A graduate of the University of California at San Marcos, Emanuel Santana knows a thing or two about testing. Using Wiley study materials, he prepared for and passed both the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CPA exams. In fact, he received the Bronze Medal from ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) for earning the third-highest CMA score among the nearly 7,000 candidates in the same exam window.
For Santana, now a staff accountant at Tanvex BioPharma USA, his high score reflects insight into both the study and test-taking process. So when it comes to advice, he’s particularly qualified.
What aspects of Wiley appealed to your learning style?
Since Santana had success on the CPA exam using Wiley study materials, he stuck with Wiley for his CMA studies. He embraced all the resources Wiley’s Platinum Package provides.
“Wiley provides all of these resources for studying,” he says. “People might get the idea that they need to study everything, but really, it’s up to you to discover what works for you. Some people learn from watching videos, others by reading. I learn by taking notes and doing problems. Everyone’s different, so try different methods until something works for you.”
He continues, “I used the online access to read the material, test bank, and the phone app to study. I did look through the focus notes and flash cards but only to see if there was anything I missed. If you take good study notes, these are totally optional.”
Santana’s Study Schedule
During the Week:
Wake up, go to work, study during lunch, answer any flagged multiple-choice questions during small walks away from the computer on the phone app. Take advantage of the time away from your desk, like walking to the printer, the rest room, or another building. When you get home, prepare your dinner and eat, which is basically a one-hour break. After dinner, hit the computer and study for three hours. Go to bed.
On the Weekend:
Wake up at 4 a.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. on Sunday, and study until you can’t study anymore. This commitment, while difficult, was invaluable in terms of getting ahead.
A Few Tips for Exam Day
- Your Calculator: You have the option to use the test calculator, but I prefer to use the one on the computer. Therefore, it’s important to practice with the 10-key on your keyboard. It’s faster, so get used to the 10-key at work so you can navigate it on exam day.
- Not a Morning Person: On exam day, I didn’t eat breakfast. Instead, as soon as I woke up, I would chug a water bottle. This gave me about 1.5 hours to get ready, arrive at the test center, and have a bio break before the exam. I also would take the full day off, so I could go home and just pass out after the exam.
- Mondays Are Great! I scheduled my exams on a Monday. This gave me the weekend to do one final cram session before exam day.