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The best CMA exam prep is the one that is going to help you pass the exam—ideally the first time you sit. But what features, support, and CMA study materials equal a greater chance of passing the exam? Manageable lessons, engaging instructors, high-quality practice materials, and cutting-edge technology all go a long way in getting you prepared for the exam and keeping you motivated along the way.
Wiley knows how crucial these features are to passing the exam, which is why you can expect to see all of these things included in every Wiley CMA exam prep course. Surgent on the other hand, either does not offer all of these features or makes you upgrade to get them.
Wiley is the best CMA course, because you get all of these standard features no matter what course you study with:
CMA candidate Seanne Veniene Esguerra had great success studying with Wiley.
“Wiley really helped me build my understanding of the concepts from the ground up, apply these concepts in challenging test bank questions, and conquer time-pressured examinations. Their exam planner helped me organize my review period especially since I was pressed for time. Overall, great experience!” says Esguerra.
Here is a quick-reference guide to help you compare the standard features that come in Wiley CMA courses vs. Surgent CMA courses. If you study with Surgent, you miss out on deep dive videos, bite-sized lessons that make studying more manageable, and getting access until you pass no matter what course you study with. Plus, all of Wiley CMA instructors are Certified Management Accountants, which isn’t the case with Surgent.
Wiley CMA course prices range from $1,200 to $1,500, while Surgent’s courses range from $699 for the bare bones of review materials to $1,699 for the most robust package. Wiley has two CMA review course options and Surgent has three.
Each course package comes with different levels of study materials and support, but both Wiley packages come with more features than any of Surgent’s courses, so Wiley has better value here whether looking at cost or features.
Both of Wiley’s courses include a robust lineup of standard features such as Unlimited Access Until You Pass, video lessons, thousands of multiple-choice questions, digital flashcards, Score Predictor, and more. With Surgent, you have to upgrade to get some of those features, like video lessons, access until you pass, and flashcards.
Since you already get Wiley’s standard features no matter which course you use, if you upgrade to study with Wiley’s Platinum course, you get extra personalized support like:
The bonus Microsoft Excel™ course included with Wiley’s Platinum package is a huge value for both the exam and your continued professional success since Excel is such a necessary skill for certified management accountants to have.
Advancements in education technology are helping CMA candidates succeed and pass the exam on the first try. As mentioned earlier, Wiley won a 2021 CODiE award for education technology and the Wiley Efficient Learning Platform. With Wiley’s CMA review courses, you get Score Predictor technology that estimates whether you will pass the exam based on your performance in the course. With this information, you can adjust your study plan to focus on your weak areas and make sure you feel prepared for the real exam.
Surgent also utilizes education technology and includes learning and exam-readiness technology in its courses.
CMA candidate Aleena studied with Wiley and used the entire Wiley Efficient Learning suite.
“Wiley provided me knowledge and insight into how the final exam is going to go. Every time I did Wiley software questions, I feel like I was writing real exam answers which helped me a lot to manage my time and speed of attempting MCQs.
“As far as the textbook, I suggest everyone grab this book without any doubt. The lectures and notes in the text are awesome. Not only the study materials, but they also provide a mobile application which I think is the best part of Wiley. Thank you, Wiley, for helping me to achieve my dream so easily,” says Aleena.
It’s important to know how long you have access to your course material. With Surgent, you get a different length of access depending on the course. Surgent’s Essentials course comes with 18 months of access, its Premier course comes with 24 months of access, and its Ultimate course comes with access until you pass.
On the other hand, all Wiley courses come with a Pass Guarantee. No matter what, Wiley has got your back through to the finish line. With Access Until You Pass included in all Wiley courses —no exceptions—you get full course support until you pass the CMA exam.
Many CMA candidates report that they attribute their success on the exam to Wiley’s extensive test bank that replicates the CMA exam. Wiley practice questions closely resemble real exam questions, so you feel confident when you take the exam. Wiley practice materials include:
Surgent’s practice questions test bank includes over 3,945 MCQs and over 65 essay problems.
Aria and Justin studied for the CMA exam with Wiley and found the practice questions to be very helpful in passing the exam on the first try.
“I was greatly impressed with the Wiley Study Materials, and I felt the practice questions prepared me well to pass the exams the first time,” says Justin Holmstead.
“Wiley provides a comprehensive array of learning materials that make for a flexible learning experience for users with different learning styles. The volume of test bank questions was a tremendous source of help as well,” says Aria Senatore.
Flashcards are helpful, because they can help you quickly reinforce important exam topics, and they help you study on the go. Wiley appreciates what an important role flashcards play in a well-rounded studying plan, so you get more than 750 digital cards in both Wiley CMA courses. Surgent on the other hand does not include flashcards in its courses unless you upgrade to the most expensive option.
CMA candidate Edward used Wiley’s flashcards to help pass the exam.
“The practice MCQs and flashcards of Wiley are what really made me prepared for the exam the most,” says Edward Louie Camalongay.
The CMA courses offered by Wiley and Surgent are both online course formats. They are both self-study; however, Wiley does offer live virtual classes with the Wiley Platinum course. You have two course options to choose from with Wiley and three options with Surgent.
Both Wiley courses have standard features that help you manage your time and reduce stress with Score Predictor technology and the ability to adjust your study plan. Other standard Wiley features include:
Plus, as mentioned, if you want access to live online classes or personal mentoring, Wiley’s Platinum course will get you access to:
When you study with Surgent, you have to upgrade if you want access to some standard Wiley features like access until you pass and flashcards. And Surgent does not offer bite-sized lessons, deep dive videos, or a final review in any of their courses.
Wiley and Surgent are both official strategic partners of IMA (Institute of Management Accountants). This means that as the industry changes, your CMA exam review course will always be updated with the most current information and will reflect IMA standards.
Wiley is committed to providing CMA candidates access to the support they need to pass the exam. Because of this, Wiley gives you access to expert instructors. If you study with Wiley’s Platinum course, you can get expert instructor guidance on CMA questions you don’t understand.
With Surgent, the only personalized attention you get is two 1-on-1 coaching sessions if you upgrade to Surgent’s most expensive package.
A big part of passing the CMA exam is being able to make it through all of your study materials. Studying can get overwhelming and it’s easy to lose motivation, which is why Wiley offers manageable bite-sized lessons. These shorts lessons can be completed in as little as 30 minutes so you can stay motivated and manage your schedule more easily. These quick lessons come standard in every Wiley course.
Surgent does not offer bite-sized lessons and doesn’t even offer any video lessons unless you upgrade to its Premier or Ultimate course.
You can reduce your nerves on exam day significantly by completing CMA practice tests that are designed to imitate the real exam. Going through customizable quizzes and full-length practice exams that mirror the actual interface helps you build stamina and practice honing your timing in preparation for the big day. Both Wiley and Surgent provide unlimited practice exams.
Amanda Potas, CMA candidate thinks anyone can pass on the first try if they use all of Wiley’s study materials, including the practice exams.
“It is set up nearly identical to the actual exam, and it is truly possible to pass on the first try if all offered materials are utilized,” says Amanda.
As stated earlier, if you want some extra support through your exam journey, you can study with Wiley’s Platinum CMA study course and get access to live online classes. In these classes, you can interact with real instructors and ask any questions you may have. Surgent only offers pre-recorded videos and does not have a live virtual classroom.
Wiley pulls out all the stops to make sure CMA candidates have every resource they need to fully understand their learning materials. In addition to bite-sized videos and live online classes, Wiley offers deep dive video lectures in all Wiley CMA courses.
These in-depth videos give extra insight into the toughest CMA topics and are taught by top-notch university instructors. Wiley also offers deep dive videos that layer information onto the core video and walk-through concepts. You will have all the resources you need to learn the information and pass the exam if you study with Wiley.
Surgent does not offer deep dive videos and their 60+ video lectures only come with their Premier and Ultimate courses.
Wiley’s expert instructors helped CMA candidate Mayumi Saito grasp the information.
“Monte Swain really did a good job explaining lessons in the online platform of Wiley, and that really helped me understand things more clearly,” says Mayumi.
In Wiley’s Platinum course, you get access to the 11th Hour Review. This final review goes over the hot topics tested in the exam with an emphasis on working problems. Using the last week before your exam to do this final review can calm your nerves and increase your chances of passing the first time.
There is no final review offered in Surgent courses.
After comparing cost, value, study materials, technology, personalized support, and more, it’s clear that Wiley is the best choice for CMA exam prep. Surgent cannot compete with Wiley’s standard features or extra support features.
As we determined, Wiley is designed to make sure you feel prepared come exam day. This means including access until you pass, deep dive videos, Score Predictor, flashcards, and more in every Wiley course. Give yourself the best chance of passing the CMA exam on your first attempt and study with Wiley.
Here are a couple final FAQs about Wiley vs. Surgent.