The Top 10 Ways to Prepare 5 Months in Advance

With the fall CMT exam date now behind, we are looking to the future. The next exam date is May 5th, 2011 – mark your calendars. It is essential to remember that “victory favors preparation.” NOW is the time to begin preparing while you have the time. You have 5 months from today to get ready to dominate your exams and put yourself in a top scoring decile. You needn’t start preparing rigorously, but you will certainly benefit from taking those first steps before time and stress start to breath down your neck. The first steps are listed below.


amat victoria curam

"Amat Victoria Curam" - The popular Latin phrase that means "Victory loves preparation" or loosely "Victory favors those who make preparation."

The Top 10 Ways to Prepare 5 Months in Advance of Your Exam


1.) Mark your calendar – make sure you will have no conflicts that weekend such as weddings, trips, etc.


2.) Prepare Financially – Taking the CMT Examinations and signing up for the program is not cheap. It is, however, an investment in your education and yourself. You should either begin by setting money aside to pay for the associated costs or plan to include the costs in your budget and adjust accordingly. Costs of the CMT Program include costs of the of membership with the MTA, the exam and CMT registration, books and preparation materials. It is better to realize these costs upfront than be surprised by them later while you’re busy studying.


3.) Register with the MTA (Level 1) – In order to take your first CMT Exam, you must first become a member of the MTA and declare your intent to complete the CMT Program. Information on becoming a member, including costs, dues, and benefits can be found here. Please remember that in addition to the privilege of studying for your CMT, you will have access to all other areas of member services – including local chapter meetings, networking, access to technical analysis job postings, etc.


4.) Register for your specific exam – You may sign up for the CMT program or your next level exam here. Once you have registered it becomes “real” and your effort and motivation will drastically increase.


5.) Register with your testing center – In order to reserve your spot, you may want to register with your Prometric testing center. Prometric administers the exams on behalf of the MTA. If you do not want to sign up with your center today, you may want to locate the nearest center to have a better idea of your test day. For some, your biggest issue on test day will be parking, while others may require a lengthy commute in which case you will probably want to leave early and give yourself time to stretch out and rest before the actual exam. Either way, it is best to know what to expect in advance.


6.) Begin looking for your books – If you plan on buying your CMT books you should start looking around for the best deals and determine if you want to buy new or used. It is likely that used versions will be slightly cheaper immediately after a CMT exam rather than a few months before. If you plan on loaning your books from a library, you will then need to begin tracking them down from the various libraries or universities local to you. Remember that the MTA has a special agreement for members to buy The Definitive Guide to Point & Figure at a great discount: here.


7.) Take a self-assessment exam – The MTA offers sample quizzes and questions for each level. You should try taking these quizzes just to see how you do before any studying – it will help get you in the right frame of mind to begin studying. We also offer an intro level 1 practice quiz as well.


8.) Review CMT Tips – If you have just found us, candidates of any level will likely benefit from our CMT Tips Page, and those who have signed up for the program and level 1 exam (or are considering doing so) should see our CMT Level 1 Handbook which will take you through the entire level 1 process.


9.) Retake prior exams (Levels 2 & 3) – If you are taking your level 2 or 3 CMT exam, you will benefit from a refresher course. You can take the MTA sample exams again or any of the exams you may have purchased from us.


10.) Plan your attack – Now that you’ve ordered or checked out your books, you will want to set a reading schedule. You don’t need to start right away, but the sooner you do the better off you will be. You should figure out how many pages per day on average you will need to read in order to complete all pages 2-3 weeks before the exam date (to give you time to review). If you determine you need to read 20 pages a day, you may want to set an accelerated schedule where you’ll start with 10 pages a day and move up to 30 later, or perhaps you will read 60 pages every third day – it is totally up to you as long as you plan accordingly.



These first steps will help candidates of any level begin preparing for their upcoming CMT. For those new to the process it can seem daunting when you take everything into consideration upfront. However, if you start preparing now you will save yourself from so much stress and anxiety in the future. And when you’re busy learning things like the Bullish Percent Oscillator or the Principles of Technical Analysis, who needs that anyway?


Please send any questions you have regarding the CMT or Market Tech Lab to – we are eager to assist you on your journey.