I am Eshba Evalyn Hadassah. I was born and raised in India.
At present, I work as a staff accountant at a CPA firm in New York. I started studying for the CIA exam in October 2017, so my journey has already lasted a year. I studied for Part 1 for a month using Wiley. Then, I took my exam in November and failed with a 571. I switched to Gleim Premium Review and started studying for Part 2 as I had to wait for 90 days to retake Part 1. The Gleim counselor advised me to finish Part 1 before taking Part 2.
I studied for Part 1 and Part 2 simultaneously using Gleim and motivated by Lynnel. I took Part 1 on March 1 and Part 2 on March 31 and passed both. For this reason, Gleim was definitely way better than Wiley.
In the second half of 2018, I was working on Part 3 and the CRMA. Part 3 was hard, especially the IT portion. Since I have an accounting background, the accounting portion was pretty easy. But as the other guest bloggers stated, the exam only had basic accounting questions, and Gleim was not sufficient to cover the governance and risk management parts.
I took my exam in July after 2 months of preparation and failed with a 588. So, I bought the IIA CIA Learning System for Part 3 to focus more on risk management and governance (corporate social responsibilities).
I started reviewing for my October exam early in the fall. As I was studying for the second time, I could tell I was achieving greater comprehension of the material.
I retook my Part 3 in October and passed. At least 20- 30% of the questions were ones I had seen on my previous attempt.
After my first attempt of Part 3 in July, I quickly wrote down the questions as soon as I got home. Thankfully, I was able to recall up to 68 questions.
The corporate social responsibility and the organizational structure questions, in particular, were pretty confusing. I made notes to concentrate more on those parts during my review. There were also questions not covered by Gleim. So, I ordered the IIA CIA Review materials.
I took a break until September. Then, I started reviewing in the late fall. I could remember most of the material. So, it wasn’t too bad. Additionally, as I went through the Gleim review course, I aimed to get 90% on all the practice exams.
Besides going through the Gleim course, I also studied governance, corporate social responsibility, risk management, organizational structure, and IT from the IIA CIA Review. The IIA Review has flashcards for each chapter. Therefore, I made sure I knew every term in those flash cards.
I downloaded the following practice guides from the IIA website that are available for free for members.
The exam focused on the following topics:
I believe that a good understanding of corporate social responsibility will increase my chance for success. Furthermore, in the Gleim books, there are small boxes that say “Gleim Success Tips”. I realized that it is very important to have a thorough understanding of all the topics covered in the success tips.
Stephanie’s blog definitely played a major role in my preparation. Specifically, articles by Annette, Lynnel, Art, and David helped me a lot. Whenever I felt discouraged, I would go back to these blogs and read them again to feel inspired. Finally, I downloaded the practice guides as suggested by the bloggers, and those have also been very useful.
I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.