CMA Frequently Asked Questions

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a professional certification credential in the management accounting and financial management fields. The certification signifies that the person possesses knowledge in the areas of financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. 

CMA-certified professionals work inside organizations of all sizes, industries, and types, including manufacturing and services, public and private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, government entities, and multinational corporations.

The CMA is a U.S. based, globally recognized certification offered by the Institute of Management Accountants.

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. IMA offers its members exclusive access to the CMA program. We are committed to helping you – and our network of more than 100,000+ members – to expand your professional skills, better manage your organization, and enhance your career.

  1. Visit imanet.org/cma-certification to apply. You will need to purchase the CMA entrance fee and IMA membership. The application process takes about 10 minutes.

  2. Register for the exam. You can register for Part 1 and Part 2 in any order or register for both at the same time.

  3. Prepare to complete certification requirements including submitting your education transcript and work experience. This can be done before or after passing the exam, but is required as a final step to become certified.
  • Active membership in IMA (Institute of Management Accountants)
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university or a related professional certification
  • Two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management, which can be completed after passing the exam, but are required as a final step to certification
  • Passing Parts 1 and 2 of the CMA exam.

The CMA exams are computer-based and administered at hundreds of Prometric testing facilities worldwide. With three testing windows each year, you can sit for an exam at a time and place convenient for you.


If you are enrolled in the CMA program and are ready to sit for the exam, here are the steps:


  1. Pick your testing window. Testing windows are offered in January/February, May/June, and September/October.
  2. Register for the exam at www.imaonlinestore.com
  3. Receive your authorization number(s) along with further instructions.
  4. Schedule your exam appointment(s) with Prometric, our testing partner, at www.prometric.com/ICMA

The pass rate on the CMA differs thru geographic regions, but global averages are 40% on part 1 and 50% on part 2.

If you reschedule or cancel an appointment within 30 days of your appointment date you will be required to pay a rescheduling fee to Prometric.

The exam appointment must be cancelled 72 hours (3 days) before the exam date, based on the policy from Prometric.

Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.

To cancel or reschedule an exam appointment, call Prometric at (800) 479-6370 or go to www.prometric.com/ICMA.

Exam extensions are not granted. You must take the exam in the test window that you are registered for.

To schedule an exam by phone, find the phone number for your region at www.prometric.com/ICMA. You will need:

  • Your Registration Acknowledgment Form, which provides your authorization number(s).
  • The first four letters of your last name and a valid email address.

Candidates for CMA certification must complete all required examination parts.


  • CMA Part 1: Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control (4 hours – 100 multiple choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions)

  • CMA Part 2: Financial Decision Making  (4 hours – 100 multiple-choice questions and two 30-minute essay questions)

Exams are administered through the worldwide network of Prometric Testing Centers and are available in accordance with local customs. There are many locations throughout the U.S. and internationally.


To locate a test center, please visit www.prometric.com/ICMA.

Exams are offered according to the following schedule:


  • January and February
  • May and June
  • September and October

To schedule exam appointments, visit www.prometric.com/ICMA. To ensure your first choice of date, time, and location, it is best to schedule your appointment at least four weeks in advance. All exam appointments must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance of the exam date. Once you are registered, you must take the exam part during your assigned testing session. If for any reason you are unable to schedule an exam appointment during the assigned testing window, you will need to pay another registration fee. Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.

No, you can take parts 1 and 2 in any order. You have the option of taking both together on the same day, although many members choose to separate their testing dates.

Performance Reports are sent via e-mail from Prometric to all candidates who take an exam part. The performance reports are emailed approximately 14 days after exam results are posted to the candidate’s profile. 

Candidates who do not pass the exam will receive a report that indicates their performance on each of the key topic areas in the multiple-choice section as well as their overall performance on the essay section of the exam.

All CMA candidates have three years to pass both parts of the exam. The time period will begin with the date of your entry into the CMA program. 

You will lose any previous passed scores and will need to register for the exam again.

On the IMA website, click “My Profile” and then “My Certifications.” There you will find your exam status and transcript, information on your work experience and education, and more.

The minimum passing score is 360 for both parts of the exam. The exam score range is 0-500.

An exam part may be taken only once in a testing window. You can sit for as many testing windows as you need in your three-year period. All retakes require a new exam registration fee (not CMA entrance fee), along with payment of appropriate fees: $415 for professionals.

Our U.S.-based credential is also available in Mandarin Chinese. The test can be taken in China in paper/pencil format (Chinese) or in computerized format (English). IMA offers an entire suite of products for a true Chinese learning experience, including Mandarin versions of exam preparation courses, member support from native-speaking staff, thought leadership, Strategic Finance magazine, and anything else offered on www.imanet.org

CMA Entrance Fee (non-refundable) - $250*

Exam Fee - $415 per part.


*IMA membership is additional and also required.

Many employers reimburse for the cost of the CMA program and IMA membership! Download our customizable letter that you can send to your supervisor explaining the value of the CMA.