How Long Does It Take to Prepare for the CMA Exam?

Adequate preparation for the certified management accountant exam typically involves 150 hours of review. Most self-study programs are designed to be completed over a 12-week period, states Whiteboard CMA review.

Prior to registering for the CMA program, applicants must possess membership in the IMA and a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and two years continuous experience in financial management or management accounting is required. Part one and part two of the exam - "Financial Planning, Performance and Control" and "Financial Decision Making" - can be taken in either order. However, one must be passed within the first 12 months of entering the program and both within three years to gain CMA certification, according to Lambers.