How To Study for the CMA Exam – My Best Study Technique Revealed

How to study for cma exam - Episode 10 - SQ3R
Click Play to Listen to this Episode (14:41)

There is a ton of information out there to learn when it comes to how to study for CMA exam. How can you absorb so much information and then be able to actually apply it?

Read Full Transcript of this Episode

Hello guys and gals, welcome to a brand new episode of the Free CMA Exam Mastery Course.

I’ve been away for a little over a month but I’m so glad to be back with a new CMA Exam episode for you.

I was in Portugal for a month and now I’m in Morocco until the end of September. This place is incredible! If you’ve never been to Morocco, you have to come visit at some point.

And when you do, check out the Blue City. The actual name is Chefchaouen but everyone knows it as the blue city. The walls, the streets, everything is painted blue.

What I learned is that during the 15th century, Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition settled in large numbers in Chefchaouen. They brought with them their tradition of painting everything blue to mirror the sky and remind them of God.

I’ll post a picture of this city in the shownotes. Go to and check it out. You’ll be blown away.

And by the way, if you speak French, you’ll have no problem communicating with Moroccans. They all speak French.

Alright, let’s talk CMA now.

So you’ve learned how to keep yourself motivated to study continuously; kudos! Now the challenge is learning the material itself. If the subject matter is very difficult to understand or easy to forget the very next day, I can understand your frustration. I was there too!

Thankfully, there’s an almost bullet proof method for learning faster and retaining more information.

The method was introduced by Francis Pleasant Robinson in his 1946 book Effective Study. The method is called SQRRR or SQ3R for short and is named for its 5 step method: Survey –Question – Read – Recite – Review.

It’s an extremely effective method for both reading comprehension and retention of information so it’s worth learning how to apply it. I think it’ll be super useful to you during your exam preparation. After all, it was for me and I passed both exams on my first try.

How Does SQ3R Work?

Survey: Go through the material without spending too much time reading the detail. Read the intro and summary of the chapter. Read all the headings and subheadings of the chapter that you are about to study. It’ll help you understand how the material is structured. By surveying the chapter, you’ll anticipate what the content is all about.

Question: By asking questions such as: What are the key points of the chapter? or What formulas should I commit to memory? will help keep the content interesting and engaging. Keep your questions in mind while studying a chapter and see how much more interesting the material becomes.

Read: Now this one seems obvious doesn’t it? It actually isn’t. You need to be an active reader for this to work. An active reader will underline and/or highlight important phrases and formulas, summarize key concepts in his/her own words on a notebook or in the margins of the textbook. The key here is to be active. The more you are, the more you will retain. It’s that simple. Passive reading won’t work and most of use are used to reading passively.

Recite: After reading a few pages, take your eyes off the books and try answering the questions from the ͞Questions͟ step. If you can’t answer them, then go back and read the material again until you can. It can be frustrating at times, but remember that if you can’t answer the questions now, it’ll be impossible during the exam. Take your time now, and you’ll be grateful that you did when you are in the Prometric room taking your real test.

Review: Now we are in the last step. Review the material after reading each chapter. Go through your underlines and highlights. Try to recite key concepts and formulas. This is the time to solidify all that you’ve learned and commit it to memory.

SQ3R seems like a long process, and it will be at first, but the pay off is there if you put the effort into it. This technique has proven to help students retain 70% of what they study and even above 80%. Wouldn’t that be incredibly helpful?

That was the episode for today. I wanted to keep it short and sweet.

Now I’d like to invite you to spend an hour with me on a live webinar this week. I’ll teach you the 3 keys you must have to pass the exam on your first attempt. It’s absolutely free and I’ll be live hanging out with you and answering all your questions about the CMA exam. Go to to register and reserve your spot.

Before I sign off, I’d like to ask you to take a minute and leave a review of the show in iTunes by going to or if you are on an android phone, please go to and leave a review there instead. I greatly appreciate your time and support of this show.

As always, remember to dream big and realize your full potential by becoming a certified management accountant, today.

Until next time bye, or how Moroccans would say it, Au Revoir


There are many different study methods that people swear by, but from my experience, there is only one that truly works — SQ3R.

Never heard of it? Well then stay tuned because you are going to want to learn all about this bulletproof study method to help take your exam prep to the next level. You’ll stop wondering how to study for CMA exam. Instead you’ll learn how to actually do it and do it very well. 

Ready to find out what SQ3R is all about? Click the play button at the top of the page, download this in iTunes or listen on Stitcher.

Like what you hear? Give us a 5-star rating or leave a review!

Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Week’s Episode:

  • How to study for CMA exam the right way
  • What is SQ3R exactly
  • How this study method works
  • Why it’s such an incredible method for retaining and applying knowledge
  • How to incorporate it into your exam prep

Here’s the picture I promised you of the Blue City – Chefchaouen, Morocco

Morocco - Blue City


  • — The most comprehensive online resource for CMA candidates
  • — The best CMA review course

Like what you heard? Be sure to share it with your friends, family or coworkers and join me for brand new episodes every week.




More by Nathan

Share the love!

5 Comments on “How To Study for the CMA Exam – My Best Study Technique Revealed”

  1. Pingback: The Best CMA Study Materials - Study Strategies and Exam Hacks - CMA Exam Academy

  2. Pingback: How Hard is the CMA Exam? Understanding CMA Exam Difficulty - CMA Exam Academy

  3. Pingback: How To Ask Your Boss To Pay For Your CMA Test Prep -

  4. Dear mr. Nathan

    I d like to get tow thousand question bank as I am study coma part 1 and how Mache you sale ?

Leave a Reply

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