This post was written by guest blogger Melissa L.
Since the CMA Exam is very different from the types of exams I took in college, I had to adjust to how I approached my studies. Because of the breadth of topics tested and the fact that the exam is non-disclosed, I had to learn how to answer questions that I may have never seen before or that cover topics I am not familiar with. The CMA exam required me to really improve my educated guessing skills.
I have to remind myself to not fall into the trap of memorizing questions, but instead to make an effort to learn from the questions and my mistakes. Understanding answer explanations and why I missed questions aids in my learning the concepts and how to apply them. I also want to make sure that I answered questions correctly for the right reason during my review, especially for those questions for which I have to make an educated guess.
I always take quizzes in test mode so I am practicing in an environment more like the actual exam. (When at the exam, I won’t know right away if I answered a question correctly or not.) Therefore, during my review, I marked any questions that I made an educated guess on, so I could be sure that even if I answered it correctly, I would see that question during my review session, and know to read the answer explanations. I wanted to ensure that if I made an educated guess and got it correct that I still understood the concept.
Furthermore, if I know my study session is going to involve taking a multiple-choice quiz, then I make sure that I have the full 30 minutes to complete a 20 question quiz, plus an additional 25-30 minutes to review the answer explanations in detail. I have found it is more beneficial to review the quizzes immediately after completing them rather than waiting until after a short break or my next study session.