Everyone is different and there’s no “perfect” way to pass the CMA Exam. It’s all about figuring out what works for you. For Karolis Sella, what worked was a month of intense studying and review during his lunch hour, in addition to work at home.
For Karolis, earning his CMA certification was the next logical step in his career. He graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in Latvia and is currently working a supply chain analyst for Procter & Gamble in Geneva.
“After studying for so many years and working in one company, you want to make you’re in sync with the global standard for finance and accounting and ensure you’re not in your own silo,” he says. “That was my main motivation pursuing the CMA.”
After using Gleim in his previous studies for another certification, he instead opted to go with Wiley’s CMA review materials. “They were officially endorsed by the IMA so seemed like the best option — it was the right choice,” he said.
Karolis used a very traditional method of studying, forgoing all of the video lectures and slides for old-fashioned book studying coupled with review using the Test Bank.
“The Wiley book is good read and easy to read with examples that are well explained,” he says. “The test bank was super user friendly.”
Karolis signed up for Part 1 of the CMA Exam with just one month of preparation time.
As if that and the pressures of his job wasn’t enough, Karolis and his wife had also just recently welcomed a newborn son–so his available study time was very, very cramped.
“The hardest part of the exam was making time for studying with work and a family,” he says. “I didn’t want to compromise my life outside of work at all.”
So, to make it work, he decided to condense the majority of his study efforts to his lunch hour at work. Instead of mingling with coworkers or running errands, he’d instead focused all of his energy toward getting the absolute most out of his available time.
Like we said, Karolis employed a very traditional study approach. Here’s how cracked the CMA exam in just one month of study time:
Step 1: Read the book all the way through. Karolis chose to focus on the study text and forgo all the other elements of the review course.
Step 2: Write a summary of what you’ve read and learned in the reading. He says this is the best way for him to crystallize what’s he’s learned and makes later review much easier.
Step 3: Test your knowledge with the Test Bank. Following a reading and summary, he would then test his knowledge using the Test Bank. Michael estimates he finished more than 60% of available multiple-choice questions.
Step 4: Be sure to review your prior readings and questions. One thing Michael made a point of doing during his studies was to review prior readings and topics in the Test Bank to keep his memory fresh.
Step 5: Focus on time management on exam day. ForKarolis, he knew the most critical part of the taking the exam was using his time wisely. He chose to go through the exam and answer those questions he knew to be easier for him and to circle back to spend more time on the ones that required more calculations.
You’re reading this here so you’d be safe to assume that Karolis did just fine on exam day — passing with little less than a month of studying done entirely on his lunch hour at work.
Way to stay focused and buckle down, Karolis!
If you’re interested in pursuing CMA certification, whether in the U.S. or internationally, you owe to yourself to explore your study options.
You can enjoy two weeks of free access Wiley CMAexcel by registering for a free trial here.
See for yourself why Wiley is the official test prep materials of the IMA.