CMA Syllabus, Paper Pattern, Eligibility

All About CMA Exams

Know About CMA All Papers Syllabus, Paper Pattern, Eligibility Preparation Tips to help you in online and offline exam preparation.

What is CMA:

The CMA Foundation is the first level to pursue the full course (three levels) of Cost and Management Accountant. It is easy to get through this exam.

Is CMA Foundation easy ?

  • The first thing you should do is to pass the CMA Foundation exam is to have the right mindset and positive attitude i.e. you should know that the exam is going to be challenging and you will have to put in a significant amount of hard work in order to pass.
  • The thing which will decide the result is how much practice you do rather than just preparing.
  • The more you practice the sums, practice the papers and other stuff, the more easy it will become while giving exams.
  • Without concentration and hard work it is impossible to achieve the goal. So one should be serious about their study.
  • Trust in yourself and you can achieve anything.

Is CMA better than CA?

  • Both the courses have their own values. Comparison can not be made between two professional courses. CMA and CA are both quite similar in terms of their function, nature of job, topics / syllabus and exam pattern.
  • It depends on one’s passion, If you have got passion for management accounting and analysis then CMA is the right choice and if you want to work in auditing and taxation then CA is your way to go.
  • In India every common man who files the tax needs a CA. These people are more popular since they have more visibility in public due to tax filing needs.
  • On the other hand, CMA primarily work with large companies and ogranizations, they have got less visibility than CA.  But every industry needs a CMA.

Both the professions are equally preferred & there are enough career opportunities for cost accountants and CAs.

How do I become a CMA Foundation?

  • As CMA Foundation is the first level of CMA course conducted by The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India (ICMAI), there are few subjects which are based on the senior secondary level.

    There are four papers basically:

    • Paper 1 – Fundamentals of Economics and Management
    • Paper 2 – Fundamentals of Accounting
    • Paper 3 – Fundamentals of Commercial Laws & Ethics
    • Paper 4 – Fundamentals of Business Mathematics and Statistics

CMA Foundation Exam Passing Requirements:

One can appear for the exams as many time as he want but all the exams should be appeared at the same time.

There are two conditions which needs to be fullfilled:

  1. At least 40% should be obtained.
  2. At least 50% should be the total.

Paper-wise exemptions can also be taken if in case someone is not able to clear the exam. If you secure 60% or more than this then you can can get exempted for that paper(s) from appearing in next three terms of examinations. But after that you will have to appear for that exam again.

Once you have cleared all four exams you will be a CMA Foundation.

What is CMA starting salary?

For freshers who clear the CMA exams in first attempt can get 7L per annum. It can go up to  20L per annum  too. If you clear the exam in second attempt than average starting package is 3-4 Lacks.

What is the CMA foundation registration?

Below are the steps to register for 2021:

  1. Student registration system page will be open, click on ‘Click here’ button.
  2. On next page, click on CMA foundation button.
  3. On next page you will see many coaching type, registration type, state etc. fill all the options accordingly and click on next button.
  4. Fill out all the personal details and then click on next button.
  5. Here, check all the details once again, if there is any correction edit the page and if not then click on save and next.
  6. Upload all the required documents such as Identity proof, age proof, 10th mark sheet, and 12th mark sheet here.
  7. Fill the payment details: On this page, you should add your CMA foundation registration fee details and pay your fees according to the coaching type chosen by you.
    Once payment is done, a confirmation receipt is generated. You can download the receipt for future reference.


  • The CMA program comprises three levels. One become eligible for the next level once he passes the previous one.

  • Different levels:

    • Level 1 – CMA Foundation Level
    • Level 2 – CMA Intermediate Level
    • Level 3 – CMA Final Level

    Passing criteria for each level is as below:

CMA Foundation Level

CMA Intermediate Level

CMA Final Level

Student should pass Senior Secondary Examination (10+2) or equivalent from a recognised examination board.

Student should have passed the Foundation course from the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI)

·       To become eligible for the CMA Final level, student must have passed the intermediate level.

Eligibility to start CMA Foundation

  • A candidate must have passed Class 10 or equivalent from a recognized Board or Institution.
  • Candidates must have passed 10+2 or equivalent exam from a recognized Institution.
  • Candidates can also apply if they are appearing for the 10+2 exam in the current session.
  • Those who have qualified National Diploma in Commerce Examination by AICTE / State Board of Technical Education are also eligible for ICMAI CMA Foundation exam.


Can I do CA and CMA together?

Yes. You can go for CA, CMA and CS all three at the same time but with proper planning and strategies. This is an excellent option if someone opt for these courses at same time. This opens up many opportunities. But it is not that easy too, at the end you will have to decide the feasibility of such an amount of hard work.  

How many attempts are allowed for CMA?

It is unlimited, there is no restriction on number of attempts for CMA.

You can give as many attempts as you want, you will have to pay the nominal fee for appearing in the exam every time.

The point here is that the registration gets automatically cancelled after 5 years which can again renewed after paying the nominal fee. 

But less the number of attempt you pass you will get good visibility in job market.

There are few companies which check on number of attempts but this is not the criteria to get the job.


(SYLLABUS 2016 valid Through 2021





The candidates are advised to check out some highlights of the ICMAI Certified Management Accountant (CMA) foundation exam pattern before appearing in the exam. These highlights will give a better understanding of the exam: 

Exam Highlights

Foundation exam details

Types of questions 

Objective and descriptive both

Duration of exam

Three hours each paper (extra fifteen minutes for reading)

Exam conducting body

Institute of Cost Management Accountant of India (ICMAI)


Twice in a year (June and December)

Marking pattern

100 marks each paper 
Mode of exam  Pen and paper-based exam (Offline Mode)
Total number of papers  4
Negative marking No negative marking 

List of Subjects in ICMAI CMA Foundation

Paper 1: Fundamentals of Economics and Management
Paper 2: Fundamentals of Accounting
Paper 3: Fundamentals of Laws and Ethics
Paper 4: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics & Statistics


  • Be clear with the syllabus. Download the ICMAI CMA Foundation syllabus online and analyze it.
  • Prepare a set of short notes from your online study materials. You can refer our website i.e for online study material.
  • Find online practice question papers and understand concepts.
  • Practice previous years online question papers.
  • Participate in Online Mock Test to have ideas about ICMAI CMA paper pattern and to convert weak points into strong points.
  • Don’t invite procrastination and lack of motivation while revising the ICMAI CMA    Foundation exam important study points. Revision is necessary.

Various Search terms used for this section are:

  • Download ICMAI CMA Foundation Course Syllabus

  • ICMAI Foundation Course Practice Questions Online

  • Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICMAI) Online Syllabus

  • CMA Syllabus

  • CMA Eligibility

  • CMA Course Syllabus