CMA Exam Format: Important Info on Question Type + Duration
Before you jump in to pursue the CMA certification, you might want to take a look at the CMA exam format, length and intensity of the exam, and the type of questions you are going to see on the exam day.
CMA Exam Format
The CMA exam is fully computerized and is available at hundreds of prometric centers around the world. Candidates can take the exam 6 months out of the 12 each year.
CMA Exam Duration
There are two parts in the exam. Each part is 3 hours long for 100 multiple choice questions, representing 75% of the exam score. The second section is essay writing representing the remaining 25%. You will be given 30 minutes for each of the two essays. Total testing duration is 4 hours.
You must pass at least 50% of the first (i.e. multiple choice) section in order to advance to the essay questions. You can use any time remaining from the multiple choice questions towards the essay portion.
When Compared to the CPA Exam
As you can expect, the CMA exam is similar to what you may encounter in the BEC section of the CPA exam, and to a lesser extent, FAR and AUD.
I find that the multiple choice questions in the CMA exam could get quite complex and lengthy, so the exam cannot be called “easy” even when compared to the CPA exam.
Having said that, since there are only 2 parts versus 4 parts in CPA exam, the total time spent on exam preparation is shorter.
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