Heady calculations not your thing? The good news for you is that you can bring a calculator to the CMA exam. This will keep you from getting bogged down with basic numerical equations.
However, you can’t bring just any calculator. The CMA handbook has a few basic rules and regs. I’ll go into all of those and let you know what other tools and tips you need to do well on CMA exam day.
CMA Exam Calculator Rules
As you may already know, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) is the body that awards CMA certifications. On your journey to becoming a Certified Management Accountant, you’ll use a lot of their resources. Because they set the CMA exam, all of the standards you have to align with come through the IMA.
This includes rules about the calculator you can use during the test. According to the most recent CMA Handbook, these are the restrictions your calculating device must comply with:
✅ Small, electronic calculator
✅ Battery or solar-powered
✅ Not programmable
✅ Not using any type of tape
✅ Restricted to a max of six functions:
- Square roots
What Kind of Calculator Can You Use for the CMA Exam?
The regulations above will limit your options to very basic calculators, so the prospects may not look quite exciting…
Luckily, there are a few financial calculator models that are an exception to the six-function rule, and candidates are allowed to bring them to the exam. These calculator models are:
✅ Texas Instruments’ BA II Plus Financial
✅ Hewlett-Packard 10bII+
✅ Hewlett-Packard 12c
✅ Hewlett-Packard 12c Platinum
Buying one of these models may be a good way to be 100% sure you’re in compliance with the calculator policy.
Testing Center Tools
You will take the CMA exam at a Prometric testing center. You should arrive 30 minutes before your test to get all of the check-in procedures out of the way. The exams are all monitored both in audio and video recordings. You can’t take in any phones, wearables, or devices other than an approved calculator.
If you want to get a real feel for all of the testing center procedures and tools that could be available to you, you can schedule a test drive. This is a paid experience where you get to walk through the basic steps you’ll follow the day you take the exam. If you live near the Prometric test center or have high anxiety, this may be a great dry run to put you at ease.
What to Bring With You
For check-in at the test center, you will need to have two forms of ID, one of which has to have your photo on it (or a passport). This is important because you won’t get into the test without it. You will have your picture taken and be fingerprinted.
If you’re a planner, there are some practical considerations for test day as well. All of the preparation and tools are essential. There are some non-essential items that could contribute to your comfort and focus on test day. These include things like:
- Jacket or sweater, in case the test room feels cold
- Small bag with your possessions – you will get a locker at the test site
- Water bottle
- Snack for after
Of course, you’ll make plenty of personal decisions about test day. What’s most important is that you get in the right state of mind to recall all of the important info you studied.
Learn More: CMA Exam Academy
CMA Exam Academy has plenty of resources like this to help you sharpen your test-taking skills and get ready to pass the CMA exam. From free videos to handy checklists, we’ve got you through this challenging process.