8 Proven Tips to Crack the CMA Exam in 1st Attempt
From exam fees to IMA membership subscription to CMA review courses, the preparation for your CMA exam funnels money at a frightening rate. While indeed scary, the only way to earn it back and more is with success. What’s more, a CMA certification can be even more lucrative than other subspecialties in the field of accounting. For example, if you compare the average CMA salary in a year with that of a CPA in most regions in the world, the former comes out on top at USD 130,000. While it is true that no one would walk away from a Return on Investment so alluring, the individual chances of success should also be taken into consideration.
The toughest factor in all of this is deciding CMA training course would best suit you. Would you rather go for one that guarantees money back in 30 days or is the one that promises an “unlimited access guarantee” more to your tastes? No matter what you choose, the fact remains that it is all for naught if you do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, proceed with the decision of appearing for the exam only if you have every intention of cracking it. Here are a few pointers that will hopefully help you make your goal into reality:
1. Determine your style of study
A fixed method of learning does not work for everyone. Different individuals are comfortable with learning in different ways. While some may prefer to learn by reading books or listening to lectures, others may do so by watching tutorials or participating in practical workshops. Similarly, you have to figure out if the CMA textbooks or the audio/video podcasts work best for you.
2. Don’t buy and keep Review Courses just to show
The purpose of a library is lost if anyone is barred from borrowing books from it and it is used primarily for show. Similarly, review courses are not meant to gather dust (literally) on your shelf or (figuratively) on your laptop. A review course ideally chisels you into someone who can see the path to success. Follow the syllabus and you will have no problems following it.
3. Don’t push yourself beyond your limit
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The well-known proverb retains relevancy even in today’s society, and believe it or not, it applies to you just as it does to everyone else under the sun. You deserve a break, especially if you believe overburdening your brain is an efficient training method. You can overload yourself with information, but you need time to digest it. Contrary to popular belief, scheduled downtime is not counterintuitive.
4. Companions help more than you can often realize
“Don’t train alone, it only embeds your errors”. As the industry expert Vesemir says in the popular video game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, having a second pair of eyes is more often than not a big advantage to have. Group study sessions not only enable you to gain multiple external inputs on a selective topic but also urges you to follow a strict schedule, facilitating the inculcation of a sense of accountability.
5. Simulations can often feel more intriguing than the real thing, but every moment of them is worth it
While it is true that repeated practice does make perfect, it still does not familiarize you with the final challenge. Since the CMA exam is quite inherently different from your practice sessions, undergoing mock tests is more efficient for training as you near the final date. That way, you can determine whether you can keep your cool during the most crucial moments despite knowing all the answers.
6. Take good care of your health, both physical and mental
It is no secret that studying is exhausting. Many have fallen victim to the urge of ignoring their health, eventually leading to physical ruin. It is your responsibility to avoid going down that path if you want to succeed. It is as necessary to take both physical and mental breaks from arduous tasks as it is to prepare for your exam. Your health is an asset, don’t give up on it.
7. Manage your priorities to accommodate your exam preparation
Statistically, most of the potential examinees of the CMA exam undergo preparation while juggling a full-time job or supporting their families. This is why it is essential to downsize your daily or weekly activities wherever possible. For example, you may need to give up on X-Box nights with your friends or going out for drinks with your colleagues. But you don’t have to take it seriously because it is not a permanent sacrifice, just till you crack the exam and acquire your certification.
8. Keep no space whatsoever in your mind for a “Plan B”
We wear lifejackets on a speedboat “in case” of an emergency, but when it comes to taking the CMA exam, having a life preserver can only sink you. Knowing that you have a backup plan can be detrimental to your study efforts and mess with your mindset. Once you become fully invested in the process and aware that there is no alternative, you will be a million times more likely to work harder at accomplishing your goal.
Needless to say, various people will have various pieces of advice for you on how to crack the CMA exam, and none of them is incorrect. There are numerous activities like quizzes and handwriting practice you can participate in for polishing your focus, but what’s most important is to stay in top shape for the exam. Last but not the least, just make sure to have a good sleep the night before and to minimize your food and fluid intake before entering the exam centre.
Message from the Author
If you’re looking for a CMA course in Dubai, get in touch with Learners Point Academy. Our CMA classes are designed to ensure that you pass the CMA exam on the first attempt.
Learners Point Academy is a KHDA and ISO 9001:2015 accredited CMA exam and training centre in Dubai, UAE.
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