CMA USA Exam tips - How to prepare for multiple option questions?
September 25,2020

CMA USA Exam tips - How to prepare for multiple option questions?

CMA examination consists of MCQ questions which are a crucial part of the exam. You will have to attempt 100 MCQ and they account for 75% of the marks. Let us give you 6 tips that will help you to make sure you can answer the questions in a better way.


6 Tips to help you ace the MCQ session

1. Follow a study plan - The CMA exam is long in nature and you can’t afford to skimp on studying.  Students will have to spend approximately 120 hours to study part 1 and about 100 hours in part 2. You can carry this amount of time only if you plan and prioritise your study hours. So make sure that you have a proper study schedule and also make sure that you stick to this plan with full dedication and discipline. And then you will be rewarded without fail.

2. Take plenty of practice quizzes - If you have learned anything from your school days it is that you can't expect to learn just by reading, you have to test yourself. Take practise tests often to make sure that you are familiar with the MCQ pattern for wrong answers. So try and work on eliminating incorrect answers and the questions you may have. Complete practise quizzes as you work through a study unit. Start each day with a practice quiz. You will then be able to spot the areas you are unfamiliar with and can focus more on those areas. Another advantage is that you will be used to these concepts that you don’t have to then spend a lot of extra time studying. 

When you take these quizzes your goal should be to choose the best answer. Know that educated guessing is better than not attempting as you won’t get penalised out difficult questions on your practice quizzes. Then by the time you go for the exam, this will become second nature.

3. Apply your time management system - How can you score marks for a question when you don’t even have time to attempt them? So follow a system like the following.

Question Type Secection Time Time per Question Review Time 
MCQ 165 Min 1.5 Min 30 Min


Work through the questions systematically. Don’t take allotted time to answer. You should make sure it will become a habit. 

  • Find the important information in the question
  • Determine the answer in your mind
  • Select the best possible answer amongst all the choices.

Whatever time you have left use that to check the MCQ questions before moving to the essays. While you study, make sure you use just 1.5 minutes. 

4. Read the answer explanations for every quiz question - Practising quizzes will help you to not only have a deep depth of knowledge but will also help you with important teaching moments. Reading the answer explanations for the correct and incorrect answers reveals the “why” behind them, which either improves or verifies your thought process. You want to select the right answer for the right reason, and answer explanations can confirm whether your understanding of the topic was accurate or if you should change your perspective.

5. Learn from your mistakes - It's okay if you get your answers wrong, it will ensure that you don't make similar mistakes during the examination. Lack of knowledge maybe the reason you got it wrong or it could be various other reasons such as - Misreading the requirements

  • Failing to understand the requirements
  • Making a math error
  • Applying the wrong rule or concept
  • Being distracted by one or more of the answers
  • Incorrectly eliminating answers from consideration
  • Employing bad intuition when guessing

6. Don’t memorize the questions - You are not going to encounter the same questions you practised but it will have the same concepts. So put your focus on learning the topics instead of memorizing the wording these questions use. Some of the questions may seem very similar and you may assume what are the questions they are asking. You may also misread the questions and answer it incorrectly as it's something very different from what you had memorised. So memorising the questions will be a hindrance rather than an aid. Conversely, knowing the accounting fundamentals equips you to answer all kinds of questions about these topics and will serve you well on the exam and in your career. Learning the concepts also gives you the best chance to pass the first time.

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