This is intended to brief the candidate about the examination format, length, difficulty level, and the type of questions to expect on the day of the examination.
The examination is completely computer-based and is conducted at several Prometric centres around the world. Candidates may choose to take the examination during any of the following six months: January and February; May and June; September and October.
The examination consists of two parts: Part 1 (Financial Planning, Performance, and Control); and Part 2 (Financial Decision Making). Each part is 3 hours long and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, which represents 75% of the total score.
The second section consists of essay-writing, which makes up for the remaining 25% of the total score. A candidate has to write two essays; 30 minutes will be allotted for each essay. The total duration of the examination is 4 hours.
Candidates have to pass at least 50% of the first section in order to proceed to the essay-writing section. In case the candidate has finished the MCQs section early, the remaining time can be carried forward and used for the essay-writing section.
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The CMA (US) examination is similar to what one may encounter in the BEC section of the CPA examination, and to a lesser extent, the FAR and AUD.
The MCQs in this examination can be lengthy and complex, so it cannot be termed as “easy” in comparison to the CPA examination. However, the CMA (US) consists of only two parts compared to four parts in the CPA.