How to Clear CMA Foundation
The CMA Foundation is the first level out of the three that one needs to pass to begin their journey of becoming a Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) in India. While the CMA Foundation is a beginner-level course, it should not be underestimated and for good reason.
While the content is far less in the CMA Foundation compared to CMA Intermediate (or CMA Final), the intensity isn’t much less. You are still expected to put in the hard work and efforts every single day, or your chances of clearing the examination decrease exponentially.
Do you aspire to be a Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) in India someday? If so, you need to clear all three levels – CMA Foundation, CMA Intermediate, and CMA Final. If you can clear all 3 levels on the first attempt, you are almost assured extremely lucrative packages from the best of companies in India.
So, if you are preparing for the CMA Foundation course, read this article further to know how you can clear the CMA Foundation in the first attempt. For a more general guide, check out How to Clear the CMA Exam in First Attempt.
Be Serious from the Beginning
Many students think of the CMA Foundation as a child’s play as it’s only the first level out of the three. As a result, they do not start studying for the examinations until much later; this is a fatal error and being this careless can cost you 1 (or more) attempts in the CMA Foundation course.
Like CMA Intermediate and CMA Final, CMA Foundation has a combination of both theory and practical subjects. In CMA Foundation, the theory subjects include:
- Paper 3: Fundamentals of Laws and Ethics, and
- Paper 1: Fundamentals of Economics and Management
At the same time, the practical subjects are:
- Paper 2: Fundamentals of Accounting, and
- Paper 4: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics
Now, if you are serious about clearing the CMA Foundation in the first attempt, you must understand that neither of the 4 subjects can be studied and completed within a short period of time.
Paper 1 and Paper 3 are theory-based subjects, so you need to read and re-read them at least a couple of times or more to remember it thoroughly. On the other hand, Paper 2 and Paper 4 are practical-based subjects which need a lot of practice so that you can solve the numerical questions reasonably quick.
However, for both theory as well as practical subjects in the CMA Foundation, one requisite element that does not change is PRACTICE. And, to practice, you need time. Hence, start studying today if you want to clear the CMA Foundation in the first attempt.
Develop the Right Mindset
CMA Foundation students are typically writing or preparing for such examinations for the first time in their lives. Hence, they might have a mindset that courses like the CMA, CA, and CS are extremely difficult and cannot be completed in the first attempt itself.
You too may have heard a lot from your friends and family members about how someone they knew (or know) became a Chartered Accountant, or Cost and Management Accountant, or Company Secretary after 5-6 attempts or 7-9 attempts.
Naturally, hearing such news might make you feel that there’s NO WAY you will be able to crack the CMA Foundation in the first attempt. But this is an ABSOLUTELY FALSE statement.
CMA Foundation is a difficult examination, no doubt. However, every year there are many students who manage to clear it in the first attempt.
And they are JUST LIKE YOU. They are not special in any manner.
It’s just that they have the confidence that they WILL clear the examinations in the first attempt itself, so you MUST build that mindset, too.
Believe in yourself that you CAN, and you WILL clear CMA Foundation in the first attempt, and trust us, you will.
Develop a Plan
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin, the father of time management.
This saying couldn’t be any truer for CMA Foundation students.
If you want to clear the CMA Foundation in the first attempt, then you NEED a plan. If you don’t have one, you will end up wasting precious moments and that will cost you time, money, and effort. Hence, start by creating a timetable; decide the amount of time (in a number of days and number of hours per day) that you want to dedicate to each paper/subject.
For example, say you have 140 days before your examinations from the day you are reading this article. Perform the following calculations:
- Number of days = 140
- Number of subjects = 4
- Time (in days) per subject = 140/4 = 35 days approximately.
- Rank your subjects from 1 – 4 with 1 being the easiest and 4 being the toughest.
- Decide how much time you want to give to the easiest and toughest subject and study accordingly.
For example, if I think Paper 1 (Fundamentals of Economics and Management) is my easiest subject, I will give it the least number of days. Similarly, if I feel that Paper 4 (Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics) is my toughest subject, I will assign the highest number of days to the same.
Hence, think about your strengths and weaknesses, and plan accordingly.
When students start studying for the CMA Foundation, they might consider going all-in. In such cases, they end up spending their whole time studying and, in this process, they end up neglecting their health and fitness.
The result is that they end up gaining weight and becoming unhealthy because of which their performance in the examinations suffers, they cannot focus or concentrate for a long time and end up becoming lazy. Therefore, if you are serious about clearing the CMA Foundation in the first attempt, ensure that you are taking care of your body because your body and health will directly impact or influence your mind.
To start with, just take 15-30 minutes out every day and go for a walk. You will not only feel refreshed but at the same time, you won’t feel as lazy.
Key Points to Clear CMA foundation
The CMA Foundation might be the first level of the CMA course, but in no way does that mean you underestimate it. You must put in sincere efforts and dedication if you want to clear the CMA Foundation in the first attempt.
Here are some points you must keep in mind:
- Prepare a plan and know how much time to allocate for each subject/paper every day and every week.
- Stick to your timetable. Print your timetable and stick it at a place where you can see it easily. If you need help with preparing a timetable, check out how you can prepare a CMA Study Plan.
- Be confident. Know that if CMA Foundation is hard for you, it is hard for everyone else, too.
- Engage in some physical exercise every day, even if it’s just walking for 15 – 30 minutes outdoors.
We wish you all the best for your CMA Foundation preparation!
You can watch a few lectures on CMA Foundation and see if you would want to consider subscribing to our video series for a better shot at clearing the CMA examination.