Q&A With a Double Gold Medal Winner


Prasart Jongjaroenkamol headshotPrasart Jongjaroenkamol, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, has the unique distinction of being the only person to be awarded a Gold Medal for achieving the highest exam score on both the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) exams. He is an assistant professor of accounting and co-director of the Master of Professional Accounting program at Singapore Management University. Below, he offers some insights on his experience with the CMA exam:

How did you learn about the CMA and what made you decide to pursue it?
During my Ph.D. tenure in the U.S., I initially came across the CMA but couldn't delve into the certification due to prior commitments. The turning point came when I joined Singapore Management University and assumed the role of IMA’s Campus Advocate. It was then that the pursuit of the CMA became not just a personal goal but a means to share a valuable experience with my students.

Since becoming a CMA, how has the certification added value to your career?
The impact of becoming a CMA on my career, especially in the realm of teaching management accounting, has been transformative. This certification not only bestowed valuable credentials upon my professional profile but also elevated my role as an advisor to students. My firsthand experience in obtaining professional certifications has proven to be an invaluable asset in guiding and motivating aspiring professionals.

Can you share any helpful study tips for those who are preparing to take the CMA exam?
For those gearing up for the CMA exam, my study tip emphasizes laying a strong foundation by understanding the materials before delving into practice questions. This sequential approach ensures a robust grasp of the content before honing in on question-solving techniques. Once the groundwork is laid, engaging in extensive practice questions becomes paramount, reinforcing comprehension and acclimating to the exam’s question format.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?
I advocate treating exam preparation as a marathon rather than a sprint. Consistency and maintaining a steady pace are pivotal, particularly for working professionals. Effective time management, embodied in a well-defined plan with weekly objectives and dedicated study hours, significantly contributes to success. Embrace the challenge, recognizing the profound value of the knowledge gained throughout the process; the ultimate reward lies in the journey itself.

What’s the one thing you wish you had known (but didn’t) before you took the exam?
Reflecting on my experience, a crucial insight I wish I had known before the exam is the nuanced nature of the four-hour duration. While seemingly ample, thorough preparation is essential. Ensuring adequate sustenance and restroom breaks before the exam is imperative, given the demanding nature that requires continuous focus and sustained energy. Despite the apparent length of the duration, maintaining a reasonable pace during the exam is crucial for success.

Prasart shared more details of his CMA journey in this IMA Life column, which appeared in the September 2023 issue of Strategic Finance magazine.

Visit the IMA website to learn more about the CMA certification.