CMA Course: Details, Full Form, Eligibility, Syllabus, Fees, Duration (Guide)
If you are interested in Finance or management accounting and want to reduce the organization’s overall cost, you must check out the CMA course.
The full form of CMA is Cost and Management Accountancy. The Institute of Cost Accounts of India offers and manages the CMA course. Earlier it was also known as CWA, i.e., Cost and Works Accounting.
While preparing for the CMA exams, you’ll study the principles of cost accounting and their practical application in the real world. After becoming a CMA, you can work in the government and private sectors. CFO, Financial Analyst, Corporate Controller, Cost Accountant, and Management Accountant are a few of its popular job profiles.
In this guide, you’ll know the complete details about the CMA course, such as its eligibility, registration, fees, duration, three levels, syllabus, salary, and scope.
Table of Content
- What is CMA Course?
- CMA Course Details
- Difference Between ICMAI and ICWAI
- Three Levels of Cost and Management Accounting Course
- Syllabus and Subjects of Cost and Management Accountancy
- CMA Course Duration
- What is the Eligibility for the CMA Course?
- CMA Course Fees 2023
- How to Register for the CMA Course?
- CMA Exam Form
- CMA Study Material 2023
- ICMAI CMA Exam Pattern for All Three Levels
- CMA Exam Dates for Dec 2022
- How to get an Exemption in CMA Exams?
- CMA Exam Admit Card
- Should you Take CMA Coaching Classes for Exam Preparation?
- CMA Results
- Why Pursue the CMA Course?
- Cost and Management Accountant Salary in India
- Career Scope after CMA
- Who Should Do CMA?
- How Can You Become a CMA in India?
- What is the Best Time to Pursue the CMA course?
- US CMA Course
What is CMA Course?
CMA is a professional course provided by the Institute of Cost Accounts of India. The CMA course has three levels which are Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. To become a CMA, you must clear all these three levels and complete the practical training.
Here, you’ll study the fundamental concepts of cost control, financial planning, cost planning, financial analysis, cost analysis, and decision-making. Furthermore, the certification for the CMA course varies from country to country.
To know everything about CMA course, check out this complete guide.
CMA Course Details
|Particulars||CMA Course Details|
|CMA Full Form||Cost and Management Accountancy|
|Offered By||Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI)|
|Eligibility Criteria||Passed 12th with a minimum of 50% or Cleared Graduation|
|Course Levels||Three- Foundation, Intermediate & Final|
|Total Papers||20 Papers|
|CMA Course Duration||Three years|
|CMA Course Fees||Rs. 1-2 Lakhs|
|CMA Salary in India||10 Lakhs pa|
|Job Profiles||Chief Financial Officer, Financial Analyst, Corporate Controller, Cost Accountant, Management Accountant, Auditor|
Difference Between ICMAI and ICWAI
Previously, ICMAI was called ICWAI, the Institute of Cost & Work Accountants of India. In the same way, the CMA course was previously known as CWA, the Cost and Work Accountant. So, there is no difference between ICMAI and ICWAI. Both of them are the same, just the names are changed in the past.
Three Levels of Cost and Management Accounting Course
As we all know, the CMA course consists of three levels- Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. The courses are designed to teach finance, accounting, law, management, etc.
CMA Foundation – It is the first level, where students will learn about the basics of Cost and Management accounting. The foundation level is of 8 months. To clear this exam, you need to get at least 40% marks.
CMA Intermediate – At this level, you’ll study Financial and cost accounts, and taxation at a deeper level. There are a total of eight papers divided into two groups.
CMA Final – It is the toughest stage of the Cost and Management Accounting course. Here, you’ll study various laws, cost and financial management, reporting, auditing and more in-depth.
Students also need to do practical training, which is crucial to develop necessary skills in the field like communication, pressure handling, time management, etc.
CMA Course Practical Training
- To expose to the working environment of various organizations.
- To develop the necessary skills required to implement theoretical knowledge of CMA in practical scenarios of various corporate fields.
- To develop a professional and disciplined attitude required in the field
- To make aware of ethical values in the corporate world.
Every student registered for the CMA course is required to undergo practical training for 3 years on a full-time basis in one organization mentioned in Appendix A and areas mentioned in Appendix B for reorganization.
Syllabus and Subjects of Cost and Management Accountancy
The CMA Course syllabus is divided into three levels. The CMA Foundation course syllabus covers fundamental management and accounting aspects.
Further, the CMA Intermediate and Final subjects are categorized into two groups, each having four subjects. These levels cover advanced-level topics relating to accounting, management, cost, laws, etc.
So the complete list of subjects for each level is as follows:
CMA Foundation Syllabus & Subjects
- Fundamentals of Economics And Management
- Fundamentals of Accounting
- Fundamentals of Laws and Ethics
- Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics
CMA Intermediate Syllabus & Subjects
The CMA Inter subjects of both groups are mentioned below.
- Financial Accounting
- Laws and Ethics
- Direct Taxation
- Cost Accounting
- Operations Management & Strategic Management
- Cost & Management Accounting and Financial Management
- Indirect Taxation
- Company Accounts & Audit
CMA Final Syllabus & Subjects
- Corporate Laws & Compliance
- Strategic Financial Management
- Strategic Cost Management – Decision Making
- Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation
- Corporate Financial Reporting
- Indirect Tax Laws and Practice
- Cost and Management Audit
- Strategic Performance Management and Business Valuation
Depending on the preparation level, students eligible to appear in the CMA Intermediate and Final Examination may opt for appearing in both groups or either of them.
CMA Course Duration
The duration of the CMA course is 3 years. In these years, students must clear three CMA levels, which are Foundation, Inter and Final.
Furthermore, the graduate students will take at least 2.5 years, as they are exempted from the Foundation Level. So, Bcom students will need a minimum of 2.5 years to become CMA.
Check the table to know the CMA duration for each level.
|CMA Course Level||Duration|
|CMA Foundation||8 months|
|CMA Intermediate||10 months|
|CMA Final||18 months|
What is the Eligibility for the CMA Course?
Students who have passed the class 12th or graduated in any field other than fine arts or passed the Intermediate level of ICAI are eligible to apply for the CMA course.
The eligibility criteria to pursue a CMA course varies with its level. Take a look at the CMA course qualification for each level.
CMA Foundation Eligibility Criteria:
The eligibility criteria for the CMA Foundation course are:
- Must have a high school or equivalent from a recognized board
- Must have a 10+2 certificate from a recognized board.
Commerce Examination from Qualified National Diploma by AICTE or State Board of Technical Education.
Diploma in Rural Service Examination under National Council for Higher Education.
As per the ICMAI, there is no upper age limit to apply for the CMA course. However, the applicant must be 18 years or older.
CMA Intermediate Eligibility Criteria
- Cleared the 10+2 exams.
- Cleared the CMA Foundation exams.
- Passed Part 1 of the CAT exam of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.
A student should have Bachelor’s degree except in fine arts.
Cleared CA Foundation of ICSI or the Intermediate level of CA.
CMA Final Eligibility Criteria
The eligibility to register for the CMA Final exams are:
- Cleared CMA Intermediate Parts 1 and 2.
- Completed the training for CMA Final.
CMA Course Fees 2023
|CMA Course Level||CMA Course Fees|
|CMA Foundation Fees||Rs. 6000|
|CMA Intermediate Fees (Full)||Rs. 23,100|
|CMA Inter Fees (Installment)||Rs. 12,000 + Rs. 11,100|
|CMA Final Fees (Full)||Rs. 25,000|
|CMA Final Fees (Installment)||Rs. 15,000 + Rs. 10,000|
The CMA fees are different for each level. Now, let’s check the fees for CMA Foundation, Intermediate, and Final levels-
CMA Foundation Course Fees
The fee for the CMA Foundation course is INR 6000.
CMA Intermediate Level fees
|1||Intermediate (full)||INR 23,100/-|
|2||Intermediate (in instalment)||INR 12,000/- (1st instalment)
INR 11,100/- (2nd instalment)
CMA Final Level Fees
|1||Final (full)||INR 25,000/-|
|2||Final (in instalment)||INR 15,000/- (1st instalment)
INR 10,000/- (2nd instalment)
CMA Course Fees after Graduation
The total CMA course fee after graduation is Rs. 48,100. It includes the Intermediate fees of Rs. 23,100 and the final fees of Rs. 25,000.
How to Register for the CMA Course?
All year round, CMA course registration is open for the ICAI courses. Further, candidates for CMA must register four months before the proposed term. Candidates interested in the December term must register in July, while those interested in the June term must do so by January 31 of that same year.
To register for the CMA Foundation/Intermediate/Final course, follow these steps:
- Visit the official website of ICMAI.
- Click on the Students tab from the menu.
- On the new page, tap on “Online Admission.” You’ll land on the Online Student Registration System Page.
- Choose the one from CMA Foundation/Intermediate/Final.
- For more details, click on the “Read More” button below each course and find the relevant eligibility, fees, and study material.
- Fill out the required information after clicking the Apply button. Further, you will receive an OTP in your mail.
- After validating the OTP, fill out the remaining details. Enter all your details carefully and check them twice. You also need to submit documents which you can find in the later section.
- Lastly, pay the CMA fees and download the confirmation receipt. Keep it safe for later use.
Important Dates for the CMA Registration
Registration for the CMA exams is always open, but students must fill out the registration form before the last dates. So, the last date to fill out the registration form for the June exams is Jan 31 and for the Dec exam is July 31.
Documents Required for CMA Course Registration
The documents required for CMA Foundation registration is as follows:
- Passport Photo (JPG/JPEG | 200 KB)
- Specimen Signature (JPG/JPEG | 100 KB)
- Age Proof (PDF | 300 KB)
- 10th Pass Marksheet (PDF | 300 KB)
- 12th Pass Marksheet (PDF | 300 KB)
CMA Exam Form
After registering for the CMA course, applicants must fill out the CMA exam form or else they won’t be able to take up the exams of that attempt.
Procedure to fill out the CMA Application form
For the CMA exam form fill up for CMA Foundation/Intermediate/Final, follow these steps:
- Visit the official website of ICMAI.
- So next, click on the Students tab from the menu. A new tab will open.
- Scroll down to the end of the page, and on your right, you can see the Online Exam Application Form option.
- You will be taken to a new page; locate the “Online Application” link and click it.
- From the drop-down, select your preferred course, and continue to enter your information on the exam form.
- Note to upload the required documentation asked.
- Select the payment option; proceed to pay, and keep the receipt after completing the payment.
The CMA exam form will only be accessible online. Hence, to submit the exam form, students need to visit the official website of ICMAI and complete the form.
CMA Application Fees Structure
Below find all the fee details about the CMA exam form:
|Course Level||Exam Form Fee in India||Exam Form Fee Overseas|
|Foundation course||INR 1,200||USD 60|
|Intermediate course (Group I or II)||INR 1,200||USD 90|
|Intermediate course (both groups)||INR 2,400||–|
|Final course (Group I or II)||INR 1,400||USD 100|
|Final course (combination groups)||INR 2,800||–|
CMA Study Material 2023
ICMAI released the CMA study material for the 2023 exams on the official website. Students can either download the pdf of the study material or order it online.
The study material includes all the topics relevant to the 2022 exams. All the students are advised to prefer only the ICMAI modules for their exam preparation.
Here are the direct links to download the official study material for all levels:
ICMAI CMA Exam Pattern for All Three Levels
Before appearing in any of the exams of the CMA course, you must be aware of the exam pattern of each level. The exam pattern informs you about the questions expected in the exam, the time limit, the weightage of various chapters, and the type of questions. Each level is held twice annually.
Let’s check the CA Foundation exam pattern.
CMA Foundation Exam Pattern & Passing Marks
According to the CMA Foundation exam pattern, each paper is of 100 marks and will last for three hours. The applicants will be given an additional fifteen minutes to review the CMA foundation question paper.
The question paper will comprise descriptive and objective problems. Further, the objective portion of the CMA Foundation carries 60%, and the subjective portion is 40%. Students will be required to split their time to complete the CMA foundation exam question paper on time. There is no negative marking in the papers.
To pass the CMA Foundation examination, students must get a minimum of 40 per cent on every examination subject and 50 per cent overall.
CMA Intermediate Exam Pattern & Passing Marks
There are a total of eight subjects at the CMA Intermediate level, divided into two groups. Each paper has 100 marks with three hours each.
The questions covered in the CMA Inter papers will be objective and descriptive. Further, there is no negative marketing for wrong answers. To pass the CMA Intermediate examination, students must get a minimum of 40 per cent on every examination subject and 50 per cent overall.
Important Tip – Before starting your CMA course syllabus of CMA Intermediate, you must check the chapter weightage since each paper has a different weightage. Focusing more on the sections with the highest percentages is more beneficial.
CMA Final Exam Pattern & Passing Scores
The CMA Final Exams comprise eight subjects divided into two groups, each having four subjects. Further, the questions are both objective and subjective types. There are a total of 120 questions, and each paper is 100 marks, with three hours to complete the paper.
Additionally, there is no negative marking. Further, the exam mode will be offline centre-based. To pass the CMA Final, you must secure 40% in each paper and 50% in aggregate.
CMA Exam Dates for Dec 2022
The ICMAI has released the CMA exam dates of the Dec 2022 attempt on its official website.
CMA Foundation Exam Dates Dec 2022:
Based on the CMA Foundation schedule, the papers for the CMA foundation exams will conduct on Jan 13, 2022. Also, the paper will conduct online.
CMA Intermediate and Final Exam Dates for Dec 2022:
As per the ICMAI timetable 2022, the CMA Inter and Final exams will be held from 5th January to 12th January 2023. Check the official date sheet below:
How to get an Exemption in CMA Exams?
If a student can’t clear a group, but get 60+ marks in any of the paper in that group, then he will be exempted to appear in that paper in the next attempt. However, to calculate the overall percentage in the next attempt, the marks of the exempted paper will be taken as 50.
Carry Forward of Marks in CMA Exams
If a candidate can’t clear a group but get 60+ marks in any paper and more than 40 marks in all the papers, then the marks of the exempted papers will be carried forward in the next attempt.
CMA Exam Admit Card
Usually, CMA releases the CMA exam admit cards a week before exams. The admit cards for CMA exams are accessible for online download from ICMAI’s official site.
It is mandatory for all students to carry the admit card in the examination hall. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to sit for exams. Therefore, it is always wise to check the ICMAI website regularly for notifications.
The admit card includes essential information for verification on exam day. The following information appears on the admission card for the candidate:
- Name, signature, photograph, and date of birth of the candidate
- Residential address of the candidate
- Name and code of centre
- Time and date of exam
- Roll number
- Guidelines for the exam
- Allotted test centre’s name and address
- Registration number
After the admit card has been published on the site, the candidates must verify the information printed on it. If there are any errors in the information, the candidate may notify the ICMAI authorities within the allotted time frame to address the error. Moreover, contact the authorities if you can’t access the admit card.
Procedure to Download the CMA Exam Admit Card
- Go to the ICMAI website.
- On the left-side menu, select Admit Cards.
- A new page will open the link to download Dec 2022 admit card.
- Enter your CMA registration number.
- So after entering the registration number, you will get the option to view your admit card.
- Check all the information mentioned and download the hall ticket.
Should you Take CMA Coaching Classes for Exam Preparation?
Yes. If you want to clear the CMA exams on the first attempt with an All India first rank, then coaching is necessary. When you study in a good CMA coaching institute, you’ll get the advantage of studying from the best teachers.
You can also enrol in the VSI Jaipur institute. We not only provide the best classes, but also conduct regular mock test series and offer personalised guidance to each student.
Students will get their results after forty days, or six weeks following the completion of the exams. The ICMAI will release the result on its website. Further, to pass the CMA Exam, a minimum score of 360 out of 500 is necessary.
To check the results, follow these steps:
- Go to the examination section of ICMAI’s official website.
- As you scroll down, you can view the “Result” tab on the left side of the screen. So click on it.
- Click the appropriate link.
- Then you can check the exam results.
CMA Pass Percentage
|CMA Exam||Pass Percentage|
|CMA Intermediate Group 1||18.62%|
|CMA Intermediate Group 2||40.05%|
|CMA Intermediate (pass in one group)||9.47%|
|CMA Intermediate (pass in both groups)||18.53%|
|CMA Final Group 3||13.88%|
|CMA Final Group 4||27.27%|
|CMA Final (pass in one group)||14.48%|
|CMA Final (pass in both groups)||15.91%|
Why Pursue the CMA Course?
Here are the 5 major advantages of pursuing the CMA course & having its certification in India:
1. High Growth Potential
CMA is a management-level certification that provides many options for advancement. The CMA certification indicates that you will take on additional responsibilities and oversee the accounts and accounting.
2. Well-Paid Salary Packages
A CMA certification qualifies you for better compensation than other applicants. This is because CMA-certified individuals advance into management positions faster after earning experience. Even if they switch companies, they receive a larger pay raise due to their high market demand.
3. Huge Global Opportunities
CMA accreditation has worldwide significance. You might be a graduate with a great career in your own country. However, if you want to find employment in another nation, you will need CMA certification. CMA certification is recognized worldwide and respected. To apply in nations where they can get good pay and industry exposure.
4. CMAs are in Great Demand.
CMAs demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in Accounting and other aspects of the business. Therefore, they are in great demand for employment by the biggest MNCs.
5. Great Knowledge of Accounting & Business
CMA graduates are familiar with business and accounting, as the curriculum requires in-depth knowledge of both disciplines. Applicants for this certification learn the distinction between accounting and profitable and economical accounting. You’ll have more business appeal with a CMA certification.
Now, let us tell you some objections to pursuing the CMA course:
- It is difficult to clear the CMA exams. Students need to study very hard to crack all the levels of the Cost and Management Accountancy course.
- The duration of the CMA course is long. Being one of the most challenging exams, many students take 4-5 years or more to become a CMA.
- High Fees for the course. The monetary cost of becoming a Cost and Management Accountant is also high. Apart from the registration and exam fees, a lot of money will be spent on study materials, coaching and transportation.
Cost and Management Accountant Salary in India
Cost management accounting is one of the most lucrative professions in India. The average starting salary of CMA as a fresher is between 4-5 lacs. And the average salary of CMAs with adequate experience is between 10-12 lacs. The CMA salary depends upon the few prospects, such as job role, location, experience, etc. Below is the table highlighting the Average, highest, and lowest salaries of CMA in India as mentioned on ambition box and glassdoor.
|Lowest Salary||INR 4 Lacs|
|Highest Salary||INR 50 Lacs|
|Average Salary||INR 6.5 Lacs|
Career Scope after CMA
The career scope in CMA is vast. After completing the CMA course, candidates may get a top management job in the public and private sectors. The course provides in-depth knowledge and understanding of business, accounts, management, finances, law, and more that help to get an excellent job across the world.
A certified CMA career path allows candidates to excel in finance and management fields. There are various job opportunities after completing CMA in every field.
Whether it is a research institute, consulting firm, financial institution, government body, public utility sector, or stock exchange, every organization is looking for CMA. Some of the top job roles after CMA are-
Job Roles for CMA Professionals
- Cost Accountant
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Internal Auditor
- Managing Director
- Finance Director
- Financial Consultant
- Cost Controller
- Financial Controller
Top Recruiters of Cost and Management Accountants
Below is the list of top Recruiters of Cost and Management Accountants-
- India Oil
- TATA Motors
Who Should Do CMA?
The objective of the CMA course is to provide professional and practical knowledge required for management accounting.
So, students who want to build their career in management accounting can pursue the CMA course. The CMA certification is internationally applicable and will help in getting jobs abroad.
Furthermore, working professionals in the accounting and finance field can also pursue this course to enhance their accounting skills.
How Can You Become a CMA in India?
- Fulfil the eligibility criteria for the CMA Foundation and register for the course.
- Study for the exams and clear them with at least 40% to qualify for the next level.
- Register for the CMA Intermediate course.
- After clearing both groups of CMA Inter, register for the 15 months-practical training.
- Register for the CMA Final exams.
- Complete the practical training and side-by-side study for the Final exams.
- After clearing both groups of Final exams, you’ll become a Cost and Management Accountant.
- Finally, apply for the ICMAI membership.
In total, there are 20 papers that students need to clear to become a Cost and Management Accountant
What is the Best Time to Pursue the CMA course?
The best time to do CMA is after completing your class 12th. This way, you can start your preparation early and become a CMA at an early age. Thus, giving you time to pursue other courses like CA, CFA, MBA in finance, etc.
US CMA Course
Certified Management Accounting is a professional course in the USA offered by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). So, students who want to do the job of Management Accounting in the USA should pursue this course.
The US CMA course is categorized into 2 parts and has 12 papers in total. In paper 1, you’ll study Financial planning, performance & analysis. Furthermore, in paper 2, you’ll study financial management.
The total duration of the US CMA course is 1.5 to 3 years.
Ques 1. Which is better, CA and CMA?
Both courses offer one of the most decent jobs in India. However, over the last few years, the CMA course has become more popular among students. There is plenty of opportunity available after completing the CMA certification in India and abroad.
Ques 2. Is a Chartered Accountant and Cost and Management Accountant the same?
No, CA and CMA are not the same. A CA knows auditing, accounting, and taxation. Whereas a CMA (Cost Management Accountancy) manages the finances of a company. However, both CA and CMA are for commerce students who want to make their career in accounting.
Ques 3. Is CMA difficult to pass?
Yes, CMA exams are difficult to pass, and it will test your financial and accounting knowledge rigorously. The average pass percentage of CMA is 45% which shows half of the students are unable to clear the exams.
Ques 4. Is Cost and Management Accounting a good career option?
Yes, CMA is a good career option. CMA is one of the most reputed jobs in India and the corporate world. Becoming a certified CMA opens the door to lots of opportunities in the national and international markets and allows you to settle for the job role you desire.
Ques 5. Can I do CMA without math?
Yes, you can do CMA without math. To qualify for each level, you must obtain 40% marks in every subject and 50% overall. So, even if your math is weak, you should focus on statistics which covers 60% of the syllabus.
Ques 6. Are the Cost and Management Accountants in demand?
Yes, the demand for candidates with CMA certifications has increased over the years. The career scope after completing CMA has widened in India and abroad, along with their packages.
Ques 7. I have completed my BCOM degree, do I need to register for the CMA Foundation course?
No, the graduate students can directly register for the CMA Intermediate course.
Ques 8. Which course is better: ACCA vs CMA?
Based on global recognition and demands, CMA is a better course. However, if you want to work in the UK and other commonwealth countries, then ACCA is a better option for you.
Ques 9. How to become a CMA Member?
First, you need to complete the CMA Final exams. After clearing the exams, you can apply for membership in the ICMAI institute.
Ques 10. What are the best courses after CMA?
The top courses after CMA are CA, CS, CFA, and MBA (in Finance).
Ques 11. How will I get placements after becoming a CMA?
The CMA candidates can register for the ICMAI campus placements. Furthermore, they can personally look for jobs by sending their resume to companies.
Ques 12. Is CMA better than an MBA degree?
The CMA is a better course for candidates who want to pursue a career in Accounting and Finance. However, if you’re interested in Marketing, Finance or Management, go for the MBA course.
Ques 13. Is the Cost & Management Accounting job stressful?
The CMA job is a little stressful due to the heavy workload and deadlines. However, it is also a responsibility to manage all things and complete the work on time.
Ques 14. Can I self-study for the CMA course?
Students can do self-study for the CMA Foundation exams. But, for the CMA Inter and Final exams, we recommend students join good coaching, as the difficulty level of these exams is very high.