How is My CMA Exam Score Determined?

First, What is the CMA Exam Structure?


100 Multiple-Choice (3 Hours)

10 of the 100 questions are being evaluated by the ICMA as possible future exam questions, and are not part of your exam score and will not affect whether you pass or fail.

  • All MCQs are weighted equally

    A simple question about a definition counts as much as a long question with a lot of calculations.

  • There is no penalty for incorrect answers

    Never leave a question unanswered, even if you have to guess. A 25% chance is better than a 0% chance.

  • Mark questions to review later

    You can come back and look at marked questions later after you have gone through all of the questions.


2 Essays (1 Hour)

Each essay has between 4 and 8 smaller individual questions called "Requirements" based on the facts provided. The Requirements may build on each other.

  • Points are awarded for each step

    You get points for every part of your answer that is correct. You do not lose points for anything that is incorrect.

  • Show your work for partial credit

    By showing your work, math errors that get carried through the whole problem won't be penalized more than once.

  • Never leave a question blank

    Leaving a question blank earns you zero points. If you write something, you have the chance to earn some points.

Note: You need to get at least 50% of the multiple-choice questions correct to move on to the essays, otherwise your exam will end, and you have failed.

Then, How is My Result Determined?

out of 500

You need a 360 to pass.

Based on the difficulty of the questions randomly selected for your exam, the number of questions that you got correct in the MCQs, and number of points you received on the essays, you are given a “scaled score” between 0 and 500.

Note: 360 does NOT translate to 72%. It is simply a score and not a percentage of anything.

So, What Percentage of the Questions Do I Need to Get Correct to Pass?


You need to get at least 70% of the points overall between the MCQs and the essays in order to pass.

If you get less than 70%, you will pass only if your exam was considered to be more difficult than the average exam.

Brian Hock also has a blog post about exam scores and percentages.