How is The CMA Exam Graded

The CMA exam is administered by the ICMA (Institution of Certified Management Accountants), and a scaled score system is used to grade the exam. The score ranges from 0 to 500, the passing score is 360 points (which equals 72%).

The CMA exam has two parts, each part is graded separately, and each has two sections:

MCQ Section

100 questions, 3 hours

Essay Section

2 scenarios, 1 hour

  • To enter the second section of the exam, you must answer at least 50% of the MCQ questions correctly.
  • If you finish the 1st section in less than 3 hours, you can use the extra time for the second section of the exam.

CMA Exam Grading Methods:

Multiple-choice questions (MCQ) grading

Scaled scoring

This system converts the raw score of the exam to a scaled score based on the level of difficulty of the exam and the performance of the exam takers. The final score represents your test performance and whether you passed or failed. Examination experts determine the passing score of the exam, which is based on the minimum standard of proficiency needed for the certification.

Not all questions are graded!

Ten of the multiple-choice questions are being tested for use in future exams. Those questions are not graded. It is a waste of your time trying to guess these questions. You must give equal importance to all questions to pass the exam with a high score.

Essay Section Grading

Trained and qualified experts evaluate the essay section answers. The evaluation is based on the quality and accuracy of your answers, considering knowledge, organization, clarity, and relevance to the question. This procedure guarantees consistency and fairness and assesses your abilities to apply knowledge to real-life scenarios. The examiners’ goal is to give you points, not deduct points. So you can gain extra points by writing organized and clear answers. Also, you don’t have to answer the question fully to get the points, examiners give points to partial answers.

CMA Exam Passing Score

The score of the exam is divided into 75% for the MCQs section and 25% for the essay section. The MCQ section score is added to the essay section score and converted to a scaled score. If you get more than 360 points out of 500, you pass the exam.

Exam Results

The results of the exam will be available within six weeks from the end of the month in which you took your exam. You will receive an email notification when your results are available, you can check your exam result through your account on the IMA’s website. If you pass both parts of the exam, you will be awarded the CMA certification. If you do not pass one or both parts of the exam, you can retake the exam or only the failed part by reapplying and paying the exam fees again.

Passing the CMA exam is not an easy task. To succeed in the exam, you should invest time and effort, and develop a study plan and stick to it. It is also recommended to use reliable resources to prepare for the exam. Try our free exam resources here.