Before the Exam
What is the right way to prepare for the CMA Exam? PRC has put together the key study points that you need to focus on before sitting for the CMA Exam. These helpful tips will pave way for a more successful and easy study progression. Here they are.
1- Understand the CMA Program
Make sure you understand the structure of the two parts, requirements to become certified, and all details related to the program. Read the most recent edition of the CMA Handbook published by the IMA to make sure you have up-to-date information.
2- Create a Study Plan
Your plan could be rough at the beginning but you can adjust it as you progress and get more familiar with the content. You may find that some topics may take longer than expected to master; you need to set a rough plan and adjust it as you move forward.
3- Take your Time
Studying for a few hours every week for a couple of months is more productive than intensive studying for a short period of time. Give yourself the time required to internalize the information you’re learning, and study the material several times before taking the exam.
4- Study Tools
For candidates who have previous internal audit knowledge and experience, their main focus should be practice questions. For fresh graduates and candidates with no audit experience, their main focus should be understanding the content and then solving multiple choice questions.
Focus on areas which are challenging to you, make sure you study them thoroughly, and then move to other less challenging topics.
6- Rest and Reward
You should not be studying all the time. You need to rest and reward yourself whenever you reach a certain milestone.
7- Short Study Sessions
Short and focused study sessions are more productive than long sessions, because your ability to focus decreases over time.
8- All Topics are Equally Important
You may hear from a friend or some online blog that you should focus on certain topics of the exam. All topics are tested on the exam; do not overlook any of them.
9- Key Concepts
A lot of exam questions focus on key concepts. Make sure you identify them and master them.
10- Multiple Choice Question Skills
It takes some practice to get proficient in reading a Multiple Choice Question. Some key words are “Not”, “except”, “the least”, “the most”, “All of”, “None of”. Eliminating similar answers, eliminating logical but irrelevant answers are among the key skills for passing the exam.
11- Focus on your Weaknesses
Whenever you take a quiz and answer some questions incorrectly, you need to analyze those questions, read their feedback in detail, and go back to the textbook to read the related topics again if necessary.
12- Create a Real Test Environment
The mock exam is a precious tool. Complement it by setting up a real exam environment. Switch off your phone, lock yourself in a room and take a full exam.
During the Exam
What should you focus on during the CMA Exam? Have you given much thought to that? Don’t overlook these essential tips to help you stay focused and confident during the CMA Exam.
1- Read Everything
Make sure you read the question text and all answers, even if answer “a” looks like the correct answer.
2- Answer all the Questions
If you attempt all questions and still can’t answer some questions, take an educated guess and answer them. There is no penalty on wrong answers.
3- Funny Answers
These are usually incorrect.
4- Time Management During the Exam
This is, by far, the most important skill for passing the exam. If you manage your time properly during the exam, you will have plenty of time to answer all questions and review them.
Flag long questions, flag questions that need complicated calculations, and questions you don’t know the answer to. Once you’re done with easy and short questions, go back to the questions you flagged; you will have more time allocated for these questions, and you will have guaranteed that you have answered those easy and short questions.
5- Don’t Change your Answers.
If you are not 100% sure you need to change your answer to a certain questions, then don’t. Your first guess is usually the correct answer. Do not change it unless you are certain that you had selected a wrong answer. Wrong answers are mostly the result of not reading the question correctly.