Q1: How do I enroll in the CMA program?
i. Visit imanet.org/cma-certification to apply. You will need to purchase the CMA entrance fee and IMA membership. The application process takes about 10 minutes.
ii. Register for the exam. You can register for Part 1 and Part 2 in any order or register for both at the same time.
iii. Prepare to complete certification requirements including submitting your education transcript and work experience. This can be done before or after passing the exam, but is required as a final step to become certified.
Q2: What is IMA?
IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. IMA offers its members exclusive access to the CMA program. We are committed to helping you – and our network of more than 100,000+ members – to expand your professional skills, better manage your organization, and enhance your career.
Q3: What is required to earn CMA certification?
• Active membership in IMA (Institute of Management Accountants)
• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university or a related professional certification
• Two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management, which can be completed after passing the exam, but are required as a final step to certification
• Passing Parts 1 and 2 of the CMA exam
Q4: How do I register for an exam part?
The CMA exams are computer-based and administered at hundreds of Prometric testing facilities worldwide. With three testing windows each year, you can sit for an exam at a time and place convenient for you.
If you are enrolled in the CMA program and are ready to sit for the exam, here are the steps:
i. Pick your testing window. Testing windows are offered in January/February, May/June, and September/October.
ii. Register for the exam at www.imaonlinestore.com
iii. Receive your authorization number(s) along with further instructions.
iv. Schedule your exam appointment(s) with Prometric, our testing partner, at www.prometric.com/ICMA
Q5: What is the pass rate for the CMA exam?
The pass rate on the CMA differs by geographic region, but averages about 35% on part 1 and 50% on part 2.
Q6: What is ICMA?
ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) is the certification affiliate of IMA. ICMA is responsible for developing, administering, and grading the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exam; establishing the policies and procedures for the CMA program; and for ensuring the program’s overall integrity. The ICMA Board of Regents is responsible for setting policies, and the ICMA staff is responsible for operations.
Q7: Where do I take the exam?
Exams are administered through the worldwide network of Prometric Testing Centers and are available in accordance with local customs. There are many locations throughout the U.S. and internationally.
To locate a test center, please visit www.prometric.com/ICMA.
Q8: When can I take the exam?
Exams are offered according to the following schedule:
i. January and February
ii. May and June
iii. September and October
To schedule exam appointments, visit www.prometric.com/ICMA or call (800) 479-6370. To ensure your first choice of date, time, and location, it is best to schedule your appointment at least four weeks in advance. All exam appointments must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance of the exam date. Once you are registered, you must take the exam part during your assigned testing session. If for any reason you are unable to schedule an exam appointment during the assigned testing window, you will need to pay another registration fee. Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.
Q9: Do I have to take parts 1 and 2 in this order, and do I have to take them together?
No, you can take parts 1 and 2 in any order. You have the option of taking both together on the same day, although many members choose to separate their testing dates.
Q10: When do I receive my exam Performance Report?
Performance Reports are sent via e-mail from Prometric to all candidates who take an exam part. The performance reports are emailed approximately 14 days after exam results are posted to the candidate’s profile.
Candidates who do not pass the exam will receive a report that indicates their performance on each of the key topic areas in the multiple-choice section as well as their overall performance on the essay section of the exam.
Q11: How much time do I have to pass both exam parts?
All CMA candidates have three years to pass both parts of the exam. The time period will begin with the date of your entry into the CMA program.
Q12: What if I don’t complete the exam in three years?
You will lose any previous passed scores and will need to register for the exam again.
Q13: How can I check for my exam results/certification status?
On the IMA website, click “My Profile” and then “My Certifications.” There you will find your exam status and transcript, information on your work experience and education, and more.
Q14: What is the passing score for the CMA exam?
The minimum passing score is 360 for both parts of the exam. The exam score range is 0-500.
Q15: Can I retake the exam?
An exam part may be taken only once in a testing window. You can sit for as many testing windows as you need in your three-year period. All retakes require a new exam registration (not CMA entrance), along with payment of appropriate fees: $415 for professionals, $311 for Students/Academic members.
Q16: What languages is the CMA exam available in?
Our U.S.-based credential is also available in Mandarin Chinese. The test can be taken in China in paper/pencil format (Chinese) or in computerized format (English). IMA offers an entire suite of products for a true Chinese learning experience, including Mandarin versions of exam preparation courses, member support from native-speaking staff, thought leadership, Strategic Finance magazine, and anything else offered on IMA’s main website.
Q17: How do I send my education and work credentials?
All transcripts should be mailed directly from your college or university to the address below.
To validate your work credential, you will need to download the CMA Experience Requirement Verification Form.
The completed form can be returned via email to email@example.com or via post to:
10 Paragon Drive, Suite 1
Montvale, NJ 07645-1759
Q18: Can I reschedule or cancel a testing appointment?
• If you reschedule or cancel an appointment within 30 days of your appointment date you will be required to pay a rescheduling fee to Prometric.
• The exam appointment must be cancelled 72 hours (3 days) before the exam date, based on the policy from Prometric.
• Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.
• To cancel or reschedule an exam appointment, call Prometric at (800) 479-6370 or go to www.prometric.com/ICMA
Q19: If I no longer wish to pursue the CMA program, what is the refund policy?
The CMA Entrance Fee is not refundable.
If you have not scheduled an appointment with Prometric, the examination fee is refundable within 30 days from the time you purchased the exam. A $25 processing fee will be deducted from the refund. We do not offer postponements of exam parts. You must sit in the testing window for which you purchased a registration.
Q20: Can I get an extension and switch my exam testing window?
No, exam extensions are not granted. You must take the exam in the test window that you are registered for.
Q21: Can I schedule an exam by phone?
To schedule an exam by phone, find the phone number for your region at www.prometric.com/ICMA. You will need:
• Your Registration Acknowledgment Form, which provides your authorization number(s).
• The first four letters of your last name and a valid email address.
Q22: Am I eligible for a CMA scholarship?
The CMA Scholarship opportunity can be offered to up to 10 students per school per year who are interested in pursuing CMA certification. This includes both undergraduate and graduate students in accredited accounting or business programs. Multiple faculty members can submit nominations, but the limit is 10 per school, per academic year.
Q23: Do I need an accounting background to enroll in the CMA program?
Accounting background is helpful but not required. Our candidates come from a variety of bachelor degree programs and industries, including (but not limited to) engineering, business administration, economics, and finance.
Q24: What obstacles should I consider before registering for the exam?
Work/life balance is an important issue for many of our members. The test is a significant time commitment (150-170 hours per part) that takes careful management. Our candidates are encouraged to create realistic study plans well in advance and speak frankly with loved ones about the possible effect the program could have on their lives.
Scheduling availability can be an obstacle for those who wait until the last minute to schedule an exam. The result is often missed testing windows, so we recommend scheduling exam dates about four weeks in advance.