CMA Exam Release Dates for 2020: Here’s the Inside Scoop

Exam Results for CMA Test

After preparing for the CMA exam for weeks on end, you finally get the courage to book your exam appointment.

You pay the exam fee and make your way to the test center during your chosen testing window.

After taking the certified management accountant exam, the last thing you want to do is wait weeks on end to receive your results.

They say patience is a virtue, but even I can attest to how difficult it is to wait for your CMA exam scores.

The amount of anticipation I felt while waiting for my results was overwhelming.

And the truth is, it actually does take quite a bit of time to get your results.

Before we dive into when you’ll receive your results, below are a list of the 2019 testing windows. These are important CMA exam dates worth writing down.

Don’t forget, you must pay the CMA entrance fee in order to secure your spot. Not sure about the fee, read our article on CMA exam cost.

CMA Exam Date testing windows

**Note, this structure is followed yearly so moving into 2020 or beyond you can expect the same CMA exam dates/testing windows.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Your Results

How Long Does it Take to Receive CMA Exam Results?

The date in which you take your exam during the exam window will affect when you actually receive your results. The standard length of time is approximately 42 days after the last day of the month in which you took the test.

All multiple-choice questions are graded by computers. The ICMA has an algorithm that grades each question and this portion of the exam is worth 75% of your overall score. Simply put, each answer is either correct or incorrect. There is no wiggle room with this.

In total there are 100 multiple choice questions on the exam. What you may find interesting is that 10 of these questions are un-scored. This is the same for part 1 and part 2 exam MCQ sections.

The ICMA pretests new questions that they would like to introduce on future exams, but before making them official questions they want to make sure it’s actually a good question. By adding these unscored questions they can gather statistics on the question and evaluate the reliability of it.

Unlike the MCQ section, the essay questions are a little more complex and are scored by humans. Obviously, they will need time to grade this portion of the CAM exam, and as you can imagine, this is a very labor intensive process that takes time.

Once both sections of the exam are graded, they combine the scores of the essays with the multiple-choice to arrive at your final CMA exam score.

Psychometricians (essentially statisticians who are specialists at testing) grade your exam on a scale. A score of 360 is considered a passing grade, while 500 would be considered a perfect score. So it’s a scientific process, and they’re very confident in the reliability and validity of the scores when they do get released.

Predicted Score Release Based on Your CMA Exam Dates

Predicted Score Release Based on CMA Exam Dates

Test Month, 2019 Score Release Dates (Predicted) Score Release Dates (Actual)
January March 14
February April 11
May July 12
June August 11
September November 11
October December 12

One piece of good news! Once your score comes out, you don’t have to anxiously stare at your mailbox for weeks wondering when your test results will finally arrive.

You will be able to view your exam results on your Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) profile online as soon as they come out. This is approximately 2-3 weeks before it physically arrives in your mailbox.

You may even get an email with your exam results.

Don’t worry if your score doesn’t show up on your IMA profile on the exact CMA exam dates listed above.

They are just estimations after all. It may take a few more days, so be patient.

Other Important CMA Exam Dates

Other Important CMA Exam Dates

If you missed the big news, the CMA Exam changes in 2020. New content is being added and some of the old stuff is being removed.

That being said, if you have already sat for one part of the exam, or even just started studying and don’t want to worry about learning even more new material, then you should try to take both Parts before the end of 2019.

Thankfully it is early enough in the year that you can get in enough study time to bang out both parts of the exam before the final testing window closes.

Which brings me to additional CMA exam dates to keep in mind….

The Clock Starts Ticking Once You Register

Register for CMA Exam Date

As I mentioned above, the clock starts to tick once you pay your CMA entrance fee. You must register and take both parts of the exam within 36 months of paying your fee.

Complete the Experience Portion

In addition to taking both Part 1 and Part 2 of the CMA exam, you also need to complete the experience portion of the CMA requirements. You have 7 years to complete this particular requirement.

(For a full list of CMA exam requirements, click here.)

Best Time to Study for Each Testing Window

When it comes to scheduling your exam, I highly recommend booking your exam date once you are at least halfway through your review course program. It is definitely in your best interest to put in 3-4 months of study time, so book register for your exam once you have approximately 2 months of studying in and select the next available testing window from this point.

For example, if you plan on taking the exam during the May-June window, start preparing for the exam at the beginning of March and schedule your exam for the beginning of May. This way, if you feel like you need a little more time you can push your exam date into the month of June.


Candidates are allowed to reschedule their exam date within the same testing window for a small fee of $50, so if you run out of study time you can postpone till June.

You cannot, however, reschedule your exam from the May-June window to the September-October window. It must be rescheduled within the same testing window.

Self-Study or Instructor-Led – Which is Better?

Self Study or Instructor Led CMA Review Course

You essentially have two options when it comes to CMA exam review courses – self-study or instructor-led.

Depending on your personal learning style, one method will likely suit you better than the other, but how much time should you set aside for studying per method?

Self-Study Review Courses

If you intend to self-study, you should begin studying at least 4.5 months in advance. To ensure you cover all the required content you will need to invest 25+ hours of studying per week.

Studying for the CMA exam will essentially be a part-time job for you.

Why so far in advance and for so many hours each week?

In my experience, self-study courses require more time because you have to work through obstacles by yourself. Instead of having an instructor or mentor to look to when you struggle with certain topics, you have to figure it out all by yourself. This can take significantly longer.

You are also responsible for holding yourself accountable if you use a self-study course. There won’t be anyone there to keep you on schedule or update you on your progress, so you have to be your own judge. In all my years of helping candidates prepare for the exam, self-motivation is consistently one of the hardest things for candidates.

Instructor-Led Review Courses

If you are struggling to stick to a study schedule and worry you are going to fall behind in your CMA test prep, then an instructor-led review course may be the best route for you.

In addition to having built-in accountability, a mentor, and a specific study plan to follow, instructor-led review courses offer you progress reports and can help you overcome obstacles much faster than self-study courses.

My flagship program CMA Exam Academy walks you through the material step by step, and also provides you with a handy 12-week study schedule to help keep you on track. By studying with CMA Exam Academy you will invest 3 months of your time and 15 hours of studying per week. Quite a bit less than a self-study course.

If your goal is to crush the CMA exam before the CMA exam changes in 2020 then going with an instructor-led review course like CMA Exam Academy is probably your best bet.


I have read and agreed to your Privacy Policy.

What Should I Do While I Wait?

Waiting for CMA Exam results

Let’s be honest, waiting to learn if you actually earned your CMA certification can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

Now that you’ve completed the exam, it’s probably the first time you’ve had in months that you aren’t totally consumed by studying. Enjoy it!

Spend time with loved ones.

Take a trip.

Have some fun!

You deserve it after everything you’ve been through with the CMA program.

Maybe relaxing isn’t your jam and that’s fine too. If you are feeling energized about passing the exam in your first attempt and looking to get a jump start on your next steps in your CMA journey, then there are a few things you can do to pass the time:

Just remember, you’ve made it through one of the toughest parts on your road to becoming a CMA! So congratulate yourself, and allow yourself a break!

As always, thanks for reading.

Share the love!

22 Comments on “CMA Exam Release Dates for 2020: Here’s the Inside Scoop”

  1. Thanks for the update, Nathan. This is very helpful information for planning to take both parts in the next few months

  2. Thanks Nathan for all valued information you always provides and i am receiving since long time and i had taken decision many times to take the exam since 5 years but two things always stop to go forward : 1- my doubt which study materials to choose Gleim or your course between among all materials 2- if no body follow up with me step by step for my study progress, then i will start then stop and start again and stop and every time i have to repeat same subjects to recall them. I am currently head of finance and administration with 15 years experience and i am Syrian 37 years but working in gulf region (QATAR) since 2006. I need your advice and support how can i overcome all above issues and go step forward seriously to get my CMA designation. My target to complete CMA one years and with your support i would able to achieve that. Thanks and awaiting your response at earliest.

    1. Hi Firas – Thanks for reaching out. Always happy to help 🙂

      From your comment it sounds like you need a detailed step-by-step study plan and an instructor to follow up with you to keep you accountable and provide support.

      We are the only instructor-led course online that provides this type of support. Other courses are mainly for self-study so you are mostly on your own.

      I’d be more than glad to coach you should you decide to enroll in CMA Exam Academy by clicking here.

      With our courses, you can pass both parts of the CMA exam in one year or even in less than a year.

      It’s a bit too late to attempt the exam in the May/June 2018 exam window, but we can start your course and target the Sept/Oct 2018 exam window for one part. Then we can target Jan/Feb 2019 for the second exam. In less than a year you’ll have passed both parts.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Otherwise follow the link above and see you inside the Academy 🙂


    1. We are here to help you succeed in your desire to pass the exam. The best way to start is to check out all the free content we have on the website.

      You can also check out our Complete courses. If they are a good fit for you, we’d be happy to coach you to exam success.

  3. HI
    I have gone through in detail about CMA roadmap in your webiste.
    It is very helpful for all CMA aspirants like me.

    1) Can You please give comaparative cost break up of CMA , a) if direct enrollment to IMA & self strudy or b) Through CMA Academy.
    2) Is IMA provide study material / text books which covers all required syllabus.
    3) What are all the items are covered, should one registered in your academy for CMA coaching.
    4) Please clarify, whether each part graded for 250 marks (MCQ 75% , Essay (2) 25%)

    5) In that case, for each part No of Questions Maximum Marks Minimum Pass Marks
    MCQs 100 187.5 135
    Essay 2 62.5 45
    Total Marks 250.0 180
    6) Will you take mock exams, as same method as IMA for four hours.

    Please clarify

    PRakash Shetty

    1. Hi Prakash,

      Please see responses below:
      1. We only provide online review courses, you will still have to pay the registration and exam fee to IMA if you enroll with us.
      2. IMA provides some review materials upon registration.
      3. Our full course includes the following:

      4-5 For information about the CMA Exam Grading, you can check this link.
      6. Yes, we do have practice mock exams similar to IMA. Our test bank is a combination of both CMA retired exams and LOS-based (Learning Outcome Statement) questions we created ourselves to optimize learning.


  4. You mentioned we may be able to view our results on our IMA Profiles. Can I know how to access/view the result in this manner?

    1. Hi Roch,

      Yes, you will be able to view your exam results on your IMA profile online as soon as they come out. Basically, you just need to log-in to your IMA account and click myIMA and then myCertifications.


  5. Is it ok to take Part 1 in September 2019 and part 2 on February 2020? or should i take both in 2020? It would seem that I am cutting it close if I try for both parts in 2019. Please let me know your thoughts. Also, which is easier Part 1 or Part 2? if every I proceed with taking the September 2019.

    1. Hi Lea, It’s totally fine to take 1 exam in 2019 and the second one in 2020. Part 2 has a higher pass rate in general so if you feel comfortable with the topics being tested in Part 2, I would recommend to start there. Then tackle Part 1 in 2020. Thanks, Nathan

  6. Hi , Since the material will be changes in 2020 . If I start study now for part 2 and I take the exam in SEP , Then , I will need time to study for Part 1 , Which definitely I need time, and I may take the exam in JAN 2019.
    Does the exam material will be change In JAN and Feb to the new Material ?
    am I need to study for the New content will be added started 2020 ?

    1. Ahmed, the new Learning Objectives will be tested from January 2020 onwards. So after taking your Part 2 exam in September, you can start studying for your 2020 Part 1 exam. Just make sure you’re using 2020 edition study materials. Thanks, Nathan

  7. hi
    i am thinking to start study CMA but as i hear the materials will be change next year and if i start now i dont have enough time to finish part one from the last material so what are u advising me ?? what is the best time to start ?? i an really confused and have some doubts

    1. Hi Khaled, the exam is in fact changing in 2020. You can learn all about it here:

      To take one exam, you’ll need at least 3 full solid months of prep plus a couple of weeks for final review. Keeping in mind that to meet this schedule a candidate should study about 15 to 20 hours per week with a course like we offer. For those who self-study, they’ll need around 25 to 30 hours per week to meet this schedule.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *