Surgent CMA Review: Will you Pass?

Earning the CMA designation requires passing two exams and meeting the education and professional experience requirements. Each exam is four hours in length and requires mastery of a broad knowledge base.  In order to pass the exams, candidates need adequate time studying the material and taking practice questions.

This article takes an in depth look at the Surgent CMA review course.  We’ll take a look at the course options, pricing, and content of the material to help you determine if Surgent’s program makes sense for you.

Surgent’s Background

Surgent is a recent entrant into the CMA prep course industry.  You may be more familiar with the company through its CPA prep course product.  Surgent’s CPA review course offers one of the most advanced adaptive learning platform’s on the market.

All of its study programs utilize A.S.A.P. technology which evaluates your progress in real time throughout your study plan.  The objective of this technology is to accurately assess your strengths and weakness at the beginning of the course as well as on a regular basis as you progress through your customized study plan.

After perfecting this technology with its CPA review course, Surgent applied the same technology to its Certified Management Accounting review course.

Course Details

CMA candidates select from three program options: Essentials, Premier, and Ultimate course options.  We like how Surgent offers options that meet multiple study preferences.

Keep in mind that all courses are fully accessible on mobile, tablet, or desktop computers.

Essentials Pass Course

The Essentials Pass course is the primary course offering that includes study materials for both sections of the CMA exam.  The course includes the following features:

  • $799 purchase price.
  • A.S.A.P. Adaptive Learning platform.
  • Over 2,800 multiple choice questions with detailed explanations.
  • 38 essay questions.
  • Unlimited mock exams.
  • 2 Electronic text books in pdf format.
  • 12 months course access.
  • Pass Guarantee.

Premier Course

  • $1199 purchase price.
  • Includes all features from the Essentials course.
  • Access to over 60 video lectures.
  • Course access for 18 months.

Ultimate Course

  • $1,699 purchase price.
  • Includes all features from the Premier course.
  • Printed textbooks.
  • Printed flashcards.
  • (2) One on one virtual tutoring sessions with a Surgent CMA instructor.
  • Unlimited Access.

Pass Guarantee

Surgent offers one of the strongest pass guarantees in the industry.  If you fail any section of the exam after using Surgent’s course, you will receive a full cash refund of the course purchase price.

Many other prep course providers will only give you free access to their review course until you pass, but Surgent stands out from the crowd and will offer you a full cash refund.  In order to qualify for a cash refund, you do need to meet the following requirements:

  • Answer all multiple choice questions correctly at least once during your preparation.
  • Have an average time per question of one minute or less.
  • Failed your exam section during the period you had access to the Surgent prep course.
  • Send a copy of your test results to Surgent’s corporate office address.

A.S.A.P. Technology

The secret sauce of Surgent’s CMA course is the adaptive learning technology.  Each course uses this technology in three primary stages.

Assessment Phase

Before starting on your study plan, you need to complete an initial assessment test.  This test includes a total of 150 questions spread out to cover each major topic on the CMA exam.  Although this may seem like a lot of questions, the algorithm needs an appropriate amount of data to make a comprehensive assessment of your true strengths and weaknesses.

You may see other prep course options that utilize a much smaller number of questions for their initial assessment.  Keep in mind that with a lower number of questions, the accuracy of the algorithm is dramatically reduced.

Study Plan Phase

After completing your initial assessment, Surgent’s algorithm evaluates your strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the topic weights on the CMA exam.  You will then receive a detailed study plan that systematically addresses your weaknesses.

The other nice thing about Surgent’s platform is the algorithm maps your customized study plan down to the number of hours required to study.  By inputing your study time preferences and scheduled exam date, your customized study planner will provide you with a daily study calendar.

This calendar includes days of the week, number of hours per day, and study topics. The really amazing part of the personalized calendar is that it actually incorporates your real time progress into the study material.

So if you were having extra trouble with a particular subject, you should expect to see that subject more frequently in your daily calendar.  Conversely, when you mastered a topic, expect to see that topic much less frequently.

Review Phase

The final phase of Surgent’s adaptive learning program is the review phase.  This is the final period before you sit for the CMA exam.  This stage focuses on taking full length practice exams.  These exams are designed to improve your test taking endurance.  The practice exams are also designed to use questions based on data from Surgent’s algorithm to make your practice exams as efficient as possible.

We like how students have the ability to take an unlimited number of practice exams.  Each exam also includes detailed statistics highlighting your performance in various topic areas.  The diagnostic tools also include a trending score indicator which is designed to measure your performance on all recent exams to give you a barometer of your ability to pass the exam on test day.

How Does Surgent Stack Up?

Surgent’s CMA review course is a compelling option for CMA candidates.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that Surgent’s program is ideal for students that are self disciplined and prefer to study independently.

Students that will be most successful with this course are comfortable planning their own study program outside of a traditional classroom environment and have the discipline to stick to that schedule.


Highly disciplined students that prefer to study independently will find a lot of value in Surgent’s prep course.

  • Significantly lower price point than other CMA prep courses.
  • Highly advanced adaptive learning algorithm that will help you reduce study time by focusing on addressing weaknesses.
  • Comprehensive test question database with detailed explanations and comprehensive analytics.
  • One of the strongest Pass Guarantees in the industry.


When we first examined Surgent’s CMA course offerings, the lack of video based lectures and a printed textbook option stood out as potential areas to improve the course features.  We’re really happy to see that Surgent recently expanded its course offering to include those enhanced options for students that prefer to use video lectures and physical textbooks.

In my experience, I primarily used the text book readings to work on my weaker areas.  If I was already stronger on certain areas, I didn’t feel the need to watch video lectures or read extra text material on those areas.  However, I always found that regularly practicing test questions was far more beneficial in the long run than reading text or listening to lectures.

The easiest way to find out if Surgent is right for you is to sign up for a free trial of their review course.