11 Points You Need To Know Before Taking CAMS Exam

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In order to study smart, you must get to know what will be the examination format

Understand what you're facing before you commence your studies


What is the exam format?

This is a very common question that many candidates who have not taken CAMS before wonder. While there are over hundreds of practice questions in the study manual, you have to hit 75 multiple choices out of 120 in order to pass the exam. But what is the exam format?

There are 6 chapters in the study manuals, the actual chapters that you need to study well are in the first four core chapters. No matter how much you think you have prepared yourself for the CAMS exam and scored high and well in practice questions. The real examination is way too different than the practice questions provided in the ACAMS study materials. In this article, we will pinpoint the CAMS examination format and share some study tips for you to save your time.


Three characteristics of the CAMS exam:

  A large chunk of content to read in the questions

While not all, but most of the questions in the real CAMS exam comes with a very lengthy content of questions you need to read and comprehend. Very often, the questions itself is so complicated that it intentionally gives you some hints that direct you to select the seemingly correct answer.

There will not be any precise definition for you to memorize but more like a situational question. A classic example is that the question for handling “clients” and “new clients” will definitely come with different answers. Yet, both choices are available in the choices.

As such, do make sure you read and read the questions again. In our experience, candidates who read the question once only will tend to select the answer wrong. We recommend you to read the question and then review what is the option for you to choose and go back to the question again. Very often, you will have a much better picture of the question.

  The answer is designed to confuse you

Unless you are very clear of each FATF, FSRB, CFATF, Basel Committee, and etc. functions and definition. Simply giving you a situational question and asking you to select the group that will best fit in handling or which organization have issued the guidelines is definitely not easy. Do not expect to use the method by elimination compare to most of the MC exams common technique that you can apply. The real CAMS exam often provides all answer that might only have one or two wordings differ, what worse is that these answers are all correct if you look at the statement itself alone.

  This is not a single choice answer

While this has already shown in ACAMS study material chapter 6’s practice questions. However, many candidates fail to notice that in the real examination, it is definitely not some simple select one among four types of MC. Very often you are given 5 or even 6 options and to select 2 or 3 that is correct. Fail to select all of them correctly will not score you the correct point in the exam.


Not all exam content is covered in the study manual

Scary this may sound. But the fact is that not all the questions appeared in the exams come from the study manual. The study manual itself covers much generic information and allow the candidate to understand the foundation of AML. The candidate knowledge and understanding of recent AML trends and a degree of common sense has to apply in order to pass the examination. The most common example is testing of trade fraud, this requires a level of common sense and experience in understanding the basic of trade operations.


Is CAMS merely testing common sense or requires memorization of content?

The short answer is it requires memorization. While not a lot of content would require memorizing factual information, e.g. reporting threshold on the latest directive. There is a portion of exam content would require the candidate to study and memorize. As per CAMSExam candidate survey, around 20-25% of the exam questions would require memorization in order to answer the exam questions.


How to prepare the examination?

Many candidates who have tried the CAMS exam and failed wonder what is missing during their preparation. From our experience, candidates who merely read through the study material tends to fail easily. Not because the study material does not cover enough in the CAMS exam but because it is conceivably easy to lose focus during the reading of the packed and very informative study material.

It’s common for a candidate to read the study materials line by line and without knowing what will be really tested in the exams. Furthermore, it tends to forget what you have read the next day you read the study material.

It is proven that the best way to memorize some concepts is able to read it from time to time. This can be done via CAMSEXAM memory flash card which extracts the recently examined key concepts of for your studies. Of course, we do also recommend you to study the flash card as provided by the official ACAMS as well.

For sure that exam bank exercise is critical for testing your knowledge and reinforce what you have learned. CAMSEXAM come with a very large database on CAMS exam bank for your practice. You may test the format and style in the free trial area.

Study by taking practice questions will put your brain into proactive state rather than reactive state in reading study manual


How many time is needed for the preparation of CAMS?

We would say quality over quantity of time. The time needed to prepare CAMS varies. However, do not come with the impression that your working experience can minimize the hours of study. Very often people who have over-relies their working experience fails the exam. Do you know that there is, in fact, a systematic way to memorize what you have studied? Read this article and learn how the ancient Roman able to read once and never forget.


Study guide or practice questions?

The short answer to this is. Definitely both, but there’s a trick when using the study guide. We recommend you to take the practice question once you have read through one chapter. Always refer to the explanation provided in each of the questions and refer to the study guide on the concepts that you are not sure with. Very often the exam asked in a way that the options look like a correct answer. This way, merely reading the exam content will not allow you to grab the key examination concepts easily and are prone to fail without sufficient practice.


Never waste your time in reading forum

Tempting it might sound, after a few hours of studies, you might stumble in Quora, Reddit or some other discussion forum for revision. Discussion related to examination format and recent changes in the ACAMS study materials is definitely beneficial to your studies. However, answers related to exam concepts maybe posted years ago, these are information that is not verified by anyone and might be out of syllabus. Your precious time will be wasted on cross-checking whether the answers posted in the forum is correct or not.


Look for the changes in a different version of study materials posted by ACAMS

Changes in the version of study materials come with a reason. In our experience, at least 5% to 10% of the content will appear in the examination for any changes in study materials content. In the CAMS EXAM, we have extracted all these content and formulated them into our unique questions for you to prepare for the exam.


Understands the underlying concept of each question after the practice question

The best way to prepare the CAMS examination is always the official study guide right after answering the practice question. This way you can solid your understanding of the exam concepts and understands what is unclear to you. In the CAMS EXAM, all our practice questions structured in a way that comes with an explanation and rationale for questions worth learning. This allows you to save your time in searching the ACAMS study materials again and study conveniently with a handheld.


Allocate a sufficient amount of time to study

Obvious it may seem. But many candidates tend to enter the examination center without sufficient preparation and want to try their luck. CAMS EXAM multiple choice questions are designed in a way that method of elimination or common sense will help. While all candidates come with different experience and knowledge, do plan your study ahead and if time is not sufficient, you can always reschedule your exam for free in your ACAMS candidate account. In this article, we share how you can leverage the power of the compound to quash the exam.


Study by chapters only

In CAMSExam and also the ACAMS official study manual, content and practice questions are segmented by chapters. You can read the official study manual of an individual chapter and start practicing via our practice questions. This is proven to be an effective way to study and it is easier to plan your study schedule.

However, do note that in the real examination, questions are not asked by chapter. ACAMS mix various exam concepts into one question and test whether you fully comprehend the concepts being tested. As such, CAMSExam provides final practice questions as well for you to simulate the scenario in the final exam. To give you a better idea of how well you have prepared for CAMS examination.

If you find values in this article, let your friends and colleagues know that you care and thinking about them by sharing this article to them.

P.S. Want to study once and never forget? Our exam specialist does share the secret tip to premium users on how to better memorize CAMS exam content efficiently.

Wish you a secured pass in your CAMS exam.


Picture of Hannah V. Rucker

Hannah V. Rucker

Hannah used to work in the AML field in a financial organization. She's now an agent in CAMS EXAM in examination team. Consolidating and reviewing CAMS EXAM questions bank and study materials.

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