How to study for CMA USA? Best time management guide in 2024

How to study for CMA USA

CMA USA is a globally recognized certification for all Finance and Accounting professionals to maximize their growth.
If you are in commerce, you know the immense competition in this field. To reach the top in your field, you can add the coveted CMA title to your name. Not only do you get global exposure, better credentials, and higher designations, but you will also be the reason for the pride in your parents' eyes.
However, you must also know that becoming a CMA is no easy feat. You will need the right preparation strategy as well as mentoring to ace your exams in one go.
You may have your day-to-day responsibilities - like work, family, school, college, so finding time may be next to impossible. If you're a full-time working professional, you will need excellent time management skills and an organized routine to gain your certification.
How to prepare for CMA USA in 6 months?
The CMA USA exam preparation can be completed within 6-9 months. The IMA recommends at least 150-170 hours of study time for each part of the exam to clear it in one go.
To achieve this goal, the best idea would be to create a CMA study plan to clear the exam in one go. Here are a few ways to help you :

1. Setting up boundaries

If you have decided that you want to clear the CMA USA exam in one go, then you need to set up boundaries with your family and friends. Remember that for six months, you are allowed to keep CMA as a priority over all other obligations you may have.
The following was can help you plan for a schedule:
  1. Plan proper schedules and follow them strictly.
  2. Wake up an hour early and sleep an hour early to get your sleep schedule in control.
  3. You could also stop binging on shows or extended conversations on the phone. Instead, allocate time to relax for an hour by watching television or through text messages.
  4. You could also inform your family about your study hours so that they don't disturb you.
  5. If you have an upcoming exam, try to avoid social gatherings because they could take up a lot of your time.
  6. Create a study timetable for your CMA USA exams to cover all topics.
In these six months, your priority and commitment should be towards studying to get the desired results. Purposeful management of time is always better than painful results because of a lack of time management.

2. Allocate a place for studying:

Researchers have confirmed that your mind begins to associate a place with a particular task. The way the thought of food takes us to the kitchen, in the same way, it is essential to train your mind for a specific place to study.
It would be best if you had a proper environment to study so that you don't waste time warming yourself up before opening your books. Choose a quiet place to avoid disturbances and distractions.

3. How to study for CMA USA: CMA USA study plan

The CMA USA course curriculum is vast, and you need to know all your concepts to gain an added advantage over your peers. The following schedule could be followed to maximize your time.
  • 5 am. To 7.00 am- Read the theory part of the syllabus.
  • 7 am. to 7.30 am. - Breakfast
  • 7.30 am to 10.30 am - Continue with the theoretical parts of the syllabus.
  • 10.30 am to 11.00 am- Relaxation Time
  • 11.00 am to 1 pm - Solve practical MCQ questions
  • 1 pm to 2 pm- Lunch Time
  • 2 pm to 3 pm- Short nap
  • 3 pm to 5 pm - Solve practical MCQ questions
  • 5 pm to 5.30 pm - Take a break.
  • 5.30 pm to 8 pm - You could also end with a short revision of what has been learned so far. And prepare short notes to remember before exams.
The first thing you need to do is focus on completing all your subjects on time. Give enough time to every subject while studying it for the first time.
You could reflect on the following questions to understand this better :
  • Am I clear about the material in the CMA USA exam?
  • How much time do I have to study each week?
  • How long can I learn in one sitting?
Be realistic about what you can expect from yourself. This will help you create a plan and then stick to it. We recommend that candidates should study for at least 16 hours per week, which will prepare them to pass both parts in six to eight months.
CMA usa exam tips

4. Keep your study material handy:

It's not easy to study for your CMA exam. It's always advisable to keep it handy and read it whenever you can spare time - be it a lunch break, a 10-minute break at the office, or even during travel. 
Make sure that you have the complete material for your entire syllabus to make sure that you clear the exam in one go. 

5. Lifestyle changes 

Exercise and meditation can be a stress relievers to clear your mind during intense study sessions. A 10- minute workout or a brisk walk between studies will help you keep a clear mind for better concentration. 
Do not compromise your sleep while planning for your studies. Try to get at least a 6-hour of sleep to stay focused and alert. Also, you can keep a note of which part of the day you can focus well. 
Some can concentrate during the early hours of the day, and some can study in the late evenings and even at midnight. So plan your study time and sleep hours accordingly.

Best Institute for Best Guidance

In your CMA USA journey, apart from the timetable, you need to concentrate on choosing the right mentor which helps you come out of the panics or scared feeling of clearing CMA USA, you need to invest in a good mentor. By enrolling in North Star Academy, you get access to top mentors and the best study material for professional courses like CMA USA and other courses in Finance and Accounting.
NorthStar has been awarded as the "Best Emerging Educational Institute in Bangalore" by the Indo-Global Foundation in the year 2017 by successfully training more than 15,000 students who are now well settled in their careers.  
Whether from India or abroad, you can study under the God of Costing, M. Irfat, through online classes. We bring learning right to your doorstep. Our motto is to create a bright future for the upcoming generation through career and technical education, on-the-job training, etc. We want you to have purpose-driven jobs where all your dreams turn into successful futures. 
If you are determined to become a CMA USA then enroll now. 


1. How do I pass the CMA exam while working full-time?

You need to opt for a good coaching class like the NorthStar Academy to focus on the subjects and get proper coaching and direction for passing the CMA exams. 

2. Is it possible to do CMA while doing the job?

Nothing is impossible when you find a possibility. CMA Certification can help you enhance your Financial, Accounting, and Management skills to expand your career potential. Investing in good mentors, and creating a schedule will help you stand out from the rest.

3. Is it possible to clear CMA USA while having a busy schedule?

If your objective is to impact and enhance your career, studying and passing the exam will not be a big deal.

4. What are some helpful tips to clear CMA USA?

A proper mindset, the choice of study tools, good time management, and hard work are a few of the essential tips to clear the CMA in one go.

5. How many hours a day should I study for CMA?

You need to allocate not less than 300 hours for both the CMA exams, i.e., 150-170 hours for each part, to achieve the desired results.

6. Can I do CMA without work experience?

Yes, you can do CMA without experience, In order to get the final certification, you require two continuous years of full-time work experience in Accounting and Financial management. You will have 7 years to get experience from the date of passing the exam.