Top US CMA Exam tips – the preparation strategy [2023 Update] | Uplift Professionals

When it is imminent that you are eligible to pursue the US CMA course and arrived at the decision to go for it, you will tend to initiate the process. Undoubtedly, the most important part is the study/preparation in a guided manner having a proper schedule. Eventually, you will be adapted to the syllabus and format of the US CMA exam. But the ultimate aim is to clear the exam in shorter duration and obviously at first attempt.

US CMA exam strategy- Uplift Pro- Best US CMA course training in India

The US CMA exam is little bit different from other academic exams, mere studious studies may not suffice to fetch a good score. This professional course online exam rely on MCQs and essay type questions in essence.

Having some vital tips prior to US CMA exam, will be of immense help not only to increase the scoring potential but also to avoid common mistakes. Apart from the adoption of a strategic study schedule, let’s discuss such tips for better performance in US CMA exam.

Tips for US CMA exam

1. The MCQ Structure and Pattern

The impediment one faces in the US CMA exam is in the MCQ part. Hence, one should know how to tackle this section effectively. For this, you should know the structural diversity lies there. The key elements are given below.

a.  Classification of Questions

This can be of two types: Important information and Distracting information. While the former demands your inherent knowledge required to answer the questions, the later part is to divert the candidate. For a straight-forward question, you can go direct but in case of a so-called “tricky question” cautious reading is very much needed avoiding overthinking.

b.  Selection of Correct Answer

Some of the questions might have options that seems to be correct whereas only one among these will be the best answer. So, prioritization is the key for this type of questions.

c.  Selection of Incorrect Answer

Some incorrect answer options may appear as correct at first glimpse or through some primary calculating errors. These incorrect choices are provided to divert you from the accurate answer choice. Identifying such question types will give you the edge over others.

d. Centre of Attention on the Question

This involve reading the main body of the question and extracting the actual asking part by filtering the misleading information. Try to identify the exceptions in the question. As for example, look for such words like “ not”, “except”, “false”, “least” etc. which might appear in bold in some cases.

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2. The Structure of MCQ Answers

This part demand predictive guess on the selection of the correct answer as listed below.

a. Prior Prediction

You can predict an answer before going through the options. Once an answer comes to your mind, try to find whether it is present or not in the given options. If it is present, scan the others whether something better than this present there or not.

b. Reading the Options

Here you have to read all the answers carefully to identify the best fit one to the asking pattern of the question. Look for qualifying words like “always” or “never” which sometimes make an otherwise good answer incorrect.

c. Attempting Every Questions

Since, US CMA exam has no negative markings for a wrong answer, you should attempt each and every question if you don’t know the answer at all. Here again, you have to apply the predictive guess. You can make blocks on the question set by marking the the areas where you know the correct answers with confidence. Keep the remaining block for review and answer later after clearing the sure shot block. This can further be achieved by eliminating the wrong answers first, then narrowing down the options to the best one from the remaining options following your gut instinct. By this way, you can select the correct answer that makes the most sense.

3. Tips for the Essay Questions

Apart from the MCQs, each part of US CMA exam contain two essay questions. The essays depict a scenario on which several questions are asked which has to be answered through written version which will be graded by subjective evaluation. The following tips can be applied to tackle the essay part of the CMA US exam.

a. Scudding the Essay Scenario

Gliding through the essay scenario before reading the questions help to determine the actual focus by eliminating the distractors.

b.  Essentials for the Answers

This involve pin pointing the attention towards the requirement of the question. This assist to determine the important information integrally attached to the scenario. This is important to ensure full credit, you have to answer all the components of the question.

c.  Priority Setting

It is always advisable to prioritize the essay questions i.e. attempting the easier one first than the rest. This act as a confidence building measure to tackle the essay questions. Also try to avoid presenting off-topic write-ups while attempting essay questions.

d. Elaboration:

Showing your work in a stepwise and arranged manner is advantageous. It means, if your final calculation appears wrong, but your steps and formulas are correct, you can get partial credit for the particular question. Multiple mistakes are considered only once. Finally, make a quick proofreading in last few minutes to catch and amend some unseen errors to rectify them.


To sum up, it can be stated that, for better performance in US CMA exam candidates must consider following key points:-
a) The MCQ Structure and Pattern
b) The Structure of MCQ Answers
c) Tips for the Essay Questions

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Essay question tips for the US CMA exam | Uplift Professionals

proven must know essay question tips for the US CMA exam
US CMA exam tips

Each part of the US CMA exam has two essay scenarios. The US CMA essays describe a scenario and ask several questions that require a written response, a calculation, or both. US CMA exam essays are not graded by a computer. Your CMA exam essay will be graded by a subject matter expert, and partial credit may be given, so be sure to show your work!

For more information on how the CMA questions will look on the CMA exam, check out this comprehensive guide.

While the US CMA essays can seem daunting, they can be conquered with a good study plan and by employing these CMA essay tips:

1. Skim the essay scenario before you read the questions

By skimming the scenario, you’ll have context to help you understand the questions. Then you can read the questions to determine which areas of the scenario need your focus (this will help you avoid extraneous information).

2. Read the question to determine the requirements for the answer

Focusing on the requirements of the question will let you identify the important information in the scenario. You will only get full credit if you answer all of the components of the question, so checking off requirements as you work through the essay can help ensure you don’t miss anything.

3. Answer the easiest questions first

Within any essay scenario, some questions will be easier than others. Getting a few easy questions solved before you tackle a tougher question can help you build your confidence and get your essay started. You can pick up a lot of points quickly, so if you have to spend a lot of time on the other questions in the scenario, you won’t lose the opportunity to earn the easy points if you begin running out of time later.

4. Make sure your solution answers the question being asked

It is easy to get caught up in writing an explanation, and this can cause your essay to go off topic. Be sure to rein in any off-topic explanations and focus on answering the question that is being asked. Off-topic information won’t earn you any credit.

5. Show as much of your work as possible in your essay solution

You can receive partial credit for any part of your US CMA exam essay, so including all of your work allows graders to follow your analysis and assign all of the points you deserve. Even if your final answer is wrong, you could receive the majority of the credit for it if the bulk of your work is correct.

For example, if your final answer is wrong because of a calculation error, but you showed your work and the grader was able to determine you used the correct formula and chose the correct numbers, you can get partial credit.

NOTE: Graders will not penalize you for a mistake multiple times, so even if the mistake you made appears throughout your response, you’ll only be marked off for it once.

6. Organize your reasoning so the graders can understand it easily

Writing in an organized manner will ensure the graders can follow along with your process and thoughts. If a grader has to reread a section multiple times to understand what you’re trying to explain, that will probably cost you some points.

Remember, the reason there are essay questions is to ensure candidates can effectively communicate the reason behind the numbers and make recommendations based on their calculations to management. Your communication skills are just as important as your ability to calculate the answer.

NOTE: This really boils down to writing short sentences, staying on topic, and organizing your essay in a logical manner.

7. Go above and beyond the question requirements when time allows

Adding additional, on-topic content can be a great way to earn points on a US CMA exam essay. If you have time and your essay’s organization allows it, adding more detail to a topic demonstrates that you understand the topic and might help improve the grader’s understanding of your essay.

NOTE: It is easy to go too far with this, so be sure you have a plan for what additional detail you’d like to add. If you just start adding random or off-topic sentences to an otherwise well-organized essay, it could cost you.

8. Quickly proofread your responses to verify that they make sense

Spending a few minutes rereading your responses will help you catch obvious errors that can cost you points. In addition, it is a great opportunity to notice if anything is introduced out of order or doesn’t make sense.

(Source: Gleim CMA Review)

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Uplift Pro is one of the top training institutes for the US CPA, US CMA, US CIA courses in India, Africa, and Middle East. Uplift Pro is also an Indian partner of GLEIM, US and an IMA US authorized CMA US study center.

Our team consists of seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs from IIEST, IITs, London Business School, and ULCA who have decided to provide a strong back to young ambitious students and professionals to reach their desired career destinations in an organized way.

Some of our exclusive features include

Uplift Pro- Authorized partner of IMA US CMA in India

A. Authorized partner of IMA US CMA course in India

B. Live online classes ensuring that the regular office working hours is least impacted

C. 1:1 personal support from our 30 plus years of experienced CMA certified faculties

D. Affordable US CMA course fees with special discount in your IMA fees. 

E. “Till you pass” guarantee assuring that you may attend our live online classes at no extra cost until you pass

F. Comprehensive coverage of US CMA course details including authorized GLEIM CMA study materials , class mock session,  IMA registration and job assistance.

US CMA course student of Uplift PRO scoring high marks in US CMA exam
US CMA course student- Uplift PRO