CMA Exam Equating & Scaled Scores - Class Bench | Class Bench

CMA Exam Equating & Scaled Scores

Standard Setting

As described previously, the CMA examinations are criterion-referenced tests, meaning that they are used to determine whether a candidate meets a certain threshold or standard of performance. Accordingly, the ICMA uses an accepted procedure designed for the purpose of determining the level of performance on the tests that actually constitutes passing. This procedure involves the collective judgment of a panel of subject matter experts within the fields of management accounting and financial management. Separate passing scores are established for all parts of the exams, and all pass/fail determinations are final.


Since the actual items on the CMA exams are different from test form to test form, the different forms of the exam will vary in difficulty, in that some forms may contain somewhat more difficult questions than others. The same standard for passing the test is applied to all candidates, regardless of which form of the test they take. Thus, in order to maintain consistency in standards, the ICMA uses techniques of statistical equating to determine the equivalency of exams. The purpose of equating is to ensure that the passing scores on all forms of the exams are equivalent in terms of levels of difficulty. In this way, the same standard is maintained for all candidates, regardless of when and which test form they take.

Scaled Scores

All scores on the CMA exams are expressed as scaled scores, ranging from 0 to 500, with the passing score set at 360. The raw scores on the test (i.e., the number of items correct) are transformed to this scale for the purpose of maintaining uniformity and consistency in the way scores are reported, regardless of which test forms a candidate may take.

Performance Report

Performance Reports are sent via email from Prometric to candidates who fail an exam part. Performance reports are emailed approximately 14 days after exam results are posted to the candidates’ profile. Performance reports show the candidate’s performance as satisfactory, marginal or unsatisfactory for each of the key topic areas from the multiple choice section of the exam as well as the overall performance on the essay section of the exam.

Please Note: You cannot take an exam part more than one time during a testing window.


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