Lynnel is our CIA exam blogger from the Philippines. She writes every Friday.
When the holiday break is over, I was thinking on how I maximize my time two weeks before the exam. Comparing it to the last time I took the exam, I am at peace and more focus in the studying.
It was New Years’ Day when I decided to deactivate on my social media sites and focus on reviewing my weakest areas.
For Part One, my weak areas are internal control/risk and conducting internal audit engagement. For part Two, it was managing internal audit function. I identified my weak areas based on the test prep that I used.
I would like to summarize my preparation into three categories:
1. IIA materials: Practice Advisories, Three Lines of Defense, ISO 31000
Practice Advisories were such a big help on my success in passing both parts. I read it only once, but I divided the reading into three parts since the content is really overwhelming. I felt that every sentence on PAs is important and read it thoroughly for three days.
I also recommend reading three lines of defense as supplement to have a clear idea on the function of assurance providers. ISO 31000 is also a good help — for me, it strengthens my weak area on risk.
2. DIY Summary Notes on Part 1 and Part 2
In my blog post on CIA exam study techniques, I mentioned how I took notes and summarized Parts 1 and 2 to get an overview of the topic.
The reason why I summarize both parts is to get the highlights of the topics. I read it four days before my exam just to remember everything and to be able not to miss something important.
3. Practice Test
I believe practice test is the most important exercise before taking the actual exam. You can learn how to manage your time, at the same time creating or applying techniques that you need to ace the exam.
After I took the practice test on both parts, I continued to work on 100-125 questions (in test mode) to get the feel of the exam environment and to check out how I would perform in the real exam.
I hope this post helps. Remember not to rush anything, because everything takes time.
Note from Stephanie
This is a great piece of advice! Thanks for mentioning the Practice Advisories. Good idea reading them right before the exam. The ISO 31000 is a must-read for Part 3, but it makes a lot of sense to go through it at this stage to help on the risk part of the exam.
Thanks for emphasizing the importance of self-study notes and the mock exam. People often skip the mock because they run out of time. Not good.
And you are exactly right to say don’t rush in the preparation. It is better to do it properly, than to rush through the practice questions without really learning anything. No wonder you ace your exams this time!