The CMA exam is an important milestone for anyone pursuing a career in financing. It represents an advanced proficiency in a specific field of study and will skyrocket your career. Because of that, it’s important to pass the CMA exam on your first try. That way you can start working and immediately apply your knowledge to the real world.

The best way to ensure that you pass the test is to take a CMA exam prep course. However, it can be tough to choose one when every company claims to be the best option— which is why I looked at 2 of the most popular courses on the market to highlight their similarities and differences.

Wiley and Gleim are currently considered some of the best providers for test prep: not just for the CMA exam, but for the CPA exam as well. However, the two courses have some key differences that set them apart from each other. For the most part, there’s a large difference in the design, pricing, and study materials included in each course.

Read on to see which course is the better option!

About Wiley CMA Review

After the acquisition of Efficient Learning Systems Inc and their premier CPA product toward the end of 2012, Wiley has been steadily tweaking their CMA review courses over the past decade. With frequent optimization changes to more aptly address the needs of their students, they’ve become an extremely popular resource for students who need a well-made CMA test bank and/or some informative CMA video lectures.

About Gleim CMA Review

This company started in 1974 when professor Irvin Gleim wrote and published the first Gleim CPA Review textbook. In the years following, Professor Gleim continued to publish follow-up books and additional self-study tools, which led into the CMA course prep powerhouse that it is today. Now, Gleim is considered one of the best CMA review courses for students who want to practice with the largest possible volume of multiple choice questions.

Wiley vs. Gleim CMA: Course Design

Gleim offers several study methods, but their real claim to fame is in their adaptive learning program. Students are asked to watch instructional videos and take practice exams to prepare for the CMA exam. As you learn, Gleim’s software tracks your progress and notes specific subjects that you need to spend more time studying. From there, it automatically adjusts your study schedule to add extra focus— so you’re always focusing on improving your weaknesses.

Wiley also offers adaptive learning, but in a different way. Instead of technology, they rely on input from your teacher.

Instead of adaptive software, Wiley has you work 1-on-1 with instructors between video lectures and tests. Each mentor is an accredited professor with access to the work you’ve completed. This ensures that your study schedule is adaptive, but you still have a say in what you’re learning. On top of that, you can ask questions at any time and have them answered within 48 hours.


Both courses place considerable focus on adaptive learning, but Wiley’s personal touch tends to be more effective. Generally speaking, an instructor has a better understanding of what a student needs when compared to a software platform.

Gleim vs. Wiley: Pricing

Gleim provides 3 different pricing plans for their CMA exam prep courses. First is the Mega Test Bank, which only provides the exam questions and answers; it costs $999. This is a good option for anyone who just wants some practice, since it has one of the largest libraries of task-based simulations.

Next is the Traditional course. It costs $1,349 and adds in video lectures and personal coaching— a great upgrade, especially when you compare it with the cost of private CMA tutoring. The last option on offer is the Premium course; this is the only way to gain access to the predictive learning platform, and it costs $1,599. The way that SmartPath is able to guide you through your entire study schedule is extremely helpful and adds an entirely new dimension to the materials included in the previous two packages.

Now let’s compare the plans in Wiley’s CMA review catalog:

Customers can choose between 2 different courses when learning with Wiley. The 1st one is the Pro CMA Review Course, which costs $1,200 and grants you unlimited access to all the practice problems they have to offer. You can also take practice exams on a mobile app; thanks to that, it’s easy to learn on the go. Alternatively, you can purchase the Platinum course for $1,500— this grants you access to everything the company has to offer. Thanks to that, you gain access to personal tutoring, flashcards, final review, and more.


Although Gleim’s lower tiers cost less than Wiley’s lower ones, Wiley is still cheaper overall. It costs about $100 less to gain full access to Wiley compared to Gleim— and you can access their adaptive learning tech without enrolling in their most expensive course.

Gleim CMA Review vs. Wiley CMA: Bonus Study Materials

Online prep courses can provide a large catalog of extra study materials that aren’t always included in their full courses. Typically, you can expect affordable sets of flashcards, extra study books, or cram sheets. Gleim and Wiley have quite a bit to offer CMA exam prep students in this department.

Gleim has 3 options for your perusal. The first is a series of study textbooks, which come in both digital and physical format and are designed to be paired with the lecture content. Next are a series of digital flashcards used to test your memory on what you’ve learned so far. Lastly, Gleim provides students with regular performance reports. These show you how well their predictive learning tech is working and let you make adjustments to the self-studying you may be doing on the side. Each of these is included in the Traditional course plan, so you only need to pay separately if you’re enrolled in Gleim’s Mega Test Bank course.

Unfortunately, Wiley’s catalog of extra materials isn’t as impressive.

Wiley doesn’t have any textbooks included with their course. However, they do have a series of digital flashcards. Just like with Gleim, these are a great tool for testing your memory of important CMA concepts. Aside from that, Wiley offers an optional 11th-hour review that succinctly recaps the most important concepts learned in each section of the course. Using this lets you reinforce what you’ve learned before the exam without having to worry about cramming too much.


Gleim simply has more to offer in terms of bonus content. Wiley only has 2 sets of extra materials, while Gleim provides a wealth of self-study extras. Thanks to that, they easily win in this category!

Gleim vs. Wiley: Course Access Period

Both Gleim and Wiley include unlimited course access in their courses. Thanks to that, there’s no need to worry about being cut off when studying. Instead, you’re free to take your time and learn at a comfortable pace— no need to cram at the last minute. Additionally, either course will help you understand each concept instead of just memorizing answers to test questions.

Winner: Tie

Final Recommendation

Between the two courses, Wiley has a bit more to offer. They may not have as many bonus materials as Gleim, but the core of their course is better developed. Plus, their premium course option is cheaper than Gleim’s by $99.

That isn’t to say that Gleim has nothing to offer. You may find that their teaching style suits you better than what’s offered at Wiley. Also, bonus self-study materials may be an integral part of your study process. Choosing between the 2 of them largely comes down to a matter of taste— so while I prefer Wiley overall, you may want to try out Gleim anyway!