Joined: Mar 2013
Wednesday March 20, 2013 7:05 AM
Just wanted to tell interested parties how i passed CIA part 1 on first try in 1 and half months.
This may be a long post,Ive tried to include as much as possible for your interest.
Background:I am a practicing Internal Auditor and I have over 4 years IA experience in consulting firms.I am also working full time hence study after work.
I got Gleim for my study material with the Question Bank only-no audio or supplementary materials.
I began studying 1 and half months from the exam.I registered and set my exam date for 1 and a half months and I think that helped me in studying as I kinda knew there is no going back now,I have invested my money and I cant let it sink,I have to give it my best shot.
I read the books and did all the questions in the books as I went thru each chapter meaning at the end of each chapter,I would have done all the chapter's questions.This helps in that it gives the student a feel of how the questions are asked and how deep you have to know the study material.The questions in the book and the Qstn bank are very similar to the ones in the exam and I some questions in the book actually were identical to the ones in the book so its imperative to have an appreciation of what type of questions you will be dealing with.
After going thru chapter 1 to chapter 5,I was half a month to my exam and time was running out on me.I began to do the software questions.I did not do the questions 20 at a time,I did all the study unit questions in one go and this may take you around 1 and a half to 2 hours per session.This helped in that I would know that I have done all questions in the chapter.
During the question answering I would flag all questions I completely guessed,all questions I eliminated some answr choices and guessed between 3 or 2 choices AND also flagged all questions that I did not guess (i.e I knew the answer) but knew that I needed to revise this question maybe for why the other answr choices are wrong and also just to revise that concept again later on.
I completed all reading and book questions about a week before the exam and 2 days after I completed all the software questions.
I began going through the questions chapter by chapter while in study session mode revising the following;All questions I got wrong,All flagged questions.During this I would try and cover the correct answer and answer again as if it is my first time seeing that question.I would also go through reasons why the other questions are wrong.
I completed this for all 10 chapters 2 days before the exam.
During the exam I went in kinda blind as I had no idea how the structure of the questioning was like and if it was harder or easier than the Gleim questions.In actual fact I can say the exam questions were equal to the Gleim questions in difficulty and structure.
In the first 20 questions I wasted too much time on reading,rereading and thinking too much of the answers even though I knew what the answer was,.I was trying to avoiding missing key words in the question or answer-avoiding traps.After the first 20 I realized that time was actually not on my side and I reached half of the questions when I had less than half of the time left.I began speeding up and trying to focus on the questions so that I dont fall for traps but at the same time not wasting my time.It was now a focus game-shut out everything and focus.At times I felt I was throwing a win away with the speed I was taking.I finished the last question with 30 seconds to spare. Thats how close it was.
When studying try and not get too much focused on the wording of the study material.try and focus on the 'overall' themes in the chapters.Yes,there will be questions that ask specific things but when you get the skill of what the IA thing is all about,you will recognise the correct answer in the exam easily e.g. Internal Auditors evaluate and give recommendations or suggestions.they mostly will not compose,maintain or get involved in day-day operations of controls.Hence in a question if you see an answer with IA must compose or maintain something,chances are that answer is wrong but that depends on the questions also.Point is get an idea of what IA is all about and all will fall into place.
Be careful when reading the questions as there are some curve-balls and certain words that can be placed in a question to mislead you.these words may seem immaterial but they will lead you to an answer that is wrong and you will feel that you got the question right when you got it wrong and fell into a trap.FOCUS on what the question is asking.Do they ask what is the right action required or what is the wrong way of action.Understanding the question was 75% of the battle won for me.
Also in the answer choices there will be choices that do not sound right basing on you studying.there will be words in the answer that seem immaterial but if you have the base from studying you will feel that there is something not sounding right with the answer.This tip will help you when eliminating answer choices leading you tho the correct one.
Always try and mind your time.If you are 100% sure that an answer you chose is correct,move on and save time for the harder questions.You may be surprised ant how time will fly in the exam.
Try and get to the exam early so that your mind is relaxed and not full of blood from rushing to the exam venue.In the exam completely detach you mind from everything even the venue carpet color.Focus on the exam.you can worry about the wall pictures later on after the exam.
Just my 2 cents
Part 1 (first try)
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