It’s important to schedule the exam dates and mark the deadlines for any professional exams.
It is the same for the CIA exam, only that it is very flexible.
CIA Exam Dates
The CIA exam is now fully computerized. There are several advantages for candidates:
First, given the test is 100% multiple choice, the test results can be calculated and available immediately after the exam. This saves candidates the agony or waiting for weeks as in other professional exams.
Second, the exam can be administered in hundreds of testing sites around the world, and virtually in any day throughout the year.
Because of this, candidates can pick their CIA exam dates in any working days throughout the year. Specifically, you can schedule your exam as long as your local Pearson VUE center is open. It means Monday to Friday, and sometimes Monday to Saturday in large exam centers.
The IIA will send instruction by email on how you can schedule the exam directly on the Pearson webiste.
Don’t Wait Till the Last Minute
Having said that, you shouldn’t wait till the last minute to schedule for the exam, because they do get full.
These Pearson sites are administrators for many types of professional exams (you may see nurses, doctors and other professionals there). It is hard to know which day they are busier but typically Fridays and Saturdays, as well as all days towards the end of the month, tend to have more bookings. If you must take the exam on a specific date, you’ll have to schedule 1-2 months in advance.
Important CIA Exam Deadline and Timing to Remember
You can find this info on the IIA website. Here is a summary for your reference:
1. The 90-Day Restriction
If one fails one part of the exam, one has to wait for 90 days before taking that particular part again. Candidates are welcome to take another part first.
I don’t really know the logic behind this, but let’s say if you fail Part 1, my suggestion is that you go for Part 2 first.
There are 2 reasons. First, you don’t want to lose the momentum. Once you put studying aside, it is really hard to pick it up. Second, Part 2 is closely related to Part 1 in terms of the curriculum and the two parts complement each other. It could be helpful to your Part 1 after studying Part 2.
2. Scheduling Restriction
You can schedule several exam parts on the same day, but you cannot schedule the same part within 90 days. This is essentially the same rule as the above.
3. CIA Exam Completion within 4 Years
Most candidates are aware of this, but I have readers who frantically ask for help because they didn’t know about this rule until a month before the deadline.
Frankly, I find the IIA pretty generous to allow such a long period to complete 3 exam parts. But then, because it seems so long, many may have put the exam aside until it is too late.
New Rule on CIA Exam Extension
The “Candidate Eligibility Extension” is a relatively new initiative by the IIA. For those who can’t complete the 3 parts within 4 years, they can pay for an extension of 12 months. It costs $250 per applicant. One of our bloggers, Annette, made use of the extension to complete her CIA exam program.
Please note that this offer is not available to all. CIA exam in these countries are run by local IIA representatives and they may or may not follow this initiative.