Indications of CMA Exam Difficulty: Candidate Feedback

While this last source of measurement for CMA exam difficulty is somewhat subjective, it is still a useful way to explore this topic.

To inform future CMA candidates about how hard the CMA exam is, I’ve asked for feedback from a few readers who have taken both the CPA and the CMA exams.

Most of them agreed that the CPA exam covers a much wider scope of topics. While this does increase the CPA Exam’s difficulty level, it does not move it out of the range of the CMA exam difficulty. This quote from one of my readers represents common themes of the feedback I received:

“How hard is the CMA exam compared to the CPA Exam? Well, I thought the material was as challenging, but because there are only 2 parts rather than 4, there is less study time overall. I put in as many hours for each section of the CMA as I did for the CPA. I hope it pays off…

“There is some overlap between the 2 exams. Part 1 of the CMA exam has material that is covered in BEC, and Part 2 has stuff from FAR. That’s an oversimplification because really there are things from all sections of the CPA Exam scattered throughout the CMA exam. Of course, there are also subject areas tested on the CMA exam that are not tested on the CPA Exam.

“If you can stomach the additional studying for a few more months (and if you have the money!) I definitely recommend doing them back to back while all the CPA info is still fresh.”

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