Best CMA Exam Prep Courses

Passing the CMA exam on your first try is essential for any student pursuing a career in accounting. However, doing so is easier said than done. If you want to maximize your chances of passing, then you’ll need to enroll in a well designed CMA prep course.

I’ve gone ahead and taken a look at the prep courses being offered and found the 4 best ones on the market. Each of these has a unique way to appeal to students and prepare them for the CMA exam. Plus, they tend to appeal to multiple learning styles so no one is left out.

Read on to see which companies offer the 4 best CMA exam review courses.



These Are The Top 5 Best CMA Review Courses and Study Materials of October 2021:

  1. Best Overall: Becker CMA Review
  2. Best Adaptive Learning: Surgent CMA Review
  3. All New Features: Wiley CMAexcel Review
  4. Best Test Bank: Gleim CMA Review
  5. Best Coaching: CMA Exam Academy

Course Name

Course Rank

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Cost

$1,499 $799 – $1,699 $1,200 - $1,500 $1,249 $1,394

Discount

Save $550 Save $509 Save $400 Save $400 Save $70

# of Practice Questions

4,000+ 2,800+ 5,500+ 2,900 2,500

# of Practice Exams

Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 40 Unlimited

Access Period

2 Years 18 Months Until You Pass Until Exam is Passed 2 Years

Textbook Type

Digital Textbooks PDF Print and E-book Print and E-book Print and E-book

Additional Guidance

Personalized Study Plans Custom Study Plans Live Classroom N/A Weekly Course Outline

Academic Support

Success Coaches and Automatic Updates Content Updates Instructor Mentoring Personal Online Counseler Online Coaching

Refund/Pass Guarantee

Yes Yes Access Until You Pass Access Until You Pass Yes

LEARN MORE

#1 Becker CMA Review Course

Pro – User Experience

Every Becker course is extremely easy to use and navigate through. Additionally, the interface has been streamlined to make learning simple and fun— which will help you stay engaged throughout the entire process. If you want to avoid burning out while studying, this is the way to go!

Pro – Full Coverage

All aspects of Becker’s course are kept up to date. Plus, the course includes full coverage of ICMA Learning Outcome Statements. This means you’re learning accurate information that will be relevant once you start your career.

Pro – Expert Instructors

Becker employs a team of highly experienced CMAs to teach their courses. That way they can leverage their decades of experience when preparing you for the exam. Plus, you can use that experience to avoid common pitfalls when you start work as a CMA.

Con – Price

Becker’s course has a lot going for it, but it’s also very expensive. Full access to everything this course has to offer will cost you $2,099; a more affordable option costs $1,499. This course is great if you can afford it, so I recommend reaching out to an employer that’s willing to sponsor your education.

What’s The Bottom Line?
Becker is an excellent course that’s worth the money you’ll spend on it. It has a large library of up-to-date study material that’s taught by extremely qualified professionals.


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#2 Surgent CMA Review Course

Pro – ReadySCORE

Surgent’s courses come with a program called ReadySCORE. It tracks your progress throughout the course and calculates how close you are to a passing score on the CMA exam. Thanks to that, you don’t need to waste any extra time preparing— just take the exam as soon as you’re satisfied with your ReadySCORE!

Pro – Unlimited Practice Exams

Practice makes perfect, which is why Surgent includes over 4,000 practice exam questions in their CMA review course. Each question has a detailed answer explanation and can be organized into an unlimited number of exams. This means you can take practice quizzes for as long as you need to before feeling ready to ace your exam.

Pro – Mobile Friendly

All of Surgent’s materials are available on multiple platforms; you can take your work on the go and study when it’s most convenient for you. For example, I like to listen to audio lectures during my commutes and study flashcards during my breaks. No matter what your schedule is, Surgent has made it easy for you to study in this way.

Con – Limited Live Content

Unfortunately, Surgent’s live content isn’t very impressive. They offer 1-on-1 coaching but no live lectures or classrooms. That can be disappointing for anyone hoping to have a personalized study experience— but this is worth your money if you only want self study materials.

What’s The Bottom Line?
Surgent is an excellent self study course that adapts to your busy schedule. Make sure to try this one out if you have difficulty following someone else’s study plan.


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#3 Wiley CMAexcel

Pro – Huge Library

This is a great option if you need a ton of practice before taking the CMA exam. Wiley CMAexcel includes almost 6,000 different practice questions that are similar to those you’ll have to answer on the real exam.

Pro – Mentoring

The instructors who wrote this CMA review course offer 1-on-1 mentoring to help you fully understand what’s expected of you as a management accountant. These instructors are so good that 80% of Wiley’s students pass both parts of the CMA exam!

Pro – Free Trial

If you’ve never tried an online review course before, I recommend taking advantage of Wiley’s 14-day trial. With two full weeks to sample their practice questions and video content, you’re free to cancel after the trial period to avoid paying for anything.

Con – Mobile App

Wiley CMAexcel includes a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. You can use this app to catch up on your studying by answering a few practice questions or reading flashcards. However, there have been issues with connectivity and support in the past, so it’s not a good idea to rely heavily on using this app during your studies.

What’s The Bottom Line?
Wiley CMAexcel has a huge library of study materials with awesome teachers presenting it. You’re far more likely to pass both sections of the CMA exam on your first try if you rely on this course for your studies!


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Gleim Exam Prep

#4 Gleim CMA Review Course

Pro – SmartAdapt Technology

Much like Surgent, Gleim focuses heavily on adaptive learning technology. Their SmartAdapt system ensures that you’re always working on your weak areas and reinforcing your general CMA knowledge. Doing so makes it so that you truly understand CMA concepts instead of just memorizing terms.

Pro – Gleim Instruct Videos

One of the most effective parts of this course is the Gleim instruct series of videos. Each of these breaks down complicated concepts into easy to understand parts. Each part comes with a detailed walkthrough that ensures you understand how to apply what you’ve learned before moving on.

Pro – Expertly Authored Books

Gleim provides you with plenty of bonus materials so you can keep your knowledge sharp. Easily the best one is the set of CMA books— each one is available in physical or digital format and is an easy to read way to reinforce what you’ve learned.

Con – Price Gating

Sadly, the best materials Gleim has to offer are locked behind their highest payment tier. Luckily, Gleim isn’t as expensive as some of the other courses on this list, but it’s still disappointing for anyone trying to save money.

What’s The Bottom Line?
Gleim is a solid course for anyone who likes access to multiple study methods. They’re able to teach you why CMA concepts work instead of just basic background knowledge.


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#5 CMA Exam Academy Review

Pro – Guided Program

Unlike the other courses, CMA Exam Academy’s course is on a 16 week guided schedule. This allows them to emulate the classroom experience. Plus, it ensures that you’re kept on task and accountable when studying for the CMA exam.

Pro – In-Person Exam Rehearsal

CMA Exam Academy goes a step further than other courses with their practice tests. They do so by recreating the test environment for an in-person rehearsal. That way you can get comfortable with the testing experience while seeing how far you’ve come during the course.

Pro – Audio and Video Lectures

All lectures come in multiple formats, so you can choose to learn in a way that’s more comfortable for you. For instance, some people like to sit down and watch a video to study. Others prefer audio content so they can multitask and get more done.

Con – Limiting Structure

This course’s biggest selling point can actually be a negative if you prefer self paced materials. When using CMA Exam Academy’s program, you’ll be on a strict schedule— which can be tough for anyone with a heavy workload.

What’s The Bottom Line?
CMA Exam Academy is the perfect course for anyone who prefers a strict study schedule. However, you’re better off with Becker if you have a lot of other time commitments.


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FAQs

What skills does a CMA need?

Naturally, Certified Management Accountants need a skillset that incorporates both accounting and management. Not only will you be required to understand the intricacies of financial accounting for businesses and individuals, but you’ll also need to demonstrate competence managing other accountants and ensuring they are capable of doing the same. This is why the requirements for CMA certification include several years of education and professional experience.

How long does it take to prepare for CMA?

Since a Bachelor’s degree is required to sit for the CMA exam, at least 4 years of undergraduate education is required to prepare. You also need at least 2 continuous years of experience in financial management or management accounting, so you can estimate an average of 4 to 6 years total to become fully prepared. Aside from this, you may need an extra 3-6 months to study with a CMA review course.

Which is tougher, CA or CMA?

When you compare the pass rates for Chartered Accountants to Certified Management Accountants, it appears that the CA exam is tougher than the CMA exam. However, the lower CA exam pass rates is most likely due to less stringent requirements to sit for the exam; the CMA’s stricter requirements filter out many students who would perform poorly on the exam. Because of this, a knowledgeable student who studies hard should have an easier time passing the CA exam than the CMA exam.

Can a CMA do a bank audit?

Certified Management Accountants cannot perform a bank audit in the United States— only Certified Public Accountants (CPA) can. However, CMAs still play an important role in the audit process; they just can’t sign the audit report.

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2021-08-24T11:31:00-07:00

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