Three most basic yet important questions students frequently ask regarding CMA exam difficulty level:

  • Is CMA exam difficult?
  • How much CMA exam hard?
  • What is CMA Exam difficulty Level?

The best way to approach these questions is to set certain parameters based upon which we can analyze the difficulty level of CMA exams. Let’s get straight to our below parameters:

CMA Syllabus Difficulty Level

CMA syllabus for part – 1 mainly comprise of topics related to: external financial reporting, management accounting, budgeting & forecasting, performance measurement and internal control systems. While part – 2 is about: ethics, financial statement analysis, CVP analysis, financial management and capital budgeting. In order to best determine CMA exam difficulty level we conducted a survey of our students. In this survey students were asked to rank difficulty level on scale of 0 – 100. Where lowest value means easiest while highest value means difficult. Below is the graphical depiction on CMA exam difficulty level.

CMA Part - 1 Difficulty Level

CMA Part - 1 Difficulty Level


In part – 1 “budgeting” happens to most difficult topic while in part – 2 “investment decisions” was most difficult topic.

Relevancy of Prior Education for CMA Exams

There is strong correlation between prior education relevancy and CMA exam difficulty level. Those students who studied financial accounting, financial accounting, budgeting and financial management are tend pass exam easily as compared to otherwise. Students with background knowledge of accounts, finance and audit related subjects are able to grasp CMA concept more easily and with less effort.

Student Aptitude towards CMA

There are many students whose aptitude is more towards accounts and finance related subjects. For those students who like to work hard and plan their studies most effectively are the one who pass CMA exam with ease. It is very much important that CMA students should look at their individual aptitude and take a decision accordingly.

Calculation Vs Theoretical Mindset

CMA exams are unique in a sense that both type of questions are asked. There no hard and fast rule how many calculation type or how many non-calculations types questions will come in the exams. It all depends upon individual exam sitting. In this way students should be comfortable in both type of questions. Some students more interested in numerical problems while others like theoretical subjects. If you are ok with any type of question (calculation or theoretical) then CMA exam is going to be easy for you otherwise more hard work is required to be done.

Computer Based Vs Manual Exam System

Most of the students in UAE are coming from educational background where manual exam system is present. By manual exam we mean traditional pen and paper based examination. Unlike traditional exams CMA exams are Computer Based Examinations. This factor might seem simple but in fact it is major contributors in making CMA exam difficulty level. In order to make exams easy it is necessary to get familiar with CMA exam pattern fully.

Full time and part time students

In UAE most of the students are not full time students. Which means they are doing jobs as well studying together. Furthermore most students are having families as well. As compared to full time students, part time students are facing more difficulty in CMA exams. This is mainly due to lack of time allocation towards studies. Luckily if you prepare proper time table and schedule your exam tactfully the chances of success in CMA exams are increase tremendously.

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