How Hard Is the CMA USA Exam : US CMA Exam Difficulty ?


NorthStar Academy or NSA is a prominent institution that provides quality education for professional courses like US CMA, ACCA, CPA, etc.
NSA has supported more than 15000 students to reach the zenith of their chosen Accounting and Finance careers. Students here are well-trained and guided by industry experts with full enthusiasm and motivation.
So, you might be wondering what the US CMA Exam is. Why is this CMA USA exam gaining so much popularity? Why do most of the students choose the CMA USA profession? 
The US CMA (Certified Management Accountant) is a great level certification course for students in management accounting bestowed by the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), USA.
 This professional is recognized worldwide and is an advanced-level certification for financial and management accounting aspirants.

Difficulty level: How Hard Is the CMA USA Exam?

So many CMA USA aspirants are curious to know how hard the US CMA Exam is. As the CMA pass rate indicates the difficulty level of the exam. The majority of the CMA USA candidates are even unable to get passing scores. Now you might be thinking, what exactly makes the CMA exam so hard?
There can be multiple reasons for the difficulty level of the exam. But the level of difficulty isnt the only matter; the students lack proper guidance. At NSA, students get perfect guidance and are provided with the latest study material and plenty of preparation with mock tests and other assessments. The CMA USA candidates here are guided for a solid study schedule, a level of confidence with mocks, and proper time management.
The US CMA Exam is considered as hardest as it tests the intellectual limits of an individual.
The average passing rate for both sections is 45%, which implies less than half of the candidates taking the test rate will pass. Qualifying for any exam requires preparation and so this.
How Hard Is the CMA USA Exam


US CMA Exam Difficulty: The Top 3 Reasons

1. Curriculum

The scope of material covered in this exam is much narrower as compared to other financial and accounting courses like CPA and CFA.
A US CMA Exam consists of two parts: 
  •  Part 1 deals with financial accounting, including budgeting, forecasting, performance management, cost control, and internal controls. 
  •  Part 2 deals with financial statement analysis, corporate finance, decision analysis, risk management, investment decisions, and professional ethics.

2. Pass Rates

As mentioned above the passing rate of this exam is less than half, and few lucky candidates get passing scores. You can attend the CMA exam after the 12th and must carry relevant work experience of two years within 7 years, from the date of passing the CMA USA exam.
No other accounting background knowledge may be contributing to the lower passing rates. A candidate having the same background has more chances of connecting with the subject. For students who lack CMA Basics no worries, take up the Free Basic classes from NorthStar to start your CMA USA journey.
US CMA Exam Difficulty

3. Exam Composition

The exam comprises just 2 Parts that sometimes students feel might be hard enough to pass. And CPA consists of 4 parts which indicate courses are divided equally with less burden.
This creates a kind of fear among the students. To overcome this, proper guidance, study schedule, and time management is all required in a student to score a passing rate. 

US CMA Exam Prerequisites

The CMA certification just requires a bachelors degree to get the final certification and doesnt require any specific degree for certification. Like other courses which require a specific degree to apply for a course, any bachelors degree will qualify you to take the CMA USA exam.

CMA USA Exam Pattern and Structure

The US CMA Exam comprises two different parts. As mentioned earlier, the passing rate for Part 1 is only 40% and 50% for Part 2. 100 multiple-choice questions and two essay questions are included in each part of the CMA exam.
For the MCQ section, candidates will have 3 hours and for the essay section, they will have 1 hour. CMA Exams are administered at Prometric centres around the world and are computer-based.

What Are The Skills To Test A CMA USA Candidate?

As the CMA course is globally recognized, it requires intellectual skills to test whether a candidate is eligible for this particular profession. The IMA is responsible for testing the skills of the students. IMA is a governing body responsible for scoring the exams. It tests the following skills:
  • Knowledge
It tests a candidates ability to identify and define the study materials to learn the concepts easily.
  • Comprehension
It tests a candidates comprehensive skills, a persons capability to grab and understand the concept.
  • Application
It tests a candidates ability to apply practical skills with learned concepts.
  • Analysis
It tests a candidates ability to identify the relationships between casual relationships.
  • Synthesis
It tests a candidates ability to provide new operations and procedures from the analysis.
  • Evaluation
It tests a candidates ability to understand the material, justify its accuracy and come to good conclusions. Overall ability to demonstrate every cognitive skill, specifically the essay portion that is hard to pass.

CMA USA vs CPA level of difficulty: is CMA USA tough

Candidates often get confused when it comes to a choice between US CMA or CPA. CMA USA and CPA have a few resemblances, but varied differences between CPA and CMA USA exams.
CPA consists of 4 parts, whereas US CMA comprises 2 parts. CPA enables the students to break down their study material into several parts and study accordingly. This allows them to maintain their focus on their studies without overwhelming themselves with a ton of information.
The CPA course study material is divided to help the students understand and manage their time for each portion of the subject, making it easier than the CMA course. And this declines the pass rates for CMA.
How to Pass the CMA USA EXAM in an Easy Way ?
The US CMA course material is divided into 2 parts. Some students find it difficult to grasp the concepts with ease, but here are ways to cope with every issue.
A candidate initially needs to understand the structure of MCQs, which are a part of the US CMA exam, and understand what all the questions expect from the candidate. Then comes the essay section which needs full concentration and proper practice. The more you get familiar with the concepts and all the 12 sections of CMA USA, the chance of your passing increases.
Joining an institute like NorthStar Academy enhances your CMA USA study schedule and enables you to get confidence over all the 12 core areas of CMA USA and helps you to pass at ease.
As everything changes or modifies with the changing environment, US CMA also constantly introduces some changes. Developed by IMA( Institute of Management Accounts) in 1972, CMA USA is constantly modifying itself by introducing new exam questions and evaluating the effectiveness, so candidates are evaluated fairly.
A candidate must ensure a solid study schedule, a quality CMA USA review course, and self-confidence.

1. How difficult is it to pass the CMA USA exam?
US CMA exam requires dedicated students to pass as it contains 2 parts of study material which requires full concentration and deviation of time to understand the concepts clearly.
2. Can an average student do a CMA USA?
Students who have completed 12th in any discipline can join the US CMA course. And if he/she is focused on their goal to become a Certified Management Accountant can achieve their objective.
3. How many questions can you get wrong in the US CMA exam?
To Clear the CMA USA Exam, a candidate must score at least 360 out of 500. All marks on the US CMA Exam portions are reflected as scaled scores to maintain consistency and fairness among competitors.
If a candidate fails the US CMA Exam, Prometric will email a performance report defining the candidates performance in each key topic area.
4. Why do people fail the US CMA?
Students score fewer marks due to the difficulty level of the US CMA material. They fail to pass as they lack proper guidance, confidence, and time management.
5. Is the US CMA worth it?
US CMA is really worth studying as it is a globally recognized course. A US CMA is highly respected and valued everywhere. With the economys advancement, the demand for CMAs is rising rapidly.


Finally, we would convey that if you are really passionate about pursuing CMA USA, It might become quite difficult to pass without proper guidance. If you pursue the CMA USA course with proper guidance and an organised manner, You can easily achieve this with a good coaching centre like NorthStar Academy. NorthStar Academy is the best place to nurture your career with great Finance courses and a bucket full of opportunities. A place where every student is guided and supported towards every step of their ladder to success.
NSA has a great record for training thousands of students who have achieved success at an early stage and encouraging every student with their materials to motivate them at every major and minor step to reach the zenith. We always ensure success for students joining us. Contact us at +918147470707 to know more or fill in the form to get a call back as per your schedule and availability. Click on the form to book the seat now >> CMA USA query form.
Make an Enquiry