In conversation with US CMA alumni – Pradeep Gehlot

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Why did you choose CMA over other professional courses?

After I completed my B.Com from Mumbai University my immediate target was to bag a professional degree with global recognition. Speaking of a professional degree for an aspirant with a knack for accounting getting a CPA designation was first on my list. Well, I was a bit nervous about the US GAAP as I was not at all familiar with it. This took me to prepare for CMA instead as my first step towards learning the international code of accounting.

How did you plan your preparation?

One great advantage I had was enough preparation time to dive deeper and clear my concept. I didn’t have to go for a job in the morning, so I engaged the time by visiting the library and prepared for CMA. After I was back from the library, I used to make a list of what I had covered and what I have to complete the next day, without a miss – this helped me to track my progress.

I was completely routine bound, each day I used to aim to solve at least 20 MCQs at a time instead of 100, where I took a few extra minutes to understand the logic behind the framework of the question. I never practiced any of the essay types cause solving five MCQs is equivalent to one essay question and is much simpler than. I completed about 70% of OTB questions in part two and 65 % in part one which was enough to clear my CMA exam.

As my 9-to-7 was spent only on studies without a weekend break, every 10th day I used to take a complete break, no books, no cramming, spending some leisure time with friends and family.

What was your choice of study material for CMA preparations?

My knowledge lag was around the theoretical part of the CMA syllabus. As per the concepts, both were easy to grasp, but there were few chapters in part one which was heavy on context and one has to mug up the technical terms to pen down the concepts to answer the essay-type questions. Here, Miles mnemonics came to the rescue which helped to memorize the terms and apply them right. Even I prepared a couple of 100 more mnemonics which covered 10 percent of my total mnemonics notes. I was never comfortable with reference studies and till my graduation, I maintained the same practice, but this time it was different. Miles concept books were enough to suffice your CMA exam needs.

Any tips to share for our fellow aspirants-

  • Organize your day beforehand
  • Stick to the routine
  • Aim for a shorter target to fulfill at first
  • Ensure that you practice enough to build your confidence

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