tips When Studying for CMA

Clearing the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam can prove to be a tough challenge. However, there are ways you can make it easier for yourself. So, we compiled a list of the best actionable study tips you can use to increase your chances of passing the exam. Let’s get right into it.

CMA Exam Study Tips

Tip #1: Prepare to Master Topics

While the CMA exam is difficult to pass, It’s not impossible. Second, you should master 85% of the topics. This technique will take a lot of stress away from studying as you have a lot of material to cover. It will also ensure that you pass the exam because you will know the most topics like the back of your hand. 

While getting a super high score is impressive, especially on the CMA exam, you will not be getting any special certificate. The only thing you will get is the CMA designation that puts you in an elite group of accountants. And that is all that matters.

Tip #2: Use the Right Tools to Prepare

Due to the internet, you have access to massive amounts of information on any given topic, and CMA is no exception. Excellent tools like Wiley CMA review are available to help you prepare for the exam. In addition, you should get the latest exam study materials to ensure you do not miss anything because you have outdated material.

Tip #3: Make a Plan

We have all heard Benjamin Franklin’s “failing to plan is planning to fail” expression. Well, it applies here. Without a proper plan, you will not know which material you want to cover, how much time you want to spend on each topic, and when you will be taking the test. 

Tip #4: Eliminate ALL Distractions When Studying

This one is a game-changer. When undertaking any endeavor, you must eliminate any distractions to increase your chances of success. The CMA exam is no exception. Distractions can include your family, friends, phone, and other forms of entertainment. There is a time and place for everything. So, this does not mean that you completely abandon your other responsibilities. Talk to your family and friends about your intention to take the CMA exam and what it means. Let them know your schedule so they know exactly what to expect. 

Tip #5: Take it Step by Step

Since you will cover many materials to prepare for the exam, we recommend taking it step by step and studying instead of cramming everything into your brain the night before the exam is more effective.

In addition, use techniques like the Pomodoro technique to study for longer periods without exhausting yourself. With the Pomodoro technique, you structure your study sessions for 25-30 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes after each session. On your fourth set, you take a break for 15 minutes and then resume the process all over again. 

Tip #6: Familiarize Yourself With the Testing Conditions

The CMA exam is fully computerized. You can familiarize yourself with it by taking online mock exams. Also, isolate yourself in a quiet room when studying or taking mock tests to get accustomed to testing conditions. 

Tip #7: Think Long Term

Wasting time will cost you your dream job that pays an impressive salary, your self-respect, and the respect of your loved ones. As we mentioned before, CMA exams are no joke, and you need to take them seriously. Therefore, your preparation also has to be on the same standard. 

Tip #8: Manage Your Time Effectively

Time management is critical not just for your exam but also for every other aspect of your life. So, instead of sleeping in on a particularly lazy morning (we all have them), utilize that time to revise your material. In addition, like most adults, you will have other responsibilities like spending time with family, friends, and yourself (self-love is important.) So, make sure that you manage your time effectively in a way that allows you to fulfill your responsibilities and prepare for the exam. 

Tip #9: Reward Yourself

Last but not least, reward yourself. Forget about the exam and take some time off to relax mentally and physically. You can do this by watching your favorite movie or TV show on Netflix, along with your favorite food. You can also spend time with your family and friends. Or, you can travel. The CMA exam is a long-term commitment, and to stay committed, you must take your mind off the exam and refresh yourself. It will help you stay consistent with your study routine in the long term. It will also help you feel refreshed so that when you do come back, you hit the ground running. 


While the CMA exams are a difficult challenge to overcome, there are ways you can make it easier for yourself. It would help if you focused on covering most topics instead of all of them. In addition, use the right prep tools, plan, and eliminate all distractions when you study. Additionally, study a little daily and familiarize yourself with the testing conditions. Lastly, focus on the long term, use time management, and reward yourself for staying consistent.