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

Proper preparation is the key to success in any professional exams. Getting the highest quality review materials is crucial to passing on your first attempt.

There is only one set of CRMA review materials out there — 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 practice questions. I say “official” because the IIA did not write the book; instead, the IIA Research Foundation did, 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 (first edition) as the syllabus has remained the same since the certificate’s establishment in 2013.


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 use bullet points and charts extensively to improve 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, sample practice, suggested solutions and teaching style.


1. Not Enough Practice Questions

There are only 50 practice questions and 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.

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

This is a companion exercise book, with 150 practice questions in the form of paperback, kindle, and PDF that you can open in mobile devices.

We haven’t got sufficient feedback from readers. Among the Amazon customers, one finds it pretty helpful, but the other gives a 1-star rating given the unnecessarily complex and tough questions and how it didn’t reflect the difficulty of the actual exam (the exam questions were much easier).

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

CRMA Books Available at Amazon

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

 Text bookPractice 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, especially on CIA exam part 1 and part 3.

2. Other CRMA Review Course Materials

There are also websites that sell CRMA study guides but the IIA website does not list them as independent course providers.

For now, I can’t tell the quality and 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 includes a list of CRMA education resources that you can further study on your own. These books are available at the IIA bookstore, whereas the IPPFs can be downloaded from the IIA website and are free for IIA members.

The IPPFs are helpful and I recommend that you get them for your studying. The books are great too, but I wouldn’t buy and read them all for the purpose of this exam. 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 asked me, but Gleim has yet to develop a review course for CRMA. Same for Wiley and Hock.

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 required; however, you must check out online to receive the discount).

My Conclusion and Recommendation

There are 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 for CIA Part 1), most efficient study for two exams if you are aiming for both CIA and CRMA certifications
  • Cons: Gleim CIA book isn’t 100% written for the CRMA exam

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

Text bookPractice 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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  • Melanie says:

    Hey there,

    I just passed the CRMA exam yesterday and I am just so grateful and happy, as I passed my CIA Part 3 exam just around 2.5 months before. Now I am certified as a CIA and as a CRMA 😀

    For how and what I studied: I read the CRMA study book, which I can totally recommend and went also through all the questions. The CRMA book with questions was ok. Answering questions wrong is helping me to go back to a certain chapter and study it again 😉
    As I already did for the CIA exam, I wrote a lot of study cards with focus points, models, definitions in different colors and on different kinds of paper – this is just my way of studying 🙂

    The Gleim CIA Part 3 was also quite helpful, as you can go through a lot of questions regarding Risk Management etc. For my CIA Part 3 exam I already read the recommended PGs etc, and I just went through them again for the CRMA exam.

    The CRMA exam is – from my point of view – a little bit different with regards to the CIA exam, as you need to know the concepts and definitions by heart. After the exam my head was kind of filled full with technical words, questions and difficult situations – therefore you need to be prepared 🙂

    But I really like it and it was a really interesting journey (which will go on, of course), diving so deep into the world of Risk Management.

    I wish everybody all the best for the exam!

    • Nikki says:

      Thanks Melanie for the advice!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Melanie,
      Thanks so much for the sharing, and big congrats! You are the first person here to share the CRMA exam success so your thoughts are invaluable. Glad to know the CRMA study book is good, and that Part 3 is helpful! Come back and say hello when you have the time 🙂 All the best! Stephanie

    • Mohamad says:

      Hi Melanie,

      First congrats on your successful attempt.

      I too finished the 3 parts of CIA and currently studying for the CRMA.
      You mentioned that we need to know concepts and definitions by heart, but can you give an example of what you mean by concepts (just to know to which level of details).

      Did you find it harder than the CIA part 3 exam?

      thank you in advance,

    • Naweed Yosofi says:

      Hi Melanie,

      Congratulations on your success achieving the CRMA title.

      Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

      Thanks and regards,

      • Melanie says:

        Hy Naweed Yosofi,

        As you are also getting prepared for an ethics-related exam (I count exams as the CIA, CRMA, CFE as also strongly ethics-related), you should know, that it is not only forbidden to share purchased materials but also highly unethical to do it anyway. Therefore I am not going to forward the purchased materials.

        You can get prepared via the Gleim materials, which I highly recommend, via the standards, practice guidelines etc, which are accessible for all IIA members on their website. If you have also the Gleim materials for the CIA preparation, I suggest, that a second look into them is also a good basis.

        I wish you good luck with your exam.


        • Naweed Yosofi says:

          Hey Melanie,

          Thanks for the prompt feedback.
          Ethically i know it does not sounds well, however, if someone truly needs it, then i guess should not be a probem. Anyways, that was a request only, no problem. 🙂

          Good luck!

          Naweed Yosofi

        • Meghan D says:

          Thank you for this response, Melanie. We couldn’t agree more!

          Kind regards,
          I Pass the CIA Exam

        • Gunner says:

          Hello Melanie,

          As a CIA and CGAP I couldn’t agree more with your response. As IIA members we need to hold up the high ethical standards of the profession.

          Best regards,


  • Achilleas says:

    Hello Melanie,

    Congratulations and thanks a lot for the helpfull references!
    As I am preparing for the CRMA exams, I would like to know what is your opinion regarding the level of difficulty between the questions of the CRMA book and the real exam questions. Is it true that the CRMA questions are more complex and more difficult than the real test questions ?

    Thank you

    • Melanie says:

      Hy Achilleas,

      The questions in the study book were ok, but I saw them only as a small test, to review what I have learned. Everybody has a different way to learn efficiently. I wrote a lot of cards with the conceptsame on them and read them over and over again, studied concepts only, watched IIA videos. From what I can remember, the questions were more spread, but this could also be based on the fact, that there are not so many CRMA questions published. If you read the book, read the PC, study the meanings, concepts etc, you should be fine.

      Wish you all the best!


  • Rachel says:

    Hi All

    Thank you Melanie for sharing your story.

    Can anyone advise on how best to prepare for the exam. CIA part 1& 2 people mostly go through the book once and concentrate on questions. Would you recommend that study method for CRMA?

    Secondly what kind of questions should we expect? Theory questions or practical questions?

    Thank you.

  • Mohamad says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I would like to ask if there are for the CRMA exam IPPFs and supplementary guides like the ones for the CIA exam?

    And any advice would be helpful.

    Thank you and regards,

  • Mohamad says:

    Hi Melanie,

    First congrats on your successful attempt.

    I too finished the 3 parts of CIA and currently studying for the CRMA.
    You mentioned that we need to know concepts and definitions by heart, but can you give an example of what you mean by concepts (just to know to which level of details).

    Did you find it harder than the CIA part 3 exam?

    thank you in advance,

    • Melanie says:

      Hey Mohamad,

      I suggest that the concepts, which are stated in the CRMA Review Book by the IIA should be known very well, like each step of a concept, in which order the steps are, the names of the steps, what they mean, etc.

      Hope this helps.

      Best regards


  • Pablo says:

    Hi all,

    I just passed the CRMA exam and I wanted to share my experience with you.

    I used CRMA exam study guide, CRMA exam practice questions, Gleim CIA part 3 practice questions and IPPF to prepare for the exam. I actually found all them quite useful.

    The CRMA exam study guide is a good basis to know what topics to expect in the exam. I recommend reading it at least a couple of times. Practice questions from this book are also an important tool to prep for the exam.

    CRMA exam practice questions are sometimes quite tricky and long, but I think they are useful to make sure you know the concepts well. I didn’t realize my understanding of some concepts was not fully correct until going through them.

    I also read some of the materials the IIA recommends (IPPF and other short reads). Gleim practice questions for CIA part 3 about Risk Management topics were also useful to learn about the new COSO ERM.

    I found the level of difficulty of actual exam similar to the other parts of the CIA exam.

    I hope this helps.


  • Audrey says:

    Hi Everyone –

    I just wanted to add the the thread. To provide some background, I passed part 1 of CIA back in February of 2017, and completed part 3 in January of 2018. I initially wanted to take the CRMA while part 3 information was more fresh, but ended up not taking it until yesterday, and I passed!

    I used the IIA bundle – book and additional practice questions. I read the IIA book and did the practice questions in the exam book after each domain. Once I got through all of that, I did a short review of all 4 domains again. I also reviewed Gleim part 3 section 2. In total, I studied less than 20 hours for this exam. I would say if you have recently finished your CIA, the IIA book and minimal studying can work since a lot of the information comes back to you.

    Good luck!

  • Will says:

    I wrote the CRMA today and passed. It was tough. I used the Iia study guide and also purchased the exam question book from them. The exam
    focused primarily on COSO and ISO3000 which I feel I should have possibly studied separately and in detail. A lot of the concepts described in the study guide were not covered in the exam however recommend buying both books as they prepare you for the exam. The structure and approach is very similar to that of CIA but I did find rheexam a bit more challenging than the CIA itself. A few trick questions as well which had me second guessing but an approach which helped was to eliminate the wrong answers first.

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