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Frequently Asked Questions: The CMA Certification Process

Does it cost to take the CMA Certification tests?
Yes.  There are costs associated with the Certification and testing process.  The Prices are listed on the Certification Standards page here.

What are the 3 levels of certification?
There are three levels of Industry Certification. Accredited, pre-certified coursework (corporate training programs, universities, solution providers and training providers) are available to help you achieve the standards necessary to successfully pass one of the three levels of Industry Certification awarded to individual professionals by the Category Management Association:

CPCA Certified Professional Category Analyst
CPCM Certified Professional Category Manager
CPSA Certified Professional Strategic Advisor

I am an individual interested in getting certified how do I proceed?
The process is actually quite simple:

  1. Click on the certification link on this website (here)

  2. Locate and click on the registration link, you will be directed to the CMA’s Registration page where you will pay for your registration ($95.00) with a credit card.

  3. Complete your personal certification record. When you have completed your certification record you will receive an e-mail that will provide you with instructions on paying for and scheduling the CPCA Test. The test requires you schedule your exam at least 72 hours in advance.

I work for a company that is involved in The CMA Certification Program. How should I proceed with certification?
We suggest contacting your Manager/Supervisor at your company for guidance on how to proceed.  Many companies rely on their Training Providers to support certification by providing links to registration and certification testing following completion of training.

How do I take the CPCA Test?
Following the completion of registration and after taking training to prepare for the exam, you will follow the link you received in your e-mail to schedule your CPCA examination.

How is the CPCA Test Delivered?
The following are the details for delivery of the CPCA test:

  1. The exam is internet based therefore you must use a computer with a reliable internet connection (interruption of a test session due to internet issues will require a retest). The computer you use must have a camera, speakers and a microphone (headsets are acceptable).

  2. The exam is proctored. The session will be observed and recorded to ensure integrity (most online universities use video proctoring for the same purpose). You will be required to show a photo ID before the test begins. Once you have established your identity you can begin the exam.

How is the test structured and how long do I have to complete the CPCA test?
The test is:

  1. 50 questions long

  2. There are 10 sections to the test, one section for each CMA Learning Program. Each section has at least 5 questions. You must get at least 4 of the 5 questions correct in each section to pass the exam.

  3. The question formats are multiple choice, true/false, and fill in the blanks. There are some calculations required and you will be allowed to use a calculator (on your phone is acceptable).

  4. Some questions use exhibits that you can enlarge by clicking them

  5. You have 75 minutes to complete the exam.

  6. You can navigate forward and back (allowing you to skip questions and return so that you can best manage your time.

What happens if I have a problem with any of my links?
If you have a problem with your scheduling or any other links

  1. Please e-mail the CMA at [email protected]  immediately

  2. We will reissue you by resending the link

What happens after I complete the exam?

  1. You will receive your grade within 24 hours

  2. If you pass the exam you will receive your certification within 10 business days

What happens if I fail the exam?

  1. If you fail the exam you will get your results within 24 hours

  2. You will receive a report indicating what Learning Programs you did not pass and a link to reapply to take the exam again at your convenience. There is a fee of $50.00 to retake the exam

  3. We suggest you consider training in the indicated Learning Programs from an accredited training company

  4.  If you fail the exam a second time you must wait 60 days to take the exam a third time a link will be provided in your test report.

Do I have to complete the certification tests in sequential order?
Yes. The certification tests are taken in order with the exception that people who have already reached CPCA can apply for CPCM without taking the CPCA on-line exam. The sequence is:

  1. CPCA

  2. CPCM

  3. CPSA