Answers to Your Last-Minute CMA Exam Questions + Expert Advice for Boosting Your Score

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Stressing out about the upcoming CMA Exam? Have questions about what the exam is like? How it’s scored? What you can bring on exam day?

We’ve got the answers to all your burning question–plus great advice from BYU professor,  Steven Smith, Ph.D., CMA,  to help you get ready. 

Free 11th Hour Webinar Recording

Professor Steven Smith of Brigham Young University, and lead instructor for Wiley CMAexcel’s 11th Hour Final Review, recently hosted a free 60-minute webinar designed to give CMA candidates the skills and confidence to perform well on this year’s exam as well as a few tricks to help boost your score on exam day.

Access the free recording here .

Here’s just some of the information you’ll hear:

  • A walk-through of a number of problems across various topics, highlighting useful patterns and reminders for managing problems and avoiding common pitfalls.
  • A discussion of practical CMA test-taking tips.
  • A summary of the more challenging topics tested on the CMA exam.
  • CMA exam strategies and shortcuts to help you improve your performance while conserving time.

Here are some of the questions that came up (a lot) during the webinar, along with their answers.

Frequently Asked Questions & Wiley’s Answers

How is the scoring weighted?
Multiple-choice questions are worth about 75% of the score and the essays are worth about 25%.

How much time would you recommend dedicating to studying for each exam?
That is a really good question and hard to really put a number to because it varies greatly on your learning style and how familiar you already are with the content. We suggest spending some time figuring out what you already know and then determine how much time you need to finish mastering the rest of the material.

Can I start the essays as soon as finishing the multiple-choice questions?
Yes. You take all of it in one sitting.  The first three hours are MCQ and the last hour is essays.  If you finish MCQs early, then you get that extra time for essays.

Can you lose points?
No. You do not lose points for incorrect answers.

I’m waiting on results for Part 1 I took two weeks ago. Should I move on to Part 2 study or wait until the results come back?
When I took the exam, I went ahead and moved on to the next part.  It helps to keep the momentum going to just keep pushing forward.

How close are the practice questions in the Wiley books to the real exam?
We try to replicate them the best that we can in both content and difficulty level.

What score do I need to pass?
75%

Once I move to the essay section, can I go back to MCQ to review again (if there is still time)?
No. Once you leave the MCQ part of the exam, you cannot go back.

Can we bring a calculator? Can I use my Ti-84?
There are specific calculators that you can bring to the exam. ( See pages 19-20 for details )

How long does it take for results to be released after your exam?
Exam results will be emailed and posted to your online profile approximately six weeks from the end of the month in which you to the exam.

Are the MCQs weighted equally?
Yes.  Each question is equally weighted.

Where do you have to go to take the exam?
It is taken at a Prometric Testing Center.

Do essay answers have a word limit?
No word limit on essays.

Do we need to get at least 50% correct in the MCQ section so we can proceed to the essays?
Yes. You will only be allowed to proceed if you get at least 50% of the MCQs.

How are essays graded?
Essays are graded on the amount of correct information given on each question. It is always good to add as much additional information as possible as you will never receive negative marks for your answers.

Are key formulas given in the exam or do I need to remember them?
You will need to know all the different formulas.

Is it better to take both parts together or different?
I would take them separately. Study for one and take it and then study for the next one and take it.

How often do they offer the test each year?
The test is typically offered on a “two months ‘on’ – one month ‘off’ basis, with April, July, October and January not offering any exam dates

What’s total point value for MCQ and for the essay?
The total points are 500, so total points for the MCQ is 375 and 125 for the essay portion.

Do we get to use MS Excel during the exam?
There is not a spreadsheet type tool in the test. Only a basic calculator.

Do you have any suggestions for studying for essay questions?
Here is a great blog post with tips for taking the exam, including the essay part.

Can I cancel/move Part 1 if I’m not ready for the exam?
Page 23 of the CMA Candidate Handbook gives details on canceling or moving your exam.

Are there any changes in the CMA edition from 2014 until now?
There are annual changes to the exam. Here are the most recent changes to the CMA exam .

If I buy a Wiley review course, is it valid forever?
If you purchase one of our bundled packages, meaning the Silver, Gold or Platinum Course, you will receive our guarantee of free electronic updates and use of the materials until you pass the exam.

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