2015-CMA-Exam-WindowAs you know, the IMA requires that you schedule your CMA exam during one of several two-month windows throughout the year.

Here’s a quick overview of things to work on as you head into the homestretch of studying before the next CMA exam window opens.

Reality Check Your CMA Exam Date

There are many reasons why it makes sense to schedule your exam in the early part of the CMA exam window. One of the most important reasons is that you can reschedule your exam (for a $50 fee of course).

Give yourself a reality check: Do you really have time, between now and when the next CMA exam window  opens, to fully prepare?

If work is too hectic or there’s too much pressure from various family obligations, recognize it now. This is your last chance to push your exam date to a later week in the two-month CMA exam window.

Follow the IMA’s guidelines on rescheduling. But make your decision right away — there must be at least 30 days prior to your scheduled exam date for you to reschedule it.

Goal: Ensure You Have Enough Time Remaining to Prepare (Or Reschedule)

Amp Up Your MCQ Speed

The CMA Exam is often compared to the CPA Exam in terms of structure, but its multiple-choice questions (MCQ) are longer and more complex. Even if you’ve recently passed the CPA Exam, you should still spend a great deal of time preparing for the MCQ section.

Why? Because the MCQs represents 75% of your total score and you must score at least 50% on this section to advance to the essay section. The more questions you get through in your allotted three hours, the better your chances of passing .

Plus, after you hit “submit” to complete the MCQ section, whatever time you have remaining of your allotted three hours is carried over to the essay section. An extra 10 minutes can be a huge cushion .

Must earn at least 50% on multiple-choice section in order to advance to essay section. If in the exam you are not advanced to the essay section, it means that you failed the exam. – See more at: http://www.cmacoach.com/the-cma-exam-essays-everything-you-need-to-know/#sthash.rMv3BwAp.dpuf
Must earn at least 50% on multiple-choice section in order to advance to essay section. If in the exam you are not advanced to the essay section, it means that you failed the exam. – See more at: http://www.cmacoach.com/the-cma-exam-essays-everything-you-need-to-know/#sthash.rMv3BwAp.dpuf
Must earn at least 50% on multiple-choice section in order to advance to essay section. If in the exam you are not advanced to the essay section, it means that you failed the exam. – See more at: http://www.cmacoach.com/the-cma-exam-essays-everything-you-need-to-know/#sthash.rMv3BwAp.dpuf

So, in the  weeks leading up to the next CMA exam window, you’ll  want to increase the speed with which you read and comprehend each question and its answer choices.

Goal: Complete 100 MCQs In 3 Hours or Less

Work On Your Essay Answers

The essay section may only count for 25% of your total score, but for many  candidates it accounts for the majority of anxiety. This is especially true with candidates for whom English is a second language.

Here are few tips:

  1. Expect three to six questions for each essay scenario. You can scroll between questions and scenarios, which will help you to assess the time needed for your responses.
  2. Read the entire question. Pay  attention to what the question is asking you do, such as “compare” or “contrast” or “define” elements of a problem. These keywords will help you determine how to present your answer.
  3. Show clear organization in your argument. One of the best ways is to use the “sandwich” approach. Here is an amazing video that details how to use this method to structure an essay. This method has been proven to work time and time again, so use it!
  4. Don’t leave questions blank. At least write an outline of your answer with bullets about how you’d answer the problem if you had more time.
  5. Show your work. Even if you don’t write a perfect essay, you can still earn partial credit for detailing your problem-solving skills.

Goal: Write Two Well-Reasoned, “Sandwich Style” Essays In An Hour Or Less

Regular Practice Exams

Obviously, you can’t work on your MCQ speed and essay writing without taking some full practice exams, right?

Practice makes perfect. Do your best to complete at least one or two full practice exams before the next CMA exam window opens up.

Goal: Complete 1-2 Practice Exams In Final Weeks Of Prep

Get An Insurance Policy

If you’re signed up with one of our approved providers, it’s best to follow your instructor’s advice.

But when it comes down to the final weeks of preparation, you might want to get some help. Wiley’s CMA Online Intensive Review course lives up to its name and features tons of MCQs and essay questions plus practice exams that recreate the exact conditions of the CMA Exam.