If becoming a Certified Internal Auditor is in your future, the best thing you can do to ensure your success is find a solid CIA Review Course. With the countless CIA course options out there, it’s hard to identify which CIA study materials will best help you in preparing for the exam.
So here’s the good news – I have personally tested every major CIA exam prep course on the market so you don’t have to! The CIA course comparison chart below will help you figure out which course best fits your needs.
Make an informed decision and don’t waste time! Use my comparison chart and individual CIA review breakdowns to significantly cut your study time and pass faster!
Course Includes Personal Counselor: If you enroll in Gleim’s prep courses, you won’t need to pay for a tutor because each student is assigned their very own counselor. Your counselor will help you create a study plan and answer any questions you may have about the CIA exam process or study materials. Contact your counselor via phone or email whenever you need a helping hand.
Large Question Bank: Gleim’s online course includes 3,000+ multiple choice questions and students can use the large test bank to create custom practice tests. You can filter practice questions by number and type, or exclude questions you’ve already answered to make your studying more efficient. Detailed answer explanations are also included.
Available in Spanish: Gleim’s review course is now also available in Spanish. If you are planning to take the CIA exam in Spanish, it makes sense to practice with Spanish study materials to prepare yourself. Practice questions can be seen in both English and Spanish.
Final Exam Review: The Exam Rehearsal mode offers students the opportunity to prepare with a computerized test that is virtually identical to the actual CIA exam. Take it at least one week before your actual exam date. It simulates the actual exam environment by including 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 3.5 hours. This is an excellent dress rehearsal for the big day!
Practice Questions: PRC provides you with more than 3,700 multiple choice practice questions AND explanations to why each answer is either correct or incorrect. You will be able to write notes and compile new test sessions with your marked, incorrect, or unattempted questions.
Flashcards: Instead of having to pay extra for flashcards, PRC includes over 2,800 e-flashcards. You will be able to organize them by high, medium, and/or low priority. And, there’s space for you to keep notes!
Mock Exams: At the end of every CIA Part, you will have two mock exams where you can practice all you’ve learned in a way that mimics the real CIA exam. This is essential when you are conducting your final review and want to practice your understanding in a real CIA exam layout and functionality.
No Video Lectures: PRC does not have any video lectures. You must read the textbook in order to review the material, which is not ideal for visual learners.
Adaptive Learning: Gryfin offers an adaptive program that automatically adjusts to make sure you focus on key strengthening opportunities by testing you with more questions in areas you can grow the most.
Low Cost: Gryfin offers an affordable solution to your test review needs. The price is coupled with a pass guarantee and email support, which makes this package an even better deal.
100% Pass Guarantee: Gryfin offers a unique pass or refund guarantee. In addition to the pass guarantee, if your subscription runs out while you’re studying, you can re-purchase the course at a 50% discount.
No Video Lectures: Gryfin CIA Review is offered online only and does not have video lectures. Since the company believes in adaptive learning, Gryfin provides you with material, tests your knowledge on said material, and then guides you back to the topics that need more work.
Mobile App: Wiley is one of the few companies in this group that offers a mobile app to make studying on-the-go more convenient for clients with access to an iPhone or iPad. Students can create note cards to help them memorize of essential concepts, bookmark specific sections, search by keyword, wherever they are and whenever they have time.
Huge Test Bank: The Wiley CIA Test Bank includes more than 5,300 questions and answers in total for all three parts of the exam. Use the test bank to create unlimited, customized practice tests and track your progress and performance. You can sign up to get 24 hours of free, unlimited access to the Test Bank to try it out for yourself.
No Video Lectures or Live Instruction: This online course does not include lectures or access to instructors for students who need additional help or more detailed explanations. Students will have to cover the material in the textbooks and complete the practice questions on their own and rely on the answers that are provided to clarify any problems or questions.
No App for Android: Android users are out of luck if they want the convenience of studying from their tablet or phone with a dedicated app, because the mobile app is only available for iOS devices.
Flexible Program: One of the perks of this program is the long access period. The self-study Full Kit includes two full years of access to the course and all the study materials for each of the 3 parts of the CIA exam. This means you can divide up the material and take your time preparing for each part of the exam at your own pace.
Online Study Tools: Interactive online tools help students determine what they should be studying. A diagnostic pre-test allows students to identify strengths and weaknesses and the SmartStudy feature can be used to create an individual plan of study. The quizzes at the end of each chapter and post-tests show how much information you’ve memorized and what you should spend more time reviewing.
Expensive: The CIA Learning System is one of the more costly courses on the market, and you just don’t get that much for your money. The lack of more advanced features that are included in most competitors’ courses makes it difficult to justify the $875 price tag.
Limited Demo and Poor Analytics: Although there is a free demo, you won’t get access to all parts of the course. You can take a short, guided tour of the site and its features and get a glimpse of and example textbook chapter. Feedback on your performance and progress is also limited, although there are some online diagnostic tools that help you identify your strongest and weakest subjects.
DVD Lectures: Lambers CIA review is one of the only courses that includes training videos for all 3 parts of the exam. These are available as a video series or as downloadable iPod DVD lessons. Each lesson is taught by an experienced instructor and takes about 60 minutes. Watch as hundreds of problems are solved step by step, and review recordings as often as you need to understand the concepts.
Audio Review: Lambers caters to audio-visual learners by offering an audio course in addition to DVD lectures, practice questions, and practice tests. Lambers Audio Courseware serves as a study supplement. This course option includes CDs for download to your computer that can then be synced with iPods or MP3 portable players.
Price: This is an extremely expensive course. You will pay $1,800 for just the DVDs and the Test Prep Software (includes study materials for all three parts of the exam). Each additional feature is priced separately, meaning that you will have to spend well over $2,500 to have access to all course options.
Outdated Technology and Site: Information on the Lambers website is outdated and the course dashboard has obviously not been redesigned in many years. If you don’t care about using the latest technology, the course pages are functional, but some students may wonder how often the materials and curriculum are updated given the old-fashioned feel of the site, dvds, and audio.
Gryfin CIA Review is a popular course for many students going through the CIA exam process. The course utilizes a cutting-edge technology that allows you to customize your learning experience.
Adaptive learning technology along with the lowest price tag of any CIA review course on the market, Gryfin is a great match for many types of students.
1. Adaptive Learning Software
Gryfin’s adaptive learning software will create a study plan specific to your needs. By assessing your answers, Gryfin can build a customized program that focuses on your areas of weakness. The objective is to streamline the studying process so you only target the areas that need more understanding.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, Gryfin CIA Review tailors the course to your learning style. This targeting results in an extremely efficient way to study. The adaptive software trims away the unnecessary information and redundant work so you don’t waste any time going over material you’ve already mastered.
2. 100% Pass Guarantee
Gryfin is so confident in its review course that it offers a Pass or Refund Guarantee. If you use its course in its entirety and don’t pass, the company will refund your money. Make sure you check out the requirements needed to make you eligible for this great assurance plan.
Not only does Gryfin CIA Review offer a Pass or Refund Guarantee, but also it provides a 50% discount if you decide to retake the course after it has expired. It’s clear that Gryfin takes pride in its software’s ability to get you a passing score on the CIA exam.
3. Easy-to-Use Course Design
The clean web design of Gryfin makes this course easy to use. The dashboard helps make the entire site accessible and guides you through the process as it monitors your progress. Thanks to adaptive learning, Gryfin can provide a study plan that is tailored to your needs. This means that your test prep course will be made for your use, not other students, ensuring you have a smooth and customized studying process. Every study session will help personalize the course, making it easier for you to use.
4. Exam Day Planner
This is a great tool used in Gryfin that calculates how many hours you need to study in order to cover all the material and practice before your exam date. All you need to do is input the date of your exam and what days you can study, and then Gryfin will create your personalized preparation strategy.
You will see a detailed plan of how many hours a day you will need to study in order to be ready for the CIA Exam. This will help you avoid stressing out about the logistics of figuring out how you are going to pace your study time. The less headaches the better when it comes to preparing for your test!
5. Low Cost
Gryfin is the most affordable comprehensive review course available. The low price will be a very attractive option for you, since other review courses with the same features can be more than twice the price of Gryfin.
Add in the cost of the exam itself and you may find yourself in the hole, financially speaking, if you splurge on a more expensive option. Equipped with state of the art adaptive learning technology, this is a higher-end product with a lower-end price tag.
Gryfin has made a clean cut web design that takes out the distractions and other nonsense that is not crucial to studying for the CIA Exam. The dashboard is simple and the entire site is free from clutter allowing you to keep your aim on what’s really important: passing the CIA Exam. There are several other indicators that are plainly presented to you—it’s simple to reference any of the included programs and tools while studying. Without all the bells and whistles, you can really focus on your progress and see where you will need to improve.
Gryfin offers a variety of discounts. Currently, it is offering a 10% discount for first time purchases. Be sure to check the discounts page for other deals they may be offering.
No Video Lectures
Gryfin CIA Review is offered online only and does not have video lectures. Since the company believes in adaptive learning, Gryfin provides you with material, tests your knowledge on said material, and then guides you back to the topics that need more work. Gryfin believes including a video lecture would increase unnecessary study time.
Gryfin CIA Review is a great fit for self-motivated learners who will take advantage of the adaptive learning software to optimize their studies. The course becomes a personalized study experience that targets your attention to areas that need to be strengthened. This leads to a more efficient way to study that doesn’t require you to go back and review material you’ve already mastered.
Gryfin would be great for you if you are working full time or have a busy schedule. The course has a lot of flexibility and can adjust to your time constraints. It even offers review courses for each part of the CIA Exam if you don’t need the entire exam prep program. Honestly, since the software can adapt to any type of student, this review course can be a great match for everyone.
Gryfin is breaking through the test prep industry and has become a leading choice for many CIA candidates. With a comprehensive software that can adapt to each individual user, it’s taking the personalized study route and making it affordable. At an incredibly low cost, no other course compares when getting the most bang for your buck.
This company is so confident with its course and your passage of the CIA Exam that it includes a Pass or Refund Guarantee. Gryfin really wants to see you succeed and pass your test on your first try. Picking the right review course is one of the most important steps in your process to becoming a CIA, so make sure you choose one that will compliment the way you learn and your lifestyle.
Gleim CIA Review is one of the most popular CIA review courses on the market. Students have praised this extensive self-study course, which comes with an assigned personal counselor to help you through the entire CIA exam process.
The comprehensive study materials, an option to buy materials separately or as a package, performance tracking, and money back guarantee, all make this course a very attractive option.
1. Personal Counselors & Accessibility
You won’t need to pay for a tutor because your very own counselor is built into the course. Right from the start, your counselor will help you create a study plan based on your schedule, current situation and background. Whether you have questions about the CIA exam process or the study materials, you can turn to your counselor or the expert accounting staff at Gleim. Contact them by phone, email, or consult the Q&A message board for answers to commonly asked questions.
2. Large Question Bank
Gleim’s online test software includes over 3,000 multiple choice questions. Students can use the large test bank to create custom practice tests. Practice questions on tests can be filtered by number and type, and you can choose to exclude questions you have worked on previously. This helps avoid spending time on the same questions you’ve already answered in favor of focusing on those you haven’t seen or need to practice. Detailed explanations for both correct and incorrect answers are also included.
3. Performance Analysis
Gleim helps you identify and focus on your weak areas so you don’t spend more time than necessary preparing for your next CIA exam. The software comes with detailed analytics that track your performance as you progress through the course. Struggling with a particular section? You can keep retaking the same questions until you master that type. The software tracks your most recent attempt, the average of your last 3 attempts, and your cumulative average. You can also follow your progress in the Performance Graphs section, which shows a snapshot of your performance so far.
4. Available in Spanish
Students planning to take the exam in Spanish will be happy to know that Gleim offers its study materials in Spanish as well. There is no need to translate the practice questions into Spanish in your head or struggle with a language barrier, as everything has been translated for you already! You will be able to see the practice questions in both English and Spanish.
5. Choose Study or Exam Mode
In the Study Session mode, you can choose how many questions to include on your practice exam. This is useful if you don’t have much time to study because you can fit in a quick session on your lunch break or before work. In study mode, your answers will be graded immediately and you’ll get an explanation of why your answer was correct or incorrect.
When you start to feel more confident about a section, you can switch over to the Practice Exam mode, which simulates the actual exam environment. Just as on the real CIA exam, the answers will not be revealed until you have completed all of the questions.
6. Final Exam Review
The Exam Rehearsal mode offers the chance to prepare with a computerized test that is almost identical to the actual CIA exam. It should be taken at least one week before your real exam date, during your final review. It simulates the actual exam environment by including 100 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 3.5 hours. You’ll be able to practice your time-management skills while testing yourself on the content of the exam.
7. Pass Guarantees
If you are not satisfied with the Gleim CIA Review course you can return it for a full refund (less shipping costs). Or you can take advantage of their Replacement Guarantee or the Continued Access Guarantee. It is obvious that Gleim is investing in satisfied customers who will pass the CIA exam on their first attempt. For more details and eligibility requirements for the various guarantees, please click here.
Gleim currently offers Crush readers a 5% discount on all their CIA study materials. Be sure to take advantage of this discount if you go with Gleim!
Unless you are planning to buy the Gleim Premium CIA Review System with all components ($849), buying the study materials for all three parts of the exam together in a bundle won’t save you much (or anything) compared to buying the separate components of the program. With our additional discount, you’ll save an extra $42 if you plan to buy the entire Premium CIA Review program with everything included, but students interested only in the online review course would do better to buy prep materials for one part of the exam at a time to see how well it fits their needs and prepares them.
The Gleim CIA audio review is great for people who are constantly on-the-go. Each clip is approximately 30-minutes long and covers a different study unit. The audio is compatible with most portable music devices and smart phones, allowing candidates to study while at the gym, during their daily commute to work, and other less traditional study times. For more information about Gleim’s audio review course click here.
The program’s flexibility allows students to buy study materials for just one part of the exam at a time, or they can purchase the entire course for a slight savings. Self-motivated learners will do best with this program – even though you are assigned a personal counselor to answer questions and help you design a study plan, this is not a traditional assignment with live lectures, deadlines or peer interaction.
Gleim is the most comprehensive CIA online review course on the market and is a great fit for anyone who is serious about passing all 3 parts of the exam on the first try. The personal counselors assigned to each student are one of the biggest strengths of Gleim’s program. Students who have taken Gleim’s courses recommend the practice questions and report that the material prepared them well for the actual exam.
The fact that their course is backed by a Money Back Guarantee, a Replacement Guarantee, and an Online Access Guarantee demonstrates Gleim’s commitment to their products and their desire for their clients to succeed on the CIA exam. Download one of Gleim’s FREE Demos and check it out for yourself. This could be the most important decision you make in your journey to crush the CIA exam!
Interactive Review Sections for Part 1, 2, and 3 of the CIA exam
Large Test Question Bank (3,000+ questions)
Unlimited Practice Exams
Interactive Study Planer
Digital Books with Outlines, Examples, Audiovisual Lectures
Audio Review Lectures for Download/Streaming
Final Exam Rehearsal™
Gleim Premium CIA Review System Package (Includes Parts 1, 2 and 3) Price: $849 Includes: Unlimited access until you pass to Gleim’s Premium online self-study review course (2016 edition), unlimited practice exams, exam-emulating test bank and quizzes, personal counselor, interactive Study Planner, digital book with comprehensive outlines, examples and audiovisual lectures. Also includes Gleim CIA Test Prep, Audio Lectures (2017 edition), and Exam Rehearsal™ and free Gleim bookbag.
Price for Part 1 or 2 only: $299
Price for Part 3 only: $339
Gleim Traditional CIA Review Online (Includes Parts 1, 2 and 3) Price: $799 Includes: Gleim’s Traditional online self-study review course (2016 edition) comes with an interactive study planner, Audio Lectures (2017 edition) practice questions, Gleim digital books containing comprehensive outlines and examples, and your own personal counselor, all until you pass.
Price for Part 1 or 2 only: $279
Price for Part 3 only: $319
Gleim CIA Parts 1,2,3 (Books & Test Prep)
Total Price: $447
Includes: 18-month access to one of the most widely used question banks on the market. CIA Exam questions released by The IIA and books (optional).
Price for Part 1 – Internal Audit Basics (Book & Test Prep) only: $139
Price for Part 2 – Internal Audit Practice (Book & Test Prep) only: $139
Price for Part 3 – Internal Audit Knowledge Elements (Book & Test Prep) only: $169
Fast Forward Academy CIA Review uses technology to help you learn more in less time. Its software is the backbone of its Learn Fast and Pass motto and its most recent course update is alright.
We received full access to its new online platform, which included updated textbooks, more practice questions, and a user-friendly interface.
1. Extensive Study Question Bank
The Fast Forward Academy CIA review course includes more than 2,750 multiple-choice questions. However, Fast Forward has fewer practice questions when compared to other courses.
Repeated practice of many different multiple-choice questions is definitely one of the best ways to improve your score, and its large question bank means that you won’t see the same recycled questions over and over again.
2. Personalized Learning System
Fast Forward Academy is not a one-size-fits-all type of course but rather caters to each student’s specific learning needs, but doesn’t do so perfectly. As you progress through the course, data from your practice exams is used to pinpoint the areas in which you need the most additional practice. Your textbook then highlights information that is most relevant for you and creates a personalized exam that tests you on those specific topics.
This is a feature other test prep courses use as well and many do so better than FFA. So, be cognizant of this prior to making a purchasing decision.
3. Online Access to Instructors and Peers
By clicking on a button, you can get access to one of Fast Forward Academy’s instructors to help you with any questions. Alternatively, connect with other students who are studying for the CIA exam by accessing the online community to get moral support and help if you get stuck on a problem.
4. Unlimited Access and Free Updates
Fast Forward Academy’s course materials never expire and come with access until you pass the test. Once you purchase a course, it provides you with free real-time updates of all new course material until you pass the exam. However, we would recommend other courses despite this access.
1. Not a Guided Review
Fast Forward Academy is not a guided review courses and does not offer video lectures to help explain the material. If you are a visual learner who prefers to learn by watching video lectures, then this course is probably not the best fit for you.
2. Newcomer with Little Student Feedback
This is one of the newer review courses to arrive on the market, so there are not a lot of customer reviews out. We love to get our readers’ opinions and will incorporate your feedback if you contact us after having tried this course. If you’ve used Fast Forward Academy’s CIA review, please share your experience with everyone in the comments section below!
3. No Mobile App
Although Fast Forward Academy’s learning platform can be accessed from most mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones, and most Android phones, there is no dedicated app to make studying on your phone or tablet more streamlined and convenient. Other courses tend to offer this and it is becoming more important to do so.
Fast Forward Academy’s courses will work best for self-motivated learners who will take advantage of the technological updates this program brings to the table. Like many other courses, the course is designed in way where the feedback from your practice exams and highlighted information in your “intelligent” textbook will make for a more personalized study experience.
You’ll be able to study more efficiently by tackling those areas that need the most work, and find the information you need more quickly by using the filtering tools and FastFocus review option to see the questions that you should spend your time reviewing.
Traditional learners might do better with the book bundle (includes a printed textbook) but should remember that far fewer online practice questions (290 instead of 2,700+) come with that option. And relative to other courses, Fast Forward does not have a lot of practice questions.
Fast Forward Academy is new in the CIA Review industry and its courses is still proving itself. Students who would rather study on their own with the most up-to-date technology and won’t shy away from the fast-paced approach to learning will benefit most.
Fast Forward Academy’s affordable course is certainly appealing to some, but we’d recommend you check out another option when making a decision.
FastBook Online CIA Textbook and/or Paperback Edition of Textbook
Course Analytics to Focus Your Studies
Unlimited Practice Exams
Online Access to Instructors and Peers
Unlimited Access and Free Upgrades and Updates Until You Pass
Fast Forward Academy CIA Smart Bundle (Includes Parts 1, 2 and 3) Price: $469 Includes: Complete course includes paperback edition of the CIA textbook, FastBook (intelligent online textbook), 2,700+practice questions with explanations, and unlimited practice exams with course analytics.
Fast Forward Academy CIA Online Bundle (Includes Parts 1, 2 and 3) Price: $399 Includes: Complete course includes FastBook (intelligent online textbook), 2,700+practice questions with explanations, and unlimited practice exams with course analytics.
Fast Forward Academy CIA Book Bundle (Includes Parts 1, 2 and 3) Price: $298 Includes: Paperback edition of the CIA textbook for all three exams, and 290 online study questions with answer explanations.
Wiley has been in the test prep business for more than 40 years and is known for creating high-quality review courses for several different accounting exams. Wiley CIAexcel, also known as Wiley CIA Review, lives up to these standards and provides a variety of resources to help candidates study for and pass the CIA exam.
Some of the more popular course features include their huge test bank comprised of over 5,000 practice questions, mobile apps, comprehensive textbooks, and Focus Notes.
1. Test Bank
Taking practice tests is a crucial part of preparing for the CIA exam. The Wiley CIA Test Bank gives students that opportunity. The Test Bank for all three parts of the exam includes more than 5,000 questions and answers, the option of creating unlimited, customized practice tests, and performance analytics to track your progress and performance. The software simulates the actual Pearson VUE test experience to help prepare students for what to expect on the day of their exam.
2. Mobile Apps
Nothing beats a mobile app for studying on the go. Wiley has created apps for both the iPhone and iPad. You can create note cards with bullet points of key concepts, bookmark specific terms or sections, search by keywords, and create your own notes for all three parts of the CIA exam.
3. Up-to-Date Textbooks
Wiley’s CIA textbooks are updated annually. The complete course includes a set of 3 textbooks, one for each part of the CIA exam. The three books work together to help reinforce topics and help you master the concepts and principles, however, they can be purchased individually or as a set. Each book is filled with diagrams, tables, charts and memory devices to help you remember the material. You also have access to multiple choice questions and their solutions.
The first textbook covers Part 1, Internal Audit Basics; textbook 2 covers Part 2 and focuses on Internal Audit Practice; and the third textbook goes over the Internal Audit Knowledge Elements covered in Part 3 of the exam.
4. Focus Notes
This supplemental reference set outlines the most important study material covered on the exam in condensed form. Wiley Focus Notes come in a spiral bound flip guide and focus on key concepts to help you make the most of your study time. You’ll complete drills on financial calculations, spreadsheet and research skills.
Each section teaches you new strategies for how to prepare for your exam quickly and efficiently and provides additional reference material for your weaker areas.
5. Free Trial of Test Bank
You can sign up to get 24 hours of free, unlimited access to the Test Bank. Although you won’t be able to access the course textbook materials or other resources, you will be able to decide whether to purchase the Test Bank separately or as a part of your course.
1. No Android App
Wiley’s CIA Exam Focus Notes are only available for Apple iOS devices. However, Wiley has developed Android apps for its CPA exam prep courses, so maybe Android users will be able to benefit from this feature in the future.
2. No Live Options or Video Lectures
Wiley CIA Exam Review is strictly an online course without any live or video components. Students will have to cover the material in the textbooks and complete the practice questions on their own and rely on the answers that are provided to clarify any problems or questions they might have.
Wiley CIA will benefit online students who learn best by practicing many questions and plan their approach to passing the exam according to their own study schedule. Wiley is well-known for high-quality questions that are similar to those on the exam and can be filtered for practice sessions involving the Test Bank. The included textbooks and Focus Notes are a welcome addition for more traditional learners who want to work their way through a text.
Having access to mobile apps gives students the opportunity to study anytime, anywhere at their convenience. This is valuable for candidates with long commutes on the subway or train. The CIA online Test Bank is the core of the program and will help students become adept at answering questions online, just as they will on the actual exam.
Focus Notes (flipbooks with most essential material)
Online Test Bank with 5,300+ practice questions
Practice Exams created through Test Bank
Mobile app for iPhone and iPad
Wiley CIAexcel Exam Review 2015: Complete Study Pack (Includes Parts 1, 2 and 3) Price: $675 Includes: Complete Wiley CIA exam guides (3 volumes), Focus Notes for all three parts, 1-year access to the Online Test Bank, including 5,300+ practice questions.
Wiley CIAexcel Pack Parts (Internal Audit Basics Pack; Internal Audit Practice Pack; or Knowledge Elements Pack) Price: $225 for each Part Includes: 1-Year Test Bank subscription to associated exam Part, Focus Notes associated with exam Part, and Review Guide associated with Exam Part.
Wiley CIA Exam Focus Notes Price: $40 for each Part (1, 2 and 3) Includes: Spiral-bound Focus Notes guides for 2015. These study aids distill key information to enhance retention of the material.
Wiley CIA Exam Focus Notes App Price: Free-$89.99, depends on in-app purchases Includes: Free Install with 30 Notes. Additional study materials can by added through in-app purchases at $34.99 per part or $89.99 for all three parts.
Wiley CIA Exam Test Bank Only Price: $215 for 1 year/$75 for 4 months per Part Includes: Over 5,000 questions and answers, unlimited practice sessions and tests, create practice sets from 30+ exam sub-topics, and analytics that track strengths and weaknesses.
The CIA Learning System is the official study material developed by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). I have received many inquires from CIA candidates asking if it’s necessary to use this course to pass the Certified Internal Auditor exam, or if there are better and cheaper review courses on the market. This review covers the strengths and weaknesses of the CIA Learning System so you can compare it to other CIA course providers and decide for yourself.
The IIA’s CIA Learning System self-study course includes printed and e-book reading materials, interactive online material, and the option of live, instructor-led courses. The full kit covers all three parts of the exam, or you can purchase the materials for each part separately.
The self-study option means that you can study where you want, when you want, and at your own pace. If you buy the self-study Full Kit, you will have two years of access to the course and all the study materials, so you can take your time to really learn the material for each part of the exam as long as you stick to a regimented study plan.
2. Online Study Tools
Interactive online tools make it easy to create a customized study plan based on your performance on practice questions and tests. You can take a diagnostic pre-test to determine your strengths and weaknesses and then use the SmartStudy feature to design your study plan. Quizzes follow each chapter, and post-tests help you identify how much information you have retained once you’ve covered all of the material. Five textbooks cover everything you need to know for all three parts of the exam.
3. Optimized for Mobile Devices
Although there is no dedicated app for the IIA CIA self-study program, candidates will be able to access all course features from their smartphones and tablets for more convenient study. You can study on the road if you commute, or pull out your phone while you are waiting in line to read a textbook chapter or practice a problem or two.
4. In-Person Courses
For students who prefer a more traditional classroom course taught by an instructor they offer online seminars, weekly classes, and multi-day seminars in a number of US and international locations through local IIA chapters, universities, and other partners. Many of these courses also include access to all the online study materials.
1. Limited Demo & Analytics
You can sign up for the free demo if you are interested in checking out some elements of the course before you buy it, however, the demo does not give you access to all parts of the course and the access is for a small amount of time. The course demo involves limited guided tour of the site and its features plus an example textbook chapter. Interested candidates must also fill out a short survey to get access to the demo.
Although you can get some feedback on your progress, this is not a learner-adaptive course: the same questions may pop up over and over again, and there is no sophisticated software to track your performance statistics or determine which kinds of practice questions would be best for each individual student.
At $895 for the complete course, the CIA Learning System is one of the most expensive courses on the market. Given their relatively limited course analytics and lack of more advanced features (no creation of customized exams with detailed filters, etc.) students would do well to shop around. E-seminars and live courses led by facilitators are even more expensive at more than $1,000 per course.
3. No Audio or Video Lectures
This course is comprised solely of information in the textbooks, practice questions, and practice tests. Unless you enroll in a live course with a facilitator, you will have to teach yourself the material from the books included in the course and working out the practice questions on your own.
As with most review courses, students who are self-motivated and can keep to a regular study plan will do fine with this self-study program and study materials. Those who perform better in a structured classroom setting will probably benefit more from a live, facilitator-led review session with peers. Internal audit professionals with considerable experience will certainly have to study for the CIA exam, but should keep in mind that the CPA exam is generally considered to be much more difficult.
Although the textbook materials are a great way to prepare for the exam, the online tools are less impressive than those offered by many of IIA’s competitors. The most comforting aspect of the CIA Learning System is that it was designed by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), so students can feel confident that the material they are learning is what will be covered on the exam.
That being said, many candidates agree that the practice questions they offer are less challenging than other CIA prep courses like Gleim CIA Review.
The CIA Learning System is a decent course, but compared to some of their competitors it’s more expensive, less comprehensive, and uses more outdated technology. I would suggest checking out all your options before committing to this CIA review course.
Study materials in a combination of print and e-reader form
Access to online tests and study tools
Pre- and post-tests
Flashcards & glossary
CIA practice exam
Access to online resource center
IIA CIA Learning System: Self-Study Full Kit (3-Part Exam)
Includes: Study materials for all three parts of the CIA exam in print and e-reader form, access to online tests and study tools for two years, pre- and post-tests, chapter quizzes, flashcards, glossary, CIA practice exam, and online resource center.
IIA CIA Learning System: Self-Study Part 1, 2 or 3 (when purchased separately) Price: $325 Includes: Study materials for Part 1, 2, or 3 of the exam (each sold separately) in print and e-reader form, access to online tests and study tools for 1 year, pre- and post-test, chapter quizzes, flashcards, glossary, CIA practice exam, and online resource center.
To compare the CIA Learning System to other review courses, please click the button below.
Lambers has been active in the test prep industry since 1966 and offers review courses for a variety of accounting courses.
Lambers CIA Review uses case studies and examples to help students understand, remember, and apply what they learn. Their course aims to make studying more efficient by only including subject matter that is the most relevant and likely to show up on the CIA exam. Busy professionals today have no time to waste studying material that is unlikely to be tested on, so Lambers helps you study only what you need to know to pass.
1. Course DVDs
Lambers CIA review includes over 60 hours of training videos that cover information for all 3 parts of the exam. The review material for each part of the exam comes either as a video series or as downloadable iPod DVD lessons, and an associated workbook. Each lesson lasts approximately one hour in an effort to avoid overwhelming students with too much material at once. The video lessons are taught by experienced instructors and filmed inside a classroom.
The recorded lectures offer an advantage over courses that provide students with textbooks and expect students to teach themselves the material. Students can watch hundreds of problems being solved step by step, and can pause the recording to take notes or rewind and replay specific sections as needed.
2. Workbook Set
A set of textbooks including hundreds of test questions, examples, and outlines accompanies the Video/DVD lectures. Each workbook is designed to be straightforward and to help students maximize retention of the most important information that is likely to appear on the exam.
3. Supplemental Audio Review
Lambers Audio Courseware can be used as a convenient study supplement when you are out and about. Designed for MP3 compatible players, it includes CDs to download to your computer to be synced with iPods or MP3 portable players, training workbooks, practice questions worked out by professors, and current, up-to-date courseware. An audio sample is available on the Lambers website.
4. Three Adaptive Test Modes
The Test Prep Software includes three separate testing modes that adapt to your current level of proficiency. The Pretest Mode gives exam candidates a better understanding of how much they already know and which areas they will need to brush up on. This avoids having to review material you already know and allows you to focus on your weaker areas.
The Adaptive Drill Mode helps students focus and drill the material until it sticks. If you come across a concept or question you don’t understand, this mode gives you access to more thorough explanations and provides links to more information that will help you learn and understand them better.
Once you’ve mastered your weaknesses, it’s time to work on your test-taking skills and build confidence with the Simulated Mode. The simulated exam mode dials up the pressure by giving students more difficult questions in a format that appears more similar to what they will encounter on the actual CIA exam.
5. Money Back Guarantee
Lambers offers a “No Pass No Pay Guarantee” that promises a refund for those who fail the exam twice after using their products. Please see the Lambers website for the specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a refund.
The biggest drawback of Lambers’ CIA Review is its exorbitant price. At $1,800 for just the DVDs and the Test Prep Software for all three parts of the exam, this review course costs 3 to 4 times as much as competitors’ options, and there is no discount for purchasing study materials for all 3 parts of the exam as a bundle.
Each additional feature is priced separately, and is relatively expensive. For example, the audio review course for all three parts of the exam will set you back by $700, the flashcards cost an additional $500, and the “Ask The Expert” Service is overpriced at $300, given that it is basically a way to get your questions answered by emailing staff. Building a comprehensive course in order to have access to all or even most of the features turns out to be an expensive proposition.
2. Dated Website
Information on the Lambers website dates back to the CIA exam’s change in 2013, giving the impression that Lambers does not update its corporate website with the most recent and relevant information regarding the CIA exam. The course dashboard is also outdated and could benefit from a newer and more streamlined design.
Lambers DVD lessons are best suited for audio-visual learners who prefer not to teach themselves the material from a textbook. Few other review courses offer lectures or demonstrate how to work out problems, so students who need additional guidance will benefit most.
The tips and tricks offered in this course are a nice bonus because they show you where you should focus your time and energy. Lambers prides itself on sticking to the most commonly tested concepts and steering students away from irrelevant material to save time by memorizing only the most pertinent information for the exam.
The most compelling reason to go with Lambers CIA Review is the access to the instructional DVDs. The majority of online review courses provide students with textbooks, workbooks and online practice questions, but fall short when it comes to presenting the material in lecture format.
On the other hand, Lambers’ course simply doesn’t offer enough value or features to justify their extremely high price tag. Students who don’t need the DVD lectures to succeed would do well to investigate other CIA course options before spending this much money on a review course.
Adaptive Test Prep Software with 3,100+ practice questions, answers and explanations
Supplementary Audio course material for MP3 players
Reference Workbooks for study and practice
“Ask The Expert” Service for additional support via email
Lambers DVD iPod Course Price: $299.95 for Part 1 or Part 2; $599.95 for Part 3 Includes: Set of recorded classroom lectures in MP4 format taught by professor Garland Granger, MBA, CPA, CIA.
Lambers Video Courseware CIA Price: $299.95 for Part 1 or Part 2; $599.95 for Part 3 Includes: Set of recorded classroom lectures available online or in CD-based format taught by professor Garland Granger, MBA, CPA, CIA.
Lambers Test Prep Software Price: $149.95 for Part 1 or Part 2; $299.95 for Part 3 Includes: Online or CD-based test prep software containing more than 3,100 practice questions, answers and explanations, hyperlinks to the Wiley CIA Review textbook, and free updates.
Lambers Flash Cards Price: $124.95 for Part 1 or Part 2 Flash Trainer; $249.95 for Part 3 Includes: Electronic flashcards containing of 169 key terms, formulas and definitions, including monitoring and feedback of your performance. Flash cards may also be printed out.
Lambers Audio CIA Price: $199.95 for Part 1 or Part 2; $299.95 for Part 3 Includes: Supplemental audio courseware designed for any MP3 compatible player that includes downloadable CDs to sync with iPod or MP3 player, workbooks used by course professors during training, and recordings of professors working out hundreds of problems and questions.
Lambers “Ask The Expert” Service for CIA Price: $299.95 Includes: Individual support via email from a Lambers subject matter expert to answer your specific questions and provide guidance.
To compare Lambers CIA Review to other prep courses, please click the button below.
Hock International CIA Review offers several course options for students who are preparing for the CIA exam. Their textbooks cover the basics in straightforward language, making this course good for those who need a thorough review from the ground up.
You can purchase only the textbooks, study questions, or videos, or combine them into a package deal, depending on your needs. This course is not really a budget option because you can get a lot more material for only slightly more money if you decide to go with one of HOCK’s competitors instead.
1. Free Samples of Study Materials and Quizzes
HOCK CIA Review offers free downloadable samples of the textbooks, flash cards, the ExamSuccess multiple-choice questions, and videos so you can check out the course before you purchase it. Explore the course without registering for or creating an account to see if it meets your needs and matches your learning style.
Students can also take the free CIA quizzes and have the opportunity to compete with other students studying for the CIA exam to try and get their name onto one of HOCK’s leaderboards. Note that the quizzes are free, but you do have to register for a free account to participate, and that this new feature is still being tested (beta version).
2. ExamSuccess Software/CIA Question Bank
HOCK’s ExamSuccess Study Software is included in the CIA Questions portion of the course. The software includes thousands of multiple choice questions and explanations for both correct and incorrect answers. Questions are timed during study sessions and can be organized by topic, so you can focus your study on one subject at a time. Detailed performance analysis displays your level of competency based on each section of material.
The question bank can be accessed online or downloaded for use without an internet connection. Note that the included Mock Exam contains new questions that are not used elsewhere in the study materials, so you can gauge your preparedness for the actual exam on a fresh set of questions.
3. International Course Options
Hock offers several live courses and provides its study materials to other groups in a number of locations around the world. International students or expats studying for the CIA exam abroad can sign up for a live HOCK course in Belorussia, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and many other locations have review courses that incorporate HOCK study materials. Materials are also available in Russian and Arabic. Please see the HOCK website for details.
4. Interactive Electronic Flashcards
The interactive flashcards were developed to help you learn the information as efficiently as possible. New cards are introduced gradually and flashcards appear based on an analysis of your mastery of particular concepts and information. Old and new cards appear at regular intervals to help you learn the information quickly and effectively.
5. Free Updates and Course Does Not Expire
One advantage of HOCK’s review courses is that materials can be used as long as students need them to study for and pass the exams, and there is no additional charge for updates to study materials. HOCK’s courseware is compatible with Windows and Macintosh computers, and can be accessed from computers, tablets or smartphones.
1. Smaller Question Bank
HOCK’s question bank includes more than 2,800 questions, which is a respectable number, but not quite as many questions as its main competitors. Some questions also seem very similar to others or redundant, making the question bank seem even smaller. Students who are looking for more variety and a larger number of practice questions should consider adding questions from other sources to their review.
2. No Money Back Guarantee
If you do not perform well on the CIA exam or decide that the review course is not helping you study, you won’t be able to get a refund for the course. This policy is somewhat offset by the opportunity to preview free samples of HOCK’s study materials before you purchase the course, although you should be aware that this is not a free trial of the actual course, but merely a glimpse at what the materials are like.
HOCK does have a pass guarantee if you buy their Complete Package. If you don’t pass the CIA exam, they will pay your exam fee to re-take the exam if you meet their requirements (but still no refund). Please consult HOCK’s website for details and requirements.
HOCK’s study materials are somewhat cheaper than other CIA prep options, and their international availability and free world-wide shipping will appeal to a large number of students living abroad. Students whose first language is Russian or Arabic will benefit from the course materials that are available in these languages.
Students who want the flexibility of buying only one part of the course (questions, videos, or textbooks) and are committed to studying on their own for however long they need will appreciate HOCK’s free updates and no expiration date.
Although Hock CIA review is an affordable option, there are better programs out there for only slightly more money. The quality of material does not really compare to other courses like Gleim or Fast Forward Academy. Students who need an introductory review of the basics in clear language might benefit from starting with HOCK before moving onto a larger question bank with more practice materials, however I would highly suggest just avoiding this course altogether and purchasing a better one from their competitors.
ExamSuccess Software (Multiple-Choice Practice Questions)
Videos or Audio mp3 Files
Free world-wide shipping
Materials also available in Russian and Arabic
HOCK Complete Price for all 3 parts: $649 1 part only: $249 each Includes: Textbooks, ExamSuccess Multiple-Choice Practice Questions, Electronic Flashcards, 1 Mock Exam, Videos, and free shipping worldwide.
HOCK Books and Questions Price for all 3 parts: $399 1 part only: $149 each Includes: PDF files of books (additional charge for hard copies), Multiple-Choice Practice Questions, Flashcards, and Mock Exam.
HOCK Books Only Price for all 3 parts: $249 1part only: $99 Includes: PDF files of books (additional charge for hard copies).
HOCK Videos Price for all 3 parts: $199 1 part only: $99 Includes: 13 hours of videos for Part 1 and 11 hours for Part 2 that are similar to a live course; these are also available as audio mp3 files. Videos for Part 3 are due to be released in fall 2015. Videos can be watched on computers, tablets and smartphones.
HOCK Questions Only Price for all 3 parts: $249 1 part only: $99 Includes: ExamSuccess Multiple-choice questions, Mock Exam, and Electronic Flashcards. As of July 2015, the number of questions included in Part 1 is 699, Part 2 includes 645 questions, and for Part 3 includes 1,547 questions.