CIA Exam Part 2 Difficulty vs Part 1 (and Tips to Best Prepare for Both)

CIA Exam Part 2 Difficulty vs Part 1Lynnel is our CIA exam blogger from the Philippines. She writes every Friday.

I just passed Parts 1 and 2 last month, and I got suggestion from Stephanie to write this blog post.

The following are questions that I would like to answer for the readers.

(Disclaimer: Answers listed below are based on personal experience and it may vary depending on candidates’ background)

1. Does it help to pass Part 1 if I study Part 2 together (and vice versa)?

Yes, it really helps a lot and I recommend it to study both before taking the exam. One reason is because the basic concepts of internal auditing are within those situational questions.

Another reason is the coverage you could get in studying Part 1 and Part 2. Since it is a lot wider, you will encounter minimal surprise in the actual exam for both parts.

2. How much overlap does Part 1 have on Part 2?

I do not have the precise measure on the overlap between Part 1 and 2. On the other hand, the questions may vary on the real exam and in my case there are only few overlaps on both parts.

3. Is it ok to take Part 2 first? (especially for those who failed Part 1 and don’t want to be idle for 90 days)

Yes, but I do not recommend it. Even though there are a few overlaps on both parts, I believe the chance of passing Part 2 is much higher subjectively after passing Part 1.

But, if you think you are already prepared (mentally and emotionally) to take both exams and you’re just waiting for 90 days to retake Part 1, then I might say that you can take Part 2.

4. Is part 2 exam content more advanced but the exam itself is easier?

I agree that Part 2 is a lot more advanced but it is not a lot easier. I think it may look “easy” because the length of the questions in my case is much shorter than those in Part 1.

To be honest, there may be questions that look short and easy but were a lot trickier than the longer ones, and I encountered a lot of these in the Part 2 exam. It is true that Part 1 questions tend to be longer than those in Part two.

5. What are the differences and similarities between Part 1 and Part 2?

Besides the length of the question which I stated above, I could only think of two differences: the content and level of difficulty.

The content of both parts is aligned to the CIA Exam Syllabus, which you can find on IIA’s website. I just encountered a few questions that I am not familiar with. In my experience, Part 2 is more difficult than Part 1.

With regards to similarities, both parts test basic concepts of internal auditing.

I hope my answers are helpful in your preparation for Part 1 and Part 2. Best of luck to all!

Note from Stephanie

Thanks a lot for spending the time analyzing the two parts for us. Glad to have you share when the experience is still fresh.

Your comment is very similar to what I have heard from different readers. It is nice to have all the points summed up in one nice blog post. Thank you!

Please rate this

About the Author Lynnel

Lynnel is a recent graduate, with a BSBA Major in Internal Auditing in the Philippines. Lynnel passed Part 1 and 2 on the same day, and Part 3 on her first attempt.

  • Khadija says:

    Hi
    I gave my part 2 today and failed with 570 marks. I used Gleim for the course and i was able to score above 90 % when i attempted the question bank. I am unable to determine the reason for my failure. Should i use any other material.please guide.

  • Franco says:

    Lynnel

    You buy gleim for review? its expensive (from philippine money).

  • Eileen says:

    Hello there, I am very happy to share that I’ve passed my CIA Part 2 exam yesterday (2nd attempt) and am really looking forward to take my Part 1 exam asap! Understand that part 2 is supposedly more difficult than part 1, do you think that one month or less of studying (with fresh knowledge of part 2) will be enough for preparation of part 1 exam?

    In addition, I have been using the Gleim materials for part 2 but I’m contemplating whether to spend the same money to purchase for part 1. Do you think that it will be sufficient resources if I just buy the test bank (the minimum program), rather than the full CIA Traditional Review (which includes online lectures & exam rehearsal)?

    Hope to have some advice on this. Thank you! 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Eileen, first of all, congrats!
      I have to say quite a few candidates find Part 2 easier (in terms of the actual exam, not the materials), so I wouldn’t underestimate Part 1. So same advice with regard to Part 1 materials.

      But then, if you check the Part 1 syllabus carefully and that you pretty much know the materials, then yes go ahead and get only the test prep. Keep up with the good work! Stephanie

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