CMA FAQs

Find answers to common questions about the CMA program.

CMA (Certified Management Accountant) Certification Overview

  1. Visit imanet.org/cma-certification to apply. You will need to purchase the CMA entrance fee and IMA membership. The application process takes about 10 minutes.
  2. Register for the exam. You can register for Part 1 and Part 2 in any order or register for both at the same time.
  3. Prepare to complete certification requirements including submitting your education transcript and work experience. This can be done before or after passing the exam but is required as a final step to become certified.

ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) is the certification affiliate of IMA. ICMA is responsible for developing, administering, and grading the CMA exam; establishing the policies and procedures for the CMA program; and for ensuring the program’s overall integrity. The ICMA Board of Regents is responsible for setting policies, and the ICMA staff is responsible for operations.

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. IMA offers its members exclusive access to the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program. We are committed to helping you – and our network of more than 100,000+ members – to expand your professional skills, better manage your organization, and enhance your career.

  • Active membership in IMA (Institute of Management Accountants)
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university or a related professional certification
  • Complete two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management. This requirement may be completed prior to or within seven years of passing the examination.
  • Passing Parts 1 and 2 of the CMA exam.

For further details, please refer to the CMA Handbook.

The CMA exams are computer-based and administered at hundreds of Prometric Test Centers worldwide. With three testing windows each year, you can sit for an exam at a time and place convenient for you.

If you are enrolled in the CMA program and are ready to sit for the exam, here are the steps:

  1. Pick your testing window. Testing windows are offered in January/February, May/June, and September/October.
  2. Register for the exam at www.imaonlinestore.com.
  3. Receive your authorization number(s) along with further instructions.
  4. Schedule your exam appointment(s) with Prometric, our testing partner, at www.prometric.com/ICMA.

The pass rate on the CMA differs by geographic region, but averages about 50% on both parts 1 and 2.

Taking the CMA Exam

Candidates take the CMA exam in person at a Prometric Test Center. In accordance with local customs, Prometric Test Centers are available throughout the U.S. and internationally. To locate a test center, please visit www.prometric.com/ICMA.

Remote testing is currently not available for the CMA exam.

Exams are offered according to the following schedule:

  • January and February
  • May and June
  • September and October

To schedule exam appointments, visit www.prometric.com/ICMA or call (800) 479-6370. To ensure your first choice of date, time, and location, it is best to schedule your appointment at least four weeks in advance. All exam appointments must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance of the exam date. Once you are registered, you must take the exam part during your assigned testing session. If, for any reason, you are unable to schedule an exam appointment during the assigned testing window, you will need to pay another registration fee. Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.

No, you can take parts 1 and 2 in any order. You have the option of taking both together on the same day, although many members choose to separate their testing dates.

Performance Reports are sent via e-mail from Prometric to all candidates who take an exam part. The performance reports are emailed approximately 14 days after exam results are posted to the candidate’s profile.
Candidates who do not pass the exam will receive a report that indicates their performance on each of the key topic areas in the multiple-choice section as well as their overall performance on the essay section of the exam.

All CMA candidates have three years to pass both parts of the exam. The time period will begin with the date of your entry into the CMA program.

You will lose any previous passed scores and will need to register for the exam again.

On the IMA website, click “My Profile” and then “My Certifications.” There, you will find your exam status and transcript, information on your work experience and education, and more.

The minimum passing score is 360 for both parts of the exam. The exam score range is 0-500.

An exam part may be taken only once in a testing window. You can sit for as many testing windows as you need in your three-year period. All retakes require a new exam registration (not CMA entrance), along with payment of appropriate fees: $460 for professionals, $345 for Students/Academic members.

Our U.S.-based certification is also available in Mandarin Chinese. The test can be taken in China in paper/pencil format (Chinese) or in computerized format (English). IMA offers an entire suite of products for a true Chinese learning experience, including Mandarin versions of exam preparation courses, member support from native-speaking staff, thought leadership, Strategic Finance magazine, and anything else offered on IMA’s main website.

To fulfill your educational requirement, please submit original transcripts (or notarized copies) electronically CMAEducationDocuments@imanet.org. Please email all documents in PDF format and make sure to include your IMA membership number. If you have any questions regarding your educational documents, please email CMAEducationDocuments@imanet.org.

To validate your work credential, you will need to download the CMA Experience Requirement Verification Form.

The completed form can be returned via email to ccurtin@imanet.org or via post to:

ICMA
10 Paragon Drive, Suite 1
Montvale, NJ 07645-1759

For further details, please refer to the Education Qualification Section of the CMA Handbook 

CMA Fees and Schedules

For Professional Members:

  • CMA Entrance Fee (nonrefundable) - $300*
  • Exam Fee - $495 per part.

For Student/Academic Members:

  • CMA Entrance Fee (nonrefundable) - $225*
  • Exam Fee - $370 per part.

*IMA membership is additional and required.


  • If you reschedule or cancel an appointment within 30 days of your appointment date, you will be required to pay a rescheduling fee to Prometric.
  • The exam appointment must be cancelled 72 hours (3 days) before the exam date, based on the policy from Prometric.
  • Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.
  • To cancel or reschedule an exam appointment, call Prometric at (800) 479-6370 or go to www.prometric.com/ICMA

The CMA Entrance Fee is not refundable.

If you have not scheduled an appointment with Prometric, the examination fee is refundable within 30 days from the time you purchased the exam. A $25 processing fee will be deducted from the refund. We do not offer postponements of exam parts. You must sit in the testing window for which you purchased a registration.

Please refer to the CMA Handbook for details.

To schedule an exam by phone, find the phone number for your region at www.prometric.com/ICMA. You will need:

  • Your CMA Authorization Letter, which provides your authorization number(s).
  • The first four letters of your last name and a valid email address.

ICMA offers special rates for college students.

The CMA Scholarship opportunity can be offered to up to 10 students per school per year who are interested in pursuing CMA certification. This includes both undergraduate and graduate students in accredited accounting or business programs. Multiple faculty members can submit nominations, but the limit is 10 per school, per academic year.

Learn more here.

Many employers reimburse for the cost of the CMA program and IMA membership! Download our customizable letter that you can send to your supervisor explaining the value of the CMA.