What is CMA Course?

CMA – Cost & Management Accountant Course

Choosing CMA as a career option is indeed a great idea, as the course is designed to nurture young minds into future business leaders. Nowadays, the CMA course is becoming increasingly popular among commerce students, especially those aspiring to excel in Cost and Management Accounting. If you are curious about the course details, keep reading to learn all about the CMA course in India.

Note: People often get confused between terms like ICWAI, ICWA, ICMAI, and CMA. To clear up any doubts, let us inform you that there is no difference between ICWAI and ICMAI, except for the name. The Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) has changed its name to the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI). Additionally, the ICWA course has been renamed as the CMA course.

CMA Course Duration

The CMA course is divided into three levels:

  1. CMA Foundation: This is the entry-level course and provides a basic understanding of cost and management accounting concepts. The duration of the Foundation course is about 6 months.
  2. CMA Inter: The Intermediate level builds on the knowledge gained in the Foundation course and delves deeper into advanced topics of cost and management accounting. The duration of the Inter course is approximately 12 months.
  3. CMA Final: This is the last stage of the CMA course, where students undergo comprehensive training and examinations in various advanced subjects related to cost and management accounting. The duration of the Final course is around 18 months.

In total, the CMA course takes about 3 years to complete, starting from the Foundation level and progressing through the Inter level to finally reach the Final level.

Eligibility Criteria for CMA course

The eligibility criteria for admission to the CMA course are as follows:

  1. CMA Foundation Course:
    • Candidates should have passed Class 10 or equivalent from a recognized Board or Institution.
    • Passed Senior Secondary Examination under the 10+2 scheme of a recognized Board, or an Examination recognized by the Central Government as equivalent thereto, or has passed the National Diploma in Commerce Examination held by the All India Council for Technical Education or any State Board of Technical Education under the authority of the said All India Council, or the Diploma in Rural Service Examination conducted by the National Council of Higher Education.
  2. CMA Intermediate Course:
    • Passed Senior Secondary School Examination (10+2) and Foundation Course of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.
    • Graduation in any discipline other than Fine Arts along with passing the Foundation (Entry Level) Part I Examination of CAT of the Institute, or Foundation (Entry Level) Part I Examination and Competency Level Part II Examination of CAT of the Institute.
    • Passed Foundation of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) or Intermediate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by whatever name called along with 10+2.
  3. CMA Final Course:
    • Passed the Intermediate course of the Institute and completed 15 months of practical training.

These are the basic eligibility requirements for each level of the CMA course. Candidates must meet these criteria to be eligible for registration and enrollment in the respective courses.

Exemption in CMA Course

In the CMA course, to clear a group of exams, a student needs to achieve a minimum of 40 percent marks in each subject of the group and an aggregate of 50 percent or more in the entire group.

However, there are certain rules regarding exemptions and carry forward of marks in the CMA exams:

  1. Exemption in CMA Exams:
    • If a candidate secures 60 percent or more in any paper of a group but fails to clear the entire group, he/she will be exempted from appearing in that specific paper(s) in the subsequent attempt.
    • However, for calculating the aggregate marks in the subsequent attempt, the marks obtained in the exempted paper(s) will be considered as 50.
  2. Carry Forward of Marks:
    • If a candidate secures 60 percent or more in any paper of a group and a minimum of 40 percent marks in each of the remaining papers of that group but fails to clear the entire group, he/she will be exempted from appearing in those specific paper(s) in the subsequent attempt.
    • Moreover, the candidate will also be allowed the benefit of carrying forward the actual marks obtained in the exempted paper(s) to the subsequent attempt.

These rules provide candidates with the opportunity to carry forward their good performance in specific papers and ease the burden of having to reappear in those papers in the next attempt.

CMA – Cost & Management Accountant Course Fee

The fee details for CMA Foundation, Intermediate, and Final course are:

Level of Course Amount (in Rs.)
Foundation 6,000/-
Intermediate 22,000/-
Final 25,000/-

CMA Registration Important Dates

Admission to the ICAI foundation course is open year-round, allowing students to enroll at any time. However, for students who wish to appear for the June Term Examination, they must apply before the 31st of January of that year. Similarly, for those aiming to appear for the December Term Examination, the application deadline is before the 31st of July of that year. These deadlines ensure that students have sufficient time to prepare for their exams and complete the necessary formalities for enrollment.

How to enroll for CMA Course?

To enroll in the CMA course, candidates can follow these simple steps through online mode:

  1. Visit the official website of the institute and click on the CMA registration process.
  2. Fill in all the required details in the registration form and click on save and continue.
  3. Upload the necessary documents as per the guidelines provided and click submit.
  4. Proceed to make the payment for the course fees through a secure online payment method.
  5. After successful payment, make sure to print the application form for future reference.

Documents required for registration:

During the CMA course registration, candidates need to submit certain essential documents. Here is a list of documents required:

  1. Passport-sized photograph.
  2. Specimen signature.
  3. Class 10th mark sheet.
  4. Class 12th mark sheet.
  5. Graduation degree and certificates (if applicable).
  6. CMA Intermediate Pass (both Group-I & Group-II) mark sheet/certificate (For candidates applying for CMA Final Course).

These documents are vital for the registration process and to verify the eligibility of candidates for the respective CMA course level. Make sure to have all these documents ready and uploaded during the online registration to ensure a smooth and successful enrollment.

CMA Exam Details – Form, Schedule, Pattern

Application Form

To ensure a successful application for the CMA Foundation, Intermediate, or Final Examinations, candidates must follow the application process before the due date. Here are the steps to apply:

  1. Visit the official website of ICMAI – https://icmai.in/
  2. Click on the ‘Admissions’ tab.
  3. Choose the course you wish to apply for (Foundation, Intermediate, or Final).
  4. Fill in all the necessary details, including personal information, address details, and qualification details.
  5. Proceed to pay the application fee for your selected course.
  6. Review all the information provided and submit the application form.

CMA Application Fee:


(In Rs.)

Foundation Course 1,200/- 60
Intermediate Course (Single Group) 1,200/- 90
Intermediate Course (Both Groups) 2,400/-
Final Course (Single Group) 1,400/- 100
Final Course (Both Groups) 2,800/-


The CMA exams are conducted twice a year, in the months of June and December. Students who wish to appear for the June Term Examination need to complete their registration before 31st January of that year. Similarly, for the December Term Examination, students should register before 31st July of that year.


The CMA exams are conducted in a descriptive mode, where candidates are required to write their answers on pen and paper. Each subject in the CMA course carries a weightage of 100 marks, and the duration of each paper is 3 hours. During the exam, candidates are expected to provide comprehensive and detailed answers to the questions asked, showcasing their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

CMA Exam Admit Card

The CMA institute issues admit cards to candidates approximately 15 days before the examination. It is essential for candidates to download their admit cards from the official website and carry a printed copy to the examination center. Along with the admit card, candidates must also present a photo ID proof that is validated by Government authorities.

How to download CMA Admit Card?

To download the CMA admit card, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the official website: icmai.in/studentswebsite/index.php
  2. Click on the “Examination” tab.
  3. Select the “Admit Card” option from the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose the exam for which you are appearing (e.g., Foundation, Intermediate, or Final).
  5. Click on the “Print Admit Card” button.

Contents on CMA Admit Card

The CMA admit card will contain the following important details:

  1. Name of the Candidate: Your full name as registered with the CMA institute will be mentioned on the admit card.
  2. Signature and Photograph of the Candidate: The admit card will have your scanned photograph and space for your signature.
  3. Roll Number: Your unique roll number for the examination will be clearly mentioned on the admit card.
  4. Time and Examination Centre: The date, time, and location of your CMA examination center will be specified on the admit card.
  5. Instructions for the Examination: Important instructions and guidelines for the examination day will be provided on the admit card. Please read and follow them carefully.
  6. Space for Invigilator’s Signature: There will be a designated space for the invigilator’s signature, which will be completed on the day of the examination.

CMA – Cost & Management Accountant Syllabus and Subjects

The CMA course is structured into three levels – Foundation, Intermediate, and Final. Each level covers different aspects of accounting and management, gradually building on the foundational knowledge to advanced concepts. Below is the subject list for each level of the CMA course:

Foundation Course:

  1. Fundamentals of Economics and Management
  2. Fundamentals of Accounting
  3. Fundamentals of Laws and Ethics
  4. Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics

Intermediate Course:

Group I:

  1. Financial Accounting
  2. Laws and Ethics
  3. Direct Taxation
  4. Cost Accounting

Group II:

  1. Operations Management & Strategic Management
  2. Cost & Management Accounting and Financial Management
  3. Indirect Taxation
  4. Company Accounts & Audit

Final Course:

Group I:

  1. Corporate Laws & Compliance
  2. Strategic Financial Management
  3. Strategic Cost Management – Decision Making
  4. Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation

Group II:

  1. Corporate Financial Reporting
  2. Indirect Tax Laws and Practice
  3. Cost and Management Audit
  4. Strategic Performance Management and Business Valuation

CMA Study Material

Preparing for the CMA course requires dedication and effort. To excel in CMA exams, students should focus on the study material provided by the institute. Additionally, enrolling in online test series can greatly enhance performance. It’s also beneficial to refer to previous year’s questions and answers available on the institute’s website. Adopting these strategies will help students succeed in the exams with confidence.

CMA Classes

Preparing for the CMA course offers two options: self-study or coaching. However, enrolling in classes is highly recommended to ensure comprehensive preparation. Classes provide valuable guidance and clear all concepts, helping students channel their efforts in the right direction. IndigoLearn is a top platform for CMA preparation, offering online and pen drive classes from renowned educators. Their engaging HD videos, student-friendly notes, and exam-style assessments make learning effective and convenient. Additionally, study materials and summary notes aid in last-minute revisions, making your CMA journey a success.


CMA – Cost & Management Accountant Results

In order to qualify for CMA exams, a candidate is required to obtain a minimum of 40% marks in each subject and an aggregate of 50% or more.

How to check CMA results?

To check CMA results, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the official website: icmai.in/studentswebsite/index.php
  2. Click on the examination tab.
  3. Select the ‘result’ option from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on the exam for which you appeared.
  5. Enter your identification number and click on “view result”.
  6. The result will appear on the screen, showing your performance in the CMA exam.

Career after CMA – Cost & Management Accountant

  • CMA offers limitless opportunities for career growth and success.
  • Top-level management jobs await CMA graduates.
  • Explore exciting career prospects like Finance Manager, Financial Analyst, Chief Financial Officer, and more.
  • Fresh CMA graduates can earn an average salary of 7 lakh rupees per annum.
  • With exceptional skills, earnings can reach up to 20 lakhs or even more.
  • Experience and a developed skillset pave the way for boundless earnings.
  • Embrace the power of CMA and unlock a bright and prosperous future!

Advantages of CMA – Cost & Management Accountant

  1. Better Job Opportunities: CMA is one of the most respected courses in India, offering a gateway to excel in the finance field both domestically and internationally. It increases your chances of landing top-level management jobs, propelling your career path forward.
  2. High Demand: CMAs are in high demand due to their expertise in Cost and Management Accounting. Top MNCs actively seek CMA professionals for various job roles.
  3. Abundant Growth Opportunities: With CMA expertise in finance, you can access more and better career opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. Advancement in your career becomes more achievable as a CMA student.
  4. Lucrative Earnings: If money is a motivating factor for you, CMA is the right career choice. It offers high earning potential, making it an attractive option for aspiring professionals.
  5. Career Growth and Security: Qualifying as a CMA ensures not only top-level management jobs and high earnings but also long-term career growth, job security, and social reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is CMA?

Ans. CMA stands for Cost and Management Accountant. It is a professional course offered by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India to promote and regulate the Cost and Management Accountancy profession in India.

Q2. How to become a CMA?

Ans. To become a CMA, one needs to clear three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Final, conducted by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

Q3. Where can a CMA work?

Ans. CMAs can work in various sectors, including private and government. Career options include Financial Analyst, Cost Accountant, Manager, Corporate Controller, Management Accountant, and CFO.

Q4. What is the scope of CMA in India and other countries?

Ans. The demand for CMAs is increasing both in India and abroad. The CMA qualification opens doors for exciting career opportunities globally.

Q5. How to become a CMA member?

Ans. After passing the CMA Final exams and completing practical training, you can apply for admission as an Associate Member of the ICMAI on the institute’s website.

Q6. Who is eligible for CMA?

Ans. If you have passed Senior Secondary or Graduation in any discipline other than Fine Arts, or completed the Foundation of ICSI/Intermediate of ICAI, you are eligible for the CMA course.

Q7. How long does it take to become a CMA?

Ans. It generally takes around 3-4 years to become a CMA after completing the three levels of the CMA course.


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