The journey to becoming CMA certified is long and can be termed as arduous and even painful for many of the students pursuing the course. It is certainly one of the most difficult educational courses in the world and requires crafting a thorough CMA test prep strategy, diligent study and perseverance to clear all the examinations in the course.
However, once you get certified, you can reap the benefits of being a CMA for a lifetime and that certainly is incentive enough for hundreds of students to undergo this certification process every year.
The key to being successful in the examinations is careful planning and devotion of a lot of time in studying. The problem arises where the student is a working professional who is planning to get certified in order to get a boost in his/her career. Devotion of adequate time to studies becomes extremely difficult for them and the path to becoming a CMA becomes even more challenging. Too help you out, here is a CMA test prep strategy which the busy professionals can use to clear the CMA course.
A 4 Phase Study Plan For CMA Test Prep
Phase 1: Familiarize
For students who are new to the CMA course, especially the ones who are not from the accounting background or are not English speakers, the syllabus and study materials of CMA will be uncharted territory which they need to explore before they start to climb the hill.
They should start by browse through the books and start reading them in a light manner so that they become familiar with the topics that are contained in the different chapters of the books. The idea is to become comfortable with be syllabus.
While reading the books casually, they will find a lot of concepts which are known and many which are completely unknown to them. Even if they don’t understand most of the concepts, it is fine as long as they remember that these are the topics that they need to study later.
They can devote a couple of hours per day for around 1-2 weeks to complete this phase.
Phase 2: Prepare
This is the phase in which you will start starting for the course seriously. Ideally, you should start this phase by testing where you stand currently in terms of preparation. The reading that you did in the familiarize phase has by now given you some idea about the course contents, and there will be some concepts that you will be remembering too. Solve a few multiple choice question papers of each of the subjects and score yourself honestly. Your scores will give you an idea as to where you stand currently.
After this revise the study materials thoroughly, paying special attention to the areas where you have not scored well. Your efforts should be build your understanding in your weak areas and further strengthen your profession see in the areas where you are scored well.
Devote around two and a half hours per day to the CMA exam prep and complete this phase within 3 weeks.
Phase 3: Review
One thing that you should remember is that you should keep studying continuously and not leave too much of gap between the successive phases. The human brain loses information rapidly if regular revisions and practices are not done. So if you leave a lot of gap between successive phases of preparation, then you may find that you have forgotten most of the things that you had studied.
To avoid such a thing happening, keep revising as many times as possible. In this phase your time devotion should go up to at least 2.5 to 3 hours everyday. Since by now you know the study material quite well, you can also take advantage of some online CMA preparatory lectures delivered by reputed training institute .
With every successive revision your level of preparedness will go up by leaps and bounds and your CMA exam prep will become stronger.
Phase 4: Before the exams
Around 15 to 20 days before the exams, start putting in serious efforts in solving the multiple choice type questions in every under exam conditions. After every exam that you take, revise your weak areas once again and then take another test with a different set of questions.
This is the final phase of your CMA test prep, so you will some of have to find out at least 5 to 6 hours per day for your studies. If possible you can take study leave from your employer one week before the examinations, so that you can put in even more study hours and can fully concentrate on your studies only.
The repeated process of revising, taking exams, revising again will help you to keep the concepts fresh in your mind and avoid the last moment tension of not being able to finish the syllabus properly and on time.
I have followed this CMA test prep schedule and got good results in the CMA examinations. I know it is a lot of hard work, but then the CMA exam isn’t easy also. Put in this effort for a few months and you will be happy when u pass the exams with flying colors.