The Ultimate Guide to CMA Exam Registration and Procedures

The Ultimate Guide to CMA Exam Registration and Procedures


The Certified Management Accountant is the highest level of qualification in management accounting. Provided by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), CMA is the benchmark for domain excellence in management accounting. The CMA certification validates your competency in budgeting, financial reporting and analysis, costing, internal controls, risk management, cost controlling and corporate finance, thus clearing the path to a prosperous and rewarding career. 

The journey towards acquiring the CMA certification can be a challenging one without proper guidance. To avoid such a situation, one can join the numerous CMA courses being offered. But the real task lies in understanding the basics while preparing for the CMA exam, which includes knowing the eligibility criteria, rules and regulations and fee structure. Here, in this article, we will provide you with step-by-step information that can be handy in your CMA journey.

Meeting the Eligibility Criteria

Before qualifying for the CMA exam, one has to fulfil certain educational and professional criteria as laid down by the authoritative body, IMA. The first and foremost is attaining IMA membership. Next comes educational and professional qualifications. As per IMA norms, individuals keen to appear for the CMA exam must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or any equivalent degree. In case an individual does not have the required educational qualifications but has substantial professional experience, he or she can petition the Board of Regents for an exception. Apart from a sound educational background, the IMA also seeks a minimum of 2 years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management. 

The IMA also provides a 7-year grace period for those applicants who do not have the required educational qualifications, but can achieve that within the duration. After a candidate manages to fulfil the educational criteria, he or she becomes eligible to receive the CMA certification. 

How is the CMA Exam Structure and Schedule?

The CMA exam is a computer-based test divided into 2 parts. It is conducted thrice a year over a two-month test window. The 3 exam windows that are open to applicants are from January-February, May-June and September-October. Individuals can choose their exam window and place at their convenience.

How much is the CMA Exam Fees?

The CMA exam fee is different for professionals and student/academic members. The CMA exam fee is divided into 3 categories. For professionals, the CMA entrance fee is USD 240 and is non-refundable. This apart, there is the CMA examination fee, which is USD 395 for each part. For student/academic members, the fees are comparatively lower. While the entrance fee is USD 180, the examination fee is USD 296.25 per part. Apart from these fees, the IMA also has a fixed rescheduling fee of USD 50, which is the same for both professionals and academic members. This brings the total cost for a professional to earn a CMA certification to USD 1030, while the same is USD 772.50 for a student, provided there is no rescheduling.

What is the Registration Procedure?

After you gain a thorough understanding of the exam structure, schedule and fees, the next step is the registration process. Registering for the CMA exam is easy. Here we have jotted down the step-by-step process one needs to follow to register for the CMA examination.

  • ➤ Joining the IMA is the first and foremost step for it will help you to get the IMA membership. 
  • ➤ Pay the CMA entrance fee as per your category of membership.
  • ➤ Exam registration comes next. Here, you provide your details and register yourself to appear for the exam. 
  • ➤ Note down your authorization number, testing window and instructions after receiving the exam registration confirmation.
  • ➤ The final step in the registration process is to schedule the exam appointments.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the steps involved in the registration process for the CMA exam, your journey should become a little bit easier. These guidelines are of great importance as they form the foundation of the qualification journey. Although multiple CMA exam preparation courses are there to take participants through the fundamentals, many times they get confused or receive unclear information about the overall processes involved in getting themselves registered for the CMA exam.

To clear the clutter, you should join our CMA courses. They are not only the best in town, they also equip participants with adequate knowledge of the technical concepts of management accounting, and the overall process involved in preparing for the CMA exam.

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