CMCA exam preparation tools and reference materials offered or suggested by CAMICB are presented as one component of candidate preparation for the CMCA examination.  The use and/or purchase of any preparatory or reference tool is entirely optional.  CAMICB does not assert that use of any single tool or combination of tools will enhance candidate performance.  CMCA candidates are encouraged to develop a personal study plan incorporating a wide range of study tools and reference materials. CAMICB does not endorse any CMCA exam preparation tools that are not linked on this page. 

​​​CMCA Examination Preparation

CMCA Examination Content

The CMCA examination tests against the body of knowledge to be expected in a professional community association manager.  The contents of the examination are based on a study of related job requirements. In 2016, CAMICB completed an update to the CMCA occupational analysis. The occupational analysis study identified over 100 relevant tasks organized into categories:

  • Governance, Legal, and Ethical Conduct
  • Budgets, Reserves, Investments, and Assessments
  • Contracting
  • Financial Controls
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Property Maintenance
  • Meetings
  • Human Resources

The following resources have been developed to help CMCA examination candidates prepare for the CMCA examination. Note: Purchase of the preparation materials is not required in order to become eligible to sit for the examination, and does not guarantee a passing score on the exam.

CMCA Exam Preparation E-Learning Course

Boost your knowledge of community association management—and your confidence in your test-taking skills—at your pace and on your schedule. 

Presented by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), the CMCA Exam Preparation e-learning course is a free on-demand resource designed to strengthen your test strategies and prepare you for the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)® exam. Visit the CMCA Online Learning page for more details. 

CMCA Handbook

The CMCA Handbook provides information on the CMCA examination application process as well as a detailed outline of the examination content.  The Handbook also provides study materials and strategies for taking the examination.  Applicants are required to read the Handbook in its entirety prior to applying to sit for the CMCA examination.  The Candidate Handbook is available as a free electronic download.

CMCA Study Guide

The CMCA Study Guide​ will help candidates develop strategies for exam preparation.  The Study Guide identifies all the knowledge areas tested on the exam and details the knowledge, skills and abilities tested in each knowledge area.  The Study Guide is a critical tool in exam preparation and is available as a free electronic download. 

Community Association Management Best Practices Reports

Industry experts and a range of professional publications were consulted in the development of function-specific benchmarking and best practices for community association management.  CMCA examination candidates are strongly encouraged to review these reports in particular:

  • Community Security
  • Financial Operations
  • Ethics
  • Governance
  • Reserve Studies/Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Transition
  • Community Harmony and Spirit

The Foundation for Community Association Research has made the Best Practices Reports available for free download on their website.

Community Association Institute's M-100: Essentials of Community Association Management course material

CMCA candidates that took the M-100 prerequisite course should review the M-100 manual as a part of their exam preparation. Review each chapter carefully, paying close attention to subjects heavily tested on the M-100 exam.  It is important to remember that the M-100 is not intended to serve as a review course for the CMCA examination.  If you complete the M-100, the course should be viewed as one part of your intensive preparation to sit for the CMCA examination.  Successful CMCA candidates make full use of all recommended resources as they prepare for the examination.

Individuals who have successfully passed the M-100: Essentials of Community Association Management have the option to audit the course through CAI.  Contact CAI Direct at 888.224.4321 for more information.

Community Association Institute's Guides for Association Practitioners (GAPs)

In addition, it is strongly recommended that you review the following titles in CAI's GAP series:

  • Drafting Rules
  • Bids & Contracts
  • Meetings & Elections
  • Reserve Funds
  • Insurance
  • Risk Management and Insurance

For information on purchasing CAI's GAP series, please contact CAI Direct at 888.224.4321 or visit their online bookstore. ​

CMCA Practice Exam

The CMCA Practice Exam provides candidates an opportunity to familiarize themselves with exam content and question types. The practice exam contains 65 questions that have rotated off the CMCA examination. Candidates can view results immediately after selecting a response.

The CMCA Practice Exam is offered in partnership with TesTrac, a professional testing company. The practice exam is delivered by TesTrac and can be accessed here: https://app.testrac.com/cmca/delivery.

The cost to access the practice exam through TesTrac is $25 for one attempt or $40 for two attempts. Please contact TesTrac at dbodell@testrac.com or 952.997.0641 with any questions regarding instructions, log in, or payment.

CMCA Examination Quizlet quizlet.PNG
The CMCA Examination Quizlet is an excellent study tool that will help you grasp key terms and definitions in preparation for the CMCA examination. Quizlet offers free interactive study methods like flashcards and matching games. They also offer a paid Quizlet+ subscription which gives access to additional study tools. Quizlet is suitable for all learning styles as it offers multiple study options depending on your preference.​ 

​A Note to Candidates

Please keep in mind that you are preparing to sit for your professional credentialing examination: you are working to earn the credential that will serve as the cornerstone of your career as a professional community association manager.  Successful CMCA candidates spend three to six months preparing for the examination, making full use of all recommended resources. However, use of these resources does not guarantee a passing score on the exam. Candidates are strongly encouraged to devote the time to exam preparation that a professional credentialing examination requires.

Best of luck as you prepare to earn the CMCA: The Essential Credential!

Note: Purchase of the preparation materials is not required in order to become eligible to sit for the examination, and does not guarantee a passing score on the exam.