The Effects of English on the CMA Exam Pass Rates

The CMA exam tends to have wordy and complex questions that could be a challenge for those with slightly weaker English language comprehension skills. Also, the CMA exam comprises not only multiple-choice questions but also an essay section that human examiners grade. This essay section weighs heavily on your ability to read and write English. If you are not a native English speaker, this is one part of the exam you may want to give extra attention to when studying.

We find more proof of the importance of English in China where candidates can choose to take the CMA exam in English or in Chinese, as mentioned above. The 7% point difference in the pass rates for these 2 exam versions is statistically significant. In short, when candidates can take the exam in their own language, they perform better. However, this is not available globally yet, as the CMA is primarily a U.S. distinction.

In light of this, international candidates should, therefore, practice English writing as part of their exam preparations.


Part 2 CMA Exam Pass Rates

The data reveals that the pass rate of Part 2 during this time period was considerably higher and even more significant in the non-English speaking regions.

The year-on-year improvement was also encouraging, with the Middle Eastern region reaching an all-time high of 45%.

Reasons for the discrepancy between Part 1 and Part 2 pass rates may include the fact that many candidates sit for Part 1 first and, as we can see, many candidates fail. Therefore, Part 1 seems to weed out the less-prepared candidates. The candidates who go on to take Part 2 were well-prepared for Part 1. And, now that they are more familiar with the exam, they are even more prepared for Part 2. You can take the exam parts in any order, but starting with Part 1 is popular, and that may be partly why its pass rates are lower.

Another potential reason for Part 2’s pass rate success is the fact that Part 2 tests candidates on a narrower range of subjects and, consequently, requires a bit less preparation than Part 1. Part 1 covers a broad scope of topics and can, therefore, be more difficult for some.

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