CIMA® Certification Exam Topics: What to Expect

The Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) curriculum and exam concentrate on your ability to apply a balance of theory and practical knowledge to provide insightful guidance, portfolio construction, portfolio management, and risk management for individual and institutional clients.

What Is the CIMA® Certification Exam Format?

The CIMA® certification exam is proctored, and you can take it online or in person. Either way, when you schedule your exam, you’ll want to plan for a full day.


hours for the timed and proctored exam


unscored pretest questions


scored multiple-choice questions


hours of preparation recommended

How Do CIMA® Certification Exam Questions Evaluate My Knowledge?

The questions on the CIMA® certification exam are multiple choice—a format that enables broad representation of the certification curriculum while testing your knowledge and skills at various levels.

  • Recall questions test your ability to recognize and remember specific facts, generalizations, theories, and principles.

  • Application questions draw on your ability to use what you know in different situations.

  • Analysis questions tap into your ability to synthesize what you know and come up with effective solutions, make judgements, or recommend a course of action.

    Learn More About How CIMA® Exams Are Developed

Looking for guided review, self-study guides, and ways to practice for the exam?

Explore CIMA® Exam Prep Offerings

What Topics Will Appear on the CIMA® Exam?

The CIMA® certification exam aligns with the curriculum in the CIMA® Core Body of Knowledge.

TIP: Download and use the CIMA® detailed content outline as a study guide
5 Knowledge Domains
22 Knowledge Sections

Exam Percentage

Domain Sections


•    Statistics and Methods
•    Applied Finance and Economics
•    Global Capital Markets


Investments •    Vehicles
•    Equity
•    Fixed Income
•    Alternative Investments
•    Options and Futures
•    Real Assets


Portfolio Theory and Behavioral Finance •    Portfolio Theories and Models
•    Behavioral Finance
•    Investment Philosophies and Styles
•    Tools And Strategies


Risk and Return •    Attributes of Risk
•    Risk Measurements
•    Performance Measurement and Attribution



Portfolio Construction and Consulting Process •    Ethics
•    Client Discovery
•    Investment Policy
•    Portfolio Construction
•    Manager Search and Selection
•    Portfolio Review and Revisions