Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

CMA Part 2 Textbook Update October 2018

The CMA Part 2 Textbook has been updated, and the new files are available for current students to download in My Studies.

The only major change in this update is that the whole topic of Risk Management (Section D in Volume 2) has been revised to reflect the most recent COSO document, Enterprise Risk Management: Integrating with Strategy and Performance. Candidates who have already studied Section D should review the new book to familiarize themselves with the latest guidance from COSO. All of the other changes were minor clarifications and re-arranging content for better flow, and there is no need to re-study any other topics.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CMA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student.

Congratulations to May/June 2018 CMA students

HOCK would like to extend our congratulations to all of the CMA students who passed their exams from the May/June testing window, especially to those who finished their second Part and have earned their CMA certification! It is our sincere pleasure providing the materials and support that help accounting professionals from all over the world advance their career.

Again, congratulations, and we wish all of our CMAs a successful and prosperous future!

CMA Part 1 Textbook and Questions Update July 2018 – for 2019 CMA Exams

The CMA Part 1 Textbook, Questions, and Flash Cards have been updated with all of the current accounting standards that will be tested on the CMA exams beginning in January 2019, including the new revenue recognition standard. A detailed list of changes is not available because the changes, particularly where revenue recognition is concerned, were extensive throughout all of Section A. There are no significant changes to the syllabus, accounting standards, or textbook in Sections B through E. Current students can access the updated materials in My Studies.

Updated videos for changed topics in Section A are coming soon and will be posted in My Studies as they are recorded.

Note: The newer accounting standards covered in the July 2018 update will not be tested until the January/February 2019 testing window. Candidates studying for the September/October 2018 exams should continue to use the previous version of the materials, which are all still available in My Studies through October.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CMA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student.

CMA Fundamentals Volume 2 Textbook Update July 2018

The CMA Fundamentals Volume 2 Textbook has been updated with all of the current accounting standards that will be tested on the CMA exams beginning in January 2019, including the new revenue recognition standard. A detailed list of changes is not available because the changes, particularly where revenue recognition is concerned, were extensive throughout the entire volume.

Note: The newer accounting standards covered in the July 2018 update will not be tested until the January/February 2019 testing window. Candidates studying for the September/October 2018 exams should continue to use the February 2017 version, which is still available to download in My Studies.

You can learn more about the CMA Fundamentals e-Book here, and the updated textbook file is available to download for current students in My Studies.

New! CMA Final Review Videos

We are pleased to announce new HOCK CMA Final Review Videos, which summarize all of the main topics on the CMA exam syllabus so that you can be sure that you refresh your understanding before going into the exam. The Final Review Videos are an excellent supplement to any CMA prep materials and will boost your confidence going into the exam.

The Final Review videos are included for free with our CMA Complete Package and our CMA Videos, and all students who previously purchased these materials have access to the new videos.

Just in time for students taking the exams this testing window (May/June 2018), the Final Review Videos are available separately and 50% off for a limited time – only $50 for one Part or $75 for both Parts!

If you have any questions about the Final Review Videos or any of the HOCK CMA exam prep, contact us and we will be glad to help.

CMA and CIA ExamSuccess Updated (April 2018)

CMA and CIA ExamSuccess for Windows and Mac have been updated with newer question databases. The new versions can be downloaded in My Studies. We recommend that all candidates studying for either exam update their software; all existing sessions and history will be preserved.

The updated questions are already live in ExamSuccess Online and no update is required.

Brian Hock joins IMA and Sarh Al-Joman at Student Scholarship Event

It was with great pleasure that Brian Hock recently traveled to Amman, Jordan and was able to speak and present scholarships at a joint event with the IMA and Sarh Al-Joman on March 3rd, 2018.

At the event attended by 200 professionals and university students, Brian spoke about what it means to be a professional and the role that Certifications play in your professional career.

After speaking, Brian drew winners to receive scholarships from HOCK for materials and classes from Sarh Al-Joman.

120 of the students in attendance also received scholarships from the IMA for free membership and exam registrations. These students will have a huge advantage over their peers having passed the CMA exams as they begin their career as accountants. Congratulations to all of the winners!

CMA Parts 1 and 2 Study Plans Update February 2018

The Study Plans for CMA Parts 1 and 2 have been updated with check boxes next to each topic to read, video to watch, and questions to practice. The boxes can also be checked off electronically if you’re following the study plan in the PDF.

HOCK students can download the latest Study Plans from My Studies, and the Study Plans are also available for free on the CMA Study Plans page.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CMA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student. Start studying today!

Myths and Misconceptions about Preparing for Exams

In my twenty years of helping candidates pass their certification exams, I have come across many myths and misconceptions that can cause candidates to spend more time and/or more money than they need to. These myths are often perpetuated through the marketing that companies use to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Unfortunately, this marketing can be very misleading as you research the best materials to use to study.

Myth #1: More material means better material

There are not a lot of materials that you need to prepare properly; all you need is a way to learn and way to practice. Usually, this means a textbook (but can also include videos if the videos cover the entire syllabus) and practice questions from past exams. The quantity of pages, number of questions, hours of videos, etc. is not as important as whether or not that material is complete, relevant, and prepares you to pass the exams. You generally do not need multiple question banks, either, because the question banks from each provider are usually very similar, including the same previously-released exam questions.

Myth #2: More expensive material means better material

While it is usually true that “you get what you pay for,” it is true only if what you are paying for adds value for you. When a material provider pays to receive “status” from the examiner or has an affiliate agreement with another site that “recommends” them (more on this next), these are costs that are passed on to you but do not add any value. If someone “approves” or “recommends” certain materials, be certain to find out the criteria for that recommendation. Any non-quality-based recommendation adds no value to you.

Myth #3: Review comparison sites are really unbiased

For many professional exams, there are websites that claim to offer unbiased reviews of the different providers. What is not very well known is that most of these sites receive commissions from the material providers listed on them, meaning that the reviews are not objective. Usually, the company that is rated the highest is the one that pays the highest commission to the review site. On some sites this relationship is disclosed (though often not very prominently), but on many sites it is not disclosed at all.

As an example, one of the review sites for CMA materials used to list HOCK as their #1 provider with five stars. When the owner of the site asked HOCK to join an affiliate commission program but we chose not to participate, we lost 2 stars overnight and went from first place to third place in their rankings. The change had nothing to do with the materials, but rather the review site could make money recommending other providers who would pay a commission.

Besides the undisclosed financial relationship, these sites often have incorrect and/or outdated information because they write a review and then it sits online, unchanged sometimes for years. These sites also give no mechanism for the course providers to provide updated information or to respond to the reviews if there are inaccurate or incorrect statements.

You may have noticed that there are a lot of these review comparison sites for CMA, CPA, and CIA materials that do not include HOCK. This is usually because we refused to pay a commission to the person who runs the site. I am certain that we have lost business over the years because of this decision, but I also know that it has allowed us to keep our prices more affordable for you, because we do not need to include a 20% or 25% commission mark-up in our price. What you pay for HOCK materials goes to value-added activities, and not to expensive marketing relationships.

Myth #4: Pass rates are accurate and honest

Many course providers post a pass rate for candidates who use their materials. I have written about this in the past (https://www.hockinternational.com/why-pass-rates-useless-why-we-dont-publish-them/), but these pass rates mean almost nothing because there is no straightforward and consistent way to calculate them. Which candidates are included? Or excluded? How do we determine a “pass?”

For example, if a candidate buys materials from Provider X and fails, but after purchasing Provider Y materials they pass the exam, is that candidate a “pass” for Provider X, Provider Y, or both? Does Provider X still include the first failure in their pass rate? Provider X could claim a 100% pass rate for that one student because they eventually did pass, but a 50% pass rate would be more accurate and honest.

Or, if a candidate uses materials from three providers and passes on their first attempt, who claims that “pass?” One way that you can see the inaccuracy of pass rates is by looking at all of the providers who publish pass rates. Every company claims a pass rate that is significantly higher than the exam’s published pass rate by the examining body. If these claimed pass rates were true, the real pass rate for the exam would as high as the claims made by the providers.

Myth #5: You must attend a class

For many years I taught live classes, and I know that a good class can be very helpful. However, the materials that a company sells should be sufficient to pass the exam with self-study. If you are going to study in a classroom, please make certain that the class will be value-added. See this post that I wrote previously listing some questions you should ask a classroom provider (https://www.hockinternational.com/questions-live-taught-classes/).

In addition, pay attention to the number of hours in the class. Some classes (including online classes) can include a large number of hours of instruction, which may be used to “justify” a higher price. No matter how good the teacher is, however, you need to spend time yourself studying and practicing questions. Not all of your study hours need to be instructor-led and if the class goes on too long, you are not getting any value from many of those hours.

For the CMA exam, both HOCK and the ICMA recommend 150 hours of study per part, and our videos are currently only 24 hours for Part 1 and 25 hours for Part 2. I have been teaching CMA since 2000 and we use those videos as the basis for our “You Pass or We Pay Guarantee.” If I am able to teach the content that you need in 25 hours per part, you do not need to be in a classroom for 100 hours per part.

Myth #6: Personal counselors are personal and needed

Some companies offer a personal counselor or similar service. While this sounds good, we believe that personal counselors are of limited added value to your studies. There is a specific syllabus for the exam, and every candidate must learn the material on the syllabus. You are able to determine in what areas you need additional study by looking at the statistics in your practice questions. If you have 94% for a topic, you know that topic well. If you have 43% for a topic, you do not know that topic well and you need to keep studying it. Maybe the counselor helps keep you motivated because they contact you every one or two weeks, but a good study plan can also keep you keep on track.

Besides statistics, only you know how well you understand a topic, regardless of the statistics. Are you guessing on the questions a lot? Are you confident in your knowledge as you read questions and answer them? Those are indicators about your preparedness that only you know. The counselor can’t tell you what your understanding and confidence level is.

In the end, interacting with a personal counselor adds time to your study process because the time you take talking to them or trying to meet specific administrative reporting tasks is time that you could be studying and learning the material instead.

Myth #7: There are shortcuts to passing the exam

Occasionally, a company will claim to have materials that reduce the time that you need to spend studying or have a shortcut to focus on “the right topics” for the exam. While that would be nice, there are no shortcuts! There is a syllabus for the exam and you need to learn all of it. Some common shortcuts include mnemonic devices or memory tricks, which may seem like they are working when you practice with questions that you become familiar with in the practice software, but on the exam you will have questions that you have never seen before. If you have only memorized a handful of key terms or phrases, you will not be able to answer questions on the exam that are different than the practice questions.

Using such shortcuts may reduce the amount of time you spend preparing for your first attempt on the exam, but you will spend the full amount of time later when you need to prepare to take the exam again. Not only do the shortcuts not save you any time, they cost you money as well when you don’t pass on the first attempt.

Final Thoughts

I hope that it is not too late for you to avoid some of these myths and misconceptions that could make your studies more expensive or take more time than necessary. You won’t find any shortcuts or marketing gimmicks at HOCK; instead, we will prepare you effectively and efficiently to pass the exams on your first attempt with comprehensive materials and support that give you all of the tools that you need – no more, and no less.

Brian Hock, CMA, CIA

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