CSCA FAQs

Find answers to common questions about the CSCA program.

I'm considering the CSCA

No, you do not. If you are already working in a strategy role, preparing for the CSCA will enrich your skillset. If you are not working in such a role, becoming a CSCA will help you develop the skills to enhance your organization’s strategy management.

Have earned CMA/CFM or passed both CMA exam parts or have earned one of the other qualifying accounting or finance certifications. Purchase CSCA program entry. Comply with the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.

The CSCA is a unique certification, designed for those already proficient in accounting and finance, and geared toward developing the strategic thinking skills needed to be part of the strategy leadership team. Earning the CSCA will strengthen your current skills and develop new ones, setting you apart from your peers.

Yes, but documentation of education and work experience is necessary to receive CSCA certification as well.

CSCA Overview

IMA Customer Service
Phone: 800-638-4427 or 201-573-9000
Email: ima@imanet.org

All CSCA candidates have two years to pass the exam. The time period will begin with the date of your entry into the CSCA program.

If the exam is not successfully completed within two years of entering the CSCA program, a new CSCA entry is required.

CSCA Fees and Schedules

The exam is offered during the months of March and September around the world by our testing partner, Prometric.

Yes. If you are unable to keep a scheduled exam appointment, you must cancel at least 72 hours prior to your appointment date.

If you do not comply with this cancellation policy, you will be considered a "no-show" and will need to re-register with ICMA and pay an additional exam registration fee.

Please note that appointments that are cancelled and rescheduled within the same testing window will incur a $50 Prometric rescheduling fee.

As a reminder: Your authorization number is only valid for the testing window you selected. Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.

Call Prometric at (800) 479-6370 or go to www.prometric.com/ICMA at least 72 hours before your appointment.

If you do not comply with this cancellation policy, you will be considered a "no-show" and will need to re-register with ICMA and pay the exam fee.

Please refer to the CSCA Handbook for details.

To schedule an exam by phone, find the phone number for your region at www.prometric.com/ICMA.

You will need:

  • Your Registration Acknowledgment Form, which provides your authorization number.
  • The first four letters of your last name and a valid email address.

The CSCA exam registration fee is refundable within 30 days of purchase date if no appointment has been set with Prometric. A processing fee will be subtracted from the refund. After 30 days, the fee is nonrefundable.

Preparing for the CSCA Exam

There are a variety of resources to help candidates prepare for the exam. In addition to the Content Specification Outline (CSO) and detailed Learning Outcome Statements (LOS), there is a reading list and a resource guide that directs candidates to publications containing in-depth information on specific content areas.

Preparation plans should be individualized based on the candidate’s education, experience, preferred learning style, and writing skills.

Candidates should determine the appropriate mix of available resources that will best help them master the body of knowledge described in the CSO and LOS. Candidates may also wish to purchase the IMA Strategy and Competitive Analysis Learning Series®.

IMA also has partnered with HOCK International, which offers a special CSCA Exam Review Subscription, featuring an online textbook, test bank, mock exam, and expert teacher support.

The Learning Series is available to everyone for purchase. You do not need to enter the CSCA program to buy it.

Once you have completed all five courses of the Learning Series, they will no longer appear in your “My Enrollments” list. However, you can still access them by going to www.imanet.org, logging in, and selecting "myCourses." Click "My Transcript" to see each course.

The Learning Series references content from "HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy” and enrollees are required to obtain a copy of this book.  Each of the five courses specifies the required readings from the book.

You can purchase this book for about $15 from many online booksellers or large bookstores. Alternatively, you can borrow this book from your local library.
 

The ratio and formula definitions are included at the end of the CSCA Reading List document, which is accessible via the CSCA website.

IMA Customer Service

Phone: 800-638-4427 or 201-573-9000

Email: ima@imanet.org

All five courses and the Practice Question Bank will be available for two years after the purchase date.

Taking the Exam

All CSCA candidates have two years to pass the exam. The time period will begin with the date of your entry into the CSCA program.

The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and one case study. Candidates will have three hours to complete the exam. A tutorial, which can be found at the beginning of the exam, explains how to navigate the exam.

Yes, you can move freely back and forth between the two sections of the exam.

Register for the exam online or by calling (800) 638-4427 or +1 (201) 573-9000 with your credit card information. After registering, the candidate is given an exam authorization number and should contact Prometric to schedule an exam appointment.

Prometric Test Centers are available throughout the U.S. and internationally. To locate a test center, please visit www.prometric.com/ICMA.

Remote testing is currently not available for the CSCA exam.

The CSCA exam is offered in two testing windows per year, March and September. To schedule exam appointments, visit www.prometric.com/ICMA or call (800) 479-6370. To ensure your first choice of date, time, and location, you should schedule your appointment at least four weeks in advance. All exam appointments must be scheduled at least 72 hours before the exam date. Once you are registered, you must take the exam part during your assigned testing session. 

If for any reason you are unable to schedule an exam appointment during the assigned testing window, you will need to pay the exam fee again. Appointments cannot be rescheduled to another testing window.

Candidates who do not pass the exam will receive a performance report from Prometric via email. The performance reports are emailed about two weeks after exam results are posted to the candidate’s profile.

Performance reports indicate a candidate’s performance on each of the key content areas in the multiple-choice section as well as the overall performance on the case study section of the exam.

To see your exam results, please click on myIMA, then “myCourses and Transcripts” and “Manage Transcripts”.

Grades are made available approximately eight weeks after the end of the testing window.

The scaled score range for the exam is 0 – 400, with a minimum passing scaled score of 280.

If you do not achieve a passing score, you can take the exam again by purchasing the CSCA Retake Exam Registration. Please note that the exam can be taken only once in a testing window.

To view your certification status, please go to myIMA, then click on myCertifications in the left navigation.

CPE Questions

Up to 21 NASBA CPE credits can be earned upon completion of the IMA Strategy and Competitive Analysis Learning Series® (five courses). CPE credits will be awarded after each individual course within the Learning Series is successfully completed.

30 CPE hours of ICMA CPE will be  awarded, after passing the CSCA exam.

CSCA certificants must complete 30 hours of relevant continuing professional education annually, of which two hours must be in the area of ethics. The same CPE hours can be utilized to fulfill requirements for the CMA, CFM, or other qualifying certification (i.e., no additional CPE is required to maintain CSCA certification so long as, at least, 30 hours of CPE, including, at least, two hours of ethics, is completed each year for the qualifying accounting or finance certification). Specific CPE in topics related to strategy is not required but is strongly encouraged.

All five courses and the Practice Question Bank will be available for two years after the purchase date.