CMA Exam 2021: Full Form, Exam Dates, Notification, Registration, Official Website

Exam Date

Jan 3, 2021

Jun 1, 2021 | Commerce, Management


The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), also the Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business, is dedicated to excellence within the management accounting profession.

The full form of CMA is a Certified Management Accountant. The CMA designation was designed in 1972 to provide an objective measure of an individual’s knowledge in the field of management accounting. Here, the CMA course details are discussed in detail and the steps on how to become a CMA.

Latest News on CMA 2021

Latest Updates:

  • May 31, 2021: ICMAI has rescheduled the time table of Foundation, Intermediate, and Final courses June 2021 examinations due to COVID-19. The rescheduled time table will be announced soon.


What is CMA?

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential is an advanced professional certification that is designed to measure the accounting and financial management skills of an individual that drives business performance. The CMA is a great career move for anyone who wants to make it big in the field of management accounting. The CMA course is tailor-made for commerce, accounting, and finance professionals at all levels, either to enhance the value of their current organization or to improve their career opportunities.

Obtaining a CMA certification not only shows a high level of competence but also a strong commitment to continuous self-improvement and high ethical standards. The CMA exam has a 50% global pass rate with over 70,000 peers when the exam is cleared.

The CMA Exam is conducted several times throughout the year. Candidates can register for the CMA Exam whenever it is most suitable for them. The candidate must have a bachelor's degree before appearing for the CMA Exam if they do not have an undergraduate or bachelor's degree when they take the CMA Exam they are required to obtain the bachelor's degree within the 7 years of appearing for the CMA Exam. Candidates should check the eligibility before applying for the CMA Exam. There are 3 credentials available which are given below in detail. Upon completing all three levels of CMA, candidates can have well-paying careers in accounting, finance, etc. You can read below for more information on the CMA Exams.

The highlights of the CMA exam are given below:

CMA Exam Highlights
Credential Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Conducting Board IMA, Institute of Management Accountants
Number of parts in the exam 2 parts (CMA I, CMA II)
Exam Time Duration 4 hours per exam
The period for completing both the exam parts 3 years
Recommended study hours per part 150-170 hours of study
Salary Advantage 55% on a global scale, 70% if CMAs between the ages of 20-29
Available testing windows for the CMA Exam Jan/Feb or May/June or Sept/Oct, every year

NOTE: This credential is not supposed to be confused with “Certified Medical Assistant”.

There are various CMA credentials available based in the country where the course and exam are being conducted. They are CMA-US, CMA-India, CIMA-UK. A few highlights about these credentials are as follows:

Credential issued by IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), US ICAI(The Institute of Cost Accountants of India), India CIMA(Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), UK
Course Duration 6 months 3-4 Years 2-4 Years
Approximate Cost (Training + Examination) INR 120k - 150k INR 100k INR 200k
Academics 2 papers, single-level exams 20 papers, 3 levels of examination 16 papers, 5 levels of examinations
Recognition Globally Recognized India The UK and other Soviet Nations

CMA 2021 Exam Dates

CMA testing windows are available in January/February or May/June or September/October every year. It depends on the country certification, duration of the course, etc. The AIMA will soon release the dates for CMA Exams for the years 2021.

Testing Window


Deadline of Registration

September/October 2021

To be announced

To be announced

January/February 2021

January 1, 2021, to January 10, 2021 To be announced

May/June 2021

To be announced To be announced

The registration for the exam that can be done online on the AIMA website. Candidates are requested to visit the AIMA website for detailed information.

CMA 2021 Eligibility Criteria

All CMA 2021 aspirants must check the eligibility criteria given below. Also, all aspirants of CMA 2021 meet the eligibility criteria to apply and appear for the CMA 2021 Exam.

The CMA Exam or ICWA Exam has a total of 3 stages. These 3 papers are called CMA Foundation, CMA Inter, and CMA Final. After completing all the 3 stages the candidate is awarded CMA credential. There are certain eligibility criteria to be satisfied to take up the CMA exam. To appear for the CMA Foundation Exam candidate must have passed class 10+2 or equivalent from a recognized educational institute. Candidates who are appearing for the CMA Inter level need to have qualified the Foundation Exam and before taking the CMA India Final Exam, candidates need to have passed the CMA Inter and also need to have practical work experience required.

Moreover, the CMA Eligibility will differ according to the country, so CMA US, CMA UK, and CMA India will have different entry requirements. Candidates are required to make sure that they satisfy all the criteria before registering. The eligibility criteria for the CMA exam are given below:

Education Qualification

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university.
  • If Bachelor’s Degree is not available, then there is an option to sit for the exam and then acquire the Bachelor’s Degree within 7 years of taking the exam.

Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

  • The candidate needs to hold an active membership with the IMA.
  • The candidate needs to abide by the IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.

Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI)

  • The IMA has an active Mutual Recognition Agreement with the ICAI.
  • Members of the ICAI, upon paying the annual membership fees of the IMA and the CMA registration fees, can waive off the CMA Exams.
  • CMAs who wish to be a part of the ICAI can do so and they can also waive off the ICAI Exams.


  • The candidate is required to clear both parts of the CMA Exam.

Experience Requirement

  • Two continuous years of experience in management accounting and/or financial management.
  • This requirement too can be completed within 7 years after clearing the exams.
  • Continuous part-time experience of 20+ hours a week.

CMA 2021 Registration and Fees

To register for the CMA Exam, the candidate must be a member of the IMA. The CMA Exam of all the 3 levels is offered throughout the year three times. The exams are conducted in January/February, May/June, and September/October. Candidates can register for any of the dates available which are most suitable to them. Candidates can register for the exam from the official website of the CMA. It is required that the candidate registers for the exam at least 72 hours before the date of the exam but it is advised that candidates plan ahead and make registrations for the CMA 2021 Exam well before to avoid any troubles.

Follow the below steps to register for the CMA exam:

  • Apply for a membership at the IMA at Pay the annual membership fees as per your category i.e; Professional, Academic or Student.
  • After applying for a membership, you can register for the exam on the official webpage and pay the entrance fee.
  • Once this is done, you have 3 years to finish taking the two parts of the CMA Exam.
  • Register for the examination and pay the examination fees here.
  • Once the fees are paid, you will receive a confirmation with the details such as authorization number(s), testing window(s), and a list of instructions to be followed.
  • After receiving the confirmation email, one can simply access the Prometric portal and book a slot for the exam based on his/her convenience.
  • The Prometric portal link is:

Note: The authorization number is valid only during the testing window that you have selected. So make sure that you pay the examination fee based on when and where you will be able to take the examination.

CMA Exam fees

For Professionals

  • IMA Membership Fee: 245 USD
  • CMA Entrance Fee: 250 USD (Non-Refundable)
  • Examination Fee: 415 USD per part
  • Rescheduling Fee: 50 USD*

For Academics

  • IMA Membership Fee: 135 USD
  • CMA Entrance Fee: 188 USD (Non-Refundable)
  • Examination Fee: 311 USD per part
  • Rescheduling Fee: 50 USD*

For Students

  • IMA Membership Fee: 39 USD
  • CMA Entrance Fee: 188 USD (Non-Refundable)
  • Examination Fee: 311 USD per part
  • Rescheduling Fee: 50 USD*

*Note: The CMA exam can be rescheduled only more than 30 days before the exam date and this rescheduling can only be done for the two-month testing window the candidate has applied for.

CMA 2021 Exam Pattern

The CMA Examination is a Computer-Based Exam (CBT). The exams are offered by The Prometric Testing centre which is a network of testing centres throughout the world.

The list of centres running under Prometric can be found on their official website i.e;

CMA Part 1 Exam Pattern: Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance and Control

The exam is for 4 hours during which the candidate should be able to answer 100 Multiple Choice Type questions and two 30-minute essay questions.

CMA Part 2 Exam Pattern: Strategic Financial Management

The exam is for 4 hours during which the candidate is required to answer 100 Objective Type questions and two 30-minute essay questions.

Things to keep in mind before taking up the CMA exam

  • Part 1 and Part 2 can be taken in any order.
  • Each exam registration is valid for only one exam window.
  • Secure facilities with computerized exams and biometric scanners protect the validity of the exam.
  • Students can apply before graduating.
  • For more details and policies regarding the exam, visit the official website and check out the CMA Handbook.

Tips to plan and use the exam time strategically

  • The candidate can use 3 hours to answer all the MCQs and the other 1 hour can be used to plan and answer the 30-minute essay questions.
  • The Essays are presented to the candidate after completing all the MCQs or after 3 hours of commencement of the exam, whichever comes first.
  • Once the candidate completes the MCQs and enters the essay section, he/she cannot go back to review the answers in the MCQ section.

CMA 2021 Syllabus

The CMA 2021 Syllabus is given below. All CMA 2021 must know the CMA 2021 syllabus. They must gather all the study materials such as reference books, guide books, previous year question papers, mock test papers, notes, etc. All candidates must prepare and study thoroughly according to the given syllabus.

The CMA Exam is held in 2 parts and each part of the exam is to be taken in a 4 hour time duration. The candidates can wish to apply for the CMA exam at any time within 3 years of paying the entrance fee for the exam.

The exams are normally conducted in:

  • January/ February
  • May/ June
  • September/ October

The candidates can choose from any slot in the months in which the exam is being scheduled. It is required that the candidates book their slots 72 hours before the exam, but it is advisable to check the exam schedule for 4 months in advance.

As CMA USA is the highest level of professional certification in the field of management accounting recognized globally, a lot of focused practice and preparation are needed to qualify it. It is important to know the entire syllabus of the CMA exam before preparing for it. The CMA Syllabus will usually change with the CMA Credential. So the CMA India will have different syllabus than the CMA credentials awarded in UK or USA. Candidates can check official websites of the respective CMA Exam to know more about Syllabus. CMA USA will have two parts and the CMA syllabus for the 2 parts of the exam will mainly concentrate on 12 main topics related to the field. They are as follows:

CMA Part 1 Syllabus: Financial Reporting, Planning, Performance, and Control

  • External Financial Reporting Decisions
  • Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting
  • Performance Management
  • Cost Management
  • Internal Controls
  • Technology and Analytics

CMA Part 2 Syllabus: Strategic Financial Management

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Decision Analysis
  • Risk Management
  • Investment Decisions
  • Professional Ethics

CMA 2021 Exam Centres

The US CMA is an internationally recognized accounting certification so it has test centres all over the world. There are currently 10 exam centres available in India for US CMA. Candidates can select the CMA 2021 Exam Centre at the time of application. The final assignment of the CMA 2021 Exam Centre will be done by IMA which is the conducting authority for the CMA 2021 Exam. The exam centre will be assigned on the basis of availability. The candidate will be able to find out about the allotted test-centre along with other details on the Admit Card which will available on the website before the date of examination.

The following table shows the list of main US CMA Exam Centres in India.

Ahmedabad Hyderabad
Allahabad Kolkata
Bangalore Mumbai
Chennai Trivandrum

CMA 2021 Reference Books

The CMA 2021 Reference books are an important part of the CMA 2021 preparation. Candidates must collect these books in order to study the topics of the CMA 2021 syllabus. The reference books are the most helpful for aspirants of CMA 2021. The Best Reference books for the CMA 2021 are given below.

The CMA 2021 Syllabus includes financial concepts like budgeting, cost management, risk management etc. The syllabus for two levels is different. Although there is no negative marking in the CMA 2021 Exam, it is important to pass the exam in a single attempt as the fees of the exam can be expensive. To qualify both the levels in one attempt, candidates must prepare really well for the exam by studying each and every topic in the syllabus. It is important to have a deep understanding of the basic concepts in Finance and Accounting. Candidates should assess themselves by taking a sample test or mock test and prepare accordingly for the exam. They can also take help of reference books. Candidates ensure that books which they will be buying will be the latest editions containing each topic of the CMA 2021 syllabus. Following are a few books which can be useful while preparing for CMA 2021 Exam.

  • Wiley CMAExcel Learning System Exam Review and Online Intensive Review: Part 1 - IMA
  • Wiley CMAExcel Learning System Exam Review and Online Intensive Review: Part 2 - IMA
  • Wiley CMAExcel Exam Review Flashcards - IMA
  • Introduction to Management Accounting - Charles T. Horngren

CMA 2021 Results

The CMA 2021 results will be released after the successful conduction of the exam. The CMA 2021 results will be released on the official website of the ICMAI. The candidates will be able to download the CMA 2021 results which will be available online. To check results candidates have o login with the login credentials such as the registration number and the password.

The results will be announced shortly after the conduction of the CMA 2021 exam and will be updated here.

CMA Coaching centres

The CMA 2021 aspirants can take the help of the coaching centres that help the candidates with CMA syllabus and preparation. Candidates can choose to take coaching either offline or online. The CMA 2021 exam needs thorough preparation by aspirants and coaching centres can provide the professional guidance that the candidates need. Below are some of the popular CMA coaching centres.

  • Global Smart Infotech & Education - Chennai (Offline)
  • Ajay Verma CMA Classes - New Delhi (Offline)
  • ICWA CMA Classes - Mumbai (Offline)
  • Edmiron - Kolkata (Offline)
  • Edzonex - Kolkata (Offline)

These were some of the offline CMA Coaching centres.

There are also online CMA Coaching centres that are available for candidates across the country. They are as follows-

  • SuperProfs - Online (Pan India)
  • Mice Career Makers - Online (Pan India)
  • Vivek Goel CMA Classes - Online (Pan India)
  • CMA Exchange Academy - Online (Pan India)

CMA 2021 Scholarship

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) offers a scholarship for high achieving students to facilitate them to earn a CMA credential and kick start their career as and when they graduate out of college.

Eligibility for CMA scholarship

  • High Achieving students (students ca

nn be studying anywhere between Undergrad through PhD.)

  • Students who attend an accredited college or university.
  • 10 students per year per academic year can be nominated for a scholarship.
  • All students who are nominated by a professor can land a scholarship.

The application forms for the professor to nominate students for the scholarship can be found on the official website. The students cannot self nominate.

The scholarship for the CMA will contain

  • Entrance Fee into the CMA program.
  • Exam support package with question papers that appeared in the previous years plus a glossary of terms.
  • Registration fees covering both parts of the exam (excluding the fees for retaking the exam).
  • Wiley CMAexcel Online Test Bank for both exam parts valid up to two years(all regions except China and India).
  • Up to three years of IMA membership while pursuing the certification.

Note: The student is required to activate the scholarship within two weeks of notification from the IMA.

Why take the CMA exam while still studying?

  • Students have demonstrated a high ability to succeed in the exam as most of the exam content is covered in the coursework.
  • Both exam parts can be taken and Experience requirements can be fulfilled after graduation.
  • The amazing ROI of holding both CPA and CMA certifications.
  • CMAs between the age of 20-29 can earn 70% more in compensation than non-CMAs globally.

Career Prospects after CMA

Obtaining the CMA certification will open a lot of opportunities in the domestic as well as the global market, such as employment in private firms, small scale companies, MNCs, large publicly listed companies, and academia for different profiles like Analyst, Manager, Controller in Finance and Accounting departments.

As a financial manager candidate will be forecasting, budgeting for large organizations, and making big decisions for the company. In order to fulfil this role, the candidate needs to have a deep understanding of the financial field. As a financial analyst, the candidate will be preparing financial reports by analyzing date and will be responsible for giving recommendations based on the date for the future whereas the Financial Risk Manager will be accountable for predicting future trends. Cost Accountant is another profile that candidates can take up after completing CMA USA where he/she will be performing tasks like margin analysis and will be keeping track of the cost information. Candidates who have qualified CMA USA can also work as CFO i.e. Chief Financial Officer. CFO will be responsible for major financial decisions of the organization and is expected to have soft skills like communication, leadership, negotiation skills along with technical knowledge of financial aspects.

Some job roles that can be expected are:

  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Controller
  • Finance Risk Manager
  • Budget Analyst
  • Internal Auditor
  • Finance Manager
  • Cost Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Executive Officer

The CMA the leading and fastest-growing accounting credential globally. Getting a certification now will help to secure a place in a highly respected position at a company or firm.

Career after CMA in India

CMAs in India are of great demand in the government sector, private sector, and the banking & finance sector. Some key areas are:

  • Top management positions in big fortune 500 companies and companies that are relatively big in their sectors.
  • Professors in major online and offline coaching centres in India.
  • Owners of private financing firms.
  • Auditors for big companies.
  • Management consultants for big companies.

Career after CMA in the USA

Individuals who have completed and received the CMA certification have a lot of job opportunities open to them. Some of these include:

  • Financial Analysts
  • Accounting Managers
  • Controllers
  • Chief Financial Officers

The distinction between CMA USA Vs CMA INDIA

Here are a few points of distinction between CMA USA Vs CMA INDIA

CMA USA vs CMA India
Duration The course duration of CMA USA is one year The course duration of CMA INDIA is three years
Eligibility Eligibility criteria for CMA USA are class 12 pass or UG Eligibility criteria for CMA INDIA is 12 pass
Pass criteria The pass criteria for CMA USA are 360/500 The pass criteria for CMA INDIA is 40% for individual papers and 50% aggregate in each group
Course format The course format is in two parts for CMA USA and CMA INDIA; the course comprises of three levels, which are Foundation, Intermediates, and Final Level
Recognition CMA USA is globally recognized CMA INDIA is an Indian certification
Area of focus CMA USA focuses on Cost Management i.e. Cost Reduction CMA INDIA focuses on Cost Management i.e Cost Controlling
Article ship Article ship is not applicable in CMA USA Articles ship is applicable six months is CMA India

CMA 2021 Exam Preparation

The CMA 2021 aspirants must prepare for the exam months in advance. The study routines and practice must be thorough. The revisions must be weekly in order to improve the accuracy and time management. The CMA aspirants must gather all the right study materials in order to be able to study thoroughly for the CMA exam. The preparation of the candidates depend on the amount of hard work they put into their studies. Candidates must not only study but also make effective study routines. The preparation tips for CMA 2021 aspirants are given below.

Choose a CMA review course

You've finally made up your mind about pursuing the CMA designation, but now you're wondering how to study for the CMA Exam?

By enrolling in a CMA review course!

Choosing a high-quality review course can dramatically improve your odds of passing the CMA exam on your first try.

These review courses are designed to walk through all the core concepts, but the best review courses also offer CMA exam tips and coaching support to truly help you maximize your study time.

Look for a CMA review course that provides everything from textbooks, video tutorials, and test banks with practice exams, to one-on-one coaching and an effective study plan.

Follow a study plan

To plan ahead is to prepare for success. An in-depth study plan can ensure you cover all essential material and keep you on track.

Choose a study plan that is flexible to your lifestyle. If you are preparing for the CMA exam while doing a job or having family commitments, you need to have a plan that will lead you to success. The candidates must also revise weekly to check their progress and to check if their study routine has helped them or not.

Perhaps, this will require evening and weekend study sessions for several more weeks than someone who does not a full-time job or family commitments.

Use the SQ3R Technique

The best study technique is the SQ3R technique. It helps you retain over 80% of what you study by using a simple method.

S-Survey the material you are about to study. Surveying can be as basic as skimming through the headings and sub-headings of the chapter you are about to study.

Q-Question yourself, ask yourself what the key points are or what formulas do you need to memorize. This will help you connect the dots as you make your own way through the material. This will also help you point out the subjects and topics that you need to work on and improve effectively.

R-Read actively read the material and keep your questions at the forefront of your mind. Another technique of active reading is to highlight or make notes as you go along. This helps you to not just study but also understand the topics and the subjects and remember them more thoroughly.

R-Recite. After reading a section, close your textbook and try to recite as much information back as you can remember. This is another effective technique to check your memory and how effectively you are studying.

R-Review. Go back to your textbook and review your highlighted points and points to drive it all home.

Previous year question papers and mock tests

Another important practice that the candidates must take up is that they must also take mock tests daily or at least weekly. Practising previous year question papers will give the candidates a good idea of what the CMA 2021 exam will be. This will also help the candidates to track their progress and check their accuracy. Practice will also help the candidates remain confident during the CMA 2021 Exam.

Lastly, if the candidates have doubts or are unclear about any particular topic he/she can always seek professional guidance. The candidates must be clear about the topics and the subjects they have studied.


How to enroll for CMA?

Apply for a membership at the IMA at Pay the annual membership fees as per your category i.e; Professional, Academic, or Student. After applying for a membership, you can register for the exam on the official webpage and pay the entrance fee. Once this is done, you have 3 years to finish taking the two parts of the CMA Exam.

What is the fee for CMA?

The CMA fee for professionals, academicians, and students is different. You may refer to the application fee given above or refer to CMA Registration and Fee.

CMA credentials are available in which countries?

The credentials available for the CMA are CMA-US, CMA-India, and CIMA-UK

How many papers are there in the CMA?

There are total of 20 papers in the CMA Exam distributed in the CMA Foundation, CMA Inter, and CMA Final.

What kind of subjects are covered in the CMA Exam?

The CMA Exam covers subjects like accounting, laws, ethics, finance, cost and financial management, taxation, company accounts, and audit, etc. Apart from this, there are other subjects in the CMA Syllabus which you can check above.

What is the minimum amount of time period needed to complete all the 3 CMA Exams?

Theoretically, a candidate can complete the CMA within 2-3 years after appearing for the foundation exam provided that the candidate completes all the 3 exams in only one attempt and also has 6 months of practical training. So if the candidate fulfills the other required factors, he/she can get the CMA in about 2 to 3 years.

How can I get placements after completing CMA India?

After the candidate completes CMA India and receives the result of the final exam, he/she can fill out a placement form on the official website of the Institute of Cost Accountants India [ICAI/ICWA]. The ICAI arranges placements for CMAs every 6 months where interested applicants can participate in and apply for the jobs. In some rare cases, employers may ask the candidates for membership but usually just passing the CMA Exams is enough to get a decent job. Apart from this, ICAI also presents job opportunities for freshers and professionals on their job portal which candidates will have access to after registering.

I am a working professional, can I do CMA?

Yes. Candidates who are working can also do CMA. In fact, completing the CMA certification may open up new doors for them. Working professionals may need to manage their time really well in order to study for the CMAs. They can directly appear for the CMA Intermediate Exam, assuming they have an undergraduate degree. If they do not have bachelor\'s degree then they will have to appear for the CMA Foundation exam. Candidates are advised to check the eligibility criteria of the CMA exams before applying. 

How much salary can I expect as CMA USA fresher in India?

The CMA USA is an internationally recognized qualification in the field of management accounting. So having this certification can be a great stepping stone for a candidate in India. There is an increasing demand in MNCs for certified candidates in management accounting, therefore a candidate with good academic background and holding a CMA USA certification can earn starting salary of anywhere between 4 to 6 lac/annum. Ultimately, the salary depends on the company, candidate, and negotiation skills of the candidate.


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