CRMA Review Materials: The Official Study Guide’s Pros and Cons

Proper preparation is the key to success on any professional exam like the one for the CRMA certification. Getting the highest quality CRMA exam review materials is crucial to passing on your first attempt.

There is only one set of IIA CRMA review materials out there for the CRMA certificate— the “official” textbook by the IIA Research Foundation. I’ll discuss the pros and cons below and where you can find supplementary study guides and CRMA practice questions. I say “official” because the IIA did not write the book. Instead, the IIA Research Foundation wrote it, and many candidates find that the “official” book didn’t prepare them for the exam well.

CRMA Exam Study Guide

This official guide covers the 4 domains of the exam syllabus. There is only one version (the first edition) because the syllabus has remained the same since the certificate’s establishment in 2013.

* Please note that the IIA CRMA program is changing in mid-2021. Please click this link to find a full list of CRMA program updates. However, at least at this time, no additional exam review materials have been announced by the IIA beyond the official first edition study guide.


1. Comprehensive and Organized Review

The book was written by an international team of practitioners and academics. The main authors, Francis Nicholson and Chris Baker, are CRMAs themselves.

The book is written in plain English, with highlight boxes featuring the key terms you need to know for the exam. The authors also extensively use bullet points and charts to improve the readers’ experience.

With 264 pages, this is a manageable read in my opinion.

2. Good Reviews from Customers

All in all, people have been generally happy with the content, quality of the sample practice questions, suggested solutions, and teaching style.


1. Not Enough Practice Questions

The book only includes 50 CRMA practice questions. And really, everyone finds it insufficient to prepare with such a small sample of questions. Plus, many candidates report that these questions are nothing like the ones they see on the actual exam.

And keep in mind that if you’re planning to take the exam after mid-2021, the updated CMRA exam will have new types of “advanced format” questions. These questions could include scenario lists, fill-in-the-blank, hot stops, and other more advanced questions. Unfortunately, the first edition of the review materials doesn’t cover this advanced format type.

2. English Version Only

Strictly speaking, this is not the limitation of the book but of the exam itself. For now, at least, the CRMA exam is only available in English.

CRMA Exam Practice Questions

The companion exercise book has 150 practice questions. You can purchase this material as a paperback or eBook.

However, we haven’t received sufficient feedback from our readers. Among Amazon customers, some find their purchase to be pretty helpful. However, other customers only give it a 1-star rating because of the unnecessarily complex and tough questions. Plus, reviewers noted that the sample questions didn’t reflect the difficulty of the actual exam. That is, they thought the exam questions were much easier.

If you’ve used this practice question book, I would love to hear what you think. Please drop us a note in the comment section below.

CRMA Books Available at Amazon

The textbook and practice questions are available at the IIA bookstore and Amazon. Here are the links to the Amazon pages for your reference. The last time I checked, the price was the same:

 Text book Practice Question
Practice Question
(Physical Copy)

Other CRMA Study Materials

1. Gleim CIA books and practice questions

Our blogger Lynnel has done some research on CRMA review course materials. One of her colleagues only used Gleim CIA materials (<— discount applies when you use this link) and passed. It makes sense given the extent of the syllabus overlap between the two exams.

2. Other CRMA review course materials

In addition to the official materials, a few websites sell CRMA study guides. However, the IIA website does not list them as independent course providers.

For now, I can’t tell the quality of these unofficial materials. Therefore, I am reluctant to introduce them to you here. Feel free to google “CRMA review” to get the names. If you try out one of their courses, I’d love to hear from you as well.

3. IIA-suggested exam prep resources

The IIA has a list of CRMA education resources to help you further study on your own. The books are available from the IIA bookstore, whereas the PDFs can be downloaded straight from the IIA website.

In my opinion, the books and PDFs are helpful. And I definitely recommend that you download the free PDFs for your studying. The books are great too, but I wouldn’t buy and read them all for the purpose of this exam. Instead, I would stick with the CRMA study guide, Gleim book/test prep, and check out YouTube for further explanation on certain concepts.

4. How about Gleim CRMA?

A few of you have asked me, but Gleim has yet to develop a review course for the CRMA exam. The same is true for Wiley and HOCK and the other CIA courses I review on this website.

However, a good number of my readers have used Gleim CIA to study for the CRMA exam and have passed on the first attempt! If you end up going with Gleim, you can use my Gleim CIA discount. No promo code is required. However, you must check out online to receive the discount.

My Conclusion and Recommendation

When it comes to studying for the CRMA exam, you have two choices:

1. CRMA Exam Study Guide + Gleim CIA practice questions + IPPFs

  • Pros: More comprehensive with the official guide
  • Cons: extra $100-200 and extra time to go through the book

2. Gleim CIA book + Gleim CIA practice questions + IPPFs

  • Pros: No additional cost (if you’ve chosen Gleim to study for the CIA exam)—this is the most efficient study path for the two credentials if you are aiming for both the CIA and CRMA certifications
  • Cons: The Gleim CIA course isn’t 100% written for the CRMA exam.

What’s your choice? Let us know in the comment section below.

Text book Practice Question
Practice Question
(Physical Copy)
CIA Review


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About the Author Stephanie

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.

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