CMA Exam is Tough – Just took Part 1 Today

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  • #1720213 Reply
    OnmywaytoCPA
    Participant

    I passed the CPA Exam in November 2016, and it was really tough to pass all four parts of that exam. I have heard some people say that the CMA Exam is nothing and it's easy or a cake walk. Let me be the first to say those individuals are wrong. I will give mad respect to anyone that has passed the CMA Exam. There is a ton of material and the exam process could possibly be more brutal than the CPA Exam (maybe not now with all of the new DRS on CPA Exam), but still the CMA Exam is a pretty difficult set of exams.

    Taking Part 1 of the CMA Exam was like taking FAR, BEC and AUD at the same time. I was shocked at how much External Audit Material was tested on the Exam. I can't go into specifics but it was shocking.

    If you don't pass the 100 multiple choice questions with at least a 50% or higher you automatically fail and you can't even attempt the essay questions. I passed the multiple choice questions and was able to move on to the essay portion. The essay questions was like BEC on steroids.

    AUD - 83
    BEC - 79
    FAR - 77
    REG - 90
    CMA Part 1 - 360 (Barely made it but I made it)
    CMA Part 2 - 360 (Made it by the skin of my teeth)
    #1720264 Reply
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    What CMA Exam software did you use to prep and how long did you study for part 1? I've been thinking about taking the CMA but I'm trying to figure out it's value for me.

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1720339 Reply
    mtaylo24
    Participant

    Lol, I took it 2weeks ago and didn’t even make it to the essays. F that test, I’m good with being a CPA.

    CPA (2017)

    REG:  75

    BEC:  76

    FAR:  77

    AUD: 78

     

    CMA (2019)

    P1: 380

    P2: 360

    #1720343 Reply
    ohiocpacma
    Participant

    The CMA exam is passable. I think it was easier than the CPA exam for me, but that may be because I've spent my whole career in industry (Cost Accounting/Management Accounting/Finance) rather than public or tax. The exam requires a good amount of study time and the difficulty should not be discounted. People that pass the CPA exam first may fall into this trap.

    We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 
    #1720352 Reply
    OnmywaytoCPA
    Participant

    Lentilcounter, I'm using Gleim CMA. I purchased it back in March of 2017. I have studied off and on for the past 11 months. When I say off and on, I mean two weeks one month and maybe a week the next month.
    Over the last four months I have tried to be more consistent with my studying since the IMA does not allow you to move your exam to another testing window like the CPA Exam, but with tax season (working my day job and working as a tax adviser for Intuit – TurboTax at night) studying consistently has been extremely difficult. I'm praying that I passed so I can move on to Part 2. I'm not 100% sure what the certification will do for me, but it has been a long term goal of mines for the last ten years along with the CPA Exam. I wasn't exactly sure what the CPA License would do for me since I had left public for the private industry and my current employer didn't really care about the exam, but when my employer needed a line of credit from a bank and they only got the line of credit because I was a licensed and active CPA, the value of my CPA License changed overnight. You never know when these certifications will come in handy. Better to always have and not need than to need and not have.

    mtaylo24, you, me and ledgerl0ver were supposed to keep each other up to date with our CMA studying/exam dates. We were supposed to encourage each other as we traveled down the CMA path. If you do decide to start back studying, please keep me posted on your progress. We have to keep each other motivated and encouraged. These exams can drive you crazy.

    AUD - 83
    BEC - 79
    FAR - 77
    REG - 90
    CMA Part 1 - 360 (Barely made it but I made it)
    CMA Part 2 - 360 (Made it by the skin of my teeth)
    #1720354 Reply
    OnmywaytoCPA
    Participant

    ohiocpacma what study material did you use? Also, congrats on being a CPA and CMA!

    AUD - 83
    BEC - 79
    FAR - 77
    REG - 90
    CMA Part 1 - 360 (Barely made it but I made it)
    CMA Part 2 - 360 (Made it by the skin of my teeth)
    #1720366 Reply
    aaronmoaaronmo
    Participant

    Does this cert really do anything for you after a CPA?

    AUD - 96
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 89
    REG - 86
    Aaron and always remember, YMMV

    I profit from your CPE frustration. You're welcome.

    #1720373 Reply
    LedgerL0verLedgerL0ver
    Participant

    I just took Part 1 on Feb 15. I thought it was pretty challenging, but doable. But then again I have been studying like a fiend since mid November 2017…

    I have been using Gleim CMA to study and I really think it did a GREAT job in preparing me as most of the actual test questions were nowhere near as intense as the Gleim practice questions.

    I took the full 3 hours for the MCQ's and basically the entire hour for the essays. I had to think over my answers quite a bit and at a certain point, I know I just started rambling and trying to throw out key words and concepts. @OnmywaytoCPA what did you think of the essays?

    I just started studying for part 2 and am loving the simplicity but we will see how long that lasts- haha!

    FAR- 85
    AUD- 84
    BEC- 86
    REG- 89

    CMA Pt 1- 420
    CMA Pt 2- 370

    #1720390 Reply
    mtaylo24
    Participant

    @onmywaytocpa I know, I know. I probably should have went with Gleim CMA instead of being cheap and using Hock and Surgent CMA, but I think I'm good on this one though. Best of luck on score release, I know that you passed for sure.

    CPA (2017)

    REG:  75

    BEC:  76

    FAR:  77

    AUD: 78

     

    CMA (2019)

    P1: 380

    P2: 360

    #1720424 Reply
    ohiocpacma
    Participant

    @onmywaytocpa

    I used CPE University for part 1 (the class counts for CPE credit) and Gleim CMA for part 2.

    We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 
    #1720468 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I passed both parts of the CMA. I'm studying for FAR now and have completed the GLEIM CMA book. I used GLEIM CMA for both parts of the CMA and thought it prepared me adequately, helping me pass both sections on the first attempt. As mentioned above, I felt that the GLEIM questions were more difficult than those on the actual exam.

    In comparing CMA to the material on FAR, it seems that the CMA, especially part 1, has significantly more calculations and requires the memorization/internalization of dozens more formulas. We'll see how I feel when I take FAR in a month.

    #1720516 Reply
    OnmywaytoCPA
    Participant

    @LedgerL0ver, yes those essay questions were crazy. I was rambling too. It reminded me of how I made up everything on my BEC essays. I completely rambling through those and still passed. I'm hoping it's the same thing this time around. I'm praying that both of us passed.

    Thanks @mtaylo24! I appreciate the encouragement.

    @AF, if you passed Part 1 pf the CMA exam, than FAR will be a piece of cake. It's all the same material.

    AUD - 83
    BEC - 79
    FAR - 77
    REG - 90
    CMA Part 1 - 360 (Barely made it but I made it)
    CMA Part 2 - 360 (Made it by the skin of my teeth)
    #1720525 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @onmywaytocpa good to know! I definitely noticed a lot of overlap.

    #1720726 Reply
    CPA2BEE
    Participant

    Unless you have a job in industry, does the CMA even do anything for you? In fact, even if you do work in industry, does it really do anything for you?

    CA CPA - est. Dec 2016
    #1720763 Reply
    LentilcounterLentilcounter
    Participant

    This is something that I have wondered about. A lot of manufacturing industry jobs will say CMA preferred but will also list CPA as an acceptable credential too.

    For example, I got my EA 4 years ago. Now that I have my CPA too, the EA is in some ways redundant. But what a lot of people don't know is that an EA does ONLY tax. All my CPEs are about tax. CPAs are not just focused on tax work. So if I apply for a tax job, having both credentials saya that I'm serious about tax. Similarly, I would like to know if the CMA adds something extra…

    BEC = 79

    AUD = 79

    FAR = 84

    REG = 86

    Prayer + AICPA blueprints = my success

    #1720858 Reply
    mtaylo24
    Participant

    Honestly, probably won't add as much if you have a CPA vs just being a CMA. I don't even think I know any CMAs in real life. You might be able to beat out another CPA if it came down to it…idk. I like the IMA though, they seem like good people with a lot of networking opportunities, and they are consistent with their e-mails and magazine and I learned a lot from studying the material. I did notice that they have a tendency to charge a lot for their conferences and certifications tho.

    CPA (2017)

    REG:  75

    BEC:  76

    FAR:  77

    AUD: 78

     

    CMA (2019)

    P1: 380

    P2: 360

    #1720933 Reply
    ohiocpacma
    Participant

    I will say that the CMA exam is more difficult/respected than the “initial” CGMA exam the AICPA rolled out a few years ago….. AICPA: “Oh you're a CPA and you are a member of the AICPA and you're willing to pay $200… Here's your CGMA certification!”

    We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 
    #1752288 Reply
    LedgerL0verLedgerL0ver
    Participant

    Just a quick update:

    I am about halfway through the Gleim CMA study book for the CMA Part 2 and I have to admit I am struggling!! Most people say this is the easier section, so I hope things will start to stick once I start my final review, but jeez!!

    So many formulas and so much finance-related material! In the past I have considered whether to start on the CFA but now I know I definitely do not want to go NEAR the CFA haha. I am an accountant for sure- I had fun with Section 1 but this section is grueling.

    Blah.

    FAR- 85
    AUD- 84
    BEC- 86
    REG- 89

    CMA Pt 1- 420
    CMA Pt 2- 370

    #1752330 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You guys are actually considering studying for another test after this? I am good for life, no thanks! But good luck-i admire the tenacity! 🙂

    #1752717 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yeah I felt they were though but in my opinion they weren’t as though as the CPA exam.

    I studied using GLEIM CMA and passed both on my first try but considering that I could not study as much as I did for my CPA exams and still passed feeling relatively comfortable (not feeling destroyed like I felt when I left Prometrics after the CPA exams), well I think they are kind of easier.

    Part 2 does get easier after chapter 5 so don’t get discouraged @LedgerL0ver.

    #1752801 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I thought CMA part 2 was a lot smoother than CMA Part 1. Once you internalize the ratios it's not that bad. I thought Part 1 was much more involved.

    #1753292 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    hi everyone. im studying for the CMA part 1 using gleim cma and want to get a feel for how the actual test compares to gleim cma study bank questions. I feel like the MCQs for gleim cma are ridiculous. Some are ~ 5 paragraphs long and they seem very challenging to me and near impossible to complete within the allotted time. I also feel like the study material in the book and online is so high level that it doesnt prepare you for what is actually asked on the practice MCQs.

    Any thoughts on this? any thoughts on gleim cma and where it is accurate to actual test format vs where it lacks?

    appreciate your help!

    #1753322 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @ajga Gleim cma is harder than the test. If you can do well on Gleim cma, the test will feel simpler. I also had multiple questions that were conspicuously similar to Gleim cma MCQs. I used them to pass both parts first try. I'd recommend just hammering MCQs. I hardly looked at any of the “Essay” questions. There are so many Formulas that I repeatedly wrote all the ones i wanted to know on a sheet of paper until I could repeat it easily. First thing I did upon sitting down was write them all out.

    #1753323 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I did the vast majority of my actual learning from doing MCQs and reviewing the explanations that they give. @ajga

    #1753845 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    thanks for the input! what were you averaging on scores on the practice MCQs? im going through every question at least once on the test bank. do MCQs on the actual test have really long question stems like some of the gleim MCQs (multiple paragraphs and tables)

    #1753856 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Is the CMA even that popular? I know no one who has it. I know a CGMA, but that's it. I never see CMA after anyone's name. I only see CPA, MBA, JD, CFE, CIA. I work/live in California too, so if it was a common thing amongst accountants here, I'd be seeing it more. Maybe CMA is more popular in other parts of the country. I'd think if you have CPA, that's good enough. I dont know what the advantage of CMA is, or if having it would mean a big boost in compensation or job security…maybe it'd qualify you for a higher job position or management role?? Never heard of it though.

    #1753880 Reply
    dj
    Participant

    I’d also like to know of the relevance of having a CMA. Has anyone here been in a situation where having a CMA gave you an advantage over someone else when it came to a job (assuming you already had/pursuing a CPA)?

    Also, just to confirm is the CMA a certificate or a license? I Googled it and it looks like the CMA is a certificate (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing).

    Done! Thank you A71!
    #1753991 Reply
    LedgerL0verLedgerL0ver
    Participant

    Thanks for your input @Cortes123 and @AF. I'm almost finished with Chapter 6 and things seem to be getting more manageable already!

    @ajga- I agree with @AF that Gleim MCQs are WAY harder than the actual test questions. As exhausting as the huge questions are, I think they are helpful in that you REALLY need to know what information is relevant to the question because 9 times out of 10, you won't even need half the information. It's just a really good way to practice and learn the specifics of many different situations. Also- when I was taking practice quizzes, I was doing pretty badly up until the very end bc it just keeps throwing ones at you that you struggle with. After taking the test, I didn't feel hugely confident but I definitely didn't feel as hopeless as I felt after the CPA exams for sure!

    As for the importance of the CMA certificate, I just think it depends on what your goals are. I work in industry and eventually want to become a Controller or CFO for a startup/small company and I see plenty of job descriptions asking for either CMA or CPA, so it can't hurt to have both. Additionally, I am learning things relevant to my job that either a.) I didn't learn about during the CPA process, or b.) I only touched upon the subject while studying for the CPA but always wanted to have a better understanding.

    FAR- 85
    AUD- 84
    BEC- 86
    REG- 89

    CMA Pt 1- 420
    CMA Pt 2- 370

    #1754196 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    thanks for the input LedgerL0ver! I have passed all CPA exams also and unlike other people mentioned here, i also see CMA listed on almost all job postings that i have been looking at lately. definitely think its relevant for the reasons you have touched on and a good supplement to CPA.

    LedgerL0ver – when did you take the exam and when do you find out your results?

    #1754216 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What topics does the CMA cover that the CPA exam doesn't? BEC has stuff on Management-type accounting. On the face of it, CMA seems like a blend of FAR and BEC and maybe a tad of AUD.
    Just a guess. For some reason though, the CMA does not seem to have much in the way of prestige. Like, if you have it and don't have the CPA, it's as good as maybe an MBA and these days, MBAs are virtually worthless because they have been made attainable by literally anyone. While there may not be a great many dumb CPAs out there, there are *many* dumb MBAs. I've known them.
    Anyway, I'd like to talk to someone sometime who has a CMA and what the process was like for them and if it helped their career. The lone CGMA (Certified Global Management Accountant) that I know is also a CPA and he's a nerd. Not incredibly intelligent I don't think, but an honest-to-pete anal-retentive pencil neck of an accountant. He's worked in B4 and other public firms, and has been a controller for ages. Owns a few houses and has had many nice cars and has lots of extra cash. One slight problem though – he's miserable in his personal life and has a wife who won't divorce him and kids who are all a mess. I think he got the CGMA because it was more prestigious than the CMA, but that's about it.

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