5 Pro Tips to Improve your CMA Exam Score

5 Pro Tips to Improve your CMA Exam Score


A Certified Management Accountant is the gold standard in the field of accounting. CMA is the highest level of qualification for management accounting and financial professionals. Its unparalleled value in the market makes the journey of achieving it equally challenging. Clearing the CMA exam in the first attempt can be a challenging experience with a pass rate as low as 45%. However, this can be avoided through proper guidance and preparation.

Thanks to the internet, candidates can now lay their hands on the best guidance to achieve their dream of clearing the CMA exam. Experts from across the globe share their tips and tricks to help aspiring professionals clear the CMA exam. They have a better understanding of the challenges and the factors that are to be considered to crack the CMA exam. Here, in this article, we take you through the suggestions provided by some of the industry experts which will help you to clear the clutter and make you feel confident of acing the CMA exam.

These 5 tips are time-tested and have proven to enhance an individual’s CMA score.

1. Practice both MCQs and Essays

CMA exams are made up of MCQs that are worth 75% of the score, with essay-type questions making up the rest. A minimum score of 50% in the multiple-choice section is required to advance to the essay round. This system at times leads to misconceptions — that passing the MCQ section alone will help candidates clear the CMA exam. But in order to clear the CMA exam, one must perform well in the essay section as well. It is only then that one can hope to achieve at least a 72% score, that is 360 points out of 500, needed to clear the CMA exam. This grading system puts MCQ and essay questions on equal footing, making it crucial for candidates to practice both while preparing for the exam.

2. Learn the Concepts, Don’t Just Memorize

As discussed above, achieving a near-perfect score in the MCQ section alone will not help a person clear the CMA exam. It is often seen that to score highly in the MCQ section, students memorize the concepts and do not really try to understand them. But by understanding the concepts thoroughly, an examinee will not only gain clarity, but can also answer the toughest of questions. This can be achieved by solving test papers, wherein candidates can learn and also understand the theoretical and practical aspects of management accounting concepts.

3. Do Not Hesitate to Change an Answer

There is a popular myth that surrounds the way one chooses an answer in the MCQ section — that is to stick to the first answer. But that may not always be right. Although there is a popular belief that you should go ahead with your first instinct, especially when answering multiple-choice questions, it may not always be the case. Feel free to change your answer if necessary. Various studies of testing environments have shown that when a student decides to change his or her answer, 55% of the time the corrected or changed answer happens to be the right one. So, if at any moment during the exam, you have second thoughts about a particular answer, do not hesitate to change it. For, you never know it may be the right one, and can help to improve your CMA score. 

4. Never Leave any Question Unanswered

Answering all questions is one of the simplest ways to enhance your CMA score. The evaluation of the CMA exam is based solely on the questions that are answered correctly. With no negative marking for wrong answers, attempting all questions may actually help you to maximize your score. Thus, start following this simple and effective tip while appearing for the CMA exam. This doesn’t mean that you make wild guesses and expect them to be right. Instead, take time to narrow down your options to the most likely answers and use this as an opportunity to score points. 

5. Don’t Hurry, Make Use of the Allotted Time

The time allotted to you during the CMA examination is a well-calculated one and is sufficient for you to answer all the questions. Hence, there is no point in hurrying and finishing your exam early. Even if you are able to answer all the questions before time, utilize the remaining time to re-check your answers. In this way, you will have a clear understanding of your answers and the time and luxury to change or correct a wrong one. 

The opportunities for career development with a CMA certification are totally worth the time and effort put into clearing the CMA exam. Apart from thorough preparation, tips and tricks are part and parcel of cracking the exam on the very first attempt. The above-mentioned tips are a few of the time-tested techniques with which you can boost your scores. At the same time you should also master the technical and practical aspects of the CMA concepts and take time out for practice sessions to clear the CMA exam. To this end, there are numerous CMA courses in the market that are specifically designed to help candidates master the exam techniques and embark on a journey to earn a CMA certification.

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