Anyone interested in a career in financial management will no doubt see the appeal in becoming a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). It’s a useful certification that can help you go far in your professional life. However, getting there isn’t the easiest task.

If you’re interested in making your exam prep a little easier, here’s what I recommend:

CMA prep courses like Gleim CMA Review work as an excellent part of a successful study plan. They uniquely prepare you in a way that self study can’t. In spite of that, it can be tough to find one that’s worth your time.

They offer a unique set of study materials and methods, but can they compare to the best CMA prep courses out there? 

Read on to find out just how effective they are:


Overview of Gleim

In their own words, Gleim’s mission statement is “to maximize knowledge transfer while minimizing your time commitment, frustration, and cost.” 

They do this by providing easy-to-use and effective knowledge transfer systems to any prospective CMA. Basically, Gleim has been helping their students since 1974 and is still going strong to this day.

Here are a few of the features you can expect from Gleim:

  • Digital and Print Books
  • SmartAdapt Adaptive Course
  • Mentoring from Personal Counselors
  • Audio Lectures
  • Study Planner
  • Exam Rehearsal and Review
  • High Quality Test Bank
  • Video Lectures

What’s Included With Gleim

SmartAdapt Technology

Gleim uses their patented SmartAdapt technology to make sure you’re always working on your weaknesses. This is done by analyzing your study responses to show what areas you’re strong in and what you still need help with. Following this will let you know exactly when you’ll be ready to take the CMA exam.

No matter what you’re working on, you’ll always be improving your weak areas. That’s because the course automatically adapts based on the information SmartAdapt gathers. Doing so means that no extra work or organization is required on your part. You can simply concentrate on your studies while being assured that you’re improving in necessary areas.

Video Content

Every student gains access to expert led Gleim videos on demand. These videos have been designed to convey important information on the most important topics from the exam. 

Of particular note is Gleim’s Instruct Video series. Each video features professional accounting instructors who teach at accredited U.S. universities.

Gleim Pass the CMA Exam - Series Intro

Courses also come with a series of online webinars. These come in the more traditional lecture format and are useful tools to supplement your studying. Because of that, this format can be especially effective for students who learn best in a traditional classroom format.

Combining both types of video content will go a long way towards increasing your chances on the CMA exam!

Practice Exams

Practice exams are the bread and butter of any good review course, and Gleim is no exception. 

They offer unlimited practice tests that are intended to be combined with their SmartAdapt technology. These tests all use questions from previous exams and official Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) materials. As a result, these tests are especially effective at training you for the CMA exam.

Once you’re comfortable with your chances of passing, there’s one last test you’ll need to take.

Gleim’s CMA course caps off with a final practice exam designed identically to the real thing. Taking this under the same testing conditions will show you how prepared you are and go a long way towards familiarizing you with the exam format. Plus, you’ll be comfortable with the testing experience before you’ve even entered a testing center.


Gleim Pricing

Gleim offers three different review courses. Each tier costs more than the previous one but they offer plenty more premium content.

The three tiers are as follows:

  • CMA Test Bank – This option costs $999 and is limited to just testing-based content. That includes the practice exams and textbooks, but little else. This works well if you’re supplementing another review course, but I’d generally recommend paying for a higher tier.
  • Traditional CMA Review System – The second tier costs $1,349 and includes Gleim’s SmartAdapt technology. It also adds audio lectures and sessions with personal counselors. You’ll also receive your own study planner as a bonus. Compared to the first tier, this is a much better deal; it offers far more content and is built around excellent adaptive technology.
  • Premium CMA Review System – Gleim’s final tier costs $1,599 and includes the most content of the bunch. You’ll have access to all the content from the other tiers in addition to a library of video content. Plus, you’ll gain access to expert support from accounting professionals. If you want the absolute best on offer, this is the option for you.

Pros & Cons

Gleim offers a lot of content, but some of it is better than others. Listed below are some of the positives and negatives of taking this course:

  • Pro – Free Demo: Gleim offers a free demo of their Premium CMA Review course. This will allow you to get comfortable with course content before you decide on a purchase. Plus, progress from the demo carries on to the full course.
  • Pro – Award Winners: A large number of students who’ve taken Gleim’s courses have gone on to win CMA award medals. A list of some of the more prominent award winners can be found on this page.
  • Pro – CMA Blog: Gleim runs a CMA blog in addition to their review courses. This blog regularly updates with helpful articles for anyone interested in management accounting. Each blog entry is also totally free.
  • Con – Price: Gleim’s courses are fairly expensive. Even their cheapest option is $999. However, it’s important to remember that you will get a product that’s worth the money you’re paying— other courses may be cheaper but they aren’t nearly as effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’d like to know more about Gleim, read on to see some of the most commonly asked questions about this course.

Q: Does Gleim offer any free content?

A: Yes! Gleim offers a free demo of their course, free exam questions, and a free exam guide. They also run a CMA blog that can be accessed by anyone for no charge.

Q: What is the course access period?

A: You’ll have access to your course materials until you’ve passed the CMA exam. Thanks to their Access Until You Pass policy, you have no time pressure on learning; just move along at a pace you’re comfortable with.


Ideal Customer

Still on the fence? If so, read the following to find out if Gleim is right for you.

  • If you want hands-on experience with the CMA exam, this is the course for you.
  • If you want a personalized study experience, this is the course for you.
  • If you prefer to work with experienced professionals, this is the course for you.
  • If you’re trying to save money, this isn’t the course for you.

Final Recommendation

Gleim’s CMA review course is one of the best in the business. Their adaptive technology and experienced teachers guarantee that you’ll pass with flying colors. If you follow the trend of their best customers, you may even become an award winner down the line.

If you have any doubts about Gleim, eliminate them now. They’re well worth your time and money. Make sure to check out their program as soon as you can. You can try out their free trial and see how good it is for yourself!

Kenneth W. Boyd is a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the author of several of the popular "For Dummies" books published by John Wiley & Sons including 'CPA Exam for Dummies' and 'Cost Accounting for Dummies'.

Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.