Are you preparing to take the CMA exam? Becoming a Certified Management Accountant is a big commitment. The CMA exam has a 40% pass rate, which is 10% lower than the CPA exam. It’s not easy; you can expect to spend around 300 hours studying for the exam.
Why Do You Need CMA Exam Coach?
If you want to pass the exam on the first try, you’ll need to enroll in a CMA prep course. Traditionally, almost every CMA candidate takes a prep course. However, you should also consider taking on a coach for the following reasons.
1. Coaches can point out your blind spots
If you’ve never hired a coach, you’re in for a treat. Coaches are more valuable than you may think. In the business world, high-level players all have coaches. Sometimes they have a business coach and a life coach at the same time. Even coaches have coaches.
Coaches are not just cheerleaders who encourage you and support you with kind words from a distance. Coaches can help you uncover your blind spots and help you find optimal solutions. For example, a CMA coach can help identify where your accounting knowledge is weak. Uncovering your weak spots will help you pass the CMA exam and will help you perform better on the job.
An experienced CMA coach can present you with a variety of situations to find out how you’d handle each one. If you don’t respond with the optimal solution, they’ll tell you immediately and explain what the better choice is for each situation. That kind of feedback will help you in your career long-term.
2. A coach can help you organize your study techniques
While a CMA prep course is organized to help you pass the exam, taking on a coach is an effective way to supplement your studies.
The CMA exam is an 8-hour test broken down into two parts and can feel overwhelming. A coach can help you organize your study habits and time allocation to get the most out of your prep course to ensure you pass the exam.
Since CMA coaches have been through the process already, they will have experience with studying effectively and can share their tips and tricks to pass both parts of the exam.
3. Coaches have passed the CMA exam
There’s nobody better to help you pass the CMA exam than someone who has already passed. While there are several variations of the exam with different questions, the structure is the same. A coach who has passed the CMA exam has the direct, personal experience required to give you relevant advice.
Anyone can tell you how to study. General study tips are a dime a dozen, but only those who have passed the CMA exam can tell you how to study for the CMA exam.
4. Coaches with experience and expertise are invaluable
Anyone who has passed the CMA exam can technically start a coaching business and be qualified enough to take on clients. However, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be a good coach. For one, coaching takes special skills regardless of a person’s technical qualifications. Coaches need to be good at asking the right questions, communicating, and guiding clients to see solutions for themselves.
In addition to needing specific coaching-related skills, a CMA coach also needs real-world experience. Having real-world experience will be the key to getting advice and guidance that is applicable to your entire career, not just quick information to pass the exam.
Look for a CMA coach with experience working as a CMA if possible. They will be a wealth of knowledge for you beyond just helping you pass the exam. The most valuable coach will be one that you can rely on after you get certified to help you handle unfamiliar situations you’ll encounter on the job.
Technically, you’ll already have some job experience after getting certified, since job experience is required. However, you won’t have much. A CMA coach with far more experience will prove to be an invaluable advisor while you get settled into your new career.
Taking a prep course and having a coach is a winning combination
Rather than relying on just a coach or just a prep course, utilize both. A prep course will help you study for the exam and will prepare you with practice exams and predictive scoring so you’ll know how you’ll do on the exam.
A coach will guide you through the entire process and can help you settle into a new job once you’re certified. Both are important for your career as a certified management accountant.