Market Tech Lab

How To Prepare for Your CMT's

Check At Market Tech Lab, we are committed to helping you build a solid foundation for future success on all levels of your CMT Examinations as well as in your career.

The CMT exams offer almost anyone the chance to learn a great deal about technical analysis; you will become well versed in avenues which you previously had no knowledge. The nature of the exams allows candidates to study and learn on their own time.

Exam Basics

==== Categories ====

The Level 2 CMT exam consists of the following categories:

  • Theory and History
  • Market Indicators
  • Trend Analysis
  • Chart and Pattern Analysis
  • Confirmation
  • Cycles
  • Selection, Decision, and Application
  • System Testing and Money Management

As always there is an ethics portion that is part of each exam as well, which candidates MUST pass in order to pass the remainder of the exam. A failed ethics portion will not grant a passing grade despite scoring well in the other sections.

Check Tip #1:One thing you can do is organize categories by the above topics.

==== Questions ====

Questions vary by exam. The level 1 exam focuses primarily on definitions and terminology, while the level 2 exam focuses more on application of concepts. For more about each exam's focus please refer to the Market Technicians Association website.

  • Level 2 Exam Basics
  • Number of questions: 170 (150 of which are scored)
  • Time given for exam: 4 Hours
  • Time per question: 1 minute, 24 seconds

Check Tip #2: Complete all definition, terminology, and historical questions first as well as any other questions you instantly recall before beginning the more challenging questions.

The exam is a multiple-choice exam and is administered via PC. You may bring a simple calculator, pencil, and ruler. You will be given scratch paper at the testing site.

Study Time
The MTA suggests that candidates preparing for the Level 1 exam adequately study the material in 100 hours, though for some it may take more time to finish with the highest marks.

Check Tip #3: Go above and beyond to increase the likelihood you will get a good score on your exam.

Initial Preparation

You will want to begin by buying the books on the suggested reading list. If you are considering buying books from anywhere other than Amazon be sure to check first to compare prices. You can buy your books used as well to save some money. When buying used books from vendors, be sure to calculate shipping charges, as these books do not usually qualify for Amazon's free shipping policy. Once you have determined the cheapest place to buy the books you want, be sure to order them about a week before you want to begin preparing for your exam. If you bought your books for the Level 1 exam, fortunately some of the same books are used for the Level 2 exam.

You may first need to decide when is a good time to begin preparing. If you start studying 4 months in advance, and stick to the MTA's suggested prep time of 100 hours, you can study for one hour a day and give yourself three weeks for review. You may only be able to study every other day, in which case you'd have to change your plan accordingly. It all depends on how much time you will have to devote to studying and when, as well as your learning style.

Check Tip #4: Set a reading schedule and stick to it.

Study Guidelines

Consistent Preparation
Once you have set a reading schedule and as you begin to read you may want to take notes, write note cards, or something else based on your suitable learning style. You can review your notes periodically as you go. Be sure to stick to your reading plan over time. You may want to make it a goal to get ahead of this schedule.

Check Tip #5: Bookmark pages or chapters that you have difficulty understanding and return to them later.

Read the Books
When studying for your Chartered Market Technician (CMT) exams, the best course of action is to be sure to read all of the assigned material from the specific books. For the list of books to read, check out the MTA’s reading list.

Reference Important Concepts
You may find it useful to write down all of the concepts covered and the page number while studying and then go back and test yourself to see if you remember the details of each. Then you'll have a list of concepts you need to memorize and page numbers where you can reference what you need to know and commit them to memory, focusing on the more difficult material as you progress. In addition, you may want to write the most important elements of each concept on notes or as flashcards, for later reference and study as you prepare for the exams.

Check Tip #6: Create flash cards.

==== Integrate and Apply Concepts ====

If you choose to complete the CMT program you will need to know more than definitions alone. Applying technical concepts will be tested in all three exams. There are numerous free resources online you can access to strengthen your understanding of the material:


Once you have read all of the material, begin by reviewing your notes or returning to chapters which you had difficulty with. You can practice with study questions from the MTA Knowledge Base. Additionally, MTL has produced a full practice exam for the level 2, which you can purchase here.

Check Tip #7: Identify Areas of Improvement

You can take the practice quiz to help determine what categories you need improvement in, and what pages to find answer explanations.