Reasons to Consider the Wiley CMA Learning System
1. The Books Are Well-Written and Organized
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed reading the book. CMA exam study materials are generally dull, but this review book is written in an almost narrative style. And, from time to time, the author includes their personal thoughts and provides real-world examples. Furthermore, the topics are often practical and feature discussions about what management accountants and strategic planning professionals do.
The explanation for this particular writing style is the fact that the IMA prepared the original material and not a commercial review provider. And the IMA was trying to train CMAs as well as prepare them to pass the CMA exam. In contrast, review providers usually structure their courses in such a way to help candidates pass as quickly as possible. Both approaches have their merits. In this case, getting through the books may take a bit longer but should be less tedious.
2. The Books Are Great for Linguistic Learners
Courses that include audio and video lectures are great, but I am linguistic learner, so I love to study with a real book. Using a book helps me pace my studies, and I can scribble down notes in the margins if necessary.
However, you should know that most review courses include real books. So, if actively reading and writing notes as you study best suits your learning style, then I encourage you to pay to have the textbooks shipped to you. Reading from a digital device just isn’t the same.
3. The Product Is Integrated
The 2 Wiley CMA books come with the online test prep software (known as the Wiley CMA test bank) that you can access via the internet. And the books work in tandem with the online test bank. So, studying with these 2 tools is a pretty seamless process.
4. 10-Day Money-Back Guarantee
You can get a refund of the CMA Learning System (less shipping costs) within 10 business days of purchase. Since you can’t get a refund outside of this 10-day window, you should ship your materials back as quickly as possible.
Things Wiley CMA Isn’t So Proud Of
1. This “Official” IMA CMA Study Material Does Not Give You an Edge on the Exam
The fact that the IMA’s official endorsement of Wiley doesn’t give Wiley insider information to use in its course is not really a weakness. But candidates do need to understand this fact because many of them base their decision to use the Wiley CMA Review Course solely on the incorrect assumption that Wiley does get secret exam insight from the IMA.
You’ll see a lot of marketing from Wiley CMAexcel that references them as the official CMA review course of the IMA (and other similar messages). But Wiley’s status as such simply comes from a licensing agreement with the IMA. As a result of this partnership, Wiley can stipulate that they are the only course the IMA has licensed. However, Wiley CMAexcel continues to receive just as much information about the CMA exam as Gleim and other CMA review providers. When the IMA releases a new CMA exam syllabus or makes a change to the current syllabus, they give all of the review providers the same news.
Finally, neither Wiley CMAexcel nor any other CMA review provider has access to the live questions that appear on the actual CMA exam.
2. The Wiley CMA Materials Are Relatively Expensive
The prices of both the Wiley CMA Learning System and the Wiley CMA Test Bank are pretty high. In contrast, you could save several hundred dollars by purchasing the Gleim CMA Mega Test Bank instead. Gleim’s test bank is the closest thing to the Wiley test bank available, and it may even be better.
3. Better Practice Questions Are Available Elsewhere
The questions in the Wiley CMAexcel test bank seemed a bit too basic for me. I know that on the actual CMA exam, candidates receive difficult application-based questions. So, I was a bit disappointed that the Wiley test bank didn’t serve a lot of complex questions for me to answer.
Now, going through the practice questions easily without giving them too much thought and still getting a relatively good score feels great. But, knowing that the actual exam questions are wordy and complex leaves me with reservations. Therefore, because I need to pass my exams on the first try to save money and not get frustrated, I want my test bank to show me the most difficult questions too. And sadly, the Wiley test bank doesn’t do that.
4. Some (Minor) Errors Remain Unfixed
I have been getting some feedback lately on how Wiley CMAexcel fails to correct errors their customers have identified. Customers reported some of these errors in Wiley’s forums as long as 2 years ago. Failing to address these errors doesn’t reflect well on Wiley’s customer service, but thankfully, most of the errors are minor.