Although many accountants have heard of CPA and also perhaps of CMA which are both exams, which if passed, can afford an accountant to work at the top of their profession. CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant and a pass in this exam will permit accountants to deal with different companies audits. CMA stands for Certified Management Accountant and a pass in this exam will allow accountants to work in high positions within the accounts departments of large corporations. The CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst and a pass in this exam will permit someone to work as an analyst for large financial companies like JP Morgan, Bank of America and the like.
As any of these exams can lead to top jobs and therefore high pay scales, none of the exams are considered easy and usually have a less than 50% pass rate. This means that anyone seeking to take one of the exams must be committed to studying hard for perhaps as long as 4 years or more in order to even stand a chance on passing. Materials for cfa prep and prep for the other exams can also be expensive and so, although the cost will be recouped for a pass mark, a failure can be a financial loss of some significance.
Many people that sit any of these exams will know the risks and that the pass rates are relatively low but consider the try worthwhile considering the benefits which are at stake. Most people find that the difference between a pass and a fail in these exams can often be due to the study material which is used by the student and so care should be taken in determining which study program or course you take in preparation for any of the exams.
There are many different study options for these exams but there are also websites that review many of them and so one recommendation would be to visit the website which reviews some of the study materials for the exam you wish to take, to help you determine which material or course would best suit your learning style. Some courses are based on long lectures or tutorials that expect a student to have long hours available for each session whilst others, offer more numerous but a lot shorter study sessions for those that do not have long periods available each day to devote to their studies. Both methods can be good, provided you stick to the program and so before spending money on material you will not be able to fully appreciate, perhaps try a few of the free trials which are often offered and by doing so, ensure yourself the best possible chance of succeeding in passing the exam.
Even though there are expenses involved in studying for and taking these exams, many of the people that fail them on their first attempt, once again invest money in having a second try and some even take the exam several times before eventually passing.