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Summer is over...
by Melissa Leonard, Gleim CMA Product Manager

Summer is over, and the new IMA Chapter year is starting. All the excuses for why you don't have time to study have now gone back to school. No more summer vacations, family gatherings, or beautiful summer days to distract you from your professional goals.

What can a CMA certification do for you?

First, passing the CMA exam is a huge personal achievement. It takes a lot of discipline and dedication to study after work and sit through an examination. But, once you've conquered the first part of the exam, your momentum will carry you through the remaining part. You will feel on top of the world when you have completed both parts. This positive attitude will manifest itself in both your personal and professional endeavors.

Second, it will generate many professional opportunities. Preparing for and passing the CMA exam will increase your professional knowledge, skills, and abilities, thereby rendering your services and expertise more productive and valuable.

Third, your commitment and drive will not go unnoticed. The ambition and work ethic that is required to attain a certification while also balancing professional and personal responsibilities demonstrates to your supervisors the energy and determination that you possess, not to mention the new skills you have attained. Even if your employer does not acknowledge your certification directly, they will notice your hard work, effort, and refinement of skills.

The IMA reports that those who are certified increase their career earnings by approximately $500,000. It's a great investment to your professional career!

Gleim is committed to helping you accomplish your goal of passing the exam and becoming a CMA. Your Austin IMA Chapter has partnered with Gleim to ensure your success on the CMA exam! Working together, we will provide you the necessary tools to prepare for this difficult exam.

As an Austin Chapter member, you receive significant discounts on the Gleim CMA Review materials and Gleim CPE. Contact Melissa Leonard at 800.874.5346 ext. 131 or melissa.leonard@gleim.com to take advantage of the offer or if you have any questions.

Do you have feedback on what you have read or suggestions on future topics? Maybe you are studying for the exam or have recently passed and want to share tactics you used. Email Gleim at imachapters@gleim.com with your comments.


Steps to Become a CMA!
by Melissa Leonard, Gleim Chapter Coordinator

You are considering taking the CMA Exam because of its increasing importance in today's business world. Successful completion of the exam will provide you more professional opportunities with an increase in compensation. But where do you go from there?

Making the decision to take the CMA Exam and planning a successful outcome requires a strategic plan. Research the pros and cons, the cost and benefits, where, how, and when. Once all the information is gathered, implement your plan.

First, become knowledgeable about the CMA Exam. Research the exam, including content, schedules, fees, where and how it is administered, grading, and pass rates. These are essential components of your plan to pass the CMA Exam. Gleim has created the CMA Review: A System for Success (https://www.gleim.com/accounting/systemforsuccess/cma/), a 75-page booklet designed to answer all these questions for you.

Second, purchase your CMA Review materials. Third, develop a study plan. Planning for study time and establishing manageable goals are important steps in maintaining focus and staying confident. Putting it on paper enables you to visualize what you have to do each week and to see what you have already accomplished.

Fourth, take the plunge! You have decided the CMA Exam is the right designation for you, gathered information, bought your review materials, and developed your plan with manageable goals. These steps will put you on the path to successfully preparing for and passing the CMA Exam.

Share your success! Maybe you have already passed the CMA Exam and would like to share with others the tactics you used to pass. Email Melissa Leonard at imachapters@gleim.com with your questions and feedback.

Gleim is committed to helping you become a CMA. Your Austin Area IMA Chapter has partnered with Gleim to ensure your success on the CMA Exam! Working together, we will provide the necessary tools to prepare you for this difficult exam.

As an Austin Area Chapter member, you receive significant discounts on the Gleim CMA Review materials and Gleim CPE. Contact Melissa Leonard at 800-874-5346 ext. 131 or melissa.leonard@gleim.com to take advantage of the offer or if you have any questions.


Stick to the Schedule
by Melissa Leonard, Gleim Chapter Coordinator

Our most successful candidates have found that they pass the exam with less time and effort if they develop a study plan before they start preparing and stick to it. They evaluate their resources, consider factors that may influence their available study time, and then formulate a schedule.

Without a schedule, you cannot allocate your valuable time when the unexpected comes up. Your study schedule is your game plan!

The first step is to examine your current situation. Write down how many hours each week you spend at school or work. If you are a student, how many hours a week do you allocate to studying? How much time do you require for sleeping, eating, grooming, exercising, commuting, and playing?

Set up a study schedule with the time remaining. Keep in mind that you must make sacrifices during exam preparation. Thus, you will probably have to curtail leisure activities. But if you make the necessary effort, you will have to restrict your normal lifestyle in this way just once and not have to retake the exam. Make your study schedule work for you. While some people can only study for a short time, others like to study for hours. The best plan is to study for several hours each day of the week.

Another consideration in developing your schedule is the time of day to study. Some people like to get up early and study 4 am -6 am, while others prefer the evenings. Pick the time when you are most productive. The more efficient and productive your preparation is, the less time you will have to spend studying.

Once you have a plan that meets your needs, you need to stick to it with discipline and determination. One effective way is to start and complete a Gleim study unit every two days if you are preparing to take two parts within four months. You may never be completely satisfied with your preparations, but you must stay focused and on schedule.

Share your success! I would like to hear how you passed the CMA Exam. Email Melissa Leonard at imachapters@gleim.com with your questions and feedback.


Practice Like you Play
by Melissa Leonard, Gleim Chapter Coordinator

This month's column can be summarized with the sports phrase, "Practice like you play." Coaches are always telling athletes to approach practice as if it were a game. In the late 1990s, Roy Williams-the current UNC basketball coach and winner of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship-gave a speech in which he talked about how one of his former players was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and was in awe at how hard Michael Jordan practiced, including during preseason workouts. Apparently, Jordan did everything at 100% full speed, during both games and when "just practicing," which is probably why he's widely considered the greatest basketball player ever. How YOU practice with CMA questions carries over much the same when it comes to your "game-time" exam performance.
 
Sean Gaffney, the Johnson & Johnson Gold Medal Award Winner for the highest exam score, illustrates the success candidates have when they practice like they play in an exam environment. Sean is only one example of how for over 30 years Gleim has helped candidates succeed in their careers by passing these difficult exams and becoming certified.

Many of our successful candidates who have passed the CMA exam suggest that other candidates study by taking quizzes straight through without stopping and without distraction. They mention that, based on their experiences with effective study methods, it is important to not look at the answer explanations until after all questions are answered. This advice is worth taking because on the actual exam, candidates will not get immediate feedback.

The Gleim CMA Review System assists you in forcing yourself to commit to your answer choice before looking at answer explanations (and therefore preparing under true exam conditions). We have found that people have a much higher pass rate when they take 20-question quizzes or practice the essay questions while simulating exam conditions than when they regularly answered practice questions at a coffee shop or in front of the TV. If you study in a distracting environment, you will not be used to concentrating on answering a large chunk of questions without having some sort of external stimulation (i.e., distraction) when exam time comes, and you will likely be less successful.
 
Test-taking requires stamina build-up just as sports do. Therefore, you should approach answering every CMA question as if you're taking the actual exam at Prometric. Remember - practice like you play!
 
I would like to hear from you. Share your success story of how you passed the CMA Exam with me. Email Melissa Leonard at imachapters@gleim.com with your questions and feedback.


About Gleim

Gleim is committed to helping you accomplish your goal of passing the exam and becoming a CMA. Your IMA Austin Area Chapter has partnered with Gleim to ensure your success on the CMA exam! Working together, we will provide you the necessary tools to prepare for this difficult exam.

As an IMA Austin Area Chapter member, you receive significant discounts on the Gleim CMA Review materials and Gleim CPE. Contact Melissa Leonard at 800-874-5346 ext. 131 or melissa.leonard@gleim.com to take advantage of the offer or if you have any questions.

Do you have feedback on what you have read or suggestions on future topics? Maybe you are studying for the exam or have recently passed and want to share tactics you used. Email Gleim at imachapters@gleim.com with your comments.


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