CMA stands for Certified Management Accountants, which is a globally recognized professional certification for financial accounting and strategic management. CMA credential is offered by the well-reputed Institute of Certified Management Accountants ICMA, which is a division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).  Headquartered in New Jersey, IMA aims to create a global benchmark for management accounting professions.


How to Become CMA?

Various PSUs and multinational companies from industries like insurance, banking and finance, infrastructure, manufacturing, and other service-oriented industries, look to hire a CMA professional to handle their finance and accounts departments. If you too wish to work as a certified management accountant, it is essential to clear the CMA exam 2020.

Below is a compiled list that will help you to become a CMA along with details like CMA exam, eligibility, cost, syllabus, etc.

CMA Certification Eligibility and Requirements

The candidate should –

  • Be an IMA member
  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an authorized university
  • Hold a minimum 2 years of work experience in the relevant profile
  • Clear both the CMA exam phases (Part 1 and Part 2)



CMA Exam Details

CMA exam is a self-paced exam and it is managed and offered by Prometric, which is a technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions provider.

CMA exam is covered in 2 parts which cover 12 competencies.


Below is the detailed CMA syllabus along with the subject weight.


CMA Exam Part 1

Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics



CMA Exam Part 2

Strategic Financial Management




External Financial Reporting Decisions

15             Financial Statement Analysis


Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting

20 Corporate Finance


Performance Management

20 Decision Analysis


Cost Management

15 Risk Management


Internal Controls

15 Investment Decisions


Technology and Analytics 15 Professional Ethics



CMA Exam Pattern

CMA Exam Part 1

  • Total Number of Questions – 100 MCQ questions + 2 essay scenarios
  • Total Time – 3 hours for MCQ and 1 hour for essay
  • Negative Markings – No


CMA Exam Part 2

  • Total Number of Questions – 100 MCQ questions + 2 essay scenarios
  • Total Time – 3 hours for MCQ and 1 hour for essay
  • Negative Markings – No


Note – You must score at least 50% marks in MCQ (in each part) to move on to the essay section.

CMA Exam Date 2020


Important Dates

January/ February 2020 May/June 2020 September/October 2020

Last day to register

February 15 June 15

October 15

Last exam date February 29 June 30

October 31


CMA Exam Fees

Below is the detailed CMA fees and course cost:


Fees for Professionals Members

Fees for Student/Academic Members

CMA Entrance Fee

$250 + IMA membership fees


$188 + IMA membership fees


Exam Fee $415 per part

$311 per part



Q1. What are the benefits of taking CMA certification?

Ans. CMA exam is one of the most popular certification exams that every accounts and finance professional aspire to clear. Below are certain benefits of cleaning the CMA certification exam:

  • Higher-income and better salary negotiation as this certification extends your current position
  • Better job opportunities in MNCs
  • Expanded skills and expertise in management accounting


Q2. How to take up IMA membership?

Ans. To pursue the CMA exam, IMA membership is essential. Following steps will help you to take up IMA membership:

  • Visit to IMA online store
  • Go to the membership category and click on the ‘Join’ button
  • Fill the required application form
  • Email confirmation for IMA membership will be sent to your inbox


Q3. Is taking the CMA course helpful to clear the exam?

Ans. Yes, it is recommended to take the CMA course as it covers the right exam content and covers the CMA syllabus in detail.


Q4. What is IMA’s CPE requirement?

Ans. As per IMA’s CPE requirements, CMA professionals must take 30 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every year. Also, two of the 30 hours CPE must involve the area of ethics. Further, the subjects of CPE must be related to the management accountant or financial manager’s career development.


Q5. What is CMA exam pass rate?

Ans. For part 1 it is approximately 35% and for part 2 it is 50%, globally.


Q6. Can I attempt Part 1 and Part 2 on the same day?

Ans. Yes, it is possible to take both the CMA exam parts on the same day and in any order.


Q7. How many times can I retake the CMA exam?

Ans. In one testing window, candidate can only appear for the exam once. However, candidates can go for multiple attempts in their three-year period.


Q8. Is it essential to have an accounting background if I am planning to take the CMA exam?

Ans. No, it is not a prerequisite; however, if you have a background in accounts, it will help you to quickly understand the concepts. People from different fields like engineering, business administration, economics, and finance specialization also take the CMA exam to explore new domains in their careers.


Q9. Who are the top recruiters hiring CMA professionals?

Ans.  Below is a list of some of the top recruiters hiring CMA professionals:

  • IBM
  • Amazon
  • EY
  • Nestle
  • Tata
  • Walmart
  • Citi
  • MasterCard
  • Standard Chartered
  • L&T
  • Walter Bushnell


Q10. Which are the popular career prospects after CMA examination?

Ans. Below is the list of career prospects, which CMA professionals can target:

  • Finance Manager Cost Manager
  • Cost Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Risk Manager
  • Financial Controller
  • Chief Financial Officer


Q11. What are the other options that professionals must look after or along with CMA exam?

Ans. Below is a list of other exam and certification options:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) in India
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)



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