Sitting for the CMA Exam and Beyond
The purpose of this study unit is to focus on what to expect on exam day and how to react. It includes a general explanation of examination site instructions, rules, and procedures. You have to know what to expect so you are not distracted from your mission of passing the exam!
3.1 Stay Positive
Be proud! You have done your best to prepare, and you will do your best when you take the exam. No one can ask for more.
You have studied with Gleim CMA Review, which is based on a systematic, thorough review of all topics tested on the CMA exam. The Gleim method does not involve guessing about what will appear on the next CMA exam. Rather, it focuses on helping you to learn the concepts and be prepared for anything on exam day. If a question appears difficult to you, it will be more difficult for other candidates.
It is always a good idea to get the wheels turning prior to sitting for an exam. Remember, you should not be studying or cramming on the day of your exam. Instead, create one or two flashcards with formulas or anything else you tend to have trouble recalling. This is an opportunity for you to visualize those items and begin to focus on the tested materials. Doing so will prevent a slow start at the beginning of your exam.
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3.2 The Day of Your CMA Exam
On the day of your exam, plan on getting to the testing site about 30-60 minutes ahead of your appointment time. Leave all study materials in your car or at home, but don’t forget your calculator. If you must, you can bring snacks or drinks to the testing site, but you must leave these items in a locker or a designated area.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothes. Sweats, shorts, and jeans are very appropriate. Wear layers according to your usual body temperature because you will not be allowed to remove any outerwear once you are in the testing room. Generally, wear what you wear when you are most comfortable studying. Remember that coats, umbrellas, books, and attaché cases cannot be accommodated at the exam site. Thus, you should not take something that you do not want to lose.
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3.3 Prometric Test Center
You will be more confident on exam day if you know what to expect at the testing center. Prometric exam sites vary in how they are operated. Talk to someone who took an exam at the site you plan to use. Ask him or her for information about the site and for any suggestions (s)he might have. Additionally, make sure you know where the exam site is and how to get there. A few days prior to taking your exam, call your Prometric Testing Center and confirm your appointment; leave as little as possible to chance.
If you don’t know someone who has sat at your exam testing center, and you are concerned about noise, temperature, etc., call the exam center directly to see what it is like. You can also do a “test drive.” This way, you know if you need to dress warmly (no jackets are allowed in the testing room) or wear light clothing.
Rules and Regulations
Prometric will not allow you to bring anything except an approved calculator (discussed in Subunit 3.4) into the exam room. Do not bring any study notes or materials to the exam on your person, e.g., in pockets. If any such notes fall out of your pocket during the exam, you will be accused of cheating. Here are some additional rules and procedures you should be aware of.
- You must arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you arrive after your scheduled appointment time, you may forfeit your appointment and not be eligible to have your examination fees refunded. When you arrive, turn off all cell phones and other electronic devices.
- You will be required to sign the Prometric Log Book when you enter the center.
- You must place any personal belongings, including any outerwear that you remove before the exam, in the storage lockers provided by the test center.
- You are required to provide two forms of identification that include a signature. One must include a photograph. Examples are a valid passport, driver’s license, military ID, national country ID card, credit card with photo, etc. The second can be a valid credit, debit, or ATM card.
- Student IDs and Social Security cards are not acceptable. If you leave the testing room for any reason, you will be required to show your identification to be readmitted. You will not be permitted into the examination without proper identification.
Comply with photo and digital fingerprint scans:
- Fingerprinting is required every time you visit a test center and will be repeated during any breaks you take throughout the exam.
Beginning the Exam
Once you are escorted to a workstation by test center staff, you must remain in your seat during the examination, except when authorized to get up and leave the testing room by test center staff.
There will be candidates taking many different exams in the room with you (financial exams, medical exams, etc.).
Prometric will provide you with an opportunity to view an abbreviated exam introduction. Work through it so you do not miss anything. As you begin the exam, you will do fine because you have experienced the Gleim Prometric look-alike screens.
When you finish the examination, quietly leave the testing room, turn in your scratch paper, and sign the test center log book. The test center staff will dismiss you after completing all necessary procedures.
For more information on Prometric regulations, accommodations, testing experience, etc., go to Prometric’s website (www.prometric.com) or see the ICMA’s CMA Handbook.
There is about a 1% chance of experiencing a computer problem. If you do, the most common problem requires staff to reboot your computer. According to Prometric, you will lose a minute of testing time at most. If you have a computer problem, do not to erase any messages on the screen or try to fix the system yourself. Stop and tell/show the exam proctor. Note the time it occurred and when it is rectified.
Please report any computer problems in detail to Gleim by emailing CMA@gleim.com.
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Simple six-function calculators are permitted (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square root, percent). Alternatively, candidates may choose to bring a Texas Instruments BAII Plus, Hewlett Packard 10bII, HP 12C, or HP 12C Platinum calculator. Feedback from candidates who have already taken at least one part of the exam using only the six-function calculator, however, has shown that the simpler calculator will suffice for the CMA exam. Candidates should rest assured that time value tables are available for use on questions that demand them.
Candidates are responsible for providing their own calculators. You should be using your calculator throughout your studies so you are familiar with its operations.
- Make sure it has fresh batteries just prior to the examination.
- Consider bringing a backup calculator with you.
- The calculator must be small, quiet, and battery- or solar-powered so it will not be distracting to other candidates.
- The calculator must not use any type of tape.
- The calculator must be nonprogrammable.
You can bring a calculator to the CMA exam. But which one should you choose? How do you avoid a calculator crisis during the exam? The Gleim “Pass the CMA Exam” video series provides answers to these questions and much more! Go to www.gleim.com/CMAvideos.
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3.5 Time Management
Managing your time on the CMA exam is critical to your success, so work on developing these skills prior to your test date. The only information you get during your exam is a clock providing the hours, minutes, and seconds remaining. There will be no guidance for breaks or time allocation within each section.
For each part of the exam, you will want to budget 3 hours for the 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and at least 1 hour (more if you finished your MCQs early) for two essay scenarios, each with multiple questions. Recall that you cannot go back to the multiple-choice section once you have moved on to essays.
The key to successfully executing a good time management strategy is (1) answering MCQs at a rate of 1.5 minutes per question and (2) answering an essay scenario in half of your time remaining regardless of how many questions it contains.
Here is our suggestion for successfully managing your time on the CMA exam:
100 questions at 1.5 min. per question
Review of unanswered, marked questions
Section complete in 165 min., leaving 15 min. to carry over to essay section
60 min. standard time allocation + 15 min.
1 scenario with 1 question
1 scenario with 3 questions
Section complete in about 75 min.
Since the computer screen shows hours:minutes:seconds remaining, you need to focus on the time on the screen, not the time on your watch. Throughout your practice exam questions, always think in terms of hours:minutes.
Next, develop a shorthand for hours:minutes to make it quicker to write down the times on your scrap paper at the testing center.
Use one page of scratch paper (provided at Prometric) for your Gleim Time Management System at the exam.
- For the multiple-choice section, as soon as the exam starts, write 1, 21, 41, 61, etc., in the left column followed by 03:00, 02:30, 02:00, 01:30, etc., respectively. As you complete each set of 20 questions, note when you finish, and then start the next set.
MCQ Time Management
- Then, move on to the essay section and create your time management sheet for essays. Enter your starting time remaining (which will be at least 60 minutes), the number of questions in each scenario, how much time you have to answer all the questions in each scenario, and when you finish.
Essay Time Management
MCQ Time Budgeting
Using the Gleim study system, you will complete a minimum of two 20-question Practice Exams for each study unit to help you practice answering MCQs in 1.5 minutes each.
Practice makes perfect!
We use 20-question Practice Exams because they are of sufficient length to work you but are not too long. Since we have been helping candidates pass since 1981, we can say with confidence that our years of experience have proven that 20-question Practice Exams work. You will have no trouble budgeting your time on the CMA exam after extensive practice with 20-question exams. Each Practice Exam should be completed in 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes for review) under exam conditions. Practice marking questions you wish to return to, but select the best answer for each question on your first pass. Act as if each Practice Exam is being performed on exam day!
Essay Time Budgeting
Note that the time budgeting suggestion at the beginning of this subunit is only an example. The number of questions per scenario will vary, as well as how much total time you have to spend (based on when you completed your multiple-choice section). You must also practice essays under exam conditions. With each practice essay, practice allocating the correct amount of time per question in each scenario. You will have a minimum of 30 minutes per essay (60 minutes in total), so practice allocating 30 minutes per scenario and then dividing that evenly between questions. You will see at the top left corner how many questions are within that scenario. Practice moving through the scenario and answering each question. Then, go back to review, check any calculations, or add any other information/thoughts you can before moving on to the next essay scenario.
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3.6 CMA Candidate Misconduct and Cheating
The CMA Handbook states the ICMA’s policy on cheating as follows:
“Cheating will not be tolerated, and all instances of suspected cheating will be fully investigated. Examinees who are caught cheating will have their grades invalidated and will be disqualified from future examinations. In addition, cheating is a violation of IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice, and will result in expulsion from IMA.
Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following: copying answers from another candidate during the exam, using unauthorized personal items and study materials during the exam, helping another candidate during the exam, removing exam materials from the testing room, and sharing questions that appeared on the exam.
Specific examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sharing and discussing questions that appeared on the exam on social media forums including, but not limited to, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Snapchat.
- Bringing into the test room unauthorized personal items such as outerwear, hats, food, drinks, purses, briefcases, notebooks, pagers, watches, cell phones, recording devices, and photographic equipment.
- Bringing into the test room unauthorized study material, such as written notes, published materials, and other testing aids in any format.
- Taking photographs of the exam questions during the exam.
- Memorizing exam questions and sharing those questions with any party, including review course providers or other candidates.
The ICMA Board of Regents will make a final determination as to expulsion from the certification program.
For those already certified by ICMA, the subsequent discovery of cheating will be considered a violation of the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice and will result in revocation of the CMA certificate and expulsion from IMA.”
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3.7 Grading and Score Report
Candidates are given different “forms” of the exam, and each form must have a passing score that takes into consideration its relative difficulty. Therefore, the scores for each part are placed along a scale from 0 to 500, and candidates need a score of at least 360 to pass. The multiple-choice section is worth 75%, and the essays are worth 25% of the total exam score. You must score at least 50% on the multiple-choice section of the exam to be allowed to take the essay section. This requirement ensures that test takers do not proceed with the essay section if they do not have a chance of achieving a passing score for the entire exam. The score for the multiple-choice section will be added to the score of the essay section for a total weighted score of pass/fail reflected in a scaled score for the entire part.
If you are allowed to proceed after the multiple-choice section, it does not mean that you passed. You still must perform well enough on the essay section to achieve a total passing score.
You will not receive immediate pass/fail results on your CMA exam because the essays must be graded offline by an expert. The ICMA will mail you your scores approximately 6 weeks from the end of the month in which you took the exam. Candidates with failing grades will receive a Performance Feedback Report detailing the content area(s) in which the candidate needs improvement.
Let us know when you have passed your exam so we can celebrate with you and you can clam your free CPE gift. If you do not pass, contact your Personal Counselor so we can help you get back on track with your studies and advise you on a personalized revision plan.
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3.8 Maintaining Your CMA Designation
When you have completed all requirements, you will be issued a numbered CMA certificate. This certificate is the property of the ICMA and must be returned upon request. To maintain your certificate, you must pay the CMA Annual Fee, which covers active IMA membership and the CMA Maintenance Fee. You are also required to comply with the IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice and all applicable state laws. The final requirement is continuing professional education (CPE).
Beginning the calendar year after successful completion of the CMA exams, 30 hours of CPE must be completed, which is about 4 days per year. Qualifying topics include management accounting, corporate taxation, statistics, computer science, systems analysis, management skills, marketing, business law, and insurance. All CMAs are required to complete 2 hours of CPE on the subject of ethics as part of their 30-hour annual requirement.
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ГЛАВА 32 Дэвид Беккер остановился в коридоре у номера 301. Он знал, что где-то за этой витиеватой резной дверью находится кольцо. Вопрос национальной безопасности. За дверью послышалось движение, раздались голоса. Он постучал.