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Thread Title: My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
Created On Monday December 10, 2012 12:02 AM
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)
  My CIA Exam Study Methodology (Passed all 4 parts on the first attempt)


Spock


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Monday December 10, 2012 12:02 AM

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I promised myself if I passed all four parts of the CIA exam and became certified, I would try to help others to achieve the same objective by recounting my study methodology (assuming it was successful.) One could say it was successful in that I passed all four parts of the exam on the first attempt; however, it should be noted that my exam dates spanned approximately 2.5 years as follows:

Part 1 April 2010
Part 2 January 2011
Part 4 June 2011 (Yes- I skipped Part 3 because I heard it was the hardest section.)
Part 3 December 2012

This is not to say that I studied for the entire time in between exams. I moved and had other things going on in my life, but I wanted to provide a complete picture of my exam history. An estimate of the amount of study time I put into each test would probably be more helpful, so here it is:

Part 1 80 hours
Part 2 80 hours
Part 4 60 hours
Part 3 100 hours

In all 4 cases, I used the IIA Learning System as well as purchased a Wiley book for each exam part. The Wiley book was intended only as a “secondary” study aid. I read the IIA learning system books at least two times in their entirety. I then worked through the IIA web-based question modules until I was achieving at least a 95% on every part of the software. If a question/answer relationship wasn’t clear, I went into the books until it became comprehensible.

With Wiley, I took a less serious approach, since I was using it only as a “supplemental” study aid and most people really only use one. After I would spend a few hours on the IIA learning system, I would devote a small amount of time to Wiley. I quickly and minimally skimmed through the narrative parts of the Wiley book, instead opting to focus on the practice questions at the end of each section. In some cases, I tried to answer the Wiley questions, but many times I was so tired by the time I got to Wiley that I simply read the questions and then flipped over to the answers, without actually trying to answer it myself. This was valuable, however, because Wiley explains why the wrong answers are wrong; the IIA software only does this for a finite number of questions. I found this helped to understand the reasoning behind the correct answers, which brings me to the final point:

You have to understand the concept behind the question and answer relationships. The exam is cleverly worded to make you “think through it” to determine the correct answers. There are no short cuts to understanding the concepts involved. Make sure you understand “why” ‘B’ is correct (for example), instead of the three alternatives.

Part 3 is worth mentioning because it was the hardest section for me, since it covered I.T. concepts I had never seen, as well as financial accounting subjects I had not seen since college. However, it is passable with the right amount of studying. I definitely spent the most number of hours studying for Part 3, as I indicated above.

Remember, repetition is the key. At the start of each new Part, my practice scores in the IIA software were demoralizing. Working through the questions and the material repeatedly, the “unfamiliar” became “second nature” and I eventually attained 95 or above. I would not try to take the exam unless you reach this point as well.

Stay positive and have confidence in yourself (but not too much confidence…) It is a very difficult exam, but you can do it if you work hard and don’t give up on yourself.

Hopefully this information will help someone out there in some small way. Of course the IIA will be using a new three-part test next year, so I cannot provide any insight into the new test, but hopefully the study methodology that I used (IIA Learning System, with some limited review of Wiley Q&A's as a supplement) will continue to be applicable. Good luck to you all !!

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MuneebBhai


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Tuesday December 11, 2012 10:15 PM

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hey spock,

Congrats on clearing all the parts....would like to get some help from you on the I.T. part of the part 3....since i m going to be giving my xams within 2 weeks.....could u please provide some info. on the type of ques??.....were they familiar to the study material?? also how did u prepare for part3....specially the i.t. part??

Thank You

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Spock


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Wednesday December 12, 2012 6:01 PM

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Hello, MuneebBhai,

Thank you for your e-mail and for the congrats. As many people on the forum have indicated, about 1 out of every 3 questions in Part 3 was I.T. related. This was certainly in-line with the IIA's syllabus on Part 3, which indicates 30-40% for I.T. One thing you might also notice about the syllabus is that it indicates either "A" for "Awareness" or "P" for Proficiency on each individual topic. For I.T., the entire section is tested at the "Awareness" level only. This makes sense, because, although the entire exam was hard, the I.T. questions on the exam were not as "in depth" as they were in financial and managerial accounting topics, SOME of which you are expected to know at the "Proficiency" level.

You didn't say if you were using the IIA Learning System, or some other system, like Gleim. I used the IIA system and worked through each section (including I.T.) until I achieved a 95%. For I.T., I'm sure there was some terminology in the Wiley book that was not referenced in the IIA learning system, since Wiley covers substantially more than the IIA system. If you have time, I recommend getting the Wiley book or maybe purchase the old test questions that the IIA bookstore sells just to review some extra I.T. questions if you can.

I tried to focus a lot on I.T. because I thought it might make up for some questions I wouldn't do so well on - (i.e.: bonds, leases, pensions in financial accounting). Even though "COBIT Control Frameworks" might be dry, boring and hard to memorize, it's still easier for me than doing pension calculations.

Hope this helps-

Edited: Wednesday December 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM by Spock

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MuneebBhai


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Friday December 14, 2012 8:40 AM

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well i m using the gleim material.....and rite now i m doing my revisions only.....there are around 1200 ques......but wht concerns me much is tht they are mostly on finance and around 250 quess are only on i.t....coz if it is for finance topic u get sumthin out of the study material...i can still handle it.....but fot i.t. i doubt coz im not in used to it....

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Spock


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Thursday December 20, 2012 8:50 PM

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If you only have 250 I.T. questions in Gleim, I would definitely try to get some supplementary material, as about every third question was I.T. related... Good luck.

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MuneebBhai


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Wednesday December 26, 2012 6:55 AM

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ahhh...finally cleared the third part....thanks spook for all ur advice.....was short of tym to use any other resources....had to stick wid gleim only.....but the paper was too tough.....didnt expect to pass until i received the marks....now only part four is left......

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Shahid


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Wednesday December 26, 2012 2:37 PM

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Today with teh bless of Allah i have quaified my last part of CIA part 4.

Spock congragulations on ur achievement and now i really can say that i know how do u feel.

It is a great fee;ing to know that i am a CIA. for which i have sturuggled alot.

Have a succefull future.

Regards,

-------------------------
Certified Internal Auditor

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Akhil


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Wednesday December 26, 2012 2:38 PM

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Hello Muneebbhai,

Please can you guide how were the questions when you took part 3. I am using gleim and sitting this week for part 3.

Were questions easier or tougher then gleim specially the IT part?

I am scoring 95% + in gleim ans hock databases, have read gleim book 5-6 times.

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MuneebBhai


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Wednesday December 26, 2012 4:07 PM

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well akhil i only used gleim...u really need to get the concept well.....for me it was quite tough and i was short of tym also.....but i still managed to focus and cleared it......if ur using to diff. resource than it can be bit easier....

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Spock


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Wednesday December 26, 2012 4:58 PM

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Thanks, Shahid! Congratulations to you as well-

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Spock


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Wednesday December 26, 2012 4:59 PM

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And by the way, I struggled quite a bit too! It's not an easy exam, but definitely passable with the right amount of studying... Best of luck

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Akhil


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Thursday December 27, 2012 6:07 AM

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Thanks MuneebBhai

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Spock


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Friday December 28, 2012 12:09 PM

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Congratulations, MuneebBhai! Glad to have helped in some small way... Best wishes

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rabia


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Wednesday March 06, 2013 4:15 AM

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Hi Spock:

May i please get willey study material details for Part 1? if you have it in soft copy can u please share it with me?

i am using gleim at this point of time, and i have enough time to study and then schedule my exam, please forward me any relevant study material at my email id that is rabis.sheikh@gmail.com.

Regards

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Spock


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Thursday March 07, 2013 5:28 PM

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Hi Rabia,

Thanks for your note and sorry for the delay. Unfortunately the Wiley books were hard copy books, not PDF files; therefore it is not something I could e-mail. I do recommend the Wiley books as a supplementary study guide (although I am not familiar with Gleim). The attached link shows the Wiley book I purchased when I studied for Part 1:


http://www.amazon.com/Review-Internal-Activitys-Governance-Control/dp/0471718793/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1362695136&sr=8-6&keywords=wiley+cia+exam+review+part+1

Hope this helps. Thanks

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rabia


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Friday March 08, 2013 7:43 AM

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Ohk....thanx alot for details

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Bakut


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Saturday March 09, 2013 9:10 PM

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Do you have online materials for Part 1 & 2? if yes, please email me at nongowa0903@yahoo.com.

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DISCUSSIONS > CERTIFICATION [ REFRESH ]
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