CMSA® | Final Exam Overview + Study Tips

Congratulations on completing the CMSA® syllabus and beginning your preparation for the final exam!

There is a 30-day waiting period between final exam attempts, so we encourage you to take ample time to prepare before beginning. This guide contains:

CMSA® - Final Exam at a Glance

Exam structure 50 randomized multiple-choice questions.
Exam location Online/virtual at a location of your choice. The exam does not need to be scheduled.
Exam length 2 hours, timed.
Exam content The exam covers the content from the core and prep courses. Content from elective courses will not be covered.
Exam results availability Immediately upon completion.
Passing score 70%
Eligibility Students must complete eight core courses and seven or more electives to be eligible to take the final exam.
Number of attempts One attempt
Retaking the Exam There is a mandatory one-month waiting period between exam retakes. Students who have already passed the exam are not allowed to retake it. An active subscription is required during the final exam and all retakes.
How to prepare Review course videos, prep courses, materials, exercises, and case studies. Take the practice exam (we recommend taking the practice exam more than once before proceeding to the final exam).
Practice exams Students may retake practice exams as many times as needed.

Exam Duration

The CMSA® Final Exam is timed and must be completed within two hours.

  • Generally, we recommend spending about two minutes on each question. While the exam is technically "open-book," we encourage learners to limit their use of materials outside of the exam to prevent being slowed down.

Tips for Studying & Preparing

Review Course Materials

  • Rewatch video demonstrations
  • Review course presentations, exercises, and case studies
  • Take detailed notes and organize them by topic using the "notes" feature in the CFI LMS

Complete advanced-level electives 

  • Complete level 4- and one level 5 elective courses. While these will refer to some of the earlier courses and principles, the exam will not test your knowledge of elective content.

Take the practice exam 

  • The practice exam will best indicate what to expect in the final exam. We recommend taking the practice exam multiple times until you feel comfortable and confident in your understanding of the material.

Other Tips to Consider

  • Be sure to sit in a comfortable setting with no distractions.
  • Have a snack and water close to keep you energized and well-hydrated.
  • Ensure that you have a stable network connection.
    • You can refresh your browser during a brief outage without losing progress, but the exam counter will not stop.
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