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What CIMA exemptions can I get?

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If you’re considering studying CIMA’s CGMA® Professional Qualification, you may already have some qualifications that make you exempt for parts of the qualification. This means you may not have to sit all of the exams. Here are some exemptions that may apply to you.

Who is eligible for exemptions from some of CIMA’s exams?

You may qualify for exam exemptions if you:

  • Are a graduate with a degree or qualification that’s relevant to CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification syllabus,
  • Are an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) member,
  • Have an MBA or a Master's in Accounting,
  • Are a member or passed finalist of ICWAI or ICMAB, or a member of ICMAP,
  • Have completed a relevant qualification with another professional body that is accredited by CIMA.

Studied AAT?

If you’ve completed AAT Level 4 (the final level of AAT) you are exempt from having to sit Certificate in Business Accounting exams, and can start at the Professional Qualification . AAT members also benefit from a fast-track exemptions service.


If you have a degree in a related field such as accounting and finance, business administration, or economics you may be exempt from parts of CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification.

Here are some examples:

With a BSc in accounting and finance you may be exempt from all Certificate in Business Accounting and Operational level exams, meaning you could join the Professional Qualification at the Management level.

If you have a business or management degree you may be exempt from all the Certificate in Business Accounting exams.

How to check and apply for exemptions

To find out if you’re eligible for any exemptions, CIMA’s guidance is to create an account and register on the AICPA & CIMA website. Upon entering your qualifications and number of years work experience, you will then be informed of your suggested entry level. You can then either continue and complete the full registration, or come back at a later date to complete your registration.

You can find out more about exemptions and eligibility in CIMA’s essential guide to exemptions.

Ready for CIMA?

If you are interested in CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification, exemptions or not, check out our CIMA pages for more information and how you can get studying straight away.

Do, however, note that exemptions are awarded because you are deemed to already have the knowledge of the subject. It may be worth recapping some of the knowledge just to make sure.

CIMA has published blueprints for all of the Professional Qualification syllabus, which will show you exactly what you should know at each subject.