Catch the 10 Steps you need to take to get started with CGMA in our video, then learn more about each step in detail below.
What is the difference between CIMA and CGMA?
CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) is the awarding body, and CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) is the name of the qualification, as well as the designation you will earn on completion of your qualification. There are various routes to obtain your CGMA qualification and we can help guide you as to the best one for you.
Registering as a CIMA student
Once you’ve made the decision to pursue the CGMA qualification, the first step is to register as a student. This registration process grants you access to a wealth of CIMA resources and means you can sit exams when you’re ready to. Here’s how you can get started:
- Visit the CIMA Website: Once you’ve decided to study CIMA’s CGMA qualification, you can create an account.
- Answer a few questions to find out if you have any exemptions (see below for more information on exemptions).
- Select your qualification path: CIMA offers several CGMA qualification paths. If you’re starting at the beginning, the entry point is the Certificate in Business Accounting. If you have relevant qualifications or exemptions, you might enter at a higher level. Review the qualification options and choose the one that suits your background and career goals.
- Complete and submit your application: After completing your registration, you’ll receive a unique student number, which you should share with your chosen training provider as soon as you can.
- Begin your studies!
Understanding the CGMA qualification
Understanding the CGMA qualification structure is essential to map out your journey effectively. Here are some key points to consider:
CGMA qualification structure
CIMA’s CGMA qualification comprises four levels:
- Certificate in Business Accounting
- Operational Level
- Management Level
- Strategic Level
Each level includes a set of exams designed to develop your skills and expertise. Find out more about each CGMA level.
All CIMA exams are computer based and three of the four exams at each level include objective test questions, with the result released immediately.
Each level includes one Case Study exam, which involves analysing a pre-seen scenario. The results are released 4 to 6 weeks after the Case Study exam. Find out what to expect on a CIMA Case Study course. Visit our blog for key CIMA dates and deadlines.
There are three main study methods at First Intuition, all designed to help you get the most out of your study time. Find out more by clicking the links below:
If you have previous qualifications or a relevant degree, CIMA may award you exemptions from certain CGMA exams. The availability of exemptions depends on your academic background.
To find out which level you need to start at, based on your qualifications and work experience, you can create an account and register with CIMA. After entering your qualifications and number of years work experience, you’ll be informed of the level of entry for CGMA. At this point, you can either continue and complete the full registration, or simply log off during the registration process.
Should I claim my exemptions?
When deciding whether to claim exemptions, think about factors such as the depth of your knowledge as well as your career goals. Claiming exemptions can accelerate your progress, but it’s important to have a strong foundation in the subject matter before you decide to skip any exams. Contact us for advice if you’re uncertain about claiming exemptions.
As part of CIMA’s CGMA qualification, you must gain practical experience through relevant work in a finance role. This practical experience is known as the Practical Experience Requirement (PER).
The deadline for submitting your membership and PER application is 30th September of the fourth year after you pass your final exam. Visit CIMA’s website to find out more about PER.
Balancing work and study
Many CIMA students choose to study while working, which can sometimes feel like a juggle. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy work-study balance:
Create a study schedule: Plan your study hours around your work commitments and personal life. Stick to your plan to maintain consistency and achieve your goals. Visit our blog to find out how to plan your CIMA studies.
Use available resources: Make use of CIMA’s CGMA study resources and consider enrolling onto a CIMA-approved training provider’s course to benefit from structured learning and expert tutor guidance. Find out more about CIMA courses at First Intuition.
Break it down: Divide your CIMA course material into manageable chunks and set specific and achievable goals, such as a date for your next exam. This approach will help you stay motivated whilst making steady progress.
Seek support: Join social media groups or use online forums to connect with fellow CGMA students. Working with others can enhance your learning experience and make you accountable. For example, if you’ve told your study group you’re sitting an exam on Monday, you’re more likely to study hard to pass that exam!
Maintain a good work-life balance: Set aside time to relax, exercise, and spend time with friends and family to support your wellbeing and avoid burnout. Studying for a professional qualification is challenging, but by making time for other activities in the week, you’ll stay focused and stick to your study plan.
What are you waiting for?
Starting your CIMA journey is a big step towards a rewarding career in management accounting and business finance. By following the steps outlined in the above guide, you’re setting yourself up for exam success.
Remember, dedication, goal-setting, and effective time management will be your allies on this exciting path to becoming a qualified CGMA professional. First Intuition is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today for more information on how to get started, your exemptions and which study method will suit you best.