CIA Exam Part 3: How to Pass CIA Part 3

cia exam part 3

As the CIA exam pass rates prove, earning the Certified Internal Auditor certification is not easy. The CIA exam is fairly challenging on the whole, and many past CIA candidates (now CIAs) have struggled the most with CIA exam Part 3.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t pass it. In fact, even though it’s hard, you can still pass Part 3 of the CIA exam the first time. I’ll tell you how to pass CIA part 3 in this CIA Part 3 exam discussion.

Content: CIA Exam Syllabus Part 3

The title of CIA exam Part 3 is Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing. So, to pass CIA Part 3, you need to start by learning about the content that this part covers.

On January 1, 2019, the syllabus for each CIA exam part changed. Using the results of their 2017 global job-analysis survey, the IIA updated the exam to better test candidates on the knowledge and skills necessary for today’s internal auditor. The IIA also redistributed the exam content between each part and minimized overlap. As a result, the exam changes reduced the number of content areas in Part 3 from 8 to 4.

2019 CIA Exam Part 3 Syllabus

Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing

Content Area

Coverage Percentage

I. Business Acumen


II. Information Security


III. Information Technology


IV. Financial Management


The IIA explains that CIA exam Part 3 tests candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities with these core business concepts.

Furthermore, the CIA exam syllabi communicate the cognitive level, or depth of knowledge, that candidates must have for each exam topic area. The exam specifies the cognitive levels in order to make certain that candidates understand the most critical concepts sufficiently. The 2 cognitive levels at which the exam tests candidates are:

  • Basic Level: Candidates retrieve relevant knowledge from memory and/or demonstrate basic comprehension of concepts or processes.
  • Proficient Level: Candidates apply concepts, processes, or procedures; analyze, evaluate, and make judgments based on criteria; and/or put elements or material together to formulate conclusions and recommendations.

Part 3 of the CIA exam has 32 topics that candidates must know at the Basic level and 3 topics that candidates must know at the Proficient level.

Pass Rate: CIA Exam Part 3 Pass Rate

While we may like to know the exact CIA exam Part 3 pass rate, we can’t. That’s because the IIA only releases the overall CIA exam pass rate for the year, not the pass rates for each part. So, the latest CIA exam pass rate comes from 2018. And during that year, the pass rate for the CIA exam was 43%. This pass rate was the highest CIA exam pass rate of the last 5 years.

CIA Exam Pass Rates








Passing Score: How to Pass CIA Part 3

The passing score on the CIA exam Part 3 is the same as the CIA passing score on the other exam parts. Therefore, the computer grading system of the CIA exam converts all raw IIA CIA Part 3 scores into a reporting scale of 250-750 points. On that scale, the passing score is 600.

Fees: CIA Part 3 Exam Fees

CIA exam fees are always lower for IIA members than for non-IIA members. Therefore, you can save money on your CIA Part 3 exam fee by becoming a member of the IIA. Furthermore, the CIA exam fee for Part 1 is more expensive than the fees for Part 2 and Part 3. So, you can save money on your entire CIA exam journey if you pass each part the first time. However, you can save the most money when you take the CIA exam as a student and become a member of the IIA.

CIA Exam Part Fees

(in US dollars)







Part 1




Part 2




Part 3



Format: CIA Exam Part 3 Questions

CIA exam Part 3 has the same format as Part 2: 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) that you must answer in 2 hours of total testing time. To finish all the CIA Part 3 exam questions in the allotted time, give yourself no more than 1.2 minutes to complete each question.

Number of CIA Exam Questions

Part 1

Part 2


Part 3


All 3 CIA Exam parts contain only MCQs. Therefore, the questions are typically pretty straightforward, and computational questions are rare. The CIA exam uses just MCQs because it focuses on testing candidate knowledge on a general and introductory level.

Difficulty: CIA Part 3 Difficulty

In the past, Part 3 developed a reputation for being the hardest part of the CIA exam. This status comes from the fact that the questions are more conceptual, and the answers are not as easy to deduce. You’ll probably notice in both aspects of CIA exam Part 3 in the practice questions and the real exam questions.

From my own experience and candidate feedback, I have concluded that Part 3 gives candidates more trouble because it covers topics outside the scope of auditing. Consequently, candidates (who are mostly internal auditors) cannot relate as much to these topics with their own personal experience. Furthermore, the more theoretical questions of Part 3 also tend to be longer and trickier in general. Therefore, developing confidence in these questions takes more time and effort for many candidates.

Additionally, Part 3 features material you must memorize and understand in order to be fully prepared. To get through all of this information, you should go through the theoretical questions first. Then, work on the computational questions as extra practice.

Studying: CIA Exam Part 3 Study Time

Depending on your background with internal audit and your familiarity with the concepts of the exam content, you may need more or less time to prepare for CIA exam Part 3. However, based on my interactions with different CIA review courses, I have calculated my estimates for CIA exam Part 3 study time.

I recommend a minimum number of hours for candidates who feel confident in their knowledge and a safe number of hours for candidates who know they need to start with the basics.

Minimum Safe
 Part 1 30-40 hours55-65 hours
 Part 2 30-40 hours60-70 hours
 Part 3 40-50 hours 85-95 hours

As you can see, you will need the greatest number of total study hours for Part 3 of the CIA exam. I believe this holds true no matter how comfortable you are with the content due to the nature of the subject matter.

Failed CIA Part 3: 3 Reasons Candidates Fail CIA Exam Part 3

When I compare the numerous success and failure stories I’ve heard from CPA, CMA, and CIA candidates over the years, I see 3 common reasons why people fail accounting certification exams.

Insufficient Preparation Time

Underestimating the difficulty of the exam and, consequently, the amount of time needed to prepare is one of the most common causes of failing the CIA exam. The exam contains theoretical questions that you can only prepare for by reading the books. Therefore, internal auditors can’t rely on their work histories to equip them with this information. Don’t fall into the trap of rushing your review. Instead, learn from the mistakes of the underprepared. To do so, give yourself enough time to study and answer lots of practice questions.

Insufficient Effort

When it comes to studying, quality is as important as quantity. For this reason, only the periods in which you are completely focused on your materials and invested in the task of learning count as good study sessions. For example, if you plan to study for 2 hours on Saturday morning but spend 45 minutes checking your email and social media accounts, we both know that you didn’t really study for 2 hours.

When you find your motivation and work ethic difficult to maintain, ask yourself: Would I rather only study when I feel like it and have to retake the exam several times? Or, would I prefer to really commit to the task, make every study session count, and pass each exam on my first attempt?

If external rather than internal conditions are hindering your studies (noisy environment, bad timing, hectic schedule), you probably need to alter your lifestyle for the next few months so you can stick to your study schedule. To get it done, assemble a support group and explain your goals and agenda to them. Then, ask them to fill in for you where they can, and promise make it up to them once you’ve passed the exam.

Unsuitable Review Course for Your Learning Style

Now, I don’t recommend putting an exam failure all on your review course right away. If you’re not utilizing your review course properly or fully, and you buy another review course without correcting your bad habit, you’ll just end up wasting your money without improving your situation. Instead, evaluate your use of your existing review materials. Did you finish the practice questions? Were you constantly answering questions that addressed your weak areas? On top of that, have you read the answer explanations to ensure you got a question right for the right reasons?

If you did everything you could to make a course work for you and still failed, then your materials might not have fit your learning style. Or, they might not have been capable of preparing you. In either case, purchasing a supplementary or additional review course would be wise.

When you avoid making these same mistakes in your own CIA exam studies, you can pass Part 3 the first time.

CIA Part 3 Exam Tips: 3 Steps for Passing CIA Exam Part 3

To pass CIA exam Part 3 the first time, you need to follow these tips. And if you fail CIA exam Part 3, you should also adhere to these CIA Part 3 tips so you can get back on track for CIA exam success.

1. Evaluate your study efforts.

Step away from your score, whether for the real exam or a practice exam, for a minute and think back on your CIA Part 3 study technique. Have you made one of 3 mistakes I just mentioned? Also, consider which questions on the exam were unfamiliar and difficult. Reflecting on the questions that confused you will help you pinpoint the topics you must focus on during this next round of studying. And, you can get some help with the self-evaluation process by signing up for my free special mini-course for first-time testers or for retakers.

2. Answer more practice questions about information technology.

If you want to pass Part 3, you’ve got to know about all things IT. Specifically, make sure you’re very comfortable with the following topics:

  • The difference between application and ITGCs
  • The types of IT controls, especially the different types of application controls
  • The different IT stakeholders and their job functions and responsibilities
  • Cybersecurity
  • Disaster recovery
  • Data analytics

Drilling yourself on all the included IT topics by answering more practice questions will really help you solidify your understanding. The Gleim practice questions are helpful for this.

3. Develop an advanced understanding of financial and managerial accounting.

Along with knowing everything you can about IT, you also need to focus on financial and managerial accounting. But specifically, you need to understand the concepts behind these content areas more than the associated calculations. The exam might give you scenarios about which you must determine the effect (or vice versa), so you’ve got to be ready to apply what your knowledge of these topics.

Furthermore, you’ll need to know the basics of CVP analysis, the difference between variable costing, full costing, process costing, and JIT, and the concepts of BEP, CM, manufacturing COS, residual income, etc. Based on my readers’ experience, you won’t encounter as many formulas or calculations related to financial management.

CIA Part 3 Exam: Overlap with Other Accounting Exams

CIA exam Part 3 features a broad range of topics, so it’s not surprising that the syllabus overlaps with quite a few professional accounting and finance exams. To demonstrate this, I’ve compared the CIA exam Part 3 content to that of a few other exams below. But, I must say that, in general, Part 3 only covers these topics at an awareness level. Consequently, the other exams mentioned go more in-depth.

CPA Exam

As you’ll see, questions similar to those from all 4 CPA Exam sections appear throughout CIA exam Part 3. The CPA Exam section that has the most questions in common with Part 3 is Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). Therefore, you will definitely have questions about governance and some about organization and communications on Part 3, just like you would on BEC. Part 3 also touches on IT, just like BEC does.

Both the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) CPA Exam section and Part 3 focus on financial management. However, FAR goes much deeper into the topic than Part 3. So, you don’t have to worry about an excess of financial management on the CIA exam.

CFA Exam

There is also a little bit of overlap between Part 3 and CFA exam Level I. Both of these exams emphasize financial reporting. Part 3 also covers the same topics as Level 2 but puts less weight on the financial topics.

CMA Exam

Finally, Part 3 shares many content areas with CMA Part 2 exam. Both CIA exam Part 3 and CMA exam Part 2 focus on financial management as well, but the CMA exam discusses this topic to a much greater extent than the CIA exam.

CIA Part 3 Study Material: CIA Exam Part 3 Review Courses

My best advice for how to pass CIA exam Part 3 is to use a CIA review course. A CIA review course is a must-have for exam success, so you should never start your Part 3 preparations without one. Instead, you should only begin to study for Part 3 once you’ve found the best CIA exam prep for you.

And thankfully, you don’t have to discover your best CIA review course on your own. Rather, you can rely on my assessment of the most popular review courses to make your decision. Or, you can even contact me to receive a personalized suggestion. Then, when you’re ready to save big on your perfect Part 3 course, you can use my CIA review course discounts.

One of the best CIA review courses on the market is Gleim CIA Review. Gleim’s course includes dozens of video lecture hours, thousands of CIA Part 3 practice questions, access until you pass, and exceptional candidate support. So, you should start your review course search by exploring Gleim CIA Part 3.

More Help for the CIA Exam

If you’d like to learn more about the CIA exam, check out my information about CIA exam part 1 and CIA exam part 2. I’ve also got some CIA exam preparation tips that I’m sure will help you out. Additionally, I’ve answered many common CIA exam questions.

Complete 2019 CIA Exam Part 3 Syllabus

1. Business Acumen (35%)

  • Organizational Objectives, Behavior, and Performance
  • Organizational Structure and Business Processes
  • Data Analytics

2. Information Security (25%)

  • Information Security

3. Information Technology (20%)

  • Application and System Software
  • IT Infrastructure and IT Control Frameworks
  • Disaster Recovery

4. Financial Management (20%)

  • Financial Accounting and Finance
  • Managerial Accounting

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About the Author Stephanie

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.

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  • ketan mistry says:

    I have cleared Part1 & 2 by referring Gleim material with textbooks and practice questions. I attempted part 3 and failed. I was reading all the discussions. I just want to know is it advisable to buy IIA leaning system and also study it in order to prepare for the Part 3. Because I am confused that after giving almost 2 months and spending more than 100 hours in the study I failed than what should be my strategy to conquer Part 3.?

    Please advise.

  • Annette says:

    Within the last 6 months I attempted Part 3 three times, and all times I missed it by a few points (564, 575 and 582). Unfortunately I have to now request extension before I can attempt again. I work with Gleim, IIAs Learning system, read the additional papers (Standards, GTAGs, ISO) and watched a live video broadcast of an expert giving some tips on Part 3 for a whole long day. I am not sure what I am missing and I feel very disappointed and desperate. This is the last part I need to qualify.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Annette, totally understand. How did you do on the practice questions? Did you redo the questions you did wrong previously? If budget allows, exammatrix is a great tool to “shake things up”. It feeds you the questions of your weaker area based on a proprietary adaptive technology. I’ve got pretty good feedbback from retakers so far.

      You can check it out here:

      Hope it helps! stephanie

    • Lou says:

      Hi Anette, I do understand you very well, I just failed the CIA part III for the second time.
      Can you give me advice how you could take the exam 3 times in 6 months? I thought you had to wait 3 months every time you failed it. Is that not true?

      • Annette says:

        Hi Lou

        I wrote that year in begin of May 2015, mid Aug 2015 and mid Nov 2015 – each time waiting 90 days. So from 1st fail to third fail actually 188 days to be accurate.

        I tried two more times after that and finally 3 weeks ago passed the Part 3 and received my CIA.

        • Lou says:

          Hi Anette,

          thank you for your quick reply and congrats on passing the CIA.

          Right now I actually have no clue what to do, since I studied really hard and I was absolutely sure that I would pass. I was shocked when they told me I failed again. I had a score of 594.

          Did you Change anything in your preparation now that you passed? Is there anything you could recommend me to do for my next try?

          • Annette says:

            Hi Lou,

            You can read my “story” under the Blogs and stories section where I touch on my study strategies and other. Lynnel, another blogger, also has some good advice on her Part 3 study strategy.

            I guess after failing so many times and constantly reviewing I knew the content well enough (finally).

            Suggestions (what I changed on my last try):
            1. Identify your learning style (I wrote a post about it too)
            2. Try thinking what would you say if your boss asked that questions (actually a tip from Lauren in these comments on 3 Feb 2017)
            3. I ended up printing the questions and answered old-school with a pen – this helped me slow done and mark the keywords in the question.
            4. I did not freak out as much as I usually did. I kept myself busy the weekend before with other stuff and took my mind off the exams – it helped me calm down and not try to remember the night or morning before. That worked for me.

            Hope that helps and don’t despair…it is not an easy part and it took me 7 tries to pass and I am certified now – all is possible 🙂

          • Stephanie says:

            Hi Lou you can read Annette’s story here — start at the bottom / the beginning:
            It’s very inspirational because when she wrote she had no idea whether you would ultimately pass. You can sense her anxiety in those posts:

  • Maria says:


    Are you saying Gleim explains Communication, Financial Management and Global risk very well AND IIA Learning system explains Risk, Governance, Management/Leadership principles and IT very well…….which review system then explains Organisational structure/Business process very well – Is it Gleim or IIA Learning system?


    • Art Yip says:


      IIA Learning System does a better job of covering Organizational Structure as stated above. Business Process is explained adequately by Gleim. In general IIA Learning System teaches the concepts very well. However, Gleim has a better online Test Prep (practice questions)! I hope that helps!


  • Maria says:

    Thanks Art. Really helped a lot. I have scheduled to write Part 3 on the 13th December 2015 however after reading about the difficulties of part 3 I’m not so sure whether to reschedule the exam or continue preparing for the exam……I have passed Part 1 and 2 using Gleim and I have also noted that the IIA Learning system is very expensive and I’m currently unemployed. Which means I can’t afford to buy the IIA Learning system.So I desperately need advice – should I reschedule or write next month (I have started preparing for the exam since the 17th November 2015)?


  • Yanela says:

    Are there mathematical calculations on the part of financial management?

    I’m using Gleim in Spanish (I do not speak fluent English), and has been very difficult although I have experience in external audit. There are too many topics, and I do not know that deep level treat them. In tests of Gleim I’m not going very well, although much of the errors are the translations into Spanish badly done.

    My exam is scheduled for next December 1st and do not feel ready.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Yanela, yeah I heard that even the translation in the actual exam isn’t great… but don’t worry, people around the world pass the exam 🙂

      On your question, the calculation is likely a lot easier than what is shown in Gleim. I believe Art and a few others have pointed that out before. There are more computational questions in Part 3 (very roughly speaking, around 10%), but they keep this at the basic level.

      So, this is one of the very few things that you can skip in the Gleim test prep in my opinion. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Uzair says:

    1. Without having practical knowledge of IT, please tell the difficulty level of IT portion i. exam and is gliem is suficient for this portion ?
    2. I have only gliem text and practice material. is it sufficient for passing the exam?
    3. I have an accounts and audit background and i passed 1 and 2 part. I want to know is part 3 more difficult as compare to part 1 and 2 ?

  • Byron says:

    I just passed part 3 of the CIA exam – first attempt. (I also passed parts 1 and 2 on the first attempt) I used the Gleim Review System on to pass all parts. I took 3 months to study, I went over all of the study units and then had 5 weeks just to study the study units in depth. I spent nearly a full week on financial management.

    The questions in the exam I had never ever seen before and were mostly challenging. I would recommend knowing your theory 100% and doing as many review questions as possible and understand them. I did almost every single question that was available on the Gleim system.

    as above, there weren’t many financial management questions I got 3, two of them were basic and one was a little more than basic, but I used the answer I thought it would be and calculated forward using the answer.

    I was really surprised that I passed as i found the exam really challenging, i had two minutes remaining when I submitted.

    My advice would be to study all the study units (Using the full gleim system) but don’t focus too much on calculations.

    Good Luck to everyone

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Byron, thanks for your sharing, and congrats! This is really helpful esp on confirming that we don’t need to pay too much attention on the complex calculations. And yes, we do need to cover the study units! Stephanie

  • mounib says:

    Thank God, I am now certified, finally passed the CIA part 3, after 4 failing attempts, and before my certificate extended expiration date by 24 hours! Feeling blessed and safe (^_^) many thanks to Stephanie, Art, and all the respected members around here!

  • Enas says:

    Dear sir,
    i’m Enas saleh PhD, & CIA Instructor need to know is there any updating for the CIA P3, materials for 2016.
    Kindly, update me that it will affect my team,
    Thanks in advance

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Enas, I am not sure if I am in the position to update a CIA instructor on syllabus changes 😉 It is better for you to look into the content outline specification yourself, or check with the review course provider that you may be using. Regards, Stephanie

  • Noluthando says:

    Thank you for all the advice and assistance, the success stories are really helpful as they indicate that anything is possible. I have just completed CIA Part 1 and 2 successfully, I am now preparing for Part 3 im a bit nervous though. Is ISO31000 and are practice advisories the only additional material I should consider?

    Please kindly assist?

  • Irfan Rehmat says:

    I have passed, CIA all parts in first attempt. Here are few thoughts i want to share regarding CIA part 3 which is considered to be the most difficult of the 3.

    First of all it is difficult for those who are not previously achieved any accountancy qualification or are new to accountancy and management subjects. I found the exam rather easy compared to part 1 and 2.

    The calculations are super easy, so dont get demotivated if you cannot achieve above 90 in your gliem exam questions. However practicing them will give you confidence.

    Most of the questions i faced were new, and were from the topic, ISO 31000 and CSR. which is tested to proficiency.

    The only thing difficult is the length of the course which takes time to revise but no question asked in the exam requires topics to be memorized. You just need the concept of them.

    I completed the exam half hour to go, the first the 3 to be completed this early.

    So all of those appearing in CIA part 3, dont panic and good luck.

    Irfan Rehmat

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks a lot Irfan. It’s very useful! Many did report on ISO 31000 so let’s get prepared for that. You are also right on that the computational questions should be a lot simpler than those in Gleim.

      And of course, congratulation!

      Cheers, Stephanie

    • Daisy says:

      Hi Irfan,

      First of all congratulations on passing the notorious part 3!

      I am currently preparing for part 3 using Gleim material and am feeling extremely overwhelmed and nervous. The part I find the hardest is the IT part. I can’t even comprehend the concepts, they are too difficult for a person without IT background like me 🙁

      May I ask how many IT questions you faced during your exam?

      Did you find everything asked in the real exam being all mentioned in the Gleim material? Or did you find new concepts that you had never seen before? I asked that because I saw people suggesting readings of ISO 31000, GTAG4, GTAG 17 which are all not covered in Gleim. I don’t know if I have to read anything else besides ISO31000, GTAG4 and GTAG 17.

      One more thing, do you recommend doing all Gleim practice questions for Finance & Managerial accounting part even though the real exam questions in that area are very simple? Or may I just do, let’s say 50% of the practice questions and just memorize the formula to be prepared for the real exam?

      Thank you very much!


      • Irfan says:

        Hello daisy

        Hope you are doing well

        For IT there were around 7to 10 questions however I didn’t find it difficult except one which I thought was out of gleim.

        Don’t be scared. Just read through the topics if you need help to grasp concepts you can ask me. I’ll help you


        • Daisy says:


          Thank you for your prompt response. I highly appreciate your offering me help. I am right now doing practice questions in other parts, will get back to IT in the next few days. I will let you know if any question pops out.

          Could you please answer my questions on uncovered topics by Gleim and finance & accounting topics?


          • Irfan Rehmat says:


            Gleim covers most of the topics, however in how much detail is the question. It covers all topics however some may be in detail and some may not be in that detail.

            But it makes your concept so you can attempt the exam, remember this is not an IT or Finance or any other specialist exam, most of the things are asked on awareness level.

            Do prepare for CSR and Governance models from practice advisories it will help you.


          • Stephanie says:

            Thanks Irfan 🙂 Good point, this is not an IT exam. Testing at awareness level. *Phew*

        • Daisy says:

          Thank you so much Irfan, I’ll keep that in mind!!!!

      • Amira says:

        HI Irfan,

        I am majored in accounting and have 3 years experience only in Finance and accounting. Do you think relying on Gleim and IIA is sufficient?
        Thanks and Congrats

  • Shiko says:

    What is ISO 31000 and CSR?

    also from previous comments about utilizing the IIA Practice guides, are there specific ones to review and are these guides good for specific topics?


    • Irfan Rehmat says:

      ISO 31000 is risk management methods and principals , csr is corporate social responsibility.

      gleim doesnt have that details however you can get them through practice advisories from IIA.

  • Lauren W says:

    Hi there,

    I failed part 3 by only a few questions and my exam print out was quite unhelpful as it pretty much said moderate improvement for all sections. however, as I was taking the exam I did notice there were many questions which seemed to have all correct answers. Specifically regarding IT governance/IT management and questions regarding EFT etc. I’m using Gleim review and don’t think it covers such sections well enough to answer the tricky and very specific questions. Other than reviewing the IPPF Practice Guides (I’ve already obtained them, and I would rather not buy another review course) do you have any advice on how to better prepare for these sections?

    Thank you so much!!

    PS. I’ve found reading through these comments to be very helpful and full good tips to note!

    • Stephanie says:

      Yeah, Lauren, I know what you mean by the unhelpful exam print out… you are likely just a tiny bit off in all sections. Let’s see if Art has suggestions… he always has good ones for each of us. Regards, Stephanie

    • Art Yip says:


      I’m sorry you didn’t find your exam printout helpful! I don’t often hear of candidates getting “moderate improvement” for all sections on Part 3! Nevertheless, keep in mind that every exam is different. If you found certain exam questions with seemingly all correct answers, that means you have not grasped the concepts to the related topics well enough. If IT Governance/IT Management seems to be where you need help, I recommend reading IPPF Practice Guide-Global Technology Audit Guides (GTAG-17)- Auditing IT Governance, and (GTAG-4) Management of IT Auditing. These are found under the Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guide in the IIA Website. I didn’t use them as I felt the IIA’s CIA Learning System explained the IT concepts very well. However, since you’re opting to use only Gleim as your prep material, I think they may help you.

      Also, learn the concepts by going through the practice MCQs, try to figure out why an answer is correct or incorrect even if you think you know the answer. When you don’t know the answer, look them up in your Gleim book, or the Practice Guides. Remember, your goal is beyond getting a high score on the practice questions. It is to be able to grasp the concepts, so you can apply them to a new set of questions on the real exam.

      Sounds like you came quite close. A little extra effort, and some smart studying will get you there!


      • Stephanie says:

        “Your goal is beyond getting a high score on the practice questions.” So true. Art, I will quote this in my retaker mini course 🙂

      • Lauren W says:

        Hi again!

        So I think I have IT Gov/Mgmt down now since your helpful tips, so thank you so much!!!

        I’m still finding the review MCQ compared to the text information to be quite confusing regarding the EDI, EFT, and E-Commerce section. Has anyone found any other material out there that is helpful in grasping a better understanding of these topics? I haven’t found much in the IIA resources so i thought I’d check with the experts to see if you could direct me to anything helpful.

        Thanks again!!


  • Justin says:

    So, I am studying for the CIA exam, I read both materials for the first accounting section “Basic and Intermediate Concepts of Financial Accounting”. After studying all the material, I still bombed the practice test in Gleim. I also struggle with the IT part too, however I do much better at it. Not having an accounting or IT background is really hurting me on these parts. I have already extended my exam date once so I can’t do it again. I am scheduled to take the exam on 5/27. I want to at least get through all the materials once and I want to take all of the practice questions to better prepare myself. At this point, I am not very confident and I am quite sure I am on track to failing this exam. Are there more resources out there that could assist in me learning this information? It seems like a lot and it is very overwhelming. You have any tips for people with non IT/Accounting backgrounds? If my time period expires in which to pass this exam, will I have to take parts 1 and 2 over? Will going through the practice exam questions give me a good boost that I need, studying the materials did little to help.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Justin, do you think you understand the concepts? If yes, then simply work on the practice questions. It’s pretty normal to “fail” the first time (i.e. getting <50% correct). I remember talking to a Gleim personal counselor and he said getting 20-30% the first time is quite normal among his students — not sure if this is for CIA exam or CMA exam, but I can see how this is the same across the board.

      Once you move on to the next set of practice questions, it should be better.

      If not, then maybe you haven’t grasp the concepts yet, and in that case either work on a few classic questions very slowly, think through how things work and why an answer is correct, and develop the intuition you need.

      By the way, you might have told me somewhere but are you going for Part 1 or Part 3? I wonder if you have passed Part 1/2 and this is a new issue for you in Part 3.

      Edit: Sorry I read your comment again and your last sentence implies that you passed the first 2. No worries you have 4 years to complete the 3 parts. Part 3 is known to cover a lot more materials so it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. Just work on one study unit at a time. Stephanie

      • Daisy says:

        Stephanie and Justin,

        I am struggling with IT and I really need help.

        Could you tell me how do the IT questions in real exam look like? Are they more about IT auditing (GTAG-related) or are they more about technical concepts (e.g. What is client-server model? what is a bridge? What is data patrioning?). There are concepts that I can’t comprehend. I even think of learning them by heart, not understanding them ‘coz it seems impossible.


        • Stephanie says:

          Daisy, I hope Justin can lend a hand… I run out of ideas. Also, you are using Gleim right? Did you check with your personal counselor? I have a few readers who really appreciate his counselor’s suggestions. Regards, Stephanie

          • Daisy says:


            I purchased only the Gleim test bank, so I don’t have any counselor 🙁

            Justin, could you give some advice?


  • Justin says:

    I have decided that for the CIA exam I will put less emphasis on the calculation and equation memorization piece and focus more on the concepts in the Finance and Accounting parts. However, I still want to memorize the most pertinent formulas, I am not sure which ones I should focus on. Any advice? I have 2 chapters left in Gleim, after that, I will have about a month to reinforce and strengthen my knowledge of CIA concepts before I take part 3. My plan is to do all of the MCQ’s in Gleim and go back to study concepts I could strengthen, particularly in areas I haven’t performed very well in. Any other tips and/or advice from people who have recently taken the test on how I can use my time best in preparing for the exam with the remaining time I have?

  • chao says:

    I just failed my 2nd try today although I passed the first 2 one time. Score was still around 580. A bit disappointed but I have to admit I didn’t spend that much time to prepare. How should I prepare part 3 in a more efficient way while travelling a lot ( part of IA daily job)? Another question is that how to grasp and remember all concepts when reading the IIA learning book? It seems I have only a short memory. Don’t know if it’s because English is not my native language or I should take some on-line classes to understand the hightlights I might miss during self-preparation.

    btw, I remembered there was question to three defense line (something similar). Could I know it is discussed in which part of the book?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Chao, thanks for your note. It is tough when you need to travel, that’s really understandable. Back in the days without the wireless internet access, I relied on the good old flash cards. I wrote the summary based on the books on the index card and carried them with me. It was immensely helpful. I would still do the same if I were to take the exam now. People learn in different ways and writing it out is certainly the way for me. It may be audio or visual for you. See if it helps! Stephanie

  • Norbert says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am preparing for CIA Part 3. I read many good advises on what to read / do for each section. Is there something that summarizes by sections with the best readings ‘ exercises todo ?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Norbert, I guess you can pick your “core” review course and then supplement with what is mentioned here by each section. I tried to somewhat summarize it above; but whether you need to go through all of them depends on your background 🙂

  • Atef Abdulaziz says:

    Hi Every body

    I currently prepare for Part 3 and I heard that WILLEY Practices Questions. is very well.

    please advise me?

    Thank you

  • Suzana says:

    Hi I’m preparing for CIA part 3 and reading theses comments where can I find additional supplemental information like GTAG-17,GTAG-4 and CSR? I tried to look at IIA website but could not find it. Thanks for the help!

    • Justin says:

      You have to be a member to access the materials. Are you a member? If so, Iwould use the search function on the site and locate the documents in the results. This was my method of finding them.

  • Justin says:

    Thanks to Stephanie, Art, and others. I have successfully completed part three of the CIA exam today! I can say I have a testimonial of passing all three exams on the first attempt. The tips and advice here are invaluable and have been instrumental in my success! Thank you all!

    • Stephanie says:

      Yay, awesome news Justin! And thanks so much for dropping a note on our readers’ success page. All the best! Stephanie

    • Daisy says:

      Congratulations Justin! That’s awesome!

      Do you have some piece of advice on which study subject to focus? I’m gonna take part 3 end of this week too.

      Thank you in advance!


    • Suzana says:

      Congratulations!!! That’s awesome!!! Any advice you can give how to prepare for part 3? How many hours did you spend preparing and what review materials were you using?

    • Art Yip says:

      You’re welcome, Justin! Congrats again! Great to see that you’re willing to share your knowledge and experience in helping others!


  • Justin says:

    To be honest, I used both IIA learning system and Gleim. However, in hindsight, I feel Gleim only was sufficient. I stopped reading both books midway through my studies because it was so labor intensive. I ended up only reading the chapters Art suggested from the IIA book (IT, Governance, Risk, and Org Structure I believe). I studied about 10 hours a week, but the closer the exam became, I increased it to 20 hours. For me, 50% of the exam lies in understanding the question being asked and picking up on any buzzwords. I would suggest taking as many practice tests as you can also. I was very comfortable when taking the exam as I have taken so many practice exams prior. This really helps you with time management and nervousness as I had 20 minutes to spare and ended up skimming over the entire test once again to make sure I was comfortable with all the answers.

    • Daisy says:


      Thank you for your sharing. I am struggling with IT and I really need help.

      Do you remember how the IT questions in real exam look like? Are they more about IT auditing (GTAG-related) or are they more about technical concepts (e.g. What is client-server model? what is a bridge? What is data patrioning?). There are concepts that I can’t comprehend. I even think of learning them by heart, not understanding them ‘coz it seems impossible.

      By the way, about how many finance & accounting/calculation questions did you have? Do you have any advice on how to study for that part? Did you memorize every single formula?

      Thanks a lot!!!


      • Stephanie says:

        Hi Daisy, not sure if Justin is allowed to be too specific. There is a exam disclosure policy and the answer to the above would be pushing the limits in my opinion. I will let him decide 😉

        • Justin says:

          Hi Daisy, Stephanie is right. I am limited on what I can share. However, I will say that in regards to the IT parts, I would focus more on controls and the “proficiency” subjects. There weren’t many accounting questions for me and they were very basic. I memorized the ratios, that probably helped me with 1 question. My advice would be to be aware of the concepts because it is truly tested at the awareness level.

          • Stephanie says:

            🙂 Thanks Justin. This is both helpful and reassuring. Daisy, Justin’s suggestion is very workable. You will be all right! Cheers, Stephanie

  • Lauren W says:


    I wanted to reach out to everyone in regards to the actual test taking. I have now failed exam 3 twice. I have studied endlessly and know this information. What I’m struggling with is the actual exam taking – i.e. I walk into the test center and freak out. I stair at the timer and my mind races in every direction and I can’t focus on the questions in front of me.

    Does anyone know of any ideas for exam prep in general. I need to learn how to be a better test taker so that I can use my knowledge and take the exam successfully.


  • Art Yip says:


    The CIA Exam is a conceptual exam meaning they want you to apply what you have learned to a new set of questions. Utilize your previous exam experiences to help yourself. Try to figure out where you made the mistakes, and learn from them. Even if the questions on the next exam are different, you can still apply the concepts. About 3 weeks before your next exam, create 4-5 100 questions from your Gleim online practice questions. This will help you get used to answering different topics in one sitting. Go over the questions you got wrong. People tend to make the same mistakes. Also, use this time to go over weak areas or concepts that you tend to forget. During the exam, try to stick to the one minute per question timeline. Stay confident and determined, if you can do that, you’ve already won half the battle!

    • Stephanie says:

      Yes Lauren, run a couple of mock exams, and try your best to simulate the testing environment — strict on the timing, and work in a quiet room or library.

      Remember bonus #2 at the end of my tips page:

      You can do it!

      • Justin says:

        Lauren, if I’m not mistaken, I understand you know the content, but are thrown off by environmental factors (internal/external). If this is the case I suggest taking more 100 question tests. I used Gleim so I had access to an extended MCQ test bank. I took a 100 question practice test after completing each unit (ex…..Chapter 1, 100 questions, Chapter 2 100 questions over chapters 1 and 2, and so forth. Once I completed every single study unit, I went back through each chapter and took “all” the questions in each individual unit (even the 150+ questions). This helped me identify additional pieces of information that I needed to have an awareness of. The closer I got to the exam, I took 100 test questions everyday until it became almost like clockwork.

        The day of the test, I walked into the testing center a nervous wreck, I had the jitters and couldn’t tell which way was up. I was even nervous on the first question when I sat down to take the test. However, as the test progressed, I became very comfortable and even laid back as I was so in tune with taking test (due to the multiple practice test). By the time I was finished, I had 20 minutes to spare, I utilized this time to skim over the 100 questions once again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I really feel that taking multiple practice tests helped me to be comfortable as part three eventually became “just another exam”. By the time I finished skimming all the questions, I was comfortable that I passed (although you never know).

        In a nutshell, if it’s truly the test taking skills and not the content throwing you off, get comfortable with taking those 100 question exams until you can complete them like clockwork (using basic test taking concepts: process of elimination, formulating the answer in your head before you read answer choices, eliminating the obviously incorrect choices, choosing the “best” answer. Hope this helps, good luck!

        • Lauren W says:

          This is a great tip!!!!

          One other thing I wanted to ask is if you have a general list of IPPF materials to focus on for part three – such as which preactice guides, GTAGs, etc. are most helpful. I have them all which is quite a lot of information to get lost in so I wanted to narrow down my focus so I’m able to focus the ones that are most beneficial to part 3 instead of every single guide from the IIA website.

          Thank you so much!!

  • Mike says:

    Hi all – I took and failed part 3 about a week ago and want to schedule to retake it as soon as the 90 days are up. I thought I understood that I wouldn’t have to pay the $300 exam fee again, is this correct? The only form I can find to register to retake the exam is requesting the $300.

    • Daisy says:

      As far as understand, you do have to pay, unfortunately:(

        • Michael Lucas says:

          Hi – just to follow-up, I passed part 3 today in my 2nd attempt. My passing is due to a large part about what I read on this site and in these comments. In particular, the tips to concentrate on CSR and ISO 31000 were spot on. I used Gleim exclusively and I did not complete any (and I mean any) of the long financial questions and really barely skimmed chapters 14-18. I completed all the questions in all the other chapters though. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the info on here and good luck to everyone.


          • Stephanie says:

            Yay! Mike, congrats! And thanks so much for coming back and telling us about the good news, and that the comments have been helpful. It means a lot of us still working hard on this exam. All the best.

  • Daisy says:


    Just wanna let you guys know that I passed part 3 yesterday – thanks to all the good advice I got from this website. Special thanks to Art, Justin and Irfan. Without your sharings I don’t think I could conquer the exam in my first attempt like that.

    I can share with you about the real exam and how I study briefly as below:
    – About the exam, I had only about 3 calculation questions. The questions themselves are only 2 lines long maximum – so really you don’t need to to do the Gleim complicated questions ‘coz it’s really time consuming. Spending your time on other sections is a better strategy
    – CSR and ISO 31000 are asked in good quantity. I think I got 10-15 questions on those parts. Reading the IIA papers on those parts in depth is important. I didn’t read them in depth so I had to use my guess in a few questions
    – I had about 7-8 questions in IT. 3 of them didn’t look familiar at all. I guess that’s because I didn’t finish GTAG 14 and GTAG 17 as suggested by Art and others.

    – About how I studied, I used purely Gleim material. I would suggest you to jump to the multiple choice questions first and learn about the concepts from your wrong answers. That helps you to understand the concepts and remember them better. Reading the whole books first before doing multiple choice will be too labor intensive like what Justin mentioned above. In brief, doing all Gleim multiple choice questions (except for complicated calculation ones) would be enough for passing the exam 🙂

    Good luck to you all and don’t panic! It’s doable!

  • Art Yip says:


    Congratulations, that is great news! Passing Part 3 is quite an accomplishment! I’m glad to hear I was of help! Thanks for sharing your experience as well. Sounds like Governance, Risk Management, and IT continues to be the areas of focus for Part 3!

  • John says:

    If IT is supposed to be 15% to 25% of the entire exam, how was there only 7 to 8 questions on the exam. I sit Tuesday for the first time for part 3 and the material is so long it’s ridiculous. My main areas of focus are Governance, Risk Management, Organizational Structure, and IT. I am skimming the other 12 chapters pretty heavily. I do not know the purpose of testing portions that have already been tested on other parts. It makes the material way to long, based on the fact at 20 chapters, you basically have five questions per test. The bad part is that if this was still a four part test, considering I am a CPA, I could exempt the fourth part. But instead they have to pile it all into one huge book that takes a solid month to get through the material at one time.

  • Rachel says:

    I took CIA part 3 twice already. I scored 594 on the first and 582 on the second. My last attempt was on June 6.
    I used gleim study material and i have solved the practice questions several times and I was doing very well.
    For my first attempt I had a weakness in the risk management area, competency in financial management, and moderate improvement in the remaining areas. When I prepared for my second attempt I studied the whole material all over again and read thoroughly thr practice advisories and guidance ( ISO 31000 , governance parctice..) and thus I have enhanced this area to moderate improvement, i scored moderate imp in all areas yet I failed.
    What i feel is that there are always two choices that are so close to eachother that I couldnt guess which is the right choice
    I am considering purchasing another source of mcs questions.Can you please advice which study material has the best mcs questions besides Gleim?
    Are the questions of Wiley good for more practice because I feel like I’ve memorised those of gleim.
    This part has took a lot of effort from and I started losing hope on passing it 🙁

    Thank you for you advice


    • Rico says:

      Rachel, I know how you feel. I just took part 3 today and failed. It was my 2nd attempt at the exam and despite having gleim being the recommended study course, I felt like the questions were so different from what I read and studied. Maybe I just didn’t grasp the concepts well enough. Anyway, I think I’m going to try exammatrix material suggested here and hope for a better 3rd try.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Rachel, I understand… it must be really frustrating. The fact is that 2015 pass rate was 39% overall, and I can imagine the pass rate of Part 3 was even lower.

      If you are to look for supplements, Wiley is a choice (you can just get the test bank). Or you can try out Exammatrix. I like the adaptive learning in which the system feeds you questions from your own weaker areas.

      Here is a post I wrote for retakers that you may find useful:

  • Suzana says:

    Rachel, I’m feeling the same way. I’m substituting my material with Wiley and it has a lot of questions to practice. Just like gleim you can create either study or exam sessions. You can just purchase test bank for $75 for 3 months or test bank, book and flash cards for 1 year access for $125.


  • Jayson says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I failed my 1st attempt on Part 3 today.
    My assessment/ score Report shows moderate improvement in Governance, Risk Management, IT, Financial Management and Communication. All other areas require significant improvement( understandably because I did not put much focus on these areas during my study. My score: 588. I’d like to know your insights on the following:

    1. When comparing my assessment report with Rachel’s (see post above), why is it that she got a lower score (582) inspite of the moderate improvement in ALL areas on her Report?

    2. Considering my assessment report above, do you have any advice on what would be a good study approach? How many study hours (estimate) do I need to allot on areas requiring moderate improvements?

    Thank you.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Jayson,
      Thanks for your note. I don’t work in IIA, but from what I know about the professional exams in general, there is a range for the “moderate improvement” and “significant improvement” (and other categories for that matter). So it is likely that you score at the upper range of these categories, while Rachel scores at the lower range.

      I would definitely work on the ones you didn’t put much focus on, which I believe is correctly reflected in the assessment report. Part 3 covers a wide range of topics and it’s hard to pass without covering all topics yourself. Then, work on practice questions in the weaker areas. Since you are pretty close to passing, working on these alone should bump you over to a pass. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Jayson says:

    Thanks Stephanie for the above comments and the other study tips you emailed me, this would surely help and others who are following this forum/Posts.

  • Kostas says:

    Good morning. On 15/7 i took and passed part 3 of CIA. This was my second attempt since on the first one i was not prepared at all, due to workload and scored 575.
    Well here is my experience and my attempt to help others pass this very difficult test…

    *Note to Kostas and other readers: Thanks so much for such a thoughtful sharing! Since it is so helpful and detailed, I cut and pasted it as a blog post to make it easier to read and share.

    • Art Yip says:


      Congratulations! Passing Part 3 is a great accomplishment! Great to see you offer such insightful tips to help others as well! Sounds like the main focus on Part 3 is still IT, Risk Management and Governance!

      • Kostas says:

        Yes Art…We talked through facebook and you gave me some of the best advice for supplementary material to study. Thank you for that and for your nice words. I am just trying to give my portion of help to fellow candidates.
        Yes IT, finance, risk management and Governance are approximately 55% of the test.

        • Maria says:


          Thanks Kostas, that was very very helpful.
          Your advice will definitely help us to prepare for exam.
          God bless.


  • Maria says:

    Congratulations Kostas.

  • Annette says:

    Hi All,

    I attempted Part 3 again 2 days ago and missed out by few points (588). This was my 4th attempt, albeit the best, my scores are increasing all the time by about 0.5%:( !

    I wish I had gone through the comment before my exams – I was too distracted with studying that I tried limiting my time on the internet apart for Gleim. You are all right ito the topics asked.

    Majority questions were Risk Management (ISO and COSO ERM), IT Application Controls, CSR, Change Management. Almost no calculations or formula, not much in Finance sections (which I focused on this time around to understand the Financial concepts).

    I will just have to pull out my last reserves, motivation and self-confidence and try in 90 days again for a 5th time (the last part I need) :(…

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Annette, it must be pretty tough, but I really admire you to try it for the 5th time! When you are done, do let us know. I hope you will sure your story with us!

  • Rachelle says:

    I am currently preparing for part 3 and have just completed the Gleim Exam Rehearsal with a score of 78%. After reviewing the missed questions, I realize I made some silly mistakes from reading the question incorrectly and if I had taken the time to thoroughly read what the question was asking, I would have scored in the 80% range. Overall, I felt the practice exam was rather easy and most questions were identical to the questions in the test prep/study sessions. With only 10 days left before my exam date, how best should I go about solidifying what I’ve learned thus far? Would going through all of the test prep questions help or should I reread the book? I plan to also supplement my studies with reading the Practice Guides, GTAGs, etc. that were recommended in previous comments. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • Art Yip says:


    I recommend to create 3 100 practice questions from Gleim to simulate the exam. This will get you used to answering questions from different topics in one sitting. Go over the ones that were incorrect and learn from them. Keep in mind the questions will be different in the real exam, so the key is to be able to apply what you have learned. Also, go over your weak areas from the text, and points that you tend to forget. During the exam, stick with the one minute per questions timeline. Stay confident, and you’ll do fine. All the best to you!

    • Rachelle says:

      Thank you so much for the recommendations. I just came back from successfully passing the third part! I really appreciate everyone’s input on this site, as I took the suggestions to heart.

      For all of those still working towards their certification, I found the exam to be fairly straightforward and it is true that the focus is more on the proficient areas. I definitely recommend reading the relevant practice advisories/guides, GTAGs, etc. in addition to whatever study system you’re using. The financial/accounting questions were very basic so it is true that the complicated Gleim calculation questions are unnecessary to practice. I honestly didn’t focus too much on the accounting/finance sections in Gleim, which may have put me at a disadvantage, but watching the video lectures and going through practice questions seemed to suffice. In total, I spent a little over 2 months studying around 2 hours a day. Once I got closer to the exam date I was studying close to 4 hours a day. It is a lot of material but it is definitely doable! Good luck to everyone!

      • Art Yip says:


        That is awesome news! Congratulations, passing part 3 is a great accomplishment! If you found the exam fairly straightforward, that means you understood the concepts well! Great to see you passing on good tips to others as well!

      • Maria says:

        Rachelle that’s fantastic news. Well done.That is an encouragement to all of us who are preparing for the exam. Thanks.
        All the best CIA.

  • john says:

    I have taken part one for the first time and without disclosing the exam I wish I would of taken the content in these posts to heart and deep. Still you have to find the few trees in the entire forest. Gleim is not enough to pass this test alone. I felt they were adequate on the first two. But they are in the wrong business on the third. Art could you help me a bit.

    • Art Yip says:


      If cost is not an issue, I recommend getting IIA’s CIA Learning System for Part 3. Follow their study methodology. Supplement that with the Gleim’s online practice questions. IIA’s CIA Learning System teaches the concepts very well, and Gleim has great practice questions. So they make a great combo. Also, be sure to read and be very familiar with Governance and Risk Management topics from the Implementation Guidance (Practice Advisories), and Supplemental Guidance (Practice Guides). These 2 topics are tested harder than the practice questions in the real exam. The Guidances are available on the IIA website for free to IIA members. Part 3 is much harder than Part 1 or 2. However, it is possible to pass with some hard and smart studying.

  • Markus says:

    I am currently preparing for the CIA part 3 and as several others i am overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of topics. I really appreciate this forum and it gave me some good starting points for studying but one thing i am still confused about. So many people who passed write about understanding the concept and i agree with that but with regard to the details (i am using Gleim) in all the chapters what will the exam be like? I am not sure if knowing the concept will help in case of questions which require detailed knowledge. Can anyone help?

  • Nick says:


    I completely agree with your comment regarding the large number of topics in part 3.

    I took the part 3 exam in June, failed it, and will be taking it for the second time in mid-September. The problem I seem to have is that in my weak areas (e.g. IT and Governance), as I’m reading the material, I feel as if I’m not understanding the concepts because I have no background with that material. Then when it comes to answering questions based on that material, it’s almost a complete guessing game. For the answers where I narrow it down to two, probably 75% of the time, I chose the wrong answer only to find out I correct answer was the other one.

    I must say I’m not feeling overly confident about my chances in September. It will not surprise me if I will be taking it for a third time sometime in December.

    Good luck to all of those who are studying and congrats to those who recently passed. You are very fortunate to have this behind you. Hopefully I will soon be able to join the club. However, getting in is a royal pain!

    • Stephanie says:

      Yes Nick, it is definitely overwhelming!
      One thing I’d like to add is that we should go through the practice questions slowly (at least at the beginning, or in our weaker areas). Quality over quantity. The goal is not to get the answer correctly the first time, but to expect a wrong answer, then take the time to understand why it is wrong, and how to get it right the next time.

      • Nick says:

        Thank you for your advice, Stephanie.

        My suspicions were confirmed. I will be taking the exam for a third time in December. Wonder if others are experiencing my frustration in that the reading materials seem to do a fairly good at defining a concept or the meaning of a concept, but the exam focuses more on applying the concepts. That’s when I get tripped up. When taking the exam, at least two of the answers always seem correct. It just depends on factors that are not explained solely by defining the concept from the review material.

        Even though this is a very crude example, this demonstrates what I am referring to…

        In the reading material: Dark clouds in the sky usually means it will be raining soon.
        Question on the exam: The dark clouds in the sky are the result of: a) some change in atmospheric pressure; b) a sudden change in the forecast; c) the thickness or height of the cloud causes it to appear darker; d) the sun has gone down or has set.

        So in this example, I would automatically dismiss d) as being the correct answer. Regarding a), since I don’t know what the ramifications are when there is a change in atmospheric pressure, I don’t know if that answer is correct or wrong. Regarding b), a sudden change in the forecast may be true if the forecast was for a sunny day, but then again, if rain was forecasted, I would expect dark clouds in the sky. Lastly, regarding c), since in the reading materials, thickness or the height of clouds was never discussed, I wouldn’t know if either of those would be the result of dark clouds in the sky.

        This is why I feel the exam is pretty much a guessing game. If you’re a person who guesses well, you’ll pass. If not, you’ll fail. I’m not saying the entire exam is like this, but in my opinion, a lot of it is.

        I would be curious to know if others feel the same way I do about this exam.

        With that being said, I’m wondering if anyone has used or has knowledge about Lambers Part 3 Flash Trainer system. The system is $250 and I’m not sure it trying some other learning method would be helpful.

        I’ll be taking the exam again (for the third time) in December. Hopefully this time I pass it so that I’m finally done with all of this.

        Thank you.


        • Lauren W says:


          I COMPLETELY agree with you – you’re not the only one. I’ll be taking exam 3 for the third time as well. On top of what you pointed out above about the exam, I’m having the worst time dealing with testing anxiety – staring at the clock, getting extremely frustrated with the questions, and then barely finishing in the last second. I found that the questions I had on my second attempt at exam 3 were completely different (and harder) than the first time – topics and all. I feel like this exam is not only about good guessing and remaining calm through exam time but also what batch of questions you happen to get.

          I wish you the best of luck going forward! And please, feel free to share any tips on this that you may learn to help pass this darn thing already!!


          • Stephanie says:

            Hi Lauren and Nick,
            Lauren is spot on — it also depends which sets of questions you get from the CIA exam database… unfortunately that’s how things work in the computerized exams.

            I haven’t reviewed Lamber’s CIA package so I have no idea (didn’t hear good/bad from readers either). You may also consider Exammatrix’s question bank. I like how they feed you questions from the weaker areas. Good luck!

  • Thu Nguyen says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am preparing for CIA part 3. For part 1 and 2, I just used Gliem and it worked well. However, it seems for part 3 I will need extra material/sources. I have IIA books for part 3 (3 books) from 2013. Do you think these books are still relevant?

    Thanks and best regards,

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Nguyen, try downloading the supplementary materials mentioned above. They are free (for IIA members). If you read all the comments here, quite a few said these materials are helpful.

  • Jade says:

    Hi, I am scheduled to take Part 3 exam in two weeks and I am a little bit nervous about the Financial Management portion of the exam. I was wondering if there will be a lot of calculation type questions on the exam? If so, how can I better prepare for them? Please kindly give me some advice. Thank you! 🙂


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Jade, if you are using Gleim, they may be overpreparing you for this particular part (see my above comment, and the rest of the comments here). You do need to know the basics of the calculation but if it is too much to handle, skip the most complex ones. Traditionally they are tested at that level. Cheers, Stephanie

    • Thu Nguyen says:

      hi Jade,
      I am preparing for part 3 too. Please share with me your part 3 exam experiences and advice after you finish the exam. Good luck !

  • Nikki says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am thinking about purchasing additional questions for the CIA Part 3 and I already have Gleim can you tell me which one you recommend between Hock and Wiley, thanks!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Nikki, either one is good in my opinion… or did you check out the free supplementary materials we mentioned above? I know most are reference materials (vs practice questions) but see if those are enough for you. Regards, Stephanie

  • Rob says:

    Just wrote and passed part three on first try using Gleim. I agree that this was not the right study material and felt that I used my experience and public accounting background more than anything.

    • Nguyen says:

      Congratulation, Rob !!!
      I am preparing for part 3 and i am using Gleim too. If Gleim may not sufficient, can you share with us what other materials you used? And without disclosing detail of the exam, can you share what topics were tested heavily in your exam? I highly appreciate any advice from you.


      • Rob says:

        I felt that the Gleim consisted of too many lists where as the exam was more general in nature. Gleim doesn’t perhaps address much of the strategy and international business objectives so well. I also felt Gleim focuses too much on financial statements instead of thinking about impacts of financial transactions. I used this study material for exams 1 and 2 and they were fine as I passed after just reading the material once. I suppose my Gleim notes were three years old so maybe they’ve been adjusted. I have been a CA for quite a few years and lead a financial services internal audit team so have the advantage of technical and experience

      • Rob says:

        You should pass with Gleim if you understand the material. I’m always a fan of complimenting my
        Reading with some good old fashioned wikipedia

  • James says:

    Hello Stephanie and Art,

    Hope you are doing well.

    I took part 3 for the first time and failed with a score of 570. I received feedback of significant improvement in Financial mgmt, Risk mgmt and Org structure. Also moderate imp in all other areas. I agree with others there was what seemed a lot of CSR and iso 31000 questions which i did not have a full grip on. Couple questions:

    1. Overall, any advice on study strategy?
    2. In regards to CSR, what materials are recommended?

    Forgot to add i used gleim as my main reading material and IIA materials for quizzes and tests (i know the opposite has been suggested so that will be my focus this time). Suggestion: What would be helpful is a list of all the specific PA’s and GTAGs, these seem to be embedded in diiferent comments but its difficult to know if i captured them all in completeness for studying.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


    • Art Yip says:


      Sorry to hear. If you go through the entire IIA’s CIA Learning System study program, including their quizzes, and flash cards, then supplement with Gleim’s online practice questions, I think it will offset the trouble you had with Financial Mgmt, and Organization Structure. The IPPF Practice Advisories and Practice Guides will help you prep for the CSR and ISO 31000 questions. The list of specific PA and PGs from the IIA website are as follows:

      Under Implementation Guide/Practice Advisories:
      IG 2110 Governance
      2120-1 Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Processes

      Under Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guides:
      Assessing Organizational Governance in Private Sector
      Assessing Organizational Governance in Public Sector
      Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Using ISO 31000
      Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance
      Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development

      I felt IIA’s CIA Learning System teaches IT topics very well. If you study that section thoroughly including the diagrams in the book, that should be sufficient. I didn’t use any GTAGs. However, if you want to know, GTAG 1, 4 & 17 appears to be helpful.

      Part 3 is not easy, but with some smart and hard studying, it’s conquerable! All the best to you!


      • Stephanie says:

        Thanks Art! I will copy and paste the list to the main part of the post.

      • James says:

        Thank you very much Art, I appreciate the insight and guidance. I am going to apply those tips and hopefully pass :-).

        Have a good day.


        • James says:

          Hello all,

          I waited a while to ensure i studied effectively but finally I took Part 3 today and passed!

          I want to thank you Art for the detailed guidance on the practice guides and Stephanie for having such a great website where we are able to collaborate and share experiences with fellow auditors across the world! Thank you both!

          In regards to the exam, as others have said, read up on the practice guides. I used Gleim and IIA books but focused on Gleim MCQs. I also paid $50 to take the practice exam on IIA website which i found was somewhat helpful.

          Below are some topics tested:
          – IT Governance (components i.e., technical infrastructure, etc.)
          – Rapid Application development
          – ISO 31000 – Process Element process
          – ERM
          – CSR
          – Logical Access
          – Very very few calculations (one on EOQ)
          – GDP calculation components (exports and other components)
          – Globalization

          This is all i can recall, hope it helps.

          Good luck to you all!


          • Stephanie says:

            Hi James thanks for telling us about your great news, and for giving back to our community!
            Yes, the trend seems to be focusing on the same topic still. Good to know. All the best to you! Stephanie

  • MrRight says:

    I took part 3 very recently, and have my own suggestions/observations:

    -Past comments about not spending a significant amount of time on calculation questions while studying are in all honesty correct. The Gleim and IIA Learning System Materials have lengthy calculation questions which are not representative of the questions on the actual exam.
    -Buying the Gleim test bank was very helpful and not that expensive. Due to time constraints, I spent very little time reading the IIA Learning System materials so almost 90% of my studying was based on Gleim. I study better just doing as many multiple choice questions as I can, and I did hundreds. As you do the questions, Gleim will give you information about why the other parts are wrong which will help you learn the material.
    -A big part of the exam is improving your test taking competency/preparing psychologically. Do as many 100 question practice tests as you can as this will help you get used to the actual exam environment. Study sessions using Gleim are good for preparing, but if you’re too used to have immediate gratification after each question (i.e. knowing if you got it right or not) this will impact your experience on test day. Also, if you’re effective in taking multiple choice questions, this will go a long way. Most questions will contain something wrong in them, so if you can eliminate the incorrect answers, then you can narrow down your choices. Also, pay special attention to key words in the question like “select the LEAST likely, or MOST likely” as this is an easy way to get a question wrong without even trying.

  • Aleks says:


    Many thanks to everyone who shared their insgihts and experience!

    I am studying for Part 3 and this time I am using both IIA’s CIA Learning System and Gleim quesitons. I was wondering if this is enough or I still have to go through suggested Implementation Guide/Practice Advisories.

    Thank you and best of luck!

  • Steve says:

    Passed first time.

    Used gleim only. Didn’t really read outside of gleim other than gtag 1 and some generic stuff on iso 31000.

    The gleim stuff around finance scared me to death and I had to brush up on my accounting etc to feel comfortable. Other comments around this are quite accurate but my finance Knowledge is now solid so was worth it.

    The exam isn’t hard and it isn’t deep, it’s just diverse so you do need the base knowledge to get through it.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Steve, congrats! And thanks for validating the discussion above. It’s good to know the comments, advice etc are helpful.
      I especially like your point on the finance knowledge. Finance is everywhere and I totally agree to enhance one’s knowledge in that area. All the best!

  • Nikki says:

    I must say, reading through all the comments helped me out a lot. I passed part 3 on the first attempt, but I must admit I studied for a long time because I was nervous and overwhelmed due to so many chapters. I mainly used Gleim and the IIA recommended guides listed here. I also tried using Wiley, but I felt that it wasn’t sufficient or similar to Gleim or IIA questions. There were a lot of risk and CSR questions (so review ISO 3100 & CSR guide) and a few finance (not as difficult as Gleim) & IT questions.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Nikki, thanks so much for the sharing (and congrats on passing on your first try!)
      It’s great to have recent candidates validating our discussions 😉 All the best to you Nikki!

  • Margo says:

    I appreciated the comments in this discussion a lot and must say that they are all pretty reflective of the exam experience. I just passed Part 3, first attempt using only Gleim, for all 3 parts. The only guide outside of that that I read was the guidance on ISO 3100 which I will say is a must. The exam featured heavily IT, ISO 3100, governance and risk management, there were a few questions around inventories, EOQ, FX, the finance questions were fairly basic. Best of luck!

  • Aleksandar says:

    Hi everyone,

    A massive thank you for your invaluable feedback.

    I’m taking Part 3 this Saturday and I feel comfortable – also, a bit worried but not panicking.

    I’ve done what I can and let’s see what happens!

    I wish everyone the best of luck!

    • Stephanie says:

      Best of luck Aleksandar. Let us know how it goes!

      • Aleks says:

        I did not pass Part 3 yesterday.

        My score was 533 and I must say that questions were not that difficult – I actually thought I was going to make it.

        Apart from Financial Management, I found other questions to be doable, I was able to apply what I read / learnt from questions. I was surprised to see that I need significant improvement in Communication even though I recall having only one question in that area.

        After passing Part 2 in September, I immediately started the prep for Part 3 and I think two months of studying was not enough. Combining both IIA Learning System and Gleim proved to be challenging for me especially when I was revising – I struggled to centralize all information in one place.

        I should have given myself more time but wanted to take Part 3 as soon as possible as it would speed up my internal transfer to IA.

        CSR and ISO 31000 are tested at proficiency level – for CSR common sense can be applied but ISO 31000 needs to be understood perfectly.

        After a month I’ll start again with the prep, but to be honest I am not sure what to do – I went through questions in Gleim system so many times that if you wake me up in the middle of the night I would know the answer. I guess I should start with areas where I need significant improvement and then move to other areas.

        If you have any questions, just let me know.


        • Jennifer says:

          Hello Aleks,

          I am afraid to take the Part 3 examination this month. But would like to give it a try. Your advice means a lot to me. I really have to go through the practice guides and ISO 31000 concepts. It is true that we have to give enough time for the Part 3 review considering its scope and depth. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

          By the way I am retaker of Part 3. And honestly I was not able to review last time concepts about ISO 31000 and CSR.

          Good luck to all of us!


          • Aleks says:

            Hi Jenny,

            Fear won’t do you any good – it will just make you insecure and affect your performance.

            I understand that you’ve already taken the exam, so you know what to expect and you had time to work on your weak areas.

            Be confident about it and I’m sure you can make it!

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Aleks, that must be frustrating to say the least… but thanks so much for your sharing. It is very helpful.
          Yes, let’s work on those areas first. Probably try to slow down when working on each question, and make sure you understand it fully (instead of simply memorizing the answer) before moving on to the next.

  • Jun says:

    I just passed the CIA exam part 3 earlier today. I took parts 1 and 2 last October. I just want to thank you guys for all the tips and advice, you really helped me a lot during my preparation. As all the previous comments said, there were a lot of questions referring to the practice guides, especially Risk Management ISO 31000 and CSR. I was really surprised though that there were quite a number of questions about Global Business and Economics (0-10% per the official syllabus). You really should cover everything during your review even if it is only a small part of the syllabus.

  • La Donna says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I re-sat for Part III on Nov 28 and did not pass, my score was 576 and the only section stating I needed significant improvement was Communication, which I’d scored well on during the practice quizzes. There were only a few of these questions on the exam, which I thought I answered correctly.

    Previously I sat for the exam in June and scored a 527. That time I’d only used Gleim and had significant improvement needed for Risk Management, Communication, Management/Leadership and Financial Management. From this I did improve on the retake but was still 24 points away from passing.

    After I failed the exam in June I purchased the IIA’s Learning System and was using it plus Gleim to study this time but still didn’t pass. Also in June I didn’t know this website existed nor about the advice to read the ISO 31000 and CSR Practice Guides. In June I was very unprepared for all of the questions around these sections and know I missed most of them. I’ve since read them and felt much better prepared this time. I’ve also read several of the GTAG’s as there were a lot of IT related questions.

    For both exams the focus was on Governance, Risk Management, IT, ISO 31000 and Corp Social Responsibility (CSR). There were also several inventory, EOQ and FX questions. The finance questions were basic and there were only a few math problems to figure out, they were not as difficult as the Gleim study guide questions.

    I’ve now started to re-study again and will sit for it one more time in March.

    Wishing myself and everyone else the best of luck!
    La Donna

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi La Donna, thanks a lot for the sharing! There is much improvement 🙂 If there were only a few questions on communications, getting one question wrong could have thrown you to that category. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

      Just keep working on getting more questions correct in all sections and you will pass. Keep up with the good work!

  • Alina says:

    Hi everyone!
    I had an exam this afternoon. I failed with a score of 546, which I find pretty low 🙁 I have to improve significantly in Governance, Communication (although I think there was 1 question in this area), IT and Global business environment. In the remaining areas moderate improvement is needed. So basically for the next time I have to cover anyway all sections ad focus deeply on weak ones.

    Exam questions were pretty tricky and sometimes odd. I’ve read several Tags, ISO 31000 and CSR. Indeed these areas were tested heavily. There were only 2 or 3 calculations, not very difficult. Actually I expected more calculations and spend a lot of time on understanding accounting problems.

    I will take a month of break and will re-start to study for March trial. Since I was using Gleim materials, I feel familiar with all questions there. I am thinking to purchase exam matrix. What would you recommend my strategy for re-sit would be and which question bank is better?

    Thank you! And Good Luck to everyone!

    • Mike M. says:


      I’m very sorry to hear you did not pass this time, but I’m sure you will be fine next go around. I’ve been going through the same thing, so I can relate.

      Exam Matrix is very similar to Gleim, with the exception of a few new questions and I personally believe Gleim provides better details around the questions.

      How long did you study before sitting? Were you scoring 75-80% in each Study Unit before sitting? How do you feel like your time management was on the exam?

      • Alina says:

        Hi Mike,
        I started to study since last December as I went on maternity vacation. But my studies were not consistent, I couldn’t really focus (it is a bit hard to study with a small baby to be honest). I finished reading and practicing questions in September. And when I started to review I understood that don’t remember what I studied before. So 2 months before exam I was heavily reviewing. It was endless 🙁 on average I was scoring around 70%.

        During exam I was pretty ok with the time. I had 10 mins left to review flagged questions. During review I changed some of my previous answers.

        I’m having finance background and worked as an internal auditor for 6 years. It was complicated for me to understand and memorize numerous concepts in sections realated to management theory, IT and management accounting.

        Now I don’t know what strategy should I use since I have to improve in all sections. Should I read a book again? Run all questions from the bank? Focus on areas I feel weak?

        • Atef says:

          Hi Alina

          I heard that changing the answer for questions already answered is big mistake (I not sure of this). flagged or leave it to end. its acceptable practice.
          Any way. good luck in the next time.

          Hi Mike
          thank you for your input regarding Exam Matrix.

        • Mike M. says:


          If you were scoring in the low to mid 70% range, I would have advised you to hold off until you scored in the 85%-90% range.

          Contact you personal counselor at Gleim and have them reset your program. Once you do so, start all over and be cognizant of your weak areas. Also, if you get a question correct, click on the other answers as well to see why they would have been incorrect. (This will help eliminate memorization, and also allow you to understand the concepts better.)

          If you can, purchase the ‘Model Exam’ on the IIA website and review each question. Study the IPPF, as opposed to reading the IPPF, this is the most efficient and effective way to increase your score.

          Good luck, it’s easy to feel down after failing, but remember it’s a better feeling after coming back after defeat! You got this!

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Alina,
          Sorry to hear that… but glad you have a good plan in place! I wouldn’t read the book again. It will bore you to tears and likely not that helpful. I personally would work on the weakest areas first. Spend some time trying to understanding why you did wrong — is it a systematic error (i.e. fall for the same type of questions)? Or is it due to a couple of concepts? Work on one section at a time and you’ll be in much better shape. Work hard and stay strong! Stephanie

  • Mike M. says:

    I wanted to give a BIG thank you to everyone on this blog for all of the tips and inspiring comments. I finally passed part 3 of the CIA exam today after trying four times.

    The test can be a little tricky, but if you follow the suggestions on this forum, you will achieve satisfactory results.

    Best of luck to you all, and please do not give up!

  • Luke says:

    I passed all 3 parts (last one in November) and am wondering if the iia issues any kind of wall-hanger certificate? I’m proud of the accomplishment and want to showcase my qualifications. I have received nothing as of yet.


    • Art Yip says:


      They do. You have to complete an online request form on CCMS in the IIA website. Once you complete the info, they’ll send it to you for free. It’ll take about 4 weeks depending how far you are from their headquarters in Florida.

      Congrats on passing your exams and earning the CIA certificate. It is indeed something to be proud of!


  • Stephanie says:

    David, that’s awesome! And thanks so much for this detailed sharing and inspiration!
    I copy your comment and make it into a guest post, because I want to make sure people won’t miss it. It’s here:

    It will be included in the success story page and I will get it mentioned on Facebook as well. If you’d like to add your photo on the page, just email me at 🙂 Thanks again and all the best!

  • Sunit says:

    Hey All! First of all, thanks to everyone for their very helpful suggestions on passing the CIA, much appreciated. I passed Part 1 on my first try and failed Part 2 by few questions. I am currently studying for Part 3 because I did not want to wait 90 days to re-take Part 2. Anyways, I am using Gleim to study for the exam. I have made it through the reading and currently doing the questions in order to really grasp the concepts. I took the suggestions posted here and printed out the relevant IPPF practice guides. There’s so much information in there and it feels like everything is relevant when reading these guides. Does anyone have any suggestion as far as what’s ‘important’ when reading this additional papers? I realize this is a loaded question. I printed these additional papers from IIA’s site and it’s probably close to 200 pages or more…and having difficulty remembering everything. It just feels like I’m reading brand new materials, and just the overall topic is covered in Gleim. I have registered to take the exam but have not scheduled the exam date…just a bit scared because there’s so much materials. Thanks!

  • Suzana says:

    Congrats David!!! I have sat for part 3 three times so far but unsuccessful…. I read here people are saying to really study IIA prictice guides…I have read them and certain things they do reinforce what the book (IIA which I use) have…so my question is how to “really study” these practice guides? I’m trying to do something different this time in order to pass this last part. It’s so disappointing and discouraging to start all over once again. If anyone has any suggestions/tips it’s highly appreciated!

  • mirnie says:

    Hi all,
    I failed the CIA part 3 exam yesterday and took 588.
    I studied from Gleim and I was scoring 90% and above. I dedicated a of time studying and solving multiple questions. But Gleim is definitely not the right material for this exam. I found the exam challenging and I was surprised that I scored 588 not less.
    For next time, I am planning to read and cover the risk and IT practice guidances (My two weaknesses as per the exam’s result report). Below are the additional materials that I should cover as per the advice of one of the blogger above:
    a)Under Implementation Guide/Practice Advisories:
    IG 2110 Governance
    2120-1 Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Processes
    b)Under Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guides:
    Assessing Organizational Governance in Private Sector
    Assessing Organizational Governance in Public Sector
    Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Using ISO 31000
    Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance
    Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development
    c)For IT: GTAG 1, 4 & 17
    Do you suggest any supplementary material?
    and also do you recommend me to buy the Exammatrix multiple choices? Is it really helpful?
    Concerning the IIA practice exam, do they provide the solutions for it? Or I just need to solve the questions and they will score it accordingly?
    Thank you

  • Mohamad says:

    Hi all,

    At first I would like to thank everyone for their valuable input and help. Second, I passed the CIA part 3 exam from the first attempt after studying for approximately 8 weeks. I would say that studying ISO 31000 and CSR Practice guides was a must, however I think just studying and acquiring information just isn’t enough since the exam questions are more of tricky mind games. I recommend that people who are sitting for the exam should purely think as an auditor and use the information from the books as a basis for that thinking, and the key for each question is trying to understand the underlying purpose of it and that would make it a whole lot easier to pinpoint the correct answer. In addition, I found trying to finish early in order to perform a second review over the exam question very beneficial since I found several silly mistakes.
    good luck for all CIA candidates and I hope you pass the exam.


    • Lynnel says:

      Hello Mohamad,

      Congratulations on passing Part 3! I am already done with Parts 1 and 2 and currently studying for Part 3. I would like to know what specifically Practice Guides in CSR that is a must to study. Thank you in advance.

      • Mohamad says:

        Hi Lynnel,

        For CSR i studied the practice guide “Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development”, i think it may be enough but i strongly recommend that you understand rather than memorize because the questions of the exam are kind of twisted.
        Good luck, and i hope you pass.


    • Atef says:

      “I recommend that people who are sitting for the exam should purely think as an auditor and use the information from the books as a basis for that thinking”.

      I’m totally agree with you Mohammed.

    • N says:

      Thanks Mohamed and Congrats! Could you let me know which GTAG numbers should I study for part 3 ?

      Also, I read all comments for hours about part 3 in this website and I did not find anyone mention the importance of Organizational Structure/Business Processes and Risks as well as Management/Leadership Principles.. Could you advise if it is worth to waste time on ?

  • Abdullah says:

    Mohammad please let me know was Gliem enough along with additional material(Implementation Guide and Practice Guides).Or IIA CIA study material is also required.Thanks

    • Mohamad says:

      Hi Abdullah,

      I studied only from Gleim and the additional material, and it was enough. But i cant say whether the IIA material is must or not since i haven’t tried them.


  • Atef says:

    I just passed part 3 of the CIA exam – first attempt
    I not accountant or IT background , I was really surprised that I passed as i found the exam really challenging
    My advise to anyone who is studying this part to read and understand very well the practice guides related to Corporate governance and CSR, Risk management, IT governance.
    I think that The theory which state that other topics of part 3 are tested in awareness level isn’t correct of all times . its require depth understanding of the concepts.

    i want to say to anyone who is failed to pass, please don’t give up.
    Finally,I want to say thanks to everyone put his advise in this valuable website,
    Special thanks to Stephanie and Art Yip.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Atef, found the comment that I missed! 😉

      Thanks a lot for your note and the tips (esp on the note on awareness level not necessary correct). It is especially helpful for those who are not the “conventional” candidate with accounting background. It is meant to be a tough exam but you can all do it!

      All the best Atef! Stephanie

  • Annette says:

    Hi All.

    Please help me out. I set my date again for 6 Feb – Part 3 attempt 6 🙁 .

    I am busy reviewing using Gleim (also have the IIA books). I noticed that I immensely struggle with the following chapters with every review and I would like some tips how I can tackle them best, or other guidance/websites I can refer to please.

    Unit 6 – Structural Analysis within an industry (all)
    Unit 7 – Industry Evolution and environments (all)
    Unit 19 – Global Business Environments (subunit 1 and 2)
    Unit 20 – Legal, Economic and Regulatory Issues (subunit 3 – 5)

    As you can see the pattern is the topics on global environments and industries. I sense this is more complicated for me, since I live and work (audit experience) in such a small market environment in our under-developed country Namibia. I have the feeling these chapters are written more in the US terms.

    Please help me pass this last try before my passed Part 1 and 2 expire – 1 try left for me! Thank you.

    • Art Yip says:

      Hi Annette,

      I’ve always felt that the IIA’s CIA Learning System explains concepts slightly better than Gleim, especially for Part 3. You might want to try studying:

      IIA’s Section V Management/Leadership (Chapter A) Strategic Management
      Section VIII Global Business Environ (Chapters A-C)

      If you have IIA’s software, go through the flash cards in those sections. That will help the concepts to sink in. I know those sections can get confusing. However, I still recommend to focus heavily on Risk Management, Governance including CSR, and IT. Those 3 sections will cover about half the exam! Also, try to think back on where you may have made mistakes in your previous exams, and learn from them. Even if the next exam is different, you can still apply the concepts.

      I admire your perseverance! Believe that you can overcome it, and you will! All the best to you!


      • Annette says:

        Hi Art,

        Thanks for the help! Yes my focus is on the first 2 and IT chapters as mentioned, but I feel that I need to understand the others as well as I had in my last attempt about 6 questions on industries, and a few market related questions.

        Unfortunatly no longer access to the online IIA Learning System, but have the flash cards printed.

        How I wish sometimes that the IIA could give a bit more information of where one went wrong, instead of that very short grade report that changes with every try (i.e. brilliant in one section the one try, next try that section all bad). I would really like to know where specifically I go wrong each time…

      • Mohamed Mostafa says:

        What exactly to use for CSR preparation?

      • Diane says:

        Hello Art,

        Thanks for all your helpful comments! Quick question, you mentionned to study part V- Management and leadership from IIA but nobody really talk about the importance of this section . It is supposed to weight 10-20% so as much as section 2- Risk management. Can you comment on this? What was it like in the exam?Many thanks in advance 🙂

  • Thandiswa says:

    Good day All

    I trust that you’re all doing well.

    I am also struggling with Study Units 6 – 8; then 19 & 20. May someone please advise on the best approach for these, I am currently using gleam and aiming to write towards the end of February for the third time.

    Atef, let me first congratulate you o your achievement, CIA is a big deal. May you please share how much questions relating to the above mentioned topics appeared in your exam and at what level?


  • tramabele says:

    Hi everyone

    For Risk Management in part 3, is PG Coordinating Risk Management necessary if have read ISO 31000 and relevant Practice Advisories? I feel like the Practice Advisories are enough even I am yet to attempt the exam. Thanks in advance

  • Daniel K. says:

    I read previously on here the recommendation to read the GTAG guides and was wondering if there are any particular GTAGs to focus on i.e., IT Governance, Auditing Application Controls, Auditing User developed applications, etc.?

    I did not pass the exam in late Nov. of last year and recall a good portion being IT-related and Gleim I feel is not sufficient in this area. I also can’t seem to remember what exactly the IT focused on but I believe governance was one of the key areas.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Isabela says:

    Hi All,

    I m studying for Part 3, have reviewed the Gleim book and am now focusing on the practice tests. I m having a hard time “memorizing” Inventory Management control systems (ABC System, EOQ,JIT). There are a lot of details to it and I am wondering if it is worth spending time with this. Have you seen a lot of questions on this topic? I m averaging 60% score and have spent a lot of time on it already. I appreciate your insite.



  • Lauren says:

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to say I finally passed part 3 on my third attempt. For anyone having trouble passing especially if you have bad testing anxiety like myself, i highly suggest going into the exam and approaching each question as if you’re the auditor and your boss is asking you the question – what would you as the internal auditor chose to do given the four possible answers. Basically, think like an auditor and not so much what’s right given all the details of your study materials because odds are there will be more then one “right” answer but if you use what youve learned studying to think about what answer is the more “appropriate” you’ll be able to identify the correct answer much easier.

    Good luck to everyone!!


    • Art Yip says:


      Congratulations on passing Part 3! That is a huge accomplishment! Your perseverance paid off!

      Sounds like you were able to apply the concepts you’ve learned to the questions being asked and that helped you!


    • Stephanie says:

      Awesome news Lauren! I am so glad to hear you are done. Thanks for dropping us a note and offering your wisdom. All the best! Stephanie

  • Thandi says:

    Hi Lauren

    Congratulations of your achievement.

    May I ask in terms of the exam questions that came, which topics would you say are key?

    I am preparing to write end of February and I must pass this time.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Annette says:

    I am soooo happy! After many failure I have finally passed my Part 3 yesterday!!! This was my last chance before expiry date. Having passed all Parts now I am so happy to become certified and the doors that will open for me now.

    I thank this community for the support and tips.

    For those that are still to write Part 3 here some tips on the questions I was asked yesterday (might be different for you though!)

    – 15 IT related questions (application controls, Disaster Recovery, change management, outsourced services)
    – 7 CSR questions
    – 8 Risk Management
    – 5 Inventory related questions
    – 3 CVP questions
    – a few Bargain Power of suppliers/buyers questions
    – a few IA Strategic Plan

    Nothing on:
    – financial ratios (or any calculations apart for a very simple CVP and Economic Order Quantity)
    – can’t recall anything on Organisational Behaviour, Communication, Legal, Economic and Regulatory.

    And 1 or two questions on the remainder topics.

    I also want to thank Lauren for her advise on approaching the questions as if my boss would have asked me – on certain questions that I was not sure I asked myself that and selected the answer I would have told my boss.

    Last note: I have tried MANY times (in fact this was lucky number 7! – I know crazy!). Please don’t give up, it is possible – just persevere!


    • Lynnel says:

      I’m so happy for you Annette! Congratulations! You’ve earned it. I admire your perseverance, and you inspire me a lot. ?

      • Annette says:

        Thank you Lynnel. I am sure that with your study strategy you will manage it on your first try.

        Like my colleague said – I should have gotten 120% for perserverance – lol.

    • Stephanie says:

      Yay!!! FINALLY!
      So this is your 7th time? I thought it was the 6th, losing count 😉
      Thanks for sharing this great news. Your experience is by far the most inspirational! I’ll keep referring people to your blog posts I am sure.
      Now go and enjoy yourself for a few days. You totally deserve it. Cheers, Stephanie

      • Annette says:

        Haha I am loosing count too!!!

        Had to go back and find the score reports. I actually found 5 on the 3 Part system. But I can slightly recall that I also wrote the old Part 3 (when it was 4 Part system) just before it changed over since I already paid for it – though I was not prepared. So it is 6/7th time? But like my colleagues tell me now – no one will ask me in future how many times I tried to get the CIA 🙂

        It has been a rocky road – but I am so happy that I managed to get it just 6 days short of my 5 year expiry date (4 + extension!)

    • Art Yip says:

      Congratulations Annette, for passing Part 3 and getting certified! That’s a huge accomplishment, and definitely a game changer! Your perseverance and hard work paid off!


      • Annette says:

        Thank you Art. I must say this community gave me the last push to try it one more time. Knowing that so many more people all over the world followed my story (well, the handful of post…) I had to make sure I pass 😉

        • Nico says:

          Congratulations Annette!!! I’ll be sitting for part 3 in 2 weeks and I am struggling with the accounting part (mentioned in a post below) but also with Unit 6 – Structural Analysis within an industry and Unit 7 – Industry Evolution and environments to some extent.

          I saw that you had also some hard time with these topics and was wondering whether the GLEIM questions do reflect the type of questions asked during the exams you sat for?

          Many thanks upfront for your input!

  • Yuliya says:

    Hi Everybody! Please accept me to your community))

    I passed 1 and 2 exams and failed 3 exam last year. My score was 659 if I remember correctly…

    I make notes for every chapter from IIA learning system, read them many times. I’ve also downloaded GTAG’s 1,4,17 to study them.

    I’m using IIA Learning System books and test bank (there arent too many questions unfortunately)

    Gleim Test bank and Wiley Test Bank.

    My experience from taking exam 3 has showed that Gleim alone was not enough. Questions were very different and Gleim did not cover much in details ISO 31000 and IT I think.

    I am not sure that Wiley test bank represents good questions either as many of them seem to be off the topics…

    I have a 2 months old and cannot study more than 2 hours a day…

    I need help in selecting a test bank that will help me to prepare for the exam the best.

    Thanks a lot in advance!


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Yuliya, it’s delightful to have the little one around, but I am sure it’s really hard for you to concentrating in the studying. I have to stay Gleim, despite all the limitations, still has the better set of practice questions for Part 3. Exammatrix has a great delivery platform but the questions/answers are not as good. You can still take a look:

      Regards, Stephanie

  • Ashish says:

    Hi I appreared for CIA part 3 and I cleared the same in first attempt.The key to success to crack part 3 is to grasp the concepts thoroughly and solve as many questions as possible.I solved all the question from Wiley’s question Bank plus exam matrix. The questions are tricky but one need to read them carefully along with the choices. I followed the exclusion method before deciding on the final solution.I studied Wiley’s only and focused on question Bank.

  • Nico says:

    Hello everybody! I passed parts 1 & 2 on first attempt using exclusively Gleim material (book and MC). I am about to take the part 3 exam by the end of the month. I read multiple times in the comments that Gleim might not be sufficient with regard to CSR and ISO 31 000. For CSR, I downloaded the practice guide from IIA (Evaluating CSR). What would you recommend for ISO 31 000?

    Also, being a mere IT auditor, the Finance aspect scares me a little bit. Managerial accounting is now ok. I was wondering whether accounting (basic and advanced concepts) as well as Finance were heavily targeted during the exam?

    Many thanks to everybody for the great input!

    • Yuliya says:

      I took and failed exam 3 last year. There were a couple of questions from Accounting and those questions were basics. ISO 31000 was heavily tested with about 10-15 questions on it.

      I’m planning to sit again early May but I already started studying since I can study only 1-2 hours a day only because I have a 2 months old daughter.

      From IIA I downloaded Assessing the Adequacy of RM using ISO 31000 not sure if it is enough though. If you want, I can email you what I downloaded.

      • Nico says:

        Thanks for your input!!

        Based on your experience, did you get more questions on accounting (1 and 2) or Finance (e.g. derivatives, etc.)?

        I am scared about the mere accounting topics…

        Thanks beforehand for your help!

        • Yuliya says:

          I don’t remember any of the Finance questions on the exam. There were a few Accounting but not difficult at all. No crazy formula memorizing is needed I think.

      • Stephanie says:

        Hi Yuliya, thanks for the answerand offer! If you could email the ISO 31000 info to me at I can email to Nico and others who need it. This way no one needs to release their emails in public domain.

        • Yuliya says:


          I just emailed you the ISO 31000, CSR, and IT GTAGS IPPP I had.

          Do you think it is enough to study only those in addition to IIA System Learning books?


          • Stephanie says:

            Yes Yuliya, thank you!!
            I think it’s enough as long as you go through the questions properly (e.g. not rushing through for the sake of completing them, you know). You may chat with Lynnel on this as well — she is currently studying on her Part 3. Cheers, Stephanie

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Nico, Lynnel mentioned that she also downloaded the ISO 31000 materials from IIA in her blog somewhere:

      Guess it’s the way to go.

      On the accounting/finance questions, the majority of readers share that it is a lot less overwhleming that what Gleim covers in their course. If you understand the basic rules and calculations, you should be fine. I wouldn’t worry too much on this.

  • Aduke says:

    Hi Team,

    Good job done by all the contributors.

    I have successfully passed Parts 1 and 2 (both on the first attempt) using Exammmatrix materials.

    I failed part 3 on my first attempt and would like to take Part 3 again. I want to try the GLEIM study materials this time based on the advice on this website.

    QUESTION – Is it possible to get the GLEIM study material and PRACTICE QUESTIONs for PART 3 ONLY?

    Please paste a link to the website where i can purchase.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  • Svitlana says:

    I just passed part 3 from the first attempt. I wanted to thank everybody (especially Stephanie) for sharing the tips/suggestions/experiences. This def helped me. I used GLEIM as my primary study materials for all 3 parts. I purchased the 50 questions practice test from IIA 5 days before the exam and failed miserably: 5 of 8 areas needed improvements. The last 4 days before the exam, I read ISO31000 twice to ensure I remember the key concepts, GTAG and COBIT guidance as well as IT section of the old IIA materials I borrowed from someone. IT piece was huge as well as compliance. Accounting and Finance were not significant. I had 3-5 questions that involved simple calculations. Bottom line: concentrate on Governance, ERM, CSR and IT if you want to pass part 3.

    • Stephanie says:

      Svitlana, congrats and I am really happy that you passed Part 3! Thanks for your sharing and confirmation that those topic areas are heavily tested. All the best!

    • Omar says:

      Congrats Dear on the great great news,

      can you please tell us what material you were studying from, and what testing software and questions you were practicing through

      Many thanks

  • Mohamed Mostafa says:

    Can anybody who passed say how did you prepare for CSR and what did you read. and for iso 31000, did you study the standard from iso or the iia document for erm. Can you please share specifics.

  • Yasin says:

    Hi everyone, ım a cia candidate like you from Turkey 🙂

    ı passed part 1 and part 2 but part 3 is really trouble for me, ı have just failed a few days ago and it was fourth attempt 🙁

    and ı agree my friends. CSR, ISO 31000, IT, simple financial formula, risk management, audit maturity model were most significant subjects for this part.
    ım preparing again and ı guess ı will take again on may.anybody can send me the documents of CSR, ISO 31000 or other usefulls? my email is

    ım glad to join you.

  • Isa says:

    Hi guys,

    I took the test today and did not pass, scored 570. These are topics that prevailed on my test

    ISO 3100 maturity approach questions
    Bargain power of suppliers
    Contribution margin
    Cost of good sold
    IT ( change and application controls), DRBCP
    CSR auditing by ellement approach
    Role of chief risk officer


    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for sharing Isbela. Hey, take a break and try again ok? You will pass 🙂 Stephanie

    • Yasin says:

      Hi Isabella, dont worry part 3 is a diffucult part for it has a lot of subject.
      my scores were 590 and 588 last two attempt. can u imagine? for almost 1-2 wrong answer ı have to work again 🙁

      ı hope we wıll do it together and other friends. we must share a lot of information for us.

      take care.

  • Saky says:

    Good day All

    Stephanie please also share with me?

    I have recently wrote part 3 for the 3rd time and I got 72%, my weakest area are always the same, Management and Leadership principles and Organisational Structure / Business process and risks.

    I’m familiar with Governance – CSR approaches (elements and maturity) but I struggle to choose given options in a practical scenario.

    I’m using Gleim review pack and have downloaded Arts recommended practice guides for IT, Risk and Governance.

    Please help me, I need to pass on my 4th attempt.


  • Isa says:

    Thanks Stephanie and Yasin!

    Yasin, definitely, the key is to stay motivated doesn’t matter how many times it takes, right!? We will pass it, let’s keep studying!


  • Nico says:

    Hello everybody

    I just sat for the exam and passed on first attempt. Many thanks for all of you who contributed to my success by sharing experiences.

    I can only confirm what has already been shared on the importance of ISO 31000, CSR audit objectives, IT controls (outsourcing being asked a couple of times), declining and emerging industries.
    For sure I over-studied on the finance part as I only got very little number of questions on that. Nonetheless, I is useful for the future anyway.

    All the best for the exam!

    • Lynnel says:

      Congrats Nico! Thanks for sharing your experience. How about the IT part? Is it heavily tested? Thanks.

      • Nico says:

        Thanks Lynnel! I had around 15 IT questions

        • Abdullah says:

          Congrats Nico.
          Please guide.I am confused how much to put efforts on Management / Leadership Principles Topics.In gliem there are 5 chapters covering the topic.How many questions i should expect and reading it once is OK?

          • mmajstor says:

            IMO reading it once is not enough. You should read it at least twice, and third time in your head to connect basic concepts with appropriate names of those concepts. I think that most of the questions comes from the most difficult chapter A – strategic management, and they like to mix issues explained in this chapter with last topic VIII – Global business environment, chapters A and B, since they are interlated in some way.

    • Stephanie says:

      Awesome news Nico! So glad to hear good news from readers and especially how the comments on this page is helpful. Thanks for the confirmation too! Stephanie

    • abayomi says:

      Hi Nico Congratulations again for passing your part 3 CIA. however late my congratulatory msg is coming. People like you inspire us to forge hard! I am a little curious on something though. I would like to know the time lag it took for you to prepare for CIA part 3 exam.


  • Tan says:

    Hi all,

    This blog is useful. Am preparing for the CIA -level3 too.
    Is it ok if any angels could send me the extra materials? My email is laserbolt[@]


  • Matt J says:

    Part 3 question. Does the exam cover any of the Managerial Accounting that is presented in Gleim?

  • Nemesio says:

    Hi guys, I sat for part 3 and got unofficial pass result. However up to today i have not received the official result in my email. Is this normal?

    • Nemesio says:

      I sat for the exam 3 weeks ago

    • Annette says:

      Hi Nemesio

      I received my official email the same day (did it end up in your spam folder – or did you provide another email address?). Also go check you status on CCMS and if it does not indicate as passed/completed create a new incident.

  • Yuliya says:

    Guys who already passed the exam, how deeply is the section 5 Management/Leadership Principles is tested? I’m having difficulties with this part.


    • mmajstor says:

      I didn`t pass the exam, but tried twice, and I already wrote my experience for section 5, in the post above. I also think that the most difficult questions are from that part.

    • George says:

      It is tested on an incredibly deep level. I have failed part three three times now mainly because of that section. Always “need significant improvement in this area”. Gleim/Wiley/whatever doesn’t really help for this section. Don’t really know which direction to point you in for that section, as I am searching for basically the same thing.

  • Robert says:

    Hello All.

    I passed all three parts of the CIA exam on the first sitting. Unofficial result for part 3 today is a pass!!!!!

    I just wanted to reiterate what has been said about part 3. It is definitely the hardest. Also if you are using Gleim, do not wory about the calculation problems. I had two simple ones and that was it.

    Also Gleim was not sufficient in regards to CSR and ISO 31000. I would suggest using outside sources. A large majority of the test was these two topics.

    • Lynnel says:

      Congrats Robert! How about IT and Mgt.and Leadership principles? how was it tested? Thanks

      • Robert says:

        These were tested on the test two. However the questions were like my Gleim review and I felt comfortable with them.

    • Stephanie says:

      Congrats Robert! Feeling awesome right?
      Thanks for confirming the observations on the calculations, CSR and ISO 31000. Good to know our suggestions are up to date 🙂

      • Dan K. says:

        I can confirm that Gleim was not sufficient the first go around for me when I took part 3 in Nov. 2016. Gleim did send out a new textbook (2017) addition and I noticed they expanded the CSR section and actually added a section on Risk Management using ISO13000. They are still pretty vague and I recommend reading the practice guides associated with both CSR and ISO13000. Also, I can confirm that the calculations were very basic and there weren’t very many. A good chunk of the test was CSR and ISO13000 as opposed to alot of accounting. I’m planning on taking part 3 again in early May and will report back as much as I am allowed.

  • Rachel says:

    I sat for part three for 3 times already and I scored 594 (November 2015) on my first attempt, 582 (June 2016) , and 588 (January 2017). I have studied using Gleim for the three attempts and I have studied the IIA materials suggested on this website. The most difficult part of the material I find is “Global Business Environment” and “Global analytical techniques”. I am considering purchasing the IIA learning system, Do you think that it would be helpful? Is there enough questions for practice?I really do not know what to change in my studying in order to pass.


  • Katie says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for your previous responses to questions asked.

    I am studying to take CIA part 3 for the second time and need to get the IIA resources that everyone that passed has recommended.
    There are so many resources on the website and i would like to know which ones i should focus on and where exactly i can find them on the website.

    There is a section called ‘Standards and Guidance’ Should I focus on Mandatory guidance OR Recommended guidance?
    Also where can i find the list of papers for ISO 3100 and CSR?

    I just need the names of the specific papers that need to be downloaded from the website (just the papers relevant for Part 3) if you can please please please help.

    Also VERY BIG THANKS to all who have passed and shared their experiences. I shall ensure that i share my experience when I pass as well.

    Thank you.

    • Lynnel says:

      Hi Katie,

      I’m also preparing for Part 3.

      Here are the following guides that you need for part 3 under recommended guidance-supplemental guides: (recommended by Art Yip and other candidates)

      PG-Assessing Organizational Governance – Public Sector
      PG-Assessing Organizational Governance – Private Sector
      PG-Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance
      PG-Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility
      ISO 31000

      Practice Advisories

      PA 2110-1 to PA 2120-2


      GTAG 1
      GTAG 4
      GTAG 17

  • TJ says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is TJ. I have luckily passed part 3 (2nd attempt) today, which marked my completion of the exam, so I thought I could make a little contribution here for those who struggle with Part 3… It may not fits for everyone but just some of my sharing along the way of preparation!

    Course materials used: IIA’s CIA Learning System (3-parts)

    • Use of Index:
    I have read through the index at the back of the learning pack during the last 2 weeks prior to examination. It took sometime of course, to read through A-Z, but when reading through it and whenever the word looked unfamiliar, I went back the pages and quickly checked the definition.

    • Section I to Section IV – Reading additional materials
    > Practice guides: It was essential, particularly those related to ISO31000.
    > Internal Auditor Magazine: some of the concepts are explained; more understanding about the viewpoint on certain topics. It served as supplementary materials as well!

    • Section VI – Make own notes so that you could use the notes comfortably when revision.
    The main reason for making notes on this section was that the materials form learning pack were quite wordy and I could not figure out how I shall properly start with ;( … so I found a way that fit in the content so everything makes sense at least to myself, which was very general, based on:
    > General definition/ facts – Details/ detailed description– Examples – Associated risks – Risk response

    • Section V (and Section III) – Get a comparison summary for those definitionsss :/. I found this was very useful when revisiting the concepts. In addition, I studied and revised Section III and V together so that again I can make the concepts fits from organization’s point of view.

    • Section VII – Since I was graduated with bachelor degree of accounting and finance and worked as external auditors for some years, I did not spend much time on the materials. But I noticed that there were more questions (at least more than I have expected) on this section in my 2nd attempt (very few calculation, but mostly conceptual type of questions).

    Sorry for giving such a long comment! Hope this helps a bit~!

    • Lynnel says:

      Congratulations TJ! It’s really helpful, I just want to ask what do you think we should focus more on Organizational Structure, Mgt Leadership as well as Financial Management? Thank you.

      • TJ says:

        Sorry for late reply.
        – Organizational structure: Definitions, pros and cons of each structure and respective implication on risks;

        – Mgt leadership: Definitions, correlate with motivational theories

        – Financial Management: Managerial Accounting, especially cost behaviors and cost allocation methods – Conceptual questions which I encountered in the exam were related to these.

        Hope you find the above useful!

    • Stephanie says:

      That’s for this very detailed comment TJ! I am sure it is helpful to many of my readers 🙂 All the best to you, Stephanie

  • mmajstor says:

    Hello to all,

    I finally passed part 3 in 3rd attempt. It was not easy but the battle is finally over.
    I used IIA Learning System material (books and practice questions), Gleim (just practice questions), Exam Matrix, and peaked a little bit to Wiley`s practice questions and books, and read some of IPPF literature. But relax, you don`t need all of this to pass. IMO, the best time/effect relation in order to increase your chances to pass, would be IIA Learning System + one additional material with practice questions.

    For learning the theory for the exam, I like the concept written in IIA Learning Material hard copy books. I also like how Gleim has organized video lectures and presentations (try the demo), and If you more prefer this concept of learning, and not old school learning from hard copy books, maybe you should try it with Gleim. But when I was reviewing their questions (more than 2000), and than compared them with exam, I felt that they actually cover more stuff than it is actually need (especially for the financial part – exam questions are more simplified). Wiley`s book I don`t recommend to use, it is not really user friendly.

    But reading the concepts from the material is not enough to pass. The more important thing is to practice. If I can divide time how much should be reserved for both things, I would say 35% of time to read the materials and 65% for practicing the questions. This is because most of the questions on the exam are more tricky than those in your learning materials and you really need to review a bunch of it to start “feeling” of them. My sense is that Wiley questions (although I just peek on them) most resemble those used on the actual exam, with their “trickiness”. They also have a really large database like Gleim, and probably some irrelevant parts. Those on IIA are also helpful but insufficient if you use them without some other additional practice. Exam Matrix questions are not bad, but they are also insufficient.
    At the end – mental and emotional preparation for the exam is very important.

    I could underline what topics were mostly covered in my 3 time attempts, but I think it would be to much for one post 🙂

    Good luck to you all

    • Jamea says:

      Congrats! Please share what topics are covered from your experience

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks so much for sharing the great news mmajstor!
      You are spot on regarding the practice questions — I wish Gleim could have done better… their review materials are great, would have been perfect if they improve the questions a bit. Agree with you on Exammatrix as well. For Wiley, I’ve got to take a closer look at their questions now that you find them possibly closer to the actual exam 😉 Thanks again for all the tips! Stephanie

    • Rita says:


      So i have IIA leaning system and Gleim but i used both and failed twice… Do you think that Exammaatrix will help me ? would it be worth buying?

    • Samriti says:

      Hi Mmajstor,

      Congratulations for passing the Part 3 exam. Can you share the topics which were tested upon in your latest session?

      Your response would be highly appreciated.


  • Zamig says:

    Hi everyone. I’m preparing for part 3 and using GLEIM review system. There are few mathematical questions about Linear programming in Gleim test prep. Is it worth to spend much time to learn mathematical side of Linear programming or just to have conceptual information about how to apply this concept? Thanks in advance.

    • Yuri Quadros says:

      Hi Zamig.

      I have passed parts 1 and 2 using Gleim exclusively and after feeling the exam I decided not to spend too much time with calculations.

      My exam is schedule to April 22 and I’m setting as priority getting an understanding of the main concepts and being comfortable in how to apply them in the questions. Can’t tell you yet if my strategy pays off. I might be wrong but I think the exam is based on 3 main pillars, Governance, Risk Management and Information Technology.

    • mmajstor says:

      You don’t need the mathematical side, just learn the basic concepts, and you need insight in which situations is suitable to use linear programming, and in which is not.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Zamig, as mentioned above, I wouldn’t worry too much about the complex computational questions. You can stick with the most standard ones.

  • Melanie says:


    I received my official report yesterday that I passed part 2 (I already passed part 1 in December 2016) and now I am trying to find out which provider to use to get prepared for part 3.
    For part 1 and 2 I used only Gleim (on English – I also take the exams on English), for part 1 the normal package (questions, book, online) and for part 2 the premium package. The premium package from Gleim is really nice and I can recommend it. My personal counselor helped me to stay focused, when I got crazy 🙂 and he answered my questions really fast via e-mail. In my last week before the exam for part 2 I got unsure if I am prepared enough and I bought the Wiley exam questions and they are, from my point of view, just not helping – one question was also wrong (stated that for an external assessment its 3 instead of 5 years – I wrote Wiley an email about that issue and they answered, yes, sorry, wrong answer -since then I just don’t trust them anymore, sorry).
    For part 3, I don’t know, should I buy Gleim or the IIAs Learning System? I read all the comments on this webpage, pros & cons, but I am still not sure. I will definitely go through all recommended PA, PG etc as well, for sure 🙂
    Furthermore, if I would like to buy the IIAs Learning package the shipping fee from US to Germany would cost me around 90-100 USD alone. That’s a lot!
    I really liked how Gleim is structured and the bite size sections, but I read a lot that the IIAs Learning system offers a better understanding of the concepts. Maybe its worth to try it this time with IIA.


    • Lynnel says:

      Hi Melanie, Congrats for passing part 1 and 2! I am also preparing for Part 3, using Gleim. Gleim has a good test bank, but others found that Gleim is insufficient in terms of Governance and IT. Also, thanks for telling us about Wiley since I am also thinking for purchasing it . Good luck!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Melanie, thanks for your really detailed note on your Gleim experience so far. And on Wiley’s… LoL, sorry that Wiley didn’t really work out I find it funny how you describe it. Yeah, I guess that’s why Wiley isn’t on my recommended list for CIA exam, for now at least.

      On Part 3 materials, yes, it’s a tough call. There are more coverage on CSR, ISO31000 etc in Gleim’s 2017 edition, but it is nicer to have the IIA materials on the side if you ever need to look up for detailed explanation. At the same time, it would be a shame if you take the IIA and miss the Gleim question bank…

      I would say, why don’t you get Gleim first since you have been liking it and also that you are familiar with how it works. Make sure you also download the freebies from the IIA website. Then, see how it goes. Can decide whether to get the IIA materials as you progress. Would this work? Stephanie

      • Melanie says:

        Hy Stephanie,

        I also was thinking a) either get the IIA Learning System plus the Gleim test bank, or b) get the Gleim premium system and if it seems that this is not sufficient enough, purchase the IIA Learning System as fallback.
        Of course alsways plus the recommended PA, PGs, GTAGs etc.
        I would rather prefer to invest more (time, effort & money) and pass at my first attempt than try twice 😉


        • mmajstor says:

          If you choose option a), I can give you my personal notes in which I wrote everything I noticed in Gleim test bank, which is not explained in IIA learning material – books.

          I think that in part3, you increase your chance to pass only with increasing the number of test questions you review. Of course there is also luck as important factor.

          • Thandi says:

            Hi mmjastor

            Is it possible to share your notes with me as well.

            I am scheduled to retake the exam on 3 June and don’t have enough time as I am having a 2 months old baby.


          • mmajstor says:

            yes of course, just leave your e-mail

            Update: Mmajstor and I discussed on this and we concluded that the notes could include too many copyrighted materials, so I am afraid I cannot help facilitate the sharing on my site. Mmajstor’s generosity is much appreciated. Thanks for your understanding.

          • James says:

            Please share your notes with me as well, appreciate it.


          • Matt J says:

            Me too! Thanks so much!

          • Yuliya says:

            Is it possible to share with me your notes? I failed part 3 last year. In December I had a baby, started studying again and I’m scheduled for April 27th. I just took the practice exam out of IIA and failed it. I studied a lot but I do not feel like I’m prepared for the exam((((( sigh((((((

          • Stephanie says:

            Sorry Yuliya, I mentioned above that mmajstor and I concluded that his notes involve some direct copy and pasting of Gleim materials so I don’t think it can be just shared like that.

    • Yuri Quadros says:


      I have passed 1 and 2 recently and must confess part 3 is way more complicate. It has so many topics that you get easily confused. I guess IAA still needs to review the applicability of some subjects in the exam. Governance, Risk Management, IT makes sense to me however when you face questions related to theory of lines you wonder why they make it so complicate.

      I’m using Glein exclusively and my exam is scheduled to April 22. If I don’t pass I will try another resources. For the time being I’m stick with Glein method. It worked for 1 and 2 and lets see what happens for part 3

      • Lisa says:

        Hi Melanie,

        I am currently studying for Part 2.

        Could you kindly share your study strategy for Part 2.

        Are there any additional material you used (e.g. IIA practice guides etc.)?

        Are there any areas you think more attention should be paid to (i know each exam is different – jus need any pointers)?

        Was the practice advisory helpfull in your studies/a lot of questions came from it?

        Thanks for any assistance or pointers you can give.

        • Melanie says:

          Hey Lisa,

          for my preparation for part 2 I used the Gleim premium system. That was quite helpful, especially the online videos (overall 1 h of video material for each section – appr. 7 h overall). I watched them in the morning at breakfast or in the evening on my iPad in the bathroom. I listened to the audio files on my way to work by foot. On top of the Gleim premium system I used only the standards. Gleim is offering a syllabus with reference notes to the standards and I marked the standards that I had to read and read them really carefully. I finished the offered questions from the test bank over and over again, until I reach around 80% to 100% (ok, I had two topics – lets say – we were not best friends 😀 ) Doesn’t matter, as long as you stick to it – don’t give up!

          But I also have to say, that I have an educational training as a bank clerk, a bachelor in business administration with a focus on banks and a master of science in financial management and accounting with a focus on (internal) auditing. It always depends on your background and how easy/hard some topics are for you.

          There will always be questions that you just don’t know the answer, no matter how much you learned – happens, is ok, just try to think logical – what sounds right – what sounds totally weird – try an educated guessing. Don’t give up 🙂


      • Melanie says:

        Hey Yuri Quadros,

        I wish you good luck! Fingers crossed for the 22. April!

        It would be nice if you would let us know how it went and if you would recommend Gleim as the only source for preparation.

        Did you purchase the Gleim Premium System?


        • Yuri Quadros says:

          Hey Melanie,

          I haven’t bought the premium system. For parts 1 and 1 only the books and question bank was more than enough to seat for the exam. Don’t worry about parts 1 and 2.

          For part 3 I’m completely uncomfortable and feeling I’m not prepared for the exam. I had the same feelings before parts 1 and 2 though. I fell like if the question deviate a little bit from what is covered by Gleim I will be screwed. As I said before IIA should either break down part 3 in paper 1 and 2 or remove subjects from parts 3. It’s completely unbalanced among papers.

    • mmajstor says:

      Dear Melanie,

      IMO IIA has good books, but insufficient number of practice questions. Since you are satisfied with Gleim, I think you should continue with them, and if money/time allows to enrich practice with Exam Matrix questions. Other solution is to use IIA, and enrich it with Willey’s practice question. If I’m in your shoes, I think I would choose first combination.

      One of the problems is that I noticed that some things are differently explained in different materials. For example names of group development phases. In IIA material you will find classification of those phases such as forming/storming/norming/performing/adjourning; in Gleim they use names cohesiveness/maturity; and in Exam Matrix material there is phase – disolution (and it is not the last one).

      • Melanie says:

        Hy mmajstor,

        Thank you for this information. That is really helpful and also quite interesting that the same topic is explained with different words. I will consider this, thanks.


      • Stephanie says:

        That’s exactly right — things are explained differently in different review materials. The big picture and underlying concept should be the same though.

  • abayomi says:

    please share with me too. Email address –


  • Suhaim Faisal says:

    I passed cia part 3 today(first attempt),and I would like to express my gratitude for everyone contributed esp, Stephanie.I can share you some of the tips helped me to pass the exam:

    -During preparation,its a must to create a summarized notes for each units and revise weekly because for me,once I covered 10 units in one month I forgot most of the other 10 units covered in previous month ,which caused me to spend extra 2 months to again cover up all.
    Yes revising each week can be dreadful,but its much better than studying all over again.

    -(This is a personal one) I usually find initial questions of exam confusing (maybe due to stress),what I usually do is to answer it without over analyzing and flag it to comeback at the end of exam.Once I gain some confidence in the later part of exam I revisit the flagged question i.e; after completing first run through all questions.
    -Even though above comments are helpful ,disregard what others shared on the times they failed inorder to pass and time taken to cover the subject,Since its heavily dependent on past experience and personal variables of others.

    Dear Stephanie,

    Currently II have 1.5 yrs of exp. in audit and 1 year in accounting,there is a gap of 3 years between those experience .Have I fulfilled my Exp requirement in your opinion.

    With Regards,

    • abayomi says:

      Dear Faisal,

      Congratulations to you again! we acknowledge and salute your hard work in passing part 3. However, i must ask you the areas you noticed were heavily tested and your study strategy plus any other useful tip you believe may help others. Regarding finding questions confusing at first is ok as i also share same but you did pass after you settled your mind during the exam which is very important. Regarding your work experience verification i ma sure Stephanie would more than glad to help you.

    • Nemesio says:

      I like your comment Suhaim Faisal!!

    • Yasin says:

      Congratulations to you again Faisal! you managed exam process and did it properly ı guess. and we hope we will do it like u day by day.

      in addition to ı must ask you like Abayomi, because it’s importances. which topics are heavily tested on the exam? Are gleim questions useful? it has similar questions?

      if you tell us the topic, we can manage our strategy properly.

      • Suhaim Faisal says:

        I studied topics as follows:

        a)GOV,RM, IT, EOQ CVP and Strategic Mgt. at proficient Level
        b)Org struc,bus proc,comm at awareness level
        c)Acc,Finance mgt acc learned concepts of theory-dint bother to go for calculations
        d)last two chapters -read the summarized notes 4 hrs prior exams

        -I faced 3-4 calculation based questions in the exam.I got questions similar to above structure.

        -i got 2-3 qs from the part too.

        -I felt IT questions was at basic awareness level but they have included technical terms along with it and based on Supplementary guides recommended by others .

    • Stephanie says:

      Congrats! Great accomplishment to pass on your first try! Thanks a lot for sharing the experience as well. My site is helpful because of contributions from readers just like you 🙂

      In regard to your question, I think the gap isn’t a problem, but you might want to double check with the IIA (or your local chapter). Good luck in getting a favorable reply! Regards, Stephanie

  • Linda says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I have a question regarding the required reading for Practice Advisories, I’ve noticed that they’ve been replaced by implementation Guides, should we look at both? For example in Governance (IG 2110), the standard have changed, and hence the IG have changed from the Practice Advisory.

    Thanks so much for putting this page up, it’s been a tremendous help in studying thus far!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your note and I am glad the page has been helpful. I am not sure to be honest, but is this change in any relation to this?

      Doesn’t sound like it, but possible… or you can check with your review course provider on this.

      If any reader can help answering this question it would be great as well. Regards, Stephanie

    • Art Yip says:

      Hi Linda & Stephanie,

      No need to refer to both. The “Implementation Guides” are the updated versions of the formerly so called “Practice Advisories”. So if you read the Implementation Guides, you are reading the updated versions of the Practice Advisories.

      Also, yes, this change is related to the New IPPF effective Jan 2017. I hope that helps!


  • Brian says:

    Hi All,

    I’m getting ready to start my Part 3 prep and I have to admit that I’m more than a little apprehensive about the process. I’m going to be using the Gleim Premium Review System as well as the practice advisories, practice guides, and GTAGs mentioned on this site. Even though I think I have a good strategy in place, I’m intimidated by the sheer volume of material to cover and being able to absorb, comprehend, and remember it all. Not to mention that for the next 16 weeks or so, studying is going to dominate most of my non-working hours.

    I’ve gotten some great study tips and advice from the comments on this site but I was hoping to get some advice from successful candidates on how to balance a full time job and Part 3 prep while maintaining sanity. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • David says:

    Hi All,

    First of all, this site is a great resource! Invaluable insights from test-takers. I will be taking Part 3 on May 17 after passing Parts 1 and 2 on first attempt. I am now focusing on the CSR, ISO 31000 and GTAG’s via the recommended supplements. I have used Gliem and also just purchased the IIA Learning System for Part 3. My question is does anyone have an opinion as to how well they cover CSR, ISO 31000 etc? Should I spend time on IIA IT section too or is Gliem sufficient?



    • Brian says:


      IT is heavily tested. I studied with Glein exclusively and it wasn’t enough to make it. I got 594 points and I’m sure IT questions were more focused on GTAG and IIA material. General and Application controls, Patches, SDLC were among the topics tested.

      Regarding CRS I thought it was common sense and ISO 31000 I would suggest to understand in detail the 3 approaches (process, principles and maturity).

  • Eren says:

    Hi all,

    Thank you all for the tips provided here. I passed part 1&2 but not 3 unfortunately. I’m planning to take it soon. I used Gleim for all parts but now I purachase IIA learning system for part 3. I thought the questions are not as much as Gleim especially for CSR and ISO. I also noticed that some questions are the same in both learning systems. I want to practice as much as I can instead of reading cause I tend to forget what I read and comprehend it better after testing questions.

    my question is whether other systems such as wiley and Exammatrix have different questions to practice more? I worry that using many resources would confuse me but at the same time I want to try ever possible question. any advice?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Eren, you are correct that it could be confusing to study from different providers, but if it’s for practice questions, it’s totally fine. But you may get repeated or very similar questions from them.

      From all the comments above, it seems to be most important to download the supplementary materials from the IIA website, esp on CSR and ISO. Please make sure you do that.

      • Tyro says:

        My current experience with Wiley is quite the opposite. There is very little overlap between the concepts covered in Gleim and Wiley. After reading through Gleim and learning with self-made flashcards, I managed to average out 90% in test practice on my first pass (I select the “show questions I’ve never seen” to gauge how well I’m doing with new questions). I was also doing reasonably well with the IIA’s practice tests (although here known questions are mixed with old, so I cannot quantify). I thought I could get some more exposure to the same topics with Wiley, but here my score is stuck around 60-70% (even though new and old questions re mixed). It was really frustrating, so I started reading their ebook. It’s over 1000 pages. The first domain alone is 400+. Wiley’s eBook is a good read (it’s actually quite interesting), but the amount of technical detail is staggering. I’d say there’s maybe a 30-50% overlap between Gleim and Wiley, but the remaining 50-70% content is unique. Six-Sigma is a good example. It’s barely a marginal note in Gleim (seriously, it appears once or twice in an enumeration in parenthesis and that’s it). Wiley covers the topic on half a dozen pages pages and mentions it in multiple context through the book. Many of the questions are less about understanding the concepts than being able to recall lists. To make matters worse, many of the questions cover concepts not discussed in the book at all, and because the “explanations” are often provided only for the correct answer, it’s hard to learn from the questions itself. I used quotation marks because often the explanation is just a repetition of the question stem and is of little help. the Cross-referencing to the eBook is difficult, especially if they changed the concept name. There are no chapter numbers to guide you, like with Gleim. The fact that they are pretty inconsistent with the terminology, makes it even more difficult. That is a problem within Wiley itself, but it compounds when using both providers. Same concepts will be named differently in both courses, at other time disparate concepts will use the same terminology. All in all, be prepared to get frustrated. I’d not recommend Wiley to anyone who’s in their last preparation phase. For me the experience is very discouraging. I’ve been preparing very intensively for the last 5 months and definitely spent more than the “Safe” study time of 95 hours (reading course books, making flashcards, studying them, then practice questions and reviewing wrong answers). I was hoping to take the exam in the next 2-3 weeks. I really regret having opened this Box of Pandora. I appreciate other people’s experience with Wiley might differ, but if you ask me, steer clear of this course unless you’ve failed your firs attempt. The price for resitting the exam is way cheaper than the opportunity cost of going through another provider or (even worse, as in my case) just losing your motivation.

        • Meghan D says:

          Hello, Tyro!

          Thanks for your account of studying for the CIA exam using both Wiley and Gleim. We understand that it can be challenging to work through two providers’ materials. The Gleim Premium CIA Review System is the perfect study aid and is absolutely everything one could need to pass the exam. Therefore, if this is the system you purchased, we’d advise that you stick to only studying with Gleim from here on out. We hate that you’re having any discouraging moments, but don’t let this derail you from sitting for your exam ASAP. You don’t want to forget everything you learned in the beginning, and you also don’t want to risk memorizing the questions in your test bank. It sounds like you should be ready to sit for the exam sooner than you might think!

          Kind regards,

  • David says:

    After reading through all the comments here it definitely seems that the financial and managerial accounting portions of the CIA exam are not as in depth as the Gliem material/practice material represents. I am coming along on the word problems in these areas just struggling on the computations. Some have said they had only 3 or 4 computation type problems and they were fairly simple. Are there any previous test-takers that would mind sharing any areas of computations that they remember encountering? I don’t mean putting anything out there to go against any confidentiality rules, just any general areas or formulas to be aware of. Thanks!

    • N says:

      HI David,
      Yes I did realize that.. but the thing is that each question carries a certain number of points.. for example the computation question might carry 10 points.. so I would not take the financial/managerial chapters for granted.
      Just do your best to not regret and have to wait 90 days to study all over again.
      Also, the version of the paper differs.. so I won’t rely much on what people has said two years ago in this site..

      Best of luck!

  • Ruphus says:

    I just wrote part 3 today and unfortunately did not pass with a 565 score. I only used Gleim material to study and I clearly see that the material is not enough to prepare for this tough part. The questions were mostly new/ never saw on gleim – I had to apply my practical experience to many of them. Financial calculations were very minimal, Infact less than 3. The questions that I thin really got me we the CSR and ISO3100 which are not covered in Gleim. There were quite a number of those. In terms of IT most of he questions were sourced from IIA practice advices I guess and quite difficult to answer without any thorough theoretical knowledge.

    I guess I am just sharing and adding to those that are contributing to this wonderful forum

    I know that its a very difficult exam and the exam variations are many but am confident that I will be better prepared for my next take and stands a better chance to pass .

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Ruphus,
      Thanks a lot for your sharing. Your experience mirrors many of the above cases. This is great because many of them passed in their second attempt after downloading and reading the supplementary materials. So at least we’ve got a tangible solution here. It sounds like this is your last exam? Best of luck! Stephanie

  • David says:


    I’m sorry you did not pass. Thank you for your feedback though. I will be sitting for part three tomorrow morning and I don’t feel ready at all. However, I felt the same way for parts one and two albeit 3 is so much harder. Best of luck on your retake.

    • Ruphus says:

      Thanks David,,As you can imagine, I had to google for some help and bumped into this site..Good luck with ya exam tommorow

  • Thandi says:

    Good luck David

    Please provide feedback after taking the exam.


    • David says:

      Thanks, will do.

    • David says:


      I passed part 3 this morning on the first try. It has been a journey of a little over a year for all three parts but the struggle is over. First of all I cannot say how important all the information, insight and feedback on this site was to my success. Many nights were spent reading and rereading the comments here and using them to strategize.

      With that in mind it is only right to provide information back to all of you, but within the confidentiality rules, on my part 3 exam experience.

      First, I started with Gliem but 3 weeks away bought IIA part 3 and glad I did. Gliem is good for everything else but not for IT, CSR and ISO 31000.

      My exam content was very close to what others have said and contained questions on the following:

      CSR (about 10 questions) read the IIA exam prep parts on this on this if you have the means. Gliem is not enough. Also read the IIA CSR document other folks have mentioned. I will provide the exact title later as all my materials are at home and I am now at work

      Also download the IIA/IPPF document ISO 31000 Risk Management Framework. I will provide the exact title later. About 7-10 questions on ISO 31000.

      Read GTAG’s 1, 4, and 17 if using Gliem. IIA exam prep materials covers this well too. Gliem does not.

      Know your IT! It seems like I had about twenty questions. IT frameworks like COSO and COBIT. Know your ITGC’s and SDLC.

      2 computation questions of which one was in inventory. Know inventory overall and FIFO and LIFO. Like others have said, I would not focus on computations too much but know the finance and accounting concepts.


      Leadership types and organizational structures.

      Lastly, if using the Gliem MCQ’s don’t memorize. Learn why you got the question right or wrong by looking at the other answers too.

      Best of luck to you all!

      • Ruphus says:

        Great to hear that you passed. Congrats and Well done!!

        Thanks for sharing your experiences. Very consistent with what has been shared by most her.

      • Nemesio says:

        Congrats David. I have been following your story and i am really impressed with your smooth journey to certification. looking forward from more of your part 3 exam experience as you articulated above.

      • Thandi says:

        Congratulations David

        What advice would you give if one cannot afford the IIA system?

        I am currently using Gleim and reading additional sources that have been recommended here and am due to take the exam on 2 June.


        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Thandi,
          Not sure if David is still around answering questions, but some candidates just rely on youtube / khan academy as well as the free supplementary materials from the IIA site to do the work. It isn’t as convenient but works well for many 🙂

      • Thandi says:

        Hi David,

        How many questions does IIA test prep have in aggregate, am considering to source it but am also too scared to start something new and maybe end up not covering all questions because am left with Tele weeks

        • David says:

          No more than 300 questions I’d say. As for affordability all I can say is if you can squeeze it out of your budget, do it.

      • abayomi says:

        Thanks David your post exam feedback is quite valuable to all. Congrats on passing your exams. As the saying say-” to whom much is given much is expected”. Thank you for giving back to the community. However please do not forget to share the very additional readings that actually helped you regarding specific areas.
        Cant wait for Lynnel also as we wish her the best in her forth coming exams tomorrow. I am scheduled for Part 2 on the 25th of May. i will start preparing for part 3 from the next day and i will post to part two blog areas of emphasis for others preparing also. Thank you all.

        • Lisa says:

          Hi Abayomi,

          All the best on your Part 2 exam—know you will do well and pass.

          It would be greatly appreciated if you came back and shared your exam success experience with us on Part 2 of the website.

          I am currently studying Part 2…. hope to sit it in June.

          All the best again and thanks in advance

      • Roy says:

        Hi David

        I have used Gleim for P1 and P2 and had cleared both of them.

        I’m about to start P3 but am confused if I should switch to IIA Learning System. Saw that you had used Gleim but eventually changed to IIA Learning System. Would you advise me to switch as well? I unds that Gleim does not cover certain topics sufficiently hence Learning System seems to be a better choice?

        Would it be hard to adopt to Learning System style?

        Hope to hear from you. Thanks!

  • Matt J says:

    Process to Element auditing. Anyone have tips on where I can find material to review on this concept?

  • Lynnel says:

    Hello everyone! I just finished my Part 3 exam today and I’m glad to announce that I passed it on first attempt. I’m only using Gleim test bank and books plus IIA resources.

    I can confirm how hard it is and I can say that you don’t have to memorize everything on part 3 but to understand it very well so that you can apply it on the exam questions.

    I agree with David’s feedback, and congratulations for him too!

    I can’t remember everything on my exam , but majority or 80% of the questions revolves around CSR, Governance, IT and ISO 31000. Acctg questions are very simple but for those who do not have acctg background you should understand some of the concepts. I suggest focusing on managerial acctg. cost behaviors, basic accounting concepts, parts of financial accounting (bonds, a/r) and inventory. I believe I’m lucky I got no computation questions and more on analysis. And I got only few management questions .

    Please bear in mind that everyone’s exam is different.

    I’ll be having a blog regarding what happened on my exam day, few weeks before exam and some more tips. I hope these are helpful!

    I would like to thank Stephanie and Art and everyone for their exam tips! Those tips are helpful and please consider it. ? Goodluck to everyone!!!!

    • Nemesio says:

      Congrats Lynnel! Thanks for the the tips above and will be waiting for more from you.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Lynn,

      CONGRATS!!!!!! So happy for you.

      You’re such an inspiration. Wishing you all the best in your job search.

      Looking forward to the blog. Well done

    • Thandi says:

      Congratulations Lynnel, you’re an inspiration

      Thank you for the feedback, God bless you.

    • Art Yip says:


      You are welcome, and congratulations for passing Part 3! That is a huge accomplishment! Earning the CIA Certificate will benefit your career greatly!

      You’ve shown that using only Gleim with IIA Resources is doable! Your hard work paid off!


      • Lynnel says:

        Yes, it is really doable! Thank you Art, for sure I can’t make it without Stephanie, your feedback and others. ?

    • N says:


      I am very happy for you as you deserve it! The CIA is an extensive journey but it is rewarding.

      I have sent you a question.. I am currently studying from both Gleim and IIA learning system and I feel frustrated because I feel that it will be labour intensive and perhaps confusing.. do you recommend if I just rely on Gelim and the additional materials on the IIA website? or do I have to use the IIA learning system for some topics.

      Please advise because I want to beat myself now.. very confused 🙁

      All the best in your career.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Lynnel, congrats!!!
      Sorry I have been sick for a week and wasn’t really able to work on the site. I should have at least checked this 😉
      But back in my mind I was 100% sure you would pass 😉

      Looking forward to your blog post. It’s probably in my mailbox already. Cheers! Stephanie

  • abayomi says:

    Dear Lynnel, i’m so elated at your news today. i dropped you good luck message on your last post just this morning. So glad to hear the news of your success! Indeed hard work, dedication plus perseverance pays! I see all that in you and more. I followed your build up like an auditor performing preliminary surveys to an engagement till this point. I am also glad to be the first to congratulate you on this platform!
    As the usual practice, we await your detail post analysis feedback. What a journey you had!

  • Annette says:

    Dear Lynnel, I knew you can do it! Congratulations! It shows shows that where there is a will there is a way – to pass the Part 3 on Gleim alone and with lots of dedication. Welcome to the circle of CIA’s 🙂

  • Natasha says:

    Hi all,

    I have been studying for CIA part 3 for the last four months and passed the exam today on the first attempt. I ran across this site a while back and saw so many valuable suggestions that helped me in preparation for the exam. So, I had to come back and share my experience. I used Gleim and IIA Practice Guides/GTAG resources.

    Studying for part 3 seemed overwhelming, and adding all the additional Practice Guides, GTAGs, and other information to that was just not something I had the time for. So, based on the information shared by many people on this site, I decided to prioritize the material I wanted to study, as listed below. I also added the resources I used to prepare for the exam.

    1. IT Governance (Gleim and GTAG 17). NOTE: I would suggest really studying the GTAG.
    2. Other IT-related questions (Gleim only). NOTE: I found that Gleim was sufficient in covering all other IT (i.e., non-IT Governance) questions.
    3. CSR (Gleim and IIA Practice Guide “Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development). NOTE: The questions on the exam were not difficult, but I don’t think I would know the answers without reading the Practice Guide.
    4. ERM/RM/ISO 31000 (Gleim and IIA Practice Guide “Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management”). NOTE: I didn’t think that reading/studying the Practice Guide gave me any extra information. Gleim covered ERM and Risk Management topics well and the questions on the exam didn’t seem very difficult and kind of seemed similar to the Gleim practice questions. Just make sure you understand the material very well.
    5. I had a handful of calculations and had to use Liquidity, Solvency, etc. Ratio(s), EOQ model, property depreciation calculation, and gross income/contribution margin calculation. These were very quick and easy.
    6. I had between 1 and 4 (non-calculation, concept) questions regarding topics listed below:
    a. Communication
    b. Structure and Processes
    c. Structural Analysis within an Industry
    d. Strategic Decisions
    e. Industry Evolution and Environments
    f. Organizational Behavior
    g. Leadership and Conflict Management
    h. Basic and Intermediate Concepts of Financial Accounting
    i. Finance
    j. Managerial Accounting I and II
    k. Global Business Environment
    l. Legal, Economic, and Regulatory Issues

    The bottom line is, as many have already mentioned, if you want to pass, really focus on IT, CSR, and Risk Management. However, I think that these three topics made up about 70 percent of my exam. Knowing the other topics (as listed above) is also important to get you to that passing grade.

    • Minh says:

      Wonderful! Congratulations, Natasha! Thank you so much for sharing very helpful exam experience. 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Natasha, this is also an excellent and comprehensive list. I am sure this feedback is of great use to others. Thanks for giving back to the community and all the best to your IA career 🙂 Stephanie

  • Pablo says:

    Hi all,

    First, congratulations to Lynnel and Natasha on your results!! Effort is always rewarded!!
    Second, congratulations also to Stephanie for the web site. I think it is a real reference for all those planning to take the CIA exam.

    I have a question for you:
    I already passed parts 1 and 2 on my first attempt. Now I am studying for part 3 and I plan to take the exam on July 2nd. I cannot take it before since I will be travelling for work.

    As far as I know, the recent IPPF changes will be applied in the exam questions as of July 1st. I have been using 2013 IIA books to prepare for the exam. I understand that the changes will mostly affect parts 1 and 2 though. Do you think taking the exam on July 2nd using only the 2013 IIA materials is somehow risky? I don´t think it is but I wanted to ask just in case.

    I will also share my experience after I take part 3.

    Thank you all!

    • Lynnel says:

      Thank you Pablo. It may be risky since there would be changes in Standards. I believe it will only affect Governance and Risk Management for Part 3, if you have a very tight budget and won’t opt to buy new material I suggest going through the changes and compare it with the material. But if you can afford a new material that would be great. Good luck!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Pablo,
      Thanks for your note. I have written here on the IPPF changes — basically there will be some but I don’t think you’ll see the changes on July 2:

      On whether 2013 review materials is relevant, there has been a major change in 2013 so make sure your 2013 edition cover the latest changes. Generally speaking, I recommend to get the version one year after the changes because the review providers need a few months to examine and revise the examples and questions based on the change. But if budget is an issue, I guess you are ok. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Thandi says:

    Hi All,

    Gleim has also realised that their content does not adequately cover ISO 31000, CSR and change control. I just saw a notification that they will be updating their content to include these in their 2018 edition that is due to be published mid June.

    I take this as a confirmation that these areas must be tested in detail in the exam.

    Can someone recommend what I may go true to cover change control?


  • Roy says:

    Hi all

    I have cleared Part 2 (first attempt with Gleim) and Part 1 (two attempts with Gleim). I came from a non-accounting and non IA background. Planning to start on Part 3 journey very soon. Likely to take the exam in Q4 2017.

    Few questions below which I hope you guys can share your opinions on:

    1) I have been using Gleim for P1 and P2. However, I noticed from this thread that it is highly recommended to use IIA Learning System for Part 3 content and Gleim as a test prep/MCQ support. Of cos, it would be supplemented with the additional materials from Impl Guide and GTAG. Is it recommendable to switch from Gleim to IIA Learning System and to adopt a new learning style/content flow? Anyone had similar experience and is able to share some insight?

    2) As I will be taking the exam in Q4 2017, should I study Part 3 based on the Standards and IG wef Jan 2017? Or can I still fall back on the previous version of the Standards and PAs?

    3) Is there any link for Part 3 with Part 1 and 2? Can I discard Part 1 and 2 materials and just focus on Part 3 materials?

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Roy,

      Can you kindly share your experience with Part 2 exam and the materials you used including any IIA practice guide….thanks in advance

      • Roy says:

        Hi Lisa

        I took part 1 with Gleim first and I didn’t manage to clear it. And I moved on to study Part 2 with Gleim while waiting for the 90days period.

        While studying for Part 2, I realized Part 1 exam questions’ related content appearing. Then I confirm that there is certainly an overlap between Part 1 and 2.

        For Part 2, I focus on Gleim content, the video lectures and the PAs related to Part 2 Content (based on Gleim’s appendix). I also read up on the position papers/GTAG that Gleim’s content had make reference to.

        Hope it helps!

    • mmajstor says:

      1) Not necessarily, you can pass studying only Gleim. It depends from person to person.

      2) From June 2017 new standards are valid.

      3) There is a link for first two chapters – Governance and Risk Management, but you don’t actually need old materials. You have it in the part3 materials.

      • Roy says:

        Hi mmjastor

        Thank you for your inputs! Re #1, may I ask if you used Gleim or Learning System? Mind to share your experience?

        Thanks 🙂

        • mmajstor says:

          I used IIA materials, and Gleim test bank. I little bit overlearned and failled.
          For the next attempt I just reviewed with Exam Matrix and pass. I don’t think that EM was crucial, I just think that I needed a brake, better emotional preparance, and of course – luck.

          IMO Gleim has about 35% more things that you need and it misses about 15% which you can find in additional guideliness mentioned on this site. In review, skip the large questions (especially in accounting) , and your head will be much clearer and you will save your time.

          IIA has also good and bad sides (I like IIA hard copy learning material) , but if you used them both that is lot of time – over 2000 questions in Gleim and 1000 in IIA, and there is a risk of overlearning as well as price factor. Someone who is used to IIA i would suggest to stick with it and try to find some additional test bank, and those who are used to Gleim, to stick with Gleim and mentioned IPPF guideliness.

          If that does not help in first 2 attempts, than maybe different strategy shoul be applied.

          • Layla says:

            your comments is really helpful, thank you mmajstor.

            after trying part3 using Gleim , I decided to purchase IIA learning system but I tend to be overwhelmed by the reading and not really focus. so I use the MCQ as the main study tool. my question is, do you think MCQ in IIA learning system is enough or should I take EM too?

            my strategy this time is to study MCQ from Gleim and IIA and ready IIA materials before the exam to refresh. is EM different and does it add anything extra?

            I’ve super busy at work reading loads of documents and my head is allover the place so when I study at the weekend I cannot focus reading so I have to use practicing from MCQ as the main tool and I’m worried it’s not enough.

          • mmajstor says:

            EM is additional 970 questions, so it would be really hard and time consuming to go through almost 4000 questions. ‘Hunch’ is the main tool that you have during the exam and reviewing IIA and Gleim question database should be enough to feed your ‘hunch’ for exam questions.

            EM is good for CSR, IT and strategic/organization management, but I would only combine it with IIA if you don’t use Gleim, or for retakers who memorized their previous test bank questions – therefore can’t feed their hunch anymore with the same questions.

          • Stephanie says:

            Yup, agree. I would stick with whatever you have been using in Part 1 and 2. Unless, like mmajstor, if you fail and want a switch/break.

          • Roy says:

            Hi Mmjastor

            Do you mind to send me any study unit material from IIA part 3 package? I would like to take a look at how they craft their content before I switch to IIA from Gleim. My email is ***DELETED***

            Thank you for your help.

          • Stephanie says:

            Hi Roy, we concluded that Mmjastor’s study materials are too close to the official Gleim materials so I am afraid we can’t share it. Sorry about that.

        • Lynnel says:

          Hi Roy, I suggest if you’re using Gleim for Part 1 and 2 try to use Gleim first for Part 3. Then, if you think you’re having a hard time with IT, Org Structure and Management Leadership you may opt to study IIA Learning System which was suggested by Art. Look at your learning strategy is it more on reading? or answering questions? Learn the concepts very well since questions in the real exam are more on understanding the concepts. Goodluck.

          • Roy says:

            Thanks Lynnel for your reply. My learning I guess is towards more practicing of questions which I believe Gleim has an advantage over Learning System for its test prep package which has a large database of MCQs.

            I read through the threads and realized a lot of peers changed from Gleim to Learning System for Part 3 for the fact the Gleim has lack of content in certain topics.

            Hence, instead of regretting later down the road (since I do not have accounting and IA background), i am thinking of making the switch even before I start prep for Part 3.

            Views anyone?


          • Stephanie says:

            Hmm, it sounds to be (also from reading all the comments throughout the years), that people are getting IIA in addition to Gleim, instead of replacing Gleim. What they do is to selectively read the portions in IIA where Gleim doesn’t seem to do a good job explaining.

            But now that we are able to local more free supplementary materials (the GTAG and the like), there seem to be more successful cases using Gleim alone. Just my own observation and conclusion from the above. Thanks! Stephanie

  • Jake says:

    To all, I share everyone’s pain regarding the CIA exam. It took me three tries to pass Part I. Finally, after passing, I realized the mistakes I was making in my Gleim studying methods and made the necessary corrections. I then passed Part II on the first try. Now I am preparing to sit for Part III. I have reviewed the entire book and am focusing on taking many practice tests.

    Here are my suggestions:
    1. Take practice tests until you earn a 92% or better. Although the actual exam only requires a 80% to pass, 92% gives you flexibility to adjust to the reality (and greater difficulty) of the real exam.

    2. Understand why answers are wrong. This gives you insight into how the test “thinks” and what the question is looking for.

    3. Seperate your real life experiences as an auditor from the exam scenarios. This was a struggle for me as I tried to compare my experience to test questions. The result was that I could build an arguement why more than one answer may be correct. Standardized tests rarely reflect reality.

    4. Try not to take the exam personally. Success in standardized tests rarely reflects success in the real world.

  • SB says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for providing all of this insight on your website!!!! I struggled with my CIA Part 3 exam, and after finally doing some research and stumbling onto your website, I managed to pass my exam! It took me 3 times, but I am confident that if I have read your tips and all of the wonderful comments from others on this site, I would have passed it the second time around.

    Utilizing your suggestions almost to a T, really helped me not only understand the information, but I was able to apply it to any difficult question thrown at me on the exam. A lot of the information on governance, risk and IT is spot on. Reading the CIA Learning System for Org. Structure, Management and Leadership really helped me as I began getting great scores on the practice questions.

    I will be recommending this site to all of my colleagues. Again thank you for sharing your insight and experiences with all of us.

    Good Luck to Everyone out there taking the CIA exam as it is a great professional designation and the opportunities are endless. 🙂

    • Thandi says:

      Congratulations SB

    • Stephanie says:

      That’s wonderful news SB! Thank you also to all of you successful candidates who give back to this community by sharing your actual and very recent experience. This keeps the tips updated and useful for all others! Thank you for recommending my site. It really means a lot to me. All the best to you! Stephanie

  • Yasin says:

    Hi everyone!
    Finally my CIA exam process is done i take and did well part 3 🙂
    thanks all of you and especially Stephanie for interest and this amazing website.

    Here are my suggestions:
    – ı used gleim but it is not enough anymore. because u must read pratice guide and gtag. for exampe ıso 31000, maturity model or bt governance are not enough on gleim, it must reviewed.
    – ıso 31000 is almost 4-5 quesitons. maturity model, process elements is important.
    – csr is 5-6 quesitons and they were simple. practice guide is really enough to do it.
    – risk management is 4-5 quesitons and they were really basic topics.
    – bt governance is 2-3 quesitons and gtag 17 is sufficent for them.
    – formulas are simple. they were about fixed and variable cost, and active turnover rate.
    – u must learn added value negotation and and principled negotation
    – there were 4-5 quesitons about organizational structure, they were complicated little bit but u must focus on and find the key words.

    Thank you for your comment this website, good luck every candidate and ı hope we will do other certified together..

  • Linda says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just wrote my CIA Part 3 exam yesterday and passed on the first attempt. I’m now a CIA, passing all three parts on first attempt, in total I’ve spent about 1.5 years to reach certification. I can’t thank Stephanie and Art and everyone’s feedback on this website enough.

    I used Gleim Premium for Part 3 (having used just the Test Prep and Book for Part 1 and Part 2), and also supplemented with the suggested supplementary reading (above) and I read through IIA’s books. I found IIA’s books really detailed and useful for IT part, but generally Gleim plus the suggested readings above sufficient for the other parts.

    How I studied: I read through the IIA books, then read the Gleim books and the supplementary materials and made my study notes, I’ve also watched the videos and listened to the audio lectures of Gleim (while at the gym and on transit). I went through the Gleim study process, and once that’s complete (which was two months before my exam), I started revising and reviewing the materials in depth. I actually did all the questions in the Test Prep (yes, even the complicated calculation questions).

    I’ve spent more time on the focus areas suggested above. I’ve also run the test prep in exam mode, giving me 100 questions at a time using Gleim’s Adaptive Technology, which I find helped. I went into the exam hitting above 90% on my Practice Exams in Gleim.

    What everyone have said above is true so I won’t repeat myself. Similar to what Natasha have said, focus on studying the big areas mentioned above, but also have knowledge and awareness of the other parts (as they do test you on those parts). Also, there is no need to go through the complicated calculations for the accounting parts, but know and understand the concepts (like Stephanie mentioned above).

    I also find it helpful to go in with a mental attitude of this is just another test, and that I will pass it. Having the confidence will help you pass!

    Good luck everyone on your certification 🙂

    • Art Yip says:


      Congratulations on passing Part 3, and becoming a CIA! They are great accomplishments, and will help your career tremendously!

      I’m glad to hear I was of help! Those are great tips you’re passing on to other candidates as well!


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Linda, that’s the most wonderful news! Thanks for sharing your progress with us — you passing Part 1 in April, Part 2 in December, and now… finally done! Really happy to be part of your success 🙂 Thanks for giving back to our community by writing this really detailed sharing. All the best! Stephanie

    • Mimi says:

      Hi Linda,

      Congrats on passing the CIA Part 3 exam. I am thinking of purchasing the GLEIM Premium system so that I can listen to the lectures on my phone when I am on the go.
      Do you know how many audio lectures there are and approximately how many minutes are the recordings for the lectures? I am basically trying to figure out how much capacity i will need on my phone if I decide to download the lectures.

      Thank you.

  • Pedro says:

    Dear folks,
    Sharing your experience and recommendations on this website is great…So I also want to add what I remember from the CIA Part 3 exam I took today..Well I failed but anyway 🙂

    Today I had
    Heavily IT Control and ERM, (sth like 10+10)
    Governance (7-8)
    IT Governance, CSR,ISO 31000 (10 in total)

    2 communications

    2 Inventory
    4-5 Finance/Management Accounting concepts (e.g participative budgeting)
    3 calculations (acid ratio,operation income over variable costing and EOQ- formula given already in the question)

    and the rest which I can not remember now. Sometimes questions come from once chapter but than in the choices you see familiar concepts from others, so I can not remember exactly.

    My advice to myself would be dealing with Gleim Test Prep until I clock up %90 percent on each chapter. It gives a lot of comfort once you start dealing with the real exam. I had spent too long time with finance/accounting when I was studying, just because I wanted to learn. But it costed me the tempo I needed to deal with Practiciing Questions.

    As far as I know there has to be 3 months period between exam takes, if it hasn’t changed. I also noticed the warning on Gleim site about Practice Guide changes from July 1st, but I don’t know how exactly it will effect the current content.

    • Pedro says:

      There were also 3 questions just concerning user developed applications , 3 for BDLC and 3 SDLC.

      Please also keep on adding the questions you remember!!!

      • Brian says:

        Pedro, I had the same bad experience few weeks ago. I used Glein exclusively and got 594. After failing I decided to buy IIA learning system. Didn’t want to spend 380 bucks but must confess it offers a much better approach to Part 3.

        Glein is useful to train on how to answer, get prepared to exam format ant etc…however IIA learning system uses exactly the language covered in the exam. I totally recommend Glein for parts 1 and 2 but for Part 3 without IIA learning reading we might focus wrongly.

        Just a heads up I will try again in August and I’m really glad I decided to buy it. Can’t yet foresee the results but I’m feeling I’m in the right path this time.

        • Thandi says:

          Hi Brian

          Do you think think the workload on the IIA system, can it be covered in a month’s time?

          I have rescheduled my exam for 30 June and was considering buying the IIA system but am scared I may not be able to cover everything. I had been using gleim for the past three attempts.


          • Brian says:

            I’m giving myself 2 months to cover it in detail. Its possible but you will need at least 20 hours per week.

            My strategy now is to cover every chapter, making notes and when felling 100% comfortable get back to Glein questions bank. 1 month is feasible but hard to achieve.

            One quick example was about out-sourcing, poorly covered in Glein and when you see IIA Learning system it gives the real picture and concepts to be ready to the exam. I have missed 4 or 5 questions in the real exam because I either didn’t know important concepts or got confused with Glein writing style.

            IIA learning is designed in a way to focus only on the concepts you need to be comfortable to answer real exam questions. That’s my feeling so far.

          • Brian says:

            Feasible but hard to achieve…I’m giving myself 2 months for reading the entire material. 1 month to questions + notes

            IIA learning is designed in a perfect way to focus on the knowledge you need for the exam. I wish I could have bough it before my first try.

        • Thandi says:

          And how many questions does it have in total?

        • Stephanie says:

          Glad to know and thanks for the tips Brian!

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks so much for the sharing Pedro. Glad you have a great attitude towards retake. You can do it!
      Yeah they haven’t been clear about the timing of the changes yet…

  • Thandi says:

    Thanks Brian

  • David says:


    What a great site!

    Have a quick query in relation to the financial management section of the exam (Part 3).

    For formulas, is it sufficient just to have an understanding on what the formula is to work out (i.e. what is formula to identify break even analysis, what is formula to work out COGS) or will you need to actually put into practice and answer for the exam?

    Whilst IT is my background, the financial component of the exam is my main worry…

    Thanks all…

    • Lynnel says:

      Hi David, since you have IT background I suggest to understand the concept behind accounting not just memorizing the formulas. Ex. what does a/r turnover measure, differences of variable and absorption costing, what is the normal balance of assets, liabs and equities and so on. On the other hand, do not put too much effort on this part. And focus on main areas.

  • Bally says:

    Sharing my experience on the struggles of the Part 3 exam. I finally passed the exam today after getting the painful score of 594 previously. I had used Gleim before (including for my Part 1 and 3) but decided to use the IIA for Part 3 this time and I’m glad that I switched. To sum up,
    IIA provided more in depth coverage of the material and it covered all topics that you can expect on the exam. I remember the last time I had topics on the exam which were not covered at all in my Gleim material (eg. floating exchange rate risks and ISO 3100)

    The IIA material really gives you a deeper understanding of the subjects instead of the outline format that Gleim provides without context at times. For me, this really helped me understand the topics and thus helped me apply them better in the exam.

    For the areas tested in the exam, from what I remember:
    – A lot of questions with “Per IIA guidance on IT…” but these were not really technical IT questions but more conceptual (again example of where my understanding helped than the areas memorized)
    – Questions on ISO 31000 – definitely need to know the ISO ERM framework in detail and its three approaches (Key Principles, Process Elements (know all the elements of this approach) and Maturity Model).
    – Barely any calculation question. Just some questions on how acid ratio and other ratios are applied
    – Questions on the backup and recovery – Hot, Cold, Warm sites
    – Questions on Org Structures and Porter’s competitive forces (barriers to entry, etc.)
    – Questions on different Application controls and ITGC controls

    Thank you to everyone here for their insights and all the best to everyone taking the exam. Remember the key is understanding the topics and knowing how to apply them.

  • Mick says:

    Hi all,

    I managed to pass part 3 earlier this week. A big thank you to Stephanie and all writers who contributed to this site.

    I found the exam really hard, but doable. I spent 3 -4 months preparing and in the end it was really intense because I reviewed all IIA books sections and some of the guidances (which was necessary).Another tactic would be to be more relaxed and take the risk of having to redo the exam one or two times using a more reduced learning approach.

    Largest topics in my exam were (approx in order of appearance): IT(including IT governance), Risk, CSR, all Business/strategy/ others together, Finance and Governance.

    Being able to probably give the correct responses also to know topics like org behavior, teams, org forms, global Business, communication etc very likely helped me to get enough credits. So, it is helpful to really have knowledge on all topics. And there were questions from all chapters of the IIA material (e.g. also on gross domestic product).

    I found the Finance calculation questions rather difficult (no easy numbers, dfficult to calculate without making transfers, writing down and given the time you have on average per question). So I crossed something but did not really calculate. Related to 3 questions.

    I used the IIA material for learning, Not too much the questions but the books..

    What was useful in addition:
    PG on Assessing Risk Management Using ISO 31000
    Also know Coso components,objectives and mechanisms.
    PG on assessing CSR
    PG on Governance in privatesector
    GTAG 1,second Edition
    GTAG on IT Governance (I believe it is 17)-having read it twice and kept in mind the concepts was very helpful
    PAs on Risk and Governance
    Kosta´s blog in this forum on exam Situation
    IIA Learning System´s 15 tips on examtaking

    Even if many questions are rather tricky do not get discouraged as the solution is there.

    Many questions are kind of mini case studies even if they are only 2 lines long.

    Nail it!



    • Stephanie says:

      Wow, lots of detail, thanks! And of course, congrats on getting the CIA exam done!

      • Mimi says:

        Hi there,

        CIA Part 3
        Does anyone know the name of the document on the IIA website to study for ‘Also know Coso components,objectives and mechanisms.’ – COSO?

        Also, when are the IIA changes expected to be implemented for the exam? My exam is in August.

        Thank you.

  • STS says:


    I have cleared CIA Part III today at First Attempt. First of all I would like to Thank Art and Stephanie and all others who posted their queries which helped me make last minute adjustment to my preparation last week. I have referred additional practice guides as mentioned below and suggested by Art and Stephanie

    My approach to the exam

    1) Refer to GTAG 4, 17 practice guides as I have received few questions around IT Governance.
    2) Few Questions on CSR.- Refer to IPPF – Practice Guide Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable
    3) Few Questions on ISO 31000 – Refer Practice Guides on i) to A Structured Approach to ERM and the Requirements of ISO 31000 practice guide; ii) A structured approach to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and the requirements of ISO 31000
    4) Very few questions with Calculations, more of concepts from Finance on Valuations, Inventory, Depreciation.
    5) IT related questions were quite a few.
    6) Conflict mgmt. and leadership style.
    7) Going through Michael Porter 5 principles of Competition.
    8) Governance questions were few. Please refer to PG on Corp Governance.
    9) All Concepts except Governance, Risk Mgmt, CSR were questioned at Awareness level, so you will be able to crack if you understand concepts and terminology. Do not need to go into deep dive.
    10) I was able to complete all question in 85 minutes, 35 minutes for review. Still was not able to review 5-10 questions marked for review. So time management is essential.
    11) Key here is to read through the questions carefully and filter the answers in your first attempt before going for review.
    12) I used Gleim study material and Hock Software for question bank. Both of them helped.
    13) I have attempted 100 Question by breaking down the topics to ensure i get a good chance to review my areas of improvement. For eg. I created a exam session of 100 from Unit 1-4, then another for 5-6 and other for 7-8. Probably you can try this.
    14) I have complied important topics for final reading a day before the exam to ensure they are retained in my memory.

    I wish all of my other friends who are either preparing/attempting for Part III.

  • David says:

    Hi All,

    Just sat my Part 3 exam today and thought seeing I used this forum to assist me in my study, it is only fair that I contribute back.

    Bit of background on my exam taking history…
    Part 1 – Failed…2nd try – Passed…
    part 2 – Failed…2nd try – Passed…
    I can see a re-occurring theme here….
    Part 3 – Pass!….hang on a sec! Ain’t this part supposed to be the hardest of them all!!??!!

    I guess this is the point I would like to try and get across, everyone has their own strong points of relevance and for IT being my background most likely assisted me in this part of the exam.

    In fact, with this exam I had finished all the questions with roughly 10-13 mins spare which I ended up using to re-visit some questions I was not totally comfortable with. In relation to parts 1 and 2, I ended up with just enough time to finish answering all the questions without having time spare to re-visit.

    In terms of study material I used ‘Wiley’ textbook and their online question bank in conjunction in reviewing GTAG 17 (IT Governance), ISO 31000, COSO and Evaluating CSR.

    Whilst Wiley question bank did some have errors in their answers, if you read the answer commentary you can easily pick up on it.

    Good luck to everyone!


  • Mohamed says:

    I passed part 3 and now completed the CIA, this was my second attempt with the first one failed by score 588 which was close and frustrating. The second attempt was so difficult to start especially that my certification program expires in a week from now and this was my last chance to clear it before having to go through an extension in addition to mentally being unable to study strongly. The support and motivation I got through this community was amazing and was the reason to put things on track and thankfully passed this time.

    The exam covered mostly what is noted here, besides additional topics
    iSO 31000, ERM, COSO
    CSR in depth
    iT general controls and application controls
    Communication in depth
    Management accounting on cvp and absorption costing
    Business continuity
    Eoq and few calculations on ratios
    iT governance in particular
    3 questions on globalalization and economy last 2 parts in gleim

    Thank you all and keep at it till you are certified, wish you all the best

  • Harry says:

    Dear Stephanie

    Last Saturday I passed my last part Part 3, by which I completed all parts in a little over 1 year after I started my challenge for CIA, I would like to say thank you for your great website to support for all CIA challengers !

    I am Japanese and took all tests in Japan, but in Japan it is few good MCQs in Japanese, by which almost of all challengers are forced to a private school provided texts and MCQs translated in Japanese with paying thousands dollars !

    I did not take this standards way, I decided to utilize tools available in domestic such as Gleim text and IIA standards, supporting papers, translated in Japan, by which I could pass Part 1 at my first try fortunately but for not for Part 2 and Part 3,

    I struggled to find good strategy how to win the Part 2 and 3, then I decided to study again with MCQs in English, but several MCQs available on interest which I bought and tried, are of old questions and not giving me any confidence nor clear concepts of study, then carefully studying of your website advice, I took Hock, which has superiority on cost performance and they providing good Q&A service, I could pass Part 2,

    For Part 3, again carefully studied many advices on your website, I took additional MCQs of Gelim and ExamMatrix, by which 4000 over MCQs I did before taking my last part, Part 3,

    After completed all tests, I could say, Part 2 is the most difficult for me, because it is like case study questions, seems to be not clear for right answer (selection), but Part 3 is not so difficult for me, however the covering are is the biggest in comparison to other 2 parts, it is based on whether I know or don’t know of the necessary knowledge, and selection could be simple right or wrong …

    Anyway my strategy for Part 3 which has the biggest covering area, is to take MCQs as much as possible and understand of the concepts, however ISO 31000 or IT governance may be on the real questions, but which shares big portion such as 20% or 30% in total, we need to understand other many basic concepts such as 5 forces, global marketing, leadership etc.,

    I would like to say thank you to Stephanie and other challengers gave comments and good advice here, and it is much appreciated if my comments could be a good reference for challengers especially for Part 3,

    Thanks and best regards.

    • Lynnel says:

      Congrats Harry!

      • Harry says:

        Thank you very much Lynnel, your blog and comments are very interesting and very useful, maybe not only for me but for many challengers ! With your advice, I tried to repeat 50 to 100 MCQs with time target almost every day for weeks before real exam … and it is very nice advice for keep brain very fresh before real exam, because, keeping to watch the monitor and serious study for 2 hours without any drink nor rest, it is very tough !

        Thanking again for your kindest advice !


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Harry,
      Thanks for your note! I especially appreciate your sharing from a Japanese perspective. I think you are the first Japanese commentator I can identify on this site 😀

      It’s also interesting that you find Part 2 most difficult, because for the majority of us, it is Part 3. Looks like our background and possibly culture play a part in that 😉

  • Larissa says:

    Hi All

    I finally passed the 3rd part yesterday after failing twice. The first 2 parts I passed with the first try and used IIA material. However, for the 3rd part, the content of IIA might be good enough (still you have to read the recommended materials listed here) but the questions were not sufficient at all.
    I used GLEIM when preparing the 3rd part. The best thing of GLEIM system for me is that it provideds me better time management visiablity when answering questions since I had 30min left for reviewing tagged questions.

    A few comments based on my personal experience:
    1. don’t spend muhc time on memorizing the financial calculation formular but on understanding the content of basic financial elements.
    2. read all recommended materials listed here. Thanks so much for all of you who ever provided the list. I might pass on the 2nd try if I knew this web by that time. Because many questions relating to ISO31000, IT goverenance, etc. you can’t find answers from books at all.
    3. dont spend more than 1min for 1 question unless you know the method how to answer it and the analysis might take longer. Tag all questions you want review.
    4. for my test there were a few questions relating to process approach and some comparison between ISO26000 and global initiative reporting. i have to admit i cannot recall much on any of those.

    Last but not least, Be confident of yourself. I didn’t have that much time to study due to the crazy travelling tme in the past 2 years (2 weeks per month at least). Even for this one I started reading books since March but only ensured 2hr per day 2 weeks before the exam. If I can still pass it, so do you!

    Good luck for all of you who will take the exams soon and appreicate again for those who provided valuable comments here.

    Wish you all a nice summer!


    • Brian says:

      Congrats Larissa,

      Regarding the ISO 31000 questions what would you highlight as critical ? Types of assurance ? Process, principles and maturity approaches ?


      • Larissa says:

        Thanks Brian. Back to your question, it’s just basic questions relating to what are included in different types of assruance. quite easy ones 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Larissa,
      Another great story of finally passing Part 3! Thanks for your tips, and glad to find the recommended materials continue to be helpful. It’s hard to study on the go and it’s very encouraging that you did it! All the best and you have a wonderful summer as well. Stephanie

    • Nat says:

      I just wrote the exam, and Larissa’s comments above are very accurate. I had a number of questions that referred to ISO 31000, and while they aren’t hard questions, becoming more familiar with that would make you more confident in your answers.

  • Mel says:

    Hi all,

    Im taking my exam soon for part 3, I just relied with IIA’s review book and learncia for my parts 1 and 2 and they seem to be more than enough to get me through them. However, now I was just browsing and saw a lot of the comments that said theres a need to do supplemental review on topics such as GTAG 17, ISO 31000, CSR etc. I’m on panic as I didn’t look at any supplemental and relied with IIA’s materials as usual. 1st of all, where can I get these such important supplemental readings that I need? Has anybody passed the exam with the IIA materials alone? Please help!!!!


    • Lynnel says:

      Hi Mel,

      The summary of lists that needs to be downloaded is on the last part of this site. It is recommended to read those supplemental guides since as what Art said governance and risk management is not sufficient on review materials. I would suggest you to read it so you wont regret it after your exam. You can get those guides at IIA website under supplemental guides. Good luck! ?

  • Lynnel says:

    Yes, you have to pay for it if you’re not a member. Also, pearson won’t provide you any cheat sheet , just erasable pad and marker for computation so you really need to memorize the formulas.

  • Matt J says:

    I passed Part 3 yesterday on my 2nd try. Big thank you to this site and the contributors for the tips and tricks. I’ll quickly reiterate what may others have said. In addition to your study guide (I used Gleim) you absolutely need the supplemental readings covering CSR, ISO 31000, and IT. GTAG 1, 17, and 4 were key. COSO and COBIT readings will help as well. Thanks again to everyone for the helpful advice on topic covered.

    • Ahmed says:

      Congrats Matt, I am taking the exam – Part 3 next week, second attempt. Hope I will do well as you did. Were there any financial questions, because as I read here there are not much of them. During my 1st exam I also faced 4-5 of them.


      • Nat says:

        Hi Ahmed,

        I wrote today and I can only recall 1-2 relatively simple financial questions. I prepared using Gleim, and Gleim had way too many complicated financial and management accounting questions. You do need to understand the relationships between certain variables or F/S line items (eg. if one item increases, how does it affect another?).

        Good luck.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Matt and all the best to your career! Stephanie

  • Vivi says:

    Hello all,
    Last Friday June 23, I passed my CIA part 3 exam and I can’t describe how happy I am after being studying for more than probably 8 months to approve this part. The first time I failed. I believe it was even more difficult since English is my second language.
    I would like to thank all your comments, advices and recomendations. It was a bless to find this site. It became my guide.
    As others already mentioned, It is really important to read the IIA guides, especially the ones related to governance, risk and IT. Try not only to learn the concepts but also to apply them. Pay attention to the samples in the guides. Review Finance and Finance Management topics to learn the concepts but don’t waste your time trying to do all the exercises.
    I studied from Gleim and Wiley. The last week of preparation I dedicated my time to practice exercises and exams. And when ever I failed a question during my practice I reviewed the reason and the concept behind.
    Hope this helps others.

  • Vivi says:

    Hello all,
    I passed my CIA part 3 exam this weekend and I can’t describe how happy I am after being studying for more than probably 8 months to approve this last part. The first time I failed. I believe it was even more difficult since English is my second language.

    I would like to thank all your comments, advices and recomendations. It was a bless to find this site. It became my guide.

    It is really important to read the IIA suplementary guides, especially the ones related to governance, risk and IT. Try not only to learn the concepts but also to apply them. Review Finance and Finance Management topics to learn the concepts but don’t waste your time trying to do all the exercises.
    I studied from Gleim and Wiley book and CIA excel. The last week of preparation I dedicated my time to practice questions and exams from both software and also took the IIA exam practice questions and when ever I failed a question I reviewed the reason and the concept behind.
    Hope this helps others

  • Shadi says:

    Any body know if IIA material updated with new changes?

  • Je says:

    Hi everyone! I’m currently reviewing for Part 3. Please give me tips on what to study for Communication topic. Thank you.

    • Brian says:

      Communication is a quite easy topic. I wouldn’t worry about it. The concepts to be understood are:
      – communication flow (encoding, decoding, feedback, sender, receiver)
      – communication direction (upward, downward, lateral)
      – qualities of effective communication (clear, concise, objective)
      – effective listening
      – electronic communication

      • Stephanie says:

        I agree. I don’t recall people asking questions / seeking help on communication, meaning this shouldn’t be a challenge to the vast majority of candidates. Good luck!

  • Brian H says:

    Hi All,

    I’m getting ready to start on the accounting and finance sections of Part 3 and I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous about it since I’m not an accountant or finance guy by training. I took financial accounting, managerial accounting, and corporate finance in college but that was 10 years ago. I’ve read many of you report that the accounting and finance topics are tested at a basic level and that understanding the concepts is more important than mastering the calculations and formulas. Do any of you have any other tips or advice? I’d especially like to hear from anyone who doesn’t have an accounting background. I’m using the Gleim materials.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jonh says:

      Hey Brian,

      Topics tested when I took the exam were basic but you must be comfortable not to mix the things up….ratios, variable x absorption cost, financial statements and IRR x NPV were covered at a basic level.

      As I said, be comfortable in knowing the differences, advantages, disadvantages and how to differentiate things…questions are always around knowing why one thing is better or worse than others…Do not spend time doing super complicate calculations. Ratios is the only part I would do some exercises to warm up before the exam. All the rest is about concepts.

      • Brian H says:

        Thanks, Jonh! I’m using Gleim and am wrapping up their “Basic and Intermediate Concepts of Financial Accounting” unit and I’m not off to a good start. I’m finding the material to be very confusing (as I said before, I’m not an accountant). I’m averaging 55% on the test prep and feel like I’m not understanding the basic concepts (let alone the calculations). Needless to say, I’m nervous because if this material is “basic”, how much harder is the rest going to be? My confidence is definitely shaken.

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Brian, it might be easier to get some outside help on financial accounting first. I am not an accounting major and the first time when I got to learn about accounting, it was totally confusing.

          Suggest to check out Khan Academy or Youtube videos. I haven’t checked out the really basic concepts but they do have good videos overall. And it’s all free. Or get a financial accounting 101 from the library… though that could be equally confusing without an instructor 😉

  • C.W says:

    Hi everyone,

    After almost four years of study, I have finally passed all three parts of my CIA test and I can finally join my fellow CIA members.
    I took Part 1 two times, Part 2 one time, and part 3 two times. Part three definitely was the most challenging one. I spent 6 month studying part 3. I purchased Gleim, IIA material and used efficiency learning software. I can say I like the IIA book format. The Gleim material was definitely not good enough since it did not cover a lot of materials.
    Here are the main topic on part three exam that I have encountered:
    1. Financial Ratios.
    2. IT. 30% of questions.
    3. Cost Accounting. 4 -6 questions.
    4. CRA.
    5. Several question about the new changes.
    6. You really have to understand the material in order to answer them. They did not ask specific question. Most of question were how to apply the principal to real life situations. Memorizing the material will not help.
    7. I put a lot of hours during the final two weeks to cover as much as I could.
    8. Be confident, the materials were hard but durable.
    9.Good luck everyone!

    • Jolly says:

      Hey C.W,

      I will be taking the part 3 on 19th of july… i failed my first time 3 months ago.. and i faced a lot of questions from CSR, ISO, Maturity Model, Team Building, Marketing Strategies, Stakeholder Realtionships… but what got me was about 20 questions from ISO + CSR… i wasnt expecting that much… i use gleim material.. how about those parts? Do you recall anything?

      And about the financial portion of your exam.. i think it was one of the most intensive ones through the comments i read on this forum… i only got 3 questions as well… were the questions hard and computational? or just conceptual?


      • C.W says:


        Most of my questions were IT and CSR related. I believe there were some COSO and COBIT5. Financial part was computational but easy. I would not worry too much about Financial questions. Ratios were ask at basic level. Managerial accounting was tricky. I recommend to know the different types of costs and how to calculate them. I had two questions about interest rate and bonds valuation. Gleim definitely is not enough. I believe that IIA material helped me the most. Again, I studied 6 month intensively and got 80% above on all of my practice exams. I also read all the recommended supplemental materials. At least 4 questions were new materials that I have never seen on my books. I believe they were not graded.
        Good luck!

        • Jolly says:

          Thank you for the valuable insights and wishes…

          Congratulations once again !

        • Lisa says:

          Hi C.W.,

          Could provide some insight on changes to IPPF/Standards you were tested on??

          Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


        • Abdullah says:

          Hi C.W,

          Please suggest what areas to focus of the recent changes.
          I believe the recent changes related to PA 2110-1 to PA 2120-2 will be effected w.r.t CIA part 3?
          or there are any other changes to which to focus?


          • C.W says:


            I am sorry that I do not remember those questions. Since I did not review the new material I do not recall the specifics. I believe that they are going to test the new changes starting July 1st.


    • Stephanie says:

      Thank you C.W. and congrats to have completed your 4-year journey! All the best to you, Stephanie

  • Layla says:

    Hi everyone, I took my exam yesterday 2nd attempt and failed scoring 582. I used both IIA learning system and Gleim. This was after the update and changes, nothing was really new to me.. my feedback indicated that I have performed competent on governance and risk but because of other topics. I don’t know what what to do else, I have been study for 4 hours a day for the past two months and now I’m thinking of buying a new learning system cause I feel I memorized the questions after testing them so many times. Or I should go back to reading materials and making notes again, I’m lost on what to do, any recommendations?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Layla,

      Sorry to hear that, the next exam you will definitely pass.

      Did you read the IIA PRACTICE GUIDES that were mentioned here?

      Based on the post from other members of the blog who have passed reading these practice guides are very essential to increase your chances of passing.

      All the best.

      • harry says:

        Dearly Layla

        I could fully understand what you feel now, however I fortunately could pass the Part 3 last month, I had same feeling with you when I failed on the previous 1st challange,

        I could advise you to take ExamMatrix, the test prep which I remember it contains 1600 MCQs, however I was also afraid just memorize questions and answers, but if you took like 3000 or 4000 MCQs I did on my 2nd try, it is impossible to memorize all, and possibility to cover real exam comes to be higher like 30 or 40 times !

        I believe it is worthy for you to take more numbers of MCQs,

        Good luck !

        • Layla says:

          Thank you harry for your advice, I was thinking about ExamMatrix this time but was worried If I should add it with IIA system and Gleim or use it on its own to review and try again, my only concern was that ExamMatrix would have some same questions and I would gain nothing but now I want to really try it and hopefully I can pass.

          • Stephanie says:

            Hi Layla,
            They probably have some similar questions (and explanations are not as good to be honest), but the value add is how they feed you the questions that you are weaker at.

            IIA may have identified your weaker areas, but with 582 you are actually very close to pass! So it could be just teey tiny weaker than the average. Might want to check out Annette’s blog for her inspiration. Afterall she passed after 6 attempts. Stay strong, you can do it!

      • Layla says:

        Actually I did! All the governance, ISO 3000 and GATGs and did fine on those. My needed improvement areas were finance/accounting which was also a weak area in my first attempt and had new weakness areas such as leadership and communication which I had no problem with in my 1st attempt, I was comfortable with them and was shocked to know I did bad.

        • C.W says:


          I used an Intermediate Accounting book to supplement the Accounting and Finance part. I remember that the accounting questions were not very hard but you do need to know the formula and know how any changes will affect the overall financial picture of the company. I do believe the information with Gleim was enough for this part. I would recommend you work on the Gleim question bank since I saw two exam questions similar to the Gleim test bank.


  • A Ahaid says:

    I passed PArt-1 and Part-3 in first attempt.. but stuck with Part two which I failed by scoring 594, tell me how to pass this….

    • Art Yip says:

      A Ahaid,

      When I passed Part 2, I felt Gleim practice MCQs were the most helpful. I also remember Part 2 had a lot of long situational questions. I almost ran out of time during the exam. So get used to reading the last sentence of each question first, and try to stick with the 1 question per minute timeline during the exam. Your score of 594 was very close to passing. You should do fine on your retake!


    • Stephanie says:

      That’s not a typical case 😉 in any case you are just a tiny bit off! Did you check out our page 2 page? Lynnel’s blog posts might be helpful as well. Regards, Stephanie

  • Jade says:

    I took the part 3 exam for the second time last Saturday and I finally passed!! I would like to thank everyone for the advice and encouragement. I reviewed the Gleim study material at least three time, do practice questions, and make sure I fully understand what I did wrong. I agree that the IIA Practice Guides are essential to passing, especially on the CSR and IT Governance sections. I didn’t encounter any calculation problem on the exam so I wouldn’t spend too much time on the Finance/Accounting section. As long as you spend enough time studying, you can pass the exam too! Hard work does pay off! Good luck everyone! 😀

    • Jolly says:

      Hi Jade, Congrats!!!

      I ll take the exam on the 19th of july… can you give some more insights about what type of questions you faced on the IT sections especially about Gtags you mentioned.. because i recently reviewed the suggested gtags and found it quite similar with the gleim material and found no exceptions 🙂

      Maybe i am not cautious enough i dont know 🙂 Any help will be appreciated.. 🙂


      • Melanie says:

        Hey Jolly,

        can you maybe share your experience? How was the exam?

        I also read all the recommended GTAGS, standards etc and for me it is the same, I feel like there is no real difference to the GLEIM material. Just to read everything again maybe is a good way to remember more of the Information.

        With best regards


        • Jolly says:

          Hi Melanie,

          Im sorry for the late reply. I have just seen your question.

          Unfortunately i failed with a score of 590. Throughout the exam i felt like i was going to pass because i felt pretty comfortable about every answer.. It was bit of a shock at the end but life goes on 🙂

          It seems that i wasnt doing enough in the Governance section and communication which is a shame.. but in my opinion if you dont answers 1 of 3 questions lets say the result paper may say you need significant improvement on that section.. so its up to some surprise questions i faced, at least thats what i guess. I faced with 3 or 4 easy computational questions in finance section which i wont be covering next time because its a waste of time… and i also didnt do enough at marketing strategies..

          I hope to pass it next time but i ll take CRMA first 🙂

          Best Regards

    • Stephanie says:

      Wonderful news Jade. All the best to you! Stephanie 🙂

  • Shadi says:

    Am starting now part3
    I used gliem for part1&2 and passed from first
    But I faced some questions outside gliem material
    I need ur advices if gliem will be sufficient for part 3 or I should use other material?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Shadi,

      Based on my usage of this site it would seem that IIA material is more comprehensive for Part 3, this especially for CSR, ISO etc. You also need to go thru the IIA Practice Guides that are listed on this page. All the best on Part 3.

      I am currently preparing to do the Part 2 exam in August. Is it possible to share your experience with part 2 and anything/areas you remembered for the exam???

      Anything assistance on Part 2 would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks in Advance

      • Shadi says:

        Thanks Lisa for your advice

        For part two you need to give extra attention to units 5&6 about managing individual engagement
        I used gliem but actually I faced some questions not covered by gliem material .
        I bought questions from other resources which really helped me a lot as at look like exam format
        I bought it from website called itexampass and it costing around 50$
        Hope u the best

      • Stephanie says:

        Yes, although if budget is an issue, please don’t find it an absolute necessity to get the IIA material. It helps, but many readers here pass with Gleim + the freebies.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Shadi,
      We highly recommend you download the supplementary materials mentioned above. Many candidates don’t find Gleim to be adequate on its own, but it isn’t necessary to buy another course if you download the free materials. Regards, Stephanie

  • Mimi says:


    Are there any recent CIA Part 3 takers that can please share their experiences since the IIA changes were supposed to take effect from the 1st of July?

    Has anyone take the exam in the last couple of weeks?

    Thank you.

  • Lesley Lightfoot says:

    Good day! I took my CIA exam several times I passed parts 1 & 2 but failed CIA PT. 3. I took Part 3 today 7/31/17 and failed with a score of 570. I want to give up but I am wiling to give one more try. The exam question structure was very tricky and vague and a little more difficult than pass exams. The subject tested was fine and I could have identified many of the topics but some of the questions were just killer. There was a lot of CSR-Governance, IT topics-general and application controls, Risk Mgmt, Operational Processed; Not much financial calculations, exam was concepts based primarily. I think my challenge is understanding the exam questions and linking them to the concepts. Any assistance on how I can improve?


    • Art Yip says:

      Hi Lesley,

      Part 3 is harder and trickier than the other parts. When going through the practice questions, avoid memorizing the answer. Instead, analyze why the answer is correct or incorrect. If you have flash cards, use them to get familiar with the terminology, and understand the concepts. Focus hard on IT, Risk Management, Governance & CSR as those topics are tested heavily in Part 3. It won’t be easy, but with some hard and smart studying, it’s passable! All the best to you!


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Lesley, you have completed 2 out of the 3 test, don’t give up! I would just stick with working on the heavy-hitters — the CSR, governance, IT etc that you have similarly identified. Be sure you download the free supplementary materials mentioned above. They are life savers for many retakers. Good luck! Stephanie

  • Yuri says:

    Dear Friends,

    I’ve just passed the paper 3 and now its over. It took me 10 months and lot of effort and hard work to accomplish it. I have used Glein + IIA materials for paper 3 and only Glein for 1 and 2.

    Papers 1 and 2 should not big a big deal if with you are familiar with internal audit. But when it comes to get ready for Paper 3 you need a bit of experience + find the right tone and material. Glein is definitely not enough and buying IIA books are highly recommended.

    In my exam 3 I found:
    – at least 20 questions related to IT/Business Continuity. General controls, application controls, COBIT, SDLC, Change Controls, IT governance. Especial attention must be given to application controls;
    – Governance/CSR 12 questions: common sense is always the rule for that part. Exclusion of wrong questions narrow your chances. Easy to exclude wrong questions in this part (all, must, always) attention to these words cause it can indicate its wrong;
    – Risk Management 10 questions: hard but feasible. ISO 31000 and COSO are mandatory to know and to be comfortable differentiating things. Risk Avoidance, Sharing, Reducing can be really tricky;
    – Business and Risks: EOQ, EDI, EFT, Outsourcing..didn’t find it easy. IIA material must be understood in depth;
    – Leadership + Strategy: vertical integration, decentralized +centralized, matrix structure, leadership and motivation were covered fairly but not knowing the differences can lead you to wrong answers. Practice with Glein is the best way to get to know the differences;
    – Accounting: Variable + absorption, job + process costing, ratios…easy questions
    – Global Business: common sense always + IIA material

    Wish all the best to everyone trying to accomplish it. This forum was great to exchange knowledge and focus on the right things before the real exam.

    • Lisa says:

      Hey Yuri,

      Congrats!!!! Well done.

      All the best.

    • OMAR ATAWNEH says:

      Congrats, well done Dear

      and really thank you for the input

      I have an exam on 26th August, and this is my final part

      can you please tell us if you had any calculation questions, and the difficulty and details of these questions

      Many thanks, wish you all luck

      • Yuri says:


        I found 3 questions with calculation.

        – Acid Test: simple but make sure you know the concept.

        – EOQ: it asked what is the increase in EOQ proportional to an increase in Annual Requirement. e.g: an increase in 36% in AR represents x in EOQ ?

        – Variable cost: question gives you variable costs, sales, and
        manufacturing fixed costs and asked the cost of goods sold. Make sure you know how to differentiate absorption and variable costs. Manufacturing fixed cost is the key to get the calculation right

    • Stephanie says:

      Very detailed, thanks so much! And of course, congrats! I hope you had a good celebration. You totally deserve it Yuri! Thanks again for giving back to the community, and all the best to you 🙂 Stephanie

  • Melanie says:

    Hey Readers of this blog and webpage,

    I am currently getting prepared for CIA exam part 3. I bought the Gleim Premium package and in addition I am reading the GTAGs, standards etc. as recommended on this page. I worked my way through now till section 14 of 20 and already finished the whole chapters about IT, Compliance, Risk Management, Business Processes and Organizational Behaviour. I am currently working on chapters about Finance and Managerial Accounting.

    I feel quite comfortable and well prepared. At the beginning of every chapter I do the inital test with Gleim, then read the regarding chapter, watch the videos, listen to the audio lectures and also after all write down a one-pager about everything I learned in this chapter an overview (and also to test myself, if I really did understand everything). And then I do the recommended multipe-choice tests.

    I read a lot about that Gleim is not enough, but I also had a colleague, who passed the CIA exam part 3 in his first attempt just using Gleim premium and reading the additional papers.

    Sometimes I feel like that I Need additional Support and sometimes I feel quite positive that I will pass even without it.

    I think that, when I am finished reading everything and I did all questions from the test bank (yes, also for part 2 I did ALL questions until it made no more sense) that Gleim offers, I will maybe purchase ExamMatrix for part 3, just to do more questions.

    Is there anybody who can share some experience?
    Did anyone purchased ExamMatrix for Part 3 already?

    Thank you all! 🙂


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Melanie, I believe you are all set. Yes Gleim isn’t enough esp for Part 3, but many readers here passed with Gleim when they pair it up with the supplementary readings. So the reading seem to be able to fill in the holes at least for now. I believe Gleim is working on improving their Part 3 based on the feedback here.

      On Exammatrix, I’ve got mixed reviews but if budget isn’t tight, it’s worth getting another set. Best of luck to your Part 3! Stephanie

  • S Vidyananth says:

    I passed my part 3 exam in first attempt and a lot of credit for that goes to all the contributors in this website for their advice! Thanks a lot!

    • Mimi says:

      Hi S Vidyananth,


      Are there any tips that you can share with the rest of us who will be sitting for Part 3? What types of questions did you encounter?


    • Stephanie says:

      Wonderful to hear S! And thanks for telling us. It’s great to know the site has been helpful. All the best to you! Stephanie

  • Joel says:

    I noticed in May 2017, a new GTAG was issued “Understanding and Auditing Big Data”. I’m just curious to know if any of the more recent exam takers have seen questions pertaining to this? Thanks.

    • William says:

      I passed the exam last week, no questions pertaining to Big Data yet.

      • Joel says:

        Thank you, and Congrats!! Mine is this Saturday!

      • Lola says:

        Hi William,

        Congratulations on passing the exam. Are there any tips that you can share?
        How many accounting calculations did you get? What parts were tested?


        • William says:

          Hi Lola,

          I got roughly 10 finance/accounting related questions, all easy, only 3 questions involved calculations. I would not spend a lot of time in these areas. Focus on risk, governance and IT, and reading all the recommended PGs and GTAGs will definitely help you pass this exam. From my experience, most questions were application-based, and it was not particularly focus on a specific area. So the best approach is read and understand “ALL” sections of your study system (in my case its Gleim), then you have all your bases covered. The key is “full understanding” of the concepts, not memorize the answers to the multiple choice questions. If your study system doesn’t explain it well enough, use Google. I used Google a lot to prepare for this exam.

          Best of luck to all of you!

          • Joel says:

            Last question, my helpful CIA friend, Ive notoced the GTAGs seem to be about 5% actual information and then a bunch of questions and examples to help guide the CAE/Auditor. Did ypu notice the same, or am I potentially overlooking something key? Much appreciated for all of your help.

          • Lola says:

            Thanks for replying and thanks for the advice William. Much appreciated!

  • William says:

    For the GTAGs, all you need to do is read it and understand it, no need to memorize anything. Understanding is the key!

  • Maria says:

    Good Day,

    I have been reading experiences of some persons from this forum.
    I am about to commence studying for CIA Part 3 and I would appreciate it if a list of the areas to focus on and all the additional materials to assist me in passing on my first try could be provided.

    The feedback that is provided here, indicates that CIA Part 3 is difficult to pass.

    I would be grateful if guidance could be provided as this forum seems helpful.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Maria,

      I am currently preparing for CIA part 2 for early September date.

      I just wondering if you recently sat Part 2 and could you share your experience:

      – Any practice guide you used and the those that were useful for the exam.

      – Any specific area that came on the exam.

      – And overall pointers or recommendations.

      Thanks in advance.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Maria, I believe the consensus is that one should cover all topics for Part 3 — in the above we mention the ones to focus on more (and less, such as the computational questions in financial accounting). Good luck to your Part 3! Stephanie

  • Lola says:


    CIA Part 3

    Does anyone have their personal notes on Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting that they can share please? I need some notes on the relevant ratios and concepts for the exam.

    Email address is: ***DELETED TO PROTECT USER’S PRIVACY***

    (please drop a note here instead. Thanks)

    Thank you.

  • Mics says:

    Hi everyone! I am Mics and I am currently preparing for my third attempt (December 2017) in passing the Part 3 of CIA Exam. My score on my first attempt was 558 and on my second attempt this August 29 was 588. I found this forum very helpful that during my 2nd attempt I scanned all the discussions but due to time constraint I was not able to read all the suggested supplementary guides particularly GTAGs.

    For Governance and Risk Management, I used IIA’s Materials, read the suggested Practice Guides (Assessing Organizational Governance – Public and Private Sectors, Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance, Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility, ISO 31000) and yes these are sufficient for answering the questions as my score report indicated that I performed competently in those areas. However, there are questions that relates to Auditing External Business Relationships. Might as well include this in your reading.

    For IT, I used IIA Materials. Questions on these areas were handful especially on Business Continuity. Give scrutiny on its tests and phases. IT General and Applications Controls were also included and I had a hard time answering those. So in my preparation, I will study the suggested GTAGs (1, 4 and 17).

    For the other parts, I used Gleim Materials. I guess Gleim is enough but the questions are so tricky and theoretical. Make sure that you understand these in DETAILS and grasp the CONCEPTS very well. No complicated calculations were asked.

    I pray that I will be able to share with you a good news on my third attempt in passing this part in December. God bless CIAs.

    • Layla says:

      Hi Mics, I’m preparing for my 3rd attempt as well. Hopefully, I will pass in October although I have not study as much as I did for the last two attempts but I bought Exammatrix to review and I have to say it has some different questions to refresh everything since I think I reached a level where I memorized gleim and IIA system but not a good explanation for some questions.

      All the best for those still trying and persistence will help us pass.

      • Karla says:

        Hi Colleagues!!!

        Please I need your help. I’m having struggles with Structures and Processes in Gleim Unit 3. I can’t really understand the differences between every model so please,, could you suggest to me something to strengthen this area?.. I appreciate all your advices.

        Many thanks!!


        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Karla,
          Typically the Gleim personal counselor will be helpful in this regard. They are not accounting experts but they will either forward your question to their technical colleague or somehow help you along the way. Please give it a try! Stephanie

    • Stephanie says:

      Mics, thanks for the sharing, very helpful! I wish you the best — you can do it! Stephanie

  • Naveen P says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks so much for this blog post. I am preparing for CIA part 3 and downloading relevant material from the IIA website.

    Which are the equivalent Implementation Guides equivalent to the two Practice Advisories recommended: PA 2110-1 & PA 2120-2, relevant for exams in 2017?

    According to the IIA website: Implementation Guides have replaced Practice Advisories effective January 1, 2017. While Practice Advisories include relevant content, not all content has been incorporated into Implementation Guides.

    Furthermore, I am unable to locate the following Practice Guide on the IIA website: PG-Assessing Organizational Governance – Private Sector. Has this been replaced or removed, or can you assist in locating?


  • moo says:

    Hello, I have just passed my paper 3 for my first attempt and I would like to share my experience here as all the above comments helped me a lot! Basically I agree with the rest i.e you have to understand the concept behind FULLY (I’m using Gleim) to elaborate on that, I can’t trace back 90% of my questions to the Gleim material. You can identify the related topic from the question itself, but the answers provided are all from mixed topics and to get to the right answer, you actually need to understand all related concepts.

    For Governance and Risk Management, do read all the related practice guides and they are helpful. While for IT, I personally found that the GTAGs are not enough in my case as there were still a few IT governance questions that couldnt be found in the GTAGs. For Finance, in my case, I have no calculations at all and yet the questions are not easy for me as they are all on basic concepts (I’m not from accounting background).

    So my questions were like the following:
    –Top questions >20 questions: IT governance (do more supplementary readings, Gleim is not enough), Business Continuity, application controls (understand in depth, Gleim is not enough), EUC, SDLC
    – Governance & risk management ~15 questions: ISO 31000, CSR & GRI, Risk Management, COSO ERM
    – Finance <15 questions – Debt and Equity, Depreciation, Cost allocation, Profit and Loss,
    – Business and Risks <15 questions: ISO framework, EFT, Outsourcing, do read the Auditing EBR, gleim is not enough
    – Leadership + Strategy <15 questions: Porter’s Competitive forces (key topic), ERP & MRP, Expansion, centralization/decentralization, EFT, Inventory Management ,Conflict, Leadership, motivation , SWOT, vertical integration (gleim questions are helpful to understand the concepts)
    – Global Business: Globalization, Leadership, HR, economic cycle
    – Communication – 1 simple question only

    I also got a few questions on process analysis which I had no clue as they are not covered by Gleim

    • Karla says:

      Dear Moo,

      Please can you tell me which chapters of financial/accounting in gleim I have to study more?? I feel overhelming with the amount of material to study related to this term.

      I appreciate your advice.

      • Moo says:

        Actually all chapters are equally important for you to understand the concepts, the focus is to understand the material well. Moreover the questions are not always the same so I can only share the approach to the exam.
        Hope this help!

  • Michelle says:

    Hello, I am going to take my part 3 exam next Saturday! I am very worried about all those extra reading materials referred in this website. I passed part 1 (2nd time) and Part 2 (first time) of CIA last year by using only Gleim! I just read the ISO 31000 from the IIA website. I found that Gleim actually talked about most of the essential materials from this 31000. Should I really pay great attention to every detail to this ISO 31000 or Gleim is enough? Also, GTAG 17 from the IIA website has a date July 2012, am I using the right material? GTAG 17 is 24 pages! I hope I found this website earlier as I did almost 4000 MCQ for part 3 from Gleim already and now I am taking the exam next week and have all those extra materials and have to work overtime for regular public accounting job! Any advice is appreciated!

    • Misi says:

      The advice is that you just have to study the GTAGs 1,4,17 and the guidance on CSR. Also the 31000. You also have to understand the material. The questions really do get asked.
      I am speaking based on my exam experience of 31 August and if you have read the comments on this page since then, they still advise you to study these materials.
      Make sure you go through them at least once….there may be some questions that you will be able to answer easily to increase your chances of passing.

      • Michelle says:

        Dear Misi,
        Thank you so much for the advice. I just quickly scanned CSR and ISO 31000 last night. I guess I will spend some time go through the GTAG 1,4,17 over the weekend as well! Hopefully I can go through those extra materials again before my exam!

  • Cass Loh says:

    I’m preparing for Part 3 exams, trying to download the PG ISO 31000, CSR, and IT GTAGS IPPP though a member but couldnt get in. Can you help to email me pls as my exam is nearing in a week?

  • Yuliya says:

    Hi everyone! I’m taking part 3 for the 3rd time in November. My results were 549 first and 576 second time. This time I’m studying through IIA Learning System books, supplementing it with all of the GTAGs and other papers suggested here. Yet, my weakest part is Industry/Product evolution topics where it talks about Emerging/Mature/Decline industries etc. I really do not get it .Although been reading a lot from both Glem and IIA Learning Systems, I keep making a lot of mistakes on this topic and BADLY need an advice.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Art Yip says:


      This section is tested quite a bit in the Part 3 Exam. So it’s important to know it well! I feel that IIA’s Learning System teaches this portion better than Gleim in Section V Management/Leadership Principles of IIA’s texts. If you have their software, go over the flash cards in addition to the practice questions for this section. That should help you learn the terminology, which will lead to giving you a better grasp of the concepts. All the best to you!


  • Nameer says:


    I am already passed CIA part 1 on my first attempt around 10 months back, I planned to appear part 2 but for various reason, it is not happened. Now I am thinking to appear part 3 then later part 2, I need your kind advise, whether I need to appear part 2 first or I can go for part 3.

    Thanks and Regards,

  • Diane says:

    Hy everyone, I am studying right now for part 3 and starting to feel overwhelmed :(. I am looking at chap 16 from Gleim and cannot find motivation to start. I am an accountant so these things should be easy. One problem is that I am French and realize that I have to learn so many words and definition in these sections. I would really appreciate comments from accountant that have done the cia exam part 3. I understand that many mentionned not to go crazy with calculation but what about definition etc.. Thanks to all in advance.

  • Michelle says:

    I finally passed CIA part three this last Saturday! The exam was super tricky. Thank you for all the great advice I found in this website! Do read the CSR, GTAG , IT general controls, ISO standards that suggested in this website. Those extra materials really helpful for the exam. Best of luck for you guys!

    • Diane says:

      Contratulations! Happy for you Michelle!

      Can you say if we should read all the GTAG or only the one mentionned above: 1, 4,7 & 12. ?
      Thank you !

      • Michelle says:


        Thank you! I just read 1,4,7 &12 from IIA’s GTAG. I think that is helpful to passing the part 3! Reading all the GTAG would be too much work! I read them all in depth(that means every word of those GTAG) one week before the exam and then scanned them quickly one day before the exam.

    • Maria says:

      Hi Michelle,


      Did you use the Gleim Material or the IIA’s Material?

      • Michelle says:


        Thank you. I used Gleim. I did all the practice questions in their bank. I only used Gleim Premium and read those extra materials. I think using Gleim is over prepared for the financial accounting part though

        • Maria says:

          Hi Michelle,

          Can you list out the exact names of the additional IIA materials that you used to prepare for Part 3, so that I can locate them easily on the IA Website?


          • Michelle says:

            Hi Maria,

            Here is the list that I used as additional materials :

            Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guides for RM, Governance and CSR:
            Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Using ISO 31000
            Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance
            Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development

            Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guides for IT:
            GTAG 1 – IT Risks and Controls
            GTAG 4 – Management of IT Auditing
            GTAG 17 – Auditing IT Governance

            WIth those and Gleim, you should be good with Part 3 I think

    • Jolly says:

      Hi Michelle,


      I wonder if you can share some insights regarding the financial parts and governance & risk management + IT parts of the exam…

      Do you remember anything significant from management and leadership principles??

      Thanks in advance.

      • Michelle says:

        My advice is remember all the formulas for the financial accounting part and yes. I have lots of questions from management and leadership principles! I can’t share anything other than those for the exam confidentiality. I hope you understand.

    • Stephanie says:

      Wonderful news Michelle! Great to know the supplementary materials helped! All the best to you, Stephanie

  • Layla says:

    Hi everyone, I just passed my part 3 exam this week on my third attempt. Just wanted to share more from the last time I tried.
    I used Gleim for my 1st attempt and I didn’t read any extra materials. On my 2nd attempt, I wanted to try additional resources so I used Gleim, IIA learning system and read all materials and was close for passing and performed competently on some parts which made it more frustrating not to pass.
    I decided to try a third tool which was Exammatrix just cause I felt that I started to memorize Gleim and IIA questions which I was trying to avoid. I have to say Exammatrix had so many new questions which made me glad to test and measure my understanding from the other previous systems.
    The exam was tricky and this is why you need to focus extermlly during study.
    Keep reading IIA materials especially ISO, CSR and GATGs ( the one I would focus on IT governance which I had so many questions regarding IT governance characteristic and risk, IT layers)
    Don’t focus on calculations, I had 4 questions (calculating ratio, depreciation and operating income under variable costing (seen this for the 2nd time again)), I actually done all questions on Gleim and my advice, don’t waste your time but go through all of them to understand the analysis side and effect ( this will help you with the financial questions such us: effect of a type of ratio on company’s earning … etc.)
    Other questions I had were about product life cycle ( what is the most risky, which have best or less control), industry phases, outsourcing, industry and company strategies, EOQ, leadership type and communication.

    Hope this is helpful and good luck all. For those who are stuck just like I was before… don’t give up, persistence and commitment will get you there.

    • Stephanie says:

      Wonderful Layla! An inspiration! All the best to you, Stephanie

    • Mics says:

      Hi Layla! Congratulations for passing on your third attempt! Your persistence and hard work already paid off. Thanks for not giving up. Your success will be an inspiration for me to not give up too until I made it. Sometimes, it’s really draining me when I realize that I have to start anew and study again. But as the saying goes, “Nothing worth having comes easy”. Thank you for your advice. Praying that I will make it on my third attempt too. May all go well with you. God bless.

  • Melanie says:

    I passed my CIA Part 3 exam today – this morning – on my first attempt! I feel so great and so relieved 🙂 I am done now! Of course, I am still waiting for my official result in CCMS, but I already got my printed out result from the PearsonVue Test Center – pass! 🙂

    I learned with Gleim Premium, watched all the videos, read all the sections in the book, read all recommended GTAGs, PG (even about EBR), Standards etc, but focused more on CSR, ISO, RM, Compliance, IT, Marketing, Porter, Management etc. as it is already stated here in this forum. I wrote a lot of cards, by myself, handwriting – this helps me to concentrate on the content, and I read them again and again.

    This all helped me a LOT!

    I did almost NO questions in the Gleim Test bank according to Finance, just to Managerial Accounting. You really Need a good understanding, but not excactly to know all.

    An yes, I had a few calculations – but basics – you need to know a few basics and have a good understanding, than u can do it!

    I wish u all the best for everybode who is still on the way – You can do it!


    • Stephanie says:

      Awesome work Melanie! Passing on your first attempt is a great accomplishment. We don’t know the Part 3 pass rate but given the overall passing rate was around 40%, I am sure Part 3 pass rate is pretty low… so WELL done! Thanks for the tips as well, always useful to hear from recent takers. All the best! Stephanie

  • Ashish says:

    Hello All,

    I took my exam yesterday and passed on my first attempt. I used the Gleim material and question bank and everything said on this site with the following practice guides is pure gold.
    PG-Risk Management, Governance and CSR: PG-Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance, PG-Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility and ISO 31000
    IT: GTAGs 1, 4 and 17

    In terms of the preparation, I must have studied around 125-150 hours in total. I was only able to attempt 1/3 of the questions in the Gleim question bank due to the time constraint and literally none for Finance and Accounting sections. I believe this is sufficient as there is a lot of repetition that happens in the Gleim question bank and very little is asked from Finance/Accounting sections.

    One other suggestion I have with the preparation is and it worked for me. The day before the exam, I would urge you to do a complete revision of the theory so it stays fresh on the exam day. A large number of questions in the exam can be answered if your grasp over the theory and technical concepts is strong.

    If anybody has any questions, feel free to ask. All the very best. Cheers!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Ashish,

      Can you list out the full names of the additional IIA materials that you used so that I can locate them easily on the IIA Website?

      Alot of feedback on this forum indicated that the Gleim material is insufficient for passing Part 3 and the IIA Learning System is better….I am comfortable with Gleim’s material as it is structured better and more condensed….Do you find that the Gleim material was sufficent along with the additional IIA materials to pass the exam?

      Were questions actually asked from the additioal IIA materials?


      • Ashish says:

        Hi Maria,

        The full list:

        Under Implementation Guide/Practice Advisories:
        – 2110 Governance
        – 2120-1 Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Processes

        Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guides for RM, Governance and CSR:
        – Assessing the Adequacy of Risk Management Using ISO 31000
        – Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance
        – Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainable Development

        Supplemental Guidance/Practice Guides for IT:
        GTAG 1 – IT Risks and Controls
        GTAG 4 – Management of IT Auditing
        GTAG 17 – Auditing IT Governance

        Gleim material is good but inadequate in Risk Management, Governance, IT and CSR. Additional guides listed above are a definite value add. A number of questions are directly and indirectly asked from these additional practice advisories.

        For all other chapters, Gleim is sufficient.

        Hope this helps

        • Maria says:

          Hi Ashish,

          Thank you so much for your speedy response.

          Right now I am preparing for Part 3 and using Gleim (which I used for the other parts)…. but was confused as feedback indicated that the material was inadequate.

          I am a person that like to focus on one set of material and learn that well….I would be overwhelmed with Gleim plus IIA material plus the additional material.

          So I know that you cant guarantee…. but you passed the exam using Gleim material and the additional IIA material outlined above?

          What about the PG – Assessing organizational governance – Private Sector and PG – Assessing organizational governance – Public sector …should I review these as well?

          Do I need to study the whole of the various PG outlined above?

          Was the exam a very difficult exam?
          Were the questions lengthy?

          Thanks for assistance,

          • Ashish says:

            Hi Maria,

            In my opinion, Gleim plus the additional practice guides listed above should do the trick. Using different sets of material (Gleim and IIA materials) would lead to fatigue and unnecessary pressure.

            I only studied Gleim fully and all the PGs I listed above. Would suggest you are fully thorough with IT/Risk management/Governance/CSR chapters – 60-70% questions are directly or indirectly linked to these chapters.

            You can quickly breeze through PGs for Private and Public sector but this can be avoided if you are thorough with what you have in Gleim and the additional Governance/Risk/CSR PGs listed above.

            Exam itself was not difficult. I completed all questions in 100 mins and had 20 mins to go through the flagged questions. I was fairly sure of clearing the exam midway with the kind of questions being asked. (Questions were predominantly application based, short in length which required good grasp of the technical knowledge)

        • Stephanie says:

          Very helpful! 😀 Stephanie

        • Khadija says:

          I am preparing for part 3 using IIA Learning system and Gleim for some topics. Do i need to study the additional material as well?

          • Shadi says:

            Better to read the supplementary material advised
            But for sure u need Gliem questions Bank as the IIA question not enough and much below gliem
            But don’t waste much time on calculations

            All the best

    • Stephanie says:

      Wow so many good news today! Congrats Ashish — same comment as Melanie’s, it’s a great accomplishment to pass Part 3 on your first attempt given the really low pass rate 🙂 Stephanie

    • ameer says:

      congra ,Aisha . I preparing to part3 , and I will purchase test banks and flash cards …etc from gleam, can you sell the material for me instead of purchasing from gleam. can you help me to do that.

  • Shadi says:

    Congratulations to all whom passed

    Can someone guide me regad experience requirement
    I can submit it before the exam or only after passing?

    And how many days it will take to receive the certificate?


  • Zamig says:

    Dears, I was attempted 1st time for part 3 yesterday as a result failed with score 570. I have been preparing with Gleim study material and tests. Firstly, I preferred to solve test questions, then find and review my weak sides as I did in my first 2 parts. When it comes to 3 rd part I realized this tactic did not justify itself. Besides, Gleim test preparation and study material do not justify İT and Business continuity, CSR, ISO 3100 and Governance, referring to exam questions. Gleim did very good job in another chapters like Organizational structures, communication, Finance and Global business environment.
    I reviewed CSR, Corporate governance and ISO 31000 and guess I answered correctly for questions related concepts with them.
    Hmm, when it comes GTAGs I also reviewed them (1, 4, 17). But it is not enough just review, you should learn and remember every concept behind every sentences within this GTAGs. There were questions which answers were just the same of GTAG sentences.
    Finance questions were very simple, But you should know every concept very precisely. Do not waste time doing long-complex computational questions. Learn Basic ratios and relations between them. (Specially Liquidity, Activity, Solvency). Learn every concept of Managerial accounting CVP, costing methods..etc)

    Please, be informed with my exam impressions.
    Questions were straight forward, very short and conceptual basic.
    I’d say there were at least 20-30 questions related with IT. (5 of them I met first time and had not hear ever 🙂 )
    CSR and Governance were tested very heavily.
    Some questons about ISO 31000
    Other topics were tested in general concept level.

    Consequently, I do not regret for failing, because did not deserved it, instead I got experience how to get prepared for the next exam.

    Good luck everyone.

    • Diane says:

      Dear Zamig,
      First thanks for all this info. It is very generous of you!
      I should attempt part 3 in1 or 2 months. I am more nervous than for parts 1&2 because as many said, the strategy for part 3 should not be the same. I really don’t know how to test myself beside doing all Gleims questions…I guess I am lucky to have IIA and Gleim materiel but really feel overwhelmed and feel I have a lot to learn.. For example, I read Organizational structure from IIA and I fail doing Gleim’test. I cannot let go of not knowing something so I end up reading also Gleim.. Too much material..
      In order to calm myself I have decided to pay for the Online Test to see how it goes. Hope this will be representative of what is being heavily tested today. Thanks again and I will let everyone know my experience when I’ll do this test.
      I am sure you will do good next time! Good luck! 🙂

      • Zamig says:

        Dear Diane, you are welcome!
        If you did all Gleim questions, I would suggest read again all Gleim materials again and very carefully. I experienced that, when we are doing tests again and again.We only remember the concepts behind the questions and not paying enough attention study material. Try define concepts that you did not met in tests.(There will be plenty of concepts) Because test result success makes us confident and we feel that we know all concepts within study material. Note that not all concepts are tested deeply in test prep. Read Gtags, PGs, other materials CSR ISO 31000, Risk management absolutely and carefully. Know every element of CSR, ERM.. Imagine you should be aware of every sentences of recommended GTAGs.
        Believe yourself. Take a break at least 1 day before the exam. Let your brain to relax. It will help a lot.
        Good luck!
        Best wishes.

      • Stephanie says:

        Hi Diane,
        Yes it would be overwhelming to study from two set of materials. I would stick with one core materials and then refer to the second one if necessary. But yes, you can work on two sets of practice questions. Hang in there! Stephanie

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Zamig for sharing and for demonstrating a great attitude! I have a good feeling that you’ll pass in your second attempt. Keep our fingers crossed for you! Stephanie

    • ozair says:

      Dear Zamig

      Even i appeared for my CIA P3 exam on 23rd October and could not clear it in my first attempt my score was also 570.The description of the exam impression you had provided is absolutely the same which i faced during the exam.

      I hope we pass in the next attempt

      What is your strategy for the second attempt

      • Zamig says:

        Dear Ozair,

        I will take a rest for couple of days, then review Gleim book and supplementary material in detail. I’m not going to practice questions a lot, cause when we are doing many test questions, we anticipate to be asked the same questions and concepts in real exam which frustrate us. Note that not every concept of review material is tested in test prep.

        Believe yourself!

        Good luck!

  • Mohamed says:

    Today i failed the exam for part 3 and feel really frustrated
    i used to study from gliem, and i really studied very well about 1400 question, but the exam didn’t even get close to it
    already i passed part 1 and 2

    The exam didn’t contain much of financial issues but it was different topics and very tricky, specially with the choose from several choices.

    Really feel overwhelmed now specially that studying is taking much time from my family.

    any helps what to do or from where to study now.

    • Zamig says:

      Hi Mohamed,

      I began reading GTAGs today and found the answers for exam questions which I could not answer correctly. I am going to repeat Gleim study and test prep. additional supplementary materials.

      Goog luck!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Mohamed, sorry to hear that, but you are 2/3 done. Don’t give up!
      Did you download the supplementary materials mentioned above? Those are critical as you can read from the numerous comments as testimonials. If you haven’t, it’s great because this is pretty much you need to focus on. Best of luck to your second attempt! Stephanie

  • Jolly says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is the day… i ve done it! in my 3rd attempt… it was tricky once again… i faced much more finance related conceptual questions than my previous 2 attempts…like maybe 15… and 20 of IT related questions… some of the questions i ve faced were from nowhere i studied.. especially in the management-leadership parts… i just tried to make reasonable quesses… when i had 10 mins left i went to check my flagged questions and also some questions that i remember that were tricky.. and i have changed 6-7 answers during that period… and i think i learned through the exam and that really helps… my study of 1 year and 2 months paid off today… i wish you guys good luck on your journeys.. and Definetely read the suggested stuff in this website.. thank you everyone for the great tips so far.


    • Shadi says:

      My exam after tomorrow ?

    • Diane says:

      Congratulations Jolly! I did the same for my previous exam. I have changed 4-5 questions and it is true that you learn trough the exam or my personal belief is that you get more focus and more comfortable after a few questions. I am really nervous the first 15 minutes so I flag whatever I cannot concentrate well and I go back at the end.
      Can you say with what material you studied? The management leadership part is hard for me. Do you have any comment on that?

      • Jolly says:

        Hi Dianae,

        Thank you! I used gleim and the additional supplements that are suggested here… But i believe there were many questions unrelated to what i studied.. i would recomment using gleim + IIA…

        And as i mentioned most of those unrelated questions were from the management and IT parts… i think i just made good guesses because im a graduate of BA.. that helped..

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Jolly,
      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience and the joy of finally getting this done! Stephanie

  • Shadi says:

    I passed the exam today and as previous comments it was very tricky
    But be focus is the most important point to pass
    I used Gliem for the three parts and as I mentioned earlier it was not covering all concepts but no other material does
    It was great year as I got both CMA & CIA

    All the best to all


  • Khadija says:

    I am a bit confused. I am preparing part 3 from Gleim and IIA . The IT related chapters in IIA have extracts from GTAG 1,2,9,8 and 10. Do I need to go through all of these GTAGs or just the ones mentioned in above discussions(GTAG 1,4 and 17}?

  • Jay says:

    Dear CIA candidates,

    Hope you are fully charged up and studying hard for your CIA Certification.

    I cleared all three exams in first attempt, and want to share my experience with those who plan to take the CIA exam. It is important to we give back to the community for others to learn from someone’s experience. Here are my tips for those who have 2-3 years of IA experience.

    1. Study Material
    I found Gleim more than sufficient to pass these exams. I didn’t use/refer to any other material.

    2. Study Approach
    Retention is the key to success in exam. It is as important to retain what you study as it is to gain an understanding of what you read. This holds more importance in Part 3, as the syllabus is three times more than what you study in Part 1 & Part 2.

    Please make sure that you retain as much as you can from what you read.

    3. Practice Tests

    I used Gleim practice tests, and attempted all questions for each chapter 2 – 3 times. Gleim practice tests tells you your weak areas, and problems with content retention.

    4. Exam Strategy / Chapter Weightage

    Focus on high value chapters more. E.g. I didn’t spend much time on Chapter 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 ,20 & Chapter 6, 7, 8.9, 10 in Part 3 as all these chapters contribute only 30-35% to the actual exam.

    I gave 4 revisions to Chapter 1, 2,3,4,5, 11, 12,13, and gave 3 revisions to chapter 6,7,8,9,10, and 2 revisions to chapter 15,16,17,18,19,20 in Part 3. You can have your own strategy based on weightage assigned to each chapter.

    I encourage you to have a study plan/strategy to kill CIA.

    Wish you all the very best for your test.


  • ameer says:

    greating all ,
    please who can give us summaries to GTAG 1,4,17 and iso 31000
    because it not easy to get fully understanding for these topics by self study and it not familiar subjects to auditor .


  • Lou says:

    I finally passed part 3 last week and I would like to share my experience with the community.

    As already mentioned the majority of the questions are on
    Governance and CSR
    Risk Management (ISO 31000)
    IT (COBIT)

    I used Gleim for part 1+2 and 3 and as I did not pass part 3 at my first attempt I also purchased the IIA Learning System.

    In liked Gleim much better than the Learning System, because Gleim actually focuses on the Content that is asked in the exam while the IIA Learning System provides you with a lot of Information that is not necessary to pass.

    • Lou says:

      Good luck everyone!!

      • DIANE says:

        Hi Lou, Congratulations!

        Can you tell us what made the difference that you have passed this time? I know it can be hard to tell but sometimes we realize what we had done wrong or what we did better this time..

        • Lou says:

          Actually I am not a 100% sure what made the difference this time, but
          I think it is very important to not just study the Contents but to actually understand and be able to apply all the concepts, especially when it comes to Governance, Risk Management and IT.

    • Stephanie says:

      Wonderful news Lisa! Thanks for sharing and letting us know how the type of questions you got in the exam. All the best! Stephanie

    • Stephanie says:

      Wonderful news Lou! Thanks for sharing and letting us know how the type of questions you got in the exam. All the best! Stephanie

  • Maria says:

    Hi Lou, Congratulations!!!

    From your experience can you provide advice on the following?

    1. Is Gleim adequate for passing CIA Part 3 or did you study from both Gleim and the IIA Learning System?

    2. Did you study the additional Practice Guides recommended on this site? Do you need to study these in order to pass the exam?

    3. If its not a problem could you outline what materials you use to study for CIA Part 3?, as I am confused as to which materials I should really focus on.

    Thanks alot for your kind assistance.

    • Lou says:

      I think Gleim is adequate if you have backround Knowledge and also study the additional practice guides. And yes I think you should definitely understand those before you take the exam.

      I did not really study from the IIA books, I only read all of them but I did all the questions from the IIA test bank.

  • Diane says:

    Hi, for those who have tried part 3 exams. Besides accounting part, did you all have more than 80% on Gleim’s test?
    I know that I should understand more the concept and focus less on the questions.
    I don’t even reach 80%( between 60-70%)… I don’t know if I should do more practice questions because this is the way I learn better of read again the material.
    I would really appreciate your responses. I feel like I will never make it..Thanks

  • Yuliya says:

    Hi everybody!
    Today, on my 3rd attempt I finally passed the part 3!!!! My first exam score was 548, then 574, and finally today PASSED!
    Thanks to all of you who provided a very useful information and lots of hints.
    For those who are still studying or struggling to pass as I did, I am telling how I studied and what helped me to pass.
    1) I used Gleim book and test bank to study accounting and finance section. However, there was only 3-5 questions total on the exam related to finance or accounting and those questions were very simple.
    2) for the rest of the section I studied using IIA Learning System books, test bank software and Gleim test bank also.
    3) for every chapter in IIA Learning System i made notes. For example, IT section took me 39 pages of handwritten notes. Everyday before going to sleep I would read my notes for one of the sections.
    4) for very difficult topics as IT and Management for me, I also made flesh cards.
    I also read GTAGs 1,4,17 many times highlighting and rereading important paragraphs.

    On the actual exam there was lots of IT related questions..maybe 40-50%. The rest of the questions were on Governance, Outsourcing, Risk Management.

    Good luck!

    • ameer says:

      congratulation yuliya,,
      please can you help us by providing your own flash card or summaries related to IT subjects.


      • Yuliya says:

        I don’t think I can provide the flesh cards.there are too many…but probably I can scan my IT notes. Although they are handwritten…not sure if it will be readable for others.
        IIA Learning system has their own, very detailed flesh cards on each chapter. For those of you who purchased that software, recommend to use those.

        Those who want me to email my notes from IT chapter, email me your emails. *** DELETED ***
        But again, my notes are handwritten.

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Yuliya,
          I let your email there for a day but will remove it now to protect you from spam. Hope it’s ok! If you are so kind to share your notes, you can send it to me and I can add a download link in our Part 3 page. Thanks! Stephanie

    • Diane says:

      Congratulations Yuliya!!
      Thanks for your comments! It will help me with my focus!

    • Stephanie says:

      Just want to say… yay! You made it! 🙂 All the best Yuliya and thanks for all the sharing and comments 🙂 Stephanie

  • Yuliya says:

    Also, I have in PDF all of the needed GTAGS and IPPF papers. Email me if you want me to send them to you.

  • Bamidele Oba says:


    I passed my CIA Part 3 Exams today on my first attempt. Many thanks to the success stories and advice shared on this blog, they were very useful.

    Here are a few tips of my own from my experience:

    1. A thorough understanding of IT controls is a must have. I lost count of the IT questions that was tested especially on Application Controls and Logical Access Controls. Please download and study GTAG 1,4, and 17 at least three times. IIA is obviously obsessed with IT Controls in CIA Part 3.

    2. A thorough understanding of Governance and Risk Management is very necessary. This sections were the most tested after IT during my Part 3 exams. Please download and study extensively all Implementation Guides and Practice Advisories on Governance and Risk Management.

    3. Other sections you should pay attention to includes: Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Structure.

    4. Please do not over study on Finance, Study it but do not spend a lot of time on it like its ICAN/ACCA/CPA/CA exams. I only saw about three finance questions and they were relatively cheap.

    5. Gleim CIA Book and test prep is very sufficient for passing all parts of the exams. Make adequate study notes as you study each study unit and endeavor to go through your notes at least twice. Please do not spend time repeating gleim’s test prep questions. If you have made a detailed note from each study unit, revise them as many times as possible and you will be fine.

    Wishing you all the best as you prepare to take your exams.

    • Ameer says:

      Congratulations Bamidele

    • ameer says:

      Dear Bamidele , please tell me How long is the preparation for the exam?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Bamidele,
      First of all congrats! So glad to hear several success stories today. It’s great that your experience reflects our understanding on the exam. Thanks for sharing and all the best to you! Stephanie

    • Eghosa Datuowei says:

      Congratulations Bamidele Oba

      If am correct, I think I saw your name on the attendance log at the test center on Monday 27th, when I went to take my part 2 exam and seeing on this that you made it is good news.

      Congratulations once again all the best in your future endeavors.

  • Kf says:

    Hello eveyone,
    I want to say thank you to all of you here for sharing invaluable tips without which I could not have successfully completed my CIA Part 3. The part is indeed the most challenging of the three but is also the only one which I have remaining time to review the flagged questions. My advise to future takers is to concentrate on IT Application Development Cycle, Risk Management ,CSR and Governance. The financial management is very lightly tested so don’t spend too much time to remember all the ratio and formula.
    Good luck to all future candidates.?

  • Thandiswa says:

    Good morning everyone

    Does anyone know if the IIA issued new practice advisory standards since it’s issue of revised ippf standards?


  • Brian says:

    Hello everyone, I passed CIA part 3 on 11/23/17, 2 days before my wife and I had our first child. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this site, especially Stephanie! I used Gleim, IIA, GTAG’s, PA’s, Udemy, Youtube, trade publications, and countless google searches to deep dive on areas I felt weak on. I filled up a 400 page notebook of notes and utilized 4 white boards at home that I would continuously update and erase with info that I thought I should know or was struggling with. In retrospect it may have been overkill but I wanted to make sure I passed first time as I did with the prior 2 exams.

    I’m not going to repeat what has been mentioned many times already on this blog as to what to focus on. That should be obvious to everyone by now.

    I will advise not to get lost in the weeds with the Managerial and Financial accounting areas. Yes, there are questions on them and it felt good to know the answers but I probably spent way to much time studying these areas when I should have been hammering the GTAG’s & RM. That said, the questions in general are tricky and you just have to believe in yourself and your body of knowledge. I probably flagged 60 questions for review that I wasn’t 100% on and half way through the test I thought I was in serious trouble. However, after finishing with about 30 minutes left and going back I realized that I had selected the right answers. So don’t panic, don’t spend too much time on 1 question and leave time to review. It’s amazing how much more clearly you can think after you’ve finished the exam and look back at flagged questions. You can do it folks!

    I studied so much IT material that I’m thinking of using my momentum and going for the CISA. Anybody else feel the same after passing part 3?

    Thank you,

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Brain,

      Congrats to you and your wife on the baby. Well done and congrats on Parts 3.

      Could you tell which GTAGS you read and Practice Guides. Also how long did you study for?


      • Brian says:

        Hi Lisa, thank you. That question has been asked and answered many times over on this forum. If you want to pass part 3 then you need to start doing your own digging. As far as time frame, that is irrelevant. Everyone is different and has different work schedules. You will never feel 100% ready to take the exam as there will always be that one more thing you think you should study. You just need to go for it. Get aggressive and attack this exam. My strategy was brute force. I threw the kitchen sink at it. I even recorded myself reading the GTAG’s so that I could listen to them in the car on the way to work. Sorry for the tough love but sometimes tough love is the best kind : )

        Good Luck!

        • Stephanie says:

          “My strategy was brute force” – I love that 😉
          Brian, congrats on the “double happiness” as the Chinese would say! So glad I can be a bit of help in your exam (and life) journey. Enjoy fatherhood and all the best! Stephanie

          By the way, I myself am going to take the challenge of taking the CISA exam – stay tuned – you’ll get the news if you are on my email newsletter list 🙂 Stephanie

          • Brian says:

            Thanks Stephanie. I believe I am signed up for your newsletter but will you be posting on the site as well regarding your CISA pursuit?

  • Mimi says:

    Hello Part 3 Community

    Finally…I PASSED the CIA Part 3 exam yesterday on my 3rd attempt. I am so happy!!!
    As the advice obtained from this forum helped me to prepare and pass, it is only right that I share my experience for the benefit of others who are preparing for the exam.
    I passed parts 1 and 2 on my first attempt using Exammatrix materials exclusively.

    For part 3, I used the GLEIM test bank and study notes only, PLUS the recommended IIA materials (GTAG 1,4,17; CSR; Governance and the Risk Management Practice Guides that were recommended on this page. I studied the GTAG and PGs in depth – It is true as stated above that you need to be able to remember the content during the exam. I believe that these materials are sufficient to pass the exam. I even recognised a couple of questions from the GLEIM test bank in the actual exam.

    The areas covered in my exam yesterday are:
    – Governance and Risk Management: Practice Guides and GLEIM materials
    – CSR: Auditing by Element/Stakeholder Group
    – IT Application controls and General Controls (The GLEIM materials covered these properly, also supplemented by the GTAGs)
    – SDLC and Business Lifecycles
    – Communication – A few simple questions on collaboration
    – Finance Part – I did not get any calculation questions on this attempt but more questions around concepts, costing, shares, fixed cost/variable cost types, accounting principles, securities valuation. In my previous attempts, a couple of questions on Quick Ratio and others I cannot remember.
    Keeping to time is also very important…don’t spend too much time if you are thinking too much on a question…come back to it at the end.

    Also, I would like to acknowledge that in my case, I passed the exam only by the GRACE OF GOD. I attempted the exam without studying the finance parts at all (because I found this part overwhelming) and I didn’t even study a lot of the other chapters in the study notes – I used just the GLEIM question bank.
    Warning – I am not recommending that you take the same approach, I am only acknowledging that the GRACE OF GOD made up for my shortfalls.

    If anyone has any other questions, I am happy to answer.

    Thank you for all the advice from individuals who shared their experiences on this forum – I am very grateful.
    To STEPHANIE – for setting up this page from which so many people have been able to benefit – THANK YOU VERY MUCH and well done!!!

    • Thandiswa says:


      Congratulations Mimi, at least you are giving me hope. I am taking the exam next week and feeling overwhelmed.

      Does anyone know which Gtag covers the change management controls


    • Maria says:

      Hi Mimi,

      First of all Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you!!!

      Regarding the additional IIA Materials to study, that is, GTAGS 1,4 & 17, as well as the PG for Governance, Risk Management, etc…

      1. Is it required to learn all the above material in detail?

      2. From your experience, did questions show up in the exam that you could

      only have answered correctly as a result of studying these above materials?


      • Mimi says:

        Hi Maria,

        Thanks very much – I am still excited about the fact that I passed. See answers to your questions below:

        1. YES – so that you can remember/recall during the exam
        2. YES
        There are concepts in the Risk PAs and GTAGs which I didnt see in the GLEIM material. Now, I dont know if this is because I didnt study every single chapter of the GLEIM materials or not. But you will notice that everyone that passed has mentioned the GTAGs and PGs as one of the keys, so I will recommend that you study them to the extent that you understand the concepts (in order to be able to apply them) and are able to recall the content e.g different approaches/layers etc.

        I scored 558 on my first attempt – I didnt study the GTAGs and PAs at all
        I scored 594 on my second attempt – I studied the GTAGs/ PAs but rushed through them like the day before. During the exam, I recognised VERY EASY questions that I couldve (i) answered correctly and (ii) answered quickly; if I could REMEMBER the contents of the GTAGs and PAs. This was a very painful FAIL because I was close to passing.

        I hope my response has been helpful.

        All the best for the exam. If I can do it, you can do it!

        • Maria says:

          Thanks alot for your speedy response Mimi:)

          • Maria says:

            Hi Mimi,

            Can you list the entire set of additional IIA Materials that you studied for the CIA Part 3 exam?


          • Mimi says:

            Hi Maria,

            Its basically the materials that have been recommended on this forum. I have also listed them below based on my most recent exam experience.

            I would advise that you definitely study items 1-5 listed below. For 6-8, try and go through them if you can….although I am not sure that I can recall any concepts from those materials that are not already in the prior materials (1-5) or in the GLEIM study materials.

            1. PG-Coordinating Risk Management & Assurance
            2. PG-Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility
            3. Coordinating Risk Management and Assurance, and Risk Management using ISO 31000
            4. Practice Advisories: PA 2110-1 to PA 2120-2
            5. GTAGs: GTAG 1, GTAG 4, GTAG 17

            6. PG-Assessing Organizational Governance – Public Sector
            7. PG-Assessing Organizational Governance – Private Sector
            8. GTAG 7,8 – I just quickly scanned through these because some of the previous GTAGs referred to them.

            I hope this helps.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Mimi, congrats! I am really glad for you and especially how you give back to our community 🙂
      Yes, the financial section is overwhelming — unless one works in management accounting on a daily basis, those in Gleim are REALLY complicated. If one runs out of time and have to skip one section, I would also suggest skipping the financial 😉 It’s only 2-3 questions in most cases.

      Anyway please treat yourself with lots of goodies. You deserve it! Stephanie

  • Monika says:

    Hi, Part I and II are behind me, but I recently started preparing myself for the Part III. My employer paid for the GLEIM books and that online question platform, but not for videos.. That`s why I was looking for them and finally landed on this website. I`m so happy that I found this, cause there are a lot of practical tips as well as additional materials mentioned.. I will definitely go through and study hard, keeping in mind your advices! My deadline is beggining of March..
    I keep my fingers crossed for all students and please keep them for me as well.
    Once again, great job with the website and thank you 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Monika, great to know you find this helpful! We are getting feedback (as recent as today) from lots of recent exam takers that the tips remain to be helpful. Stay strong, study hard and you can do it! Stephanie

  • Khadija says:

    Today I passed CIA part 3 :))
    Thanks to all the comments posted here it helped me alot. The topics I got were mostly from Governance and I.t. And yes reading the supplementary material other than Gleim really helps. Gleim doesn’t cover enough
    I am thankful to all the people here as the guidance helped me pass exam 🙂

  • Isabela says:

    Hi all,

    I took Part 3 exam last Thursday for the third time and passed!! I want to thank Stephanie for putting this blog together and all the contributors for the help!
    I will give you guys some feedback on my experience and what helped me pass and looking back what prevented me to pass the first two trials:

    1- Time management during the test- My biggest challenge ( and the reason I believe I didn’t pass on the first and second time) was having to rush through the questions because I’m a slow test taker and there not a lot of time. The first two times I did not have enough time to review the flagged questions however the last time I made sure strategize it. I made sure to not eat or drink anything before the test so I wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom ( counts against your time) and to list how many minutes I needed to have left based on the number of questions ( 90 min within 25 questions, 75 min left and 50 questions answered, etc) before I started the test so I could have a least 20 or 15 min left to review.
    2- Don’t go crazy with the Gleim questions. I focused on answering as many questions as possible to have the historical score of at least 75% ( so the bar could show green ) however I got really tired of answering so many questions and if I could go back I would use an “open book” approach. I think it is more beneficial to review each chapter and do open book quizzes (maybe half closed half open just don’t spend too much trying to get a passing score like I did)
    3- Make sure to review on a high level all chapters. My test covered random questions from most chapters of the gleim book so I suggest that you open each chapter, go over the main topics, doesn’t have to be in detail, and do a quiz which, as mentioned above, can even be open book. This made me feel more confident when I faced the many “ random” questions on the test.
    4- Read the GTAGs at least 2x. The IT questions on my test were more in line with the GTAGs than the chapters on gleim book ( although it was still very relevant) so I recommend mastering the GTAGs in addition to covering the book chapters.
    5- Don’t spend too much time on accounting and finance because as everybody says there are very few questions on it.

    Questions on my test were around the following :

    1- 10 plus questions on IT controls ( application, general controls, etc), DRBCP ( Impact analysis, hot, warm, cold back up centers) and other IT related topics ( one question on change control
    2- ISO 3100
    3- Risk management – several questions on risk response, I remember studying this on Gleim part 1 or 2 books not 3! You need to know response types and when each is appropriate (avoid, transfer, mitigate,) i got a question asking whats the response type when the company decides to have insurance as a response
    4- Random questions I can recall were on :porter 5 forces (2-3 q), product and industry life cycles, acid test ( 1 q), marginal and absorption cost (2-3 q), operating income (1q)

    Wishing everybody that is taking the test good luck! Stay motivated because if we can pass you can too! 

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Isabela, first of all congratulations! It is the best to know how you keep on trying and finally made it! And the tips are very helpful — we know the suggestions are still valid. All the best to you! Stephanie

  • Thandiswa says:


    I am preparing for exams, don’t have much time, only a day left.

    Can someone give direction of specific topics I can go through in study units 3-10. I have managed to get through the key topics like csr, erm, governance and IT. Am worried that I may be not e focusing on key topics and I need this pass.

    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated


  • Thandiswa says:

    These are Gleim study units

  • michael says:

    Hello everyone

    after passing part 1 and part 2 at first, today i fail part 3 with 557 point :/. i will attend again as soon as possible, i have got some advises. also i need some morale

    first of all please read all gleim materiel carefully. there were a lot of tricky questions that i wasn’t able to choose correct answer because i read material superficially so i didnt remember the right answers.

    second thing, i realize that, yes coso, it, iso31000 are important but also i saw to many questions from other parts. before exam i thought that there will be more or less 70 questions from it and first 5 unit. as u understand i was wrong. except the last 2 parts i saw many questions from every part.

    i hope others will pass at first attend because its hard to wait 3 months

    • Diane says:

      Hello Michael,
      I feel sorry for you and I am sure that your experience will be beneficial for the next time. Try to forget everything until Janbuary so you can have a nice Christmas holidays.
      Thank you to put things in perspective because it is true that in the last few months, comments were mainly on what to read: GTAG, ISO 31000 etc… not focus on accounting.. and lots of IT.
      To all: we should remind the % on the syllabus of IIA: 15-25% on IT, 15-25% on BPR,10-20% on rsk mgmt and 10-20% on mgmt leadership… I am sure that IIA respect those ratios otherwise it would not be fare. Like mentionned by some people, sometimes one question could have 2 subjets embedded in one question so difficult to analyse.
      What I retain is to read and read and like Isabela mentionned, work with Gleims question with an open book. I am sure taht is a very good way to retain things. My objective was to do the test in dec but will do it in january because not ready enough. I have bought the practice test from IIA so it will help me see my weeknesses before I do the actual test. Because IIA and Gleim are not really complete, this is the way for me to feel more confident. I wish you good luck for you next exam Michael. Take care and have a Merry Christmas !?

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Michael, sorry to hear that, it’s indeed hard to wait for 3 months! But you see that you analyze the situation well meaning you are in a much better position to pass in your next attempt! Stay strong, and best of luck! Stephanie

  • Tara says:

    I passed part III my first try on 12/18/17!!! I am so thankful for this blog as it really helped me in my studies. I took the advice of many of the people who passed on here. All the supplemental documents helped to further my knowledge. I used Gleim: books, video lectures, and practice questions.

    My advice to pass on to everyone studying for this exam is do not get caught up in the practice questions. You really need to have a broad understanding of all the topics. Getting a 75% on all the practice questions may not mean you understand the material well enough to pass the exam.

    I put in about 300 hours into studying for part III. I have a full time job as an internal auditor and even with experience the exams were tricky.

    Good luck to everyone!!!

    • Monika says:

      Hi, congratulations on passing!! Such a wonderful gift before Christmas and the Year-End 🙂 !!

      Can you please share with us what other materials than Gleim did you use?

      I`m passing the exam in March.. 🙂

      Thanks a lot in advance!

  • Thandiswa says:

    Dear all

    After 2 years of trying I finally passed on fourth attempt. Thanks to this community for advises and support.

    As far as the exam content is concerned, I can only confirm what has been reiterated by other recent test takers. Gleim questions are sufficient to master the topics, they are only helpful in getting one prepared psychologically and boost one’s confidence. My advice to those who are still going to sit for the exam is that you need to cover all the additional study material suggest here and read all study units to have an idea of the concepts especially su1, 2, 3, 4, 6_13 then 19 of gleim outline. If you have strong financial background don’t worry about 14_18, your knowledge will definitely come in handy. I had quite a number related questions but they were all concept based e.g. cvp, absorption v variable costing, sensitivity analysis, depreciation and subsequent measurement of assets, understanding of income statement variables especially cost of sales and stock valuation was a common concept that came on my exam.

    I trust that this helps.

    If I could do it, you also can make it. It does not matter how you start a challenge and how long it takes to finish it what is important is the finishing line. With those words I would like to encourage those who are almost demotivated by unsuccessful attempts. The feeling of passing outweighs the pain.

    Merry Xmas and new year to you all.


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Thandi,
      Heartfelt thanks for sharing as a multiple retaker. This is especially helpful for those in your shoes. I am so, so glad you made it! Must be the best Christmas present. All the best and have a great 2018! Stephanie

  • Sandesh says:


    Stephanie or group do you have any idea on the recent update of the syllabus and how this will affect studying and the units needing focus? I know they have reduced the CIA part 3 exam, I passed both part 1 and part 2 with help from this site and now hope to do the same for Part 3 but with the roll out of the updates next january I hope the suggestions on this thread wont be out dated!



    • Art Yip says:

      Hi Sandesh,

      The change in syllabus does not go into effect until January of 2019. So all the suggestions on this thread will not be out dated for another year!

      Study and focus hard on IT, Risk Management, and Governance, including the related Implementation Guides, and Supplemental (Practice) Guides on those topics and you will be fine!


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sandesh,
      There will be a major change schedule in Jan 2019 so it is unlikely that 2018 will undergo much change in my opinion. I also haven’t noticed news on specific 2018 change. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Karla says:

    Hi everyone!!!

    I need your help! Could you advise what topic in accounting/financial chapter I have to review more?

    I’m freaking nervous about it and I don’t want to waste my time to put some extra effort in RM, CSR and the other topics heavily tested.

    I really appreciate your comments!

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Karla,
      Basically you only need to know the basic formula and the conceptual ideas on how things work. From the numerous testimonials above you don’t need to go through the complex computations (esp if you are using Gleim). If you stick with the suggestion in the main post above, it should be fine. We continue to get feedback that the strategy still works. Hope it helps! Stephanie

  • Dreamcatcher says:

    As promised to Steph, I will document my exam prep for CIA part 3:

    First of all, in a couple of months or before I will be taking my first attempt of part 3. I have been preparing for this part since last April 2017, in the sense that I have read through Gleim, IIA book, additional research of unknown topics, and essentially the GTAG’s suggested (including GTAG’s covering IT topics to be known on proficiency level). After finishing reading and going through the materials (familiarizing myself with the topics):

    1) I am now in the stage of ‘intensive study’, in which I will study thoroughly with good grasp of concepts for each unit from the following sources:

    – Gleim
    -IIA book

    2) After that I will summarize some notes for each chapter as this technique will save me time when revising before the real exam.

    (The reason why I am not relying on Gleim only, is because I am not an internal audit and have only 3 years of experience in the field of non-audit. Therefore referring to the IIA book as well is beneficial to help be understand the concepts in and out. )

    3) After taking notes, I’ll scan through the notes and hence do 100 questions for each unit using Gleim prep test bank only.

    4) Mistakes of the test prep will be documented and analyzed/understood.

    5) Once all units are well studied including the GTAG’s and notes have been taken, I will allocate 10 days max. for revision before the final exam. When revising, I will no longer refer to the books, but the summary notes and GTAG’s.

    NOTE: My focus will be on SU1, SU2, and IT as suggested here.

    I hope this helps..

    Wishing you all best of luck.

  • Sandesh says:

    Hello guys,

    I was wondering if there is any insight into the difficulty of the updated CIA Part 3 exam? I am still a bit confused on if the suggestions posted here will be relevant since they are updating the syllabus for January. I passed Part 1 and Part 2 with the help of this fantastic website!

  • Roy says:

    Hi, I’ll be taking CIA Part 3 in coming Feb 2018.
    Just wondering if I should review the old Practice Advisories or new Implementation Guides? Which one will take effect for CIA exams in 2018 onwards? Anyone who has taken the exam recently can shed some light please? Thanks!

  • Paul says:

    I just passed part 3 on the 12th January, on my 2nd attempt. First attempt was 29th September, with a score of 570. Only used Gleim and did read some of the additional documentation mentioned here, like GTAGS, Practise Advisories, etc. For the first attempt I really studied, and did many questions with Gleim. I failed, having appr. 5 failures too many. My second attempt, last Friday, I did not study at all. And approached the exam in a different way: relaxed, and with an attitude of: OK, I will not make it, but I will learn from it. I took time to look at the questions and tried to be concentrated. When finished, I had 40 minutes left. It is true: CSR, Risk Management and IT are important. For Finance, some basic calculations might be asked, but more important is to understand the basics. I did not have to use the calculator during the last exam. Maybe most important tip: try to understand the logic, do not try memorize everything. Finaly: practising many questions with Gleim, for my first attempt, did not bring a lot: I did not see similar questions in the exams. It´s better to spend your time reading and understanding the material.

    • Miha says:

      Hi Paul,

      If you do not mind, can you share the subject of finance questions in part-3? As you know, lots of infos available for finance section and apart from studying finance part of the exam, just skimming it demands excessive time. What are the basics and fundamentals for finance section in part-3?

      Thanks in advance.

      • Paul says:

        Hello Miha,

        Both exams were different regarding the finance questions: in the first one only 2 or 3 calculations, like EOQ, Quick Ratio, calculating operating profit. For the rest only questions that required a basic understanding. In the second exam only 1 calculation about cash flow. You may expect questions about consolidated reporting, free on board shipping point vs. destination, fixed vs variable costs, depreciation, etc. It´s really worth it not to learn all the calculations presented by Gleim. Reading and understanding the finance sections will be of much more benefit. And this counts for all sections. If you understand the concepts of all sections, you can make it with logical thinking and common sense.

  • Diane says:

    I have just tried the part 3 practice test from IIA and failed and they don’t give you a score so I cannot tell if really bad or not.The comments in all sections were ‘’ you need improvement in this area’’.
    Does anyone know what are the different comments that we can receive in a failed exam so I could better differenciate if I was really bad or moderate ?
    Thanks in advance

  • Miha says:

    Thank you Paul for your sharing.

  • Tian says:

    I have passed CIA part 3 today! it is such a big relief! great start for the year.

    I didn’t get calculation questions at all, to my surprise! Instead, I have got financial/accounting scenerio questions for example, why use activity based costing for certain circumtance, if ending inventory understated what happen to COGS, change in selling cost will impact which of the below, bla bla bla. Other than that, the rest of other question types have already been mentioned in this website.

    I don’t have finance/account background, not a smart person and take longer than everyone else to study. So, if I can do it, so can you.

    yes, part 3 is a monster and I was horrified at the beginning. I would say serious commitment and discipline are required. I turned off my phone and stayed away from all other entertainment while studying.

    I have subscribed to the IIA and Gleim materials but at the end I stick with Gleim. I find better off to stick with one material and google if can’t understand anything. Gleim has a good summary of all key concepts so it is good for revision I find. I also like how Gleim breaks down the many sections which help a lot in your weak area.
    Gleim also has good question bank, except that their calculation questions are way too complex.
    Just one month before the exam, I keep trying the practice questions until i score 80%. I skip all the calculations but i make sure i understand the concept behind it.

    The first thing I did after passing exam was to store all my books away!!! wooohooo! my desk is so much cleaner!

    For those who are preparing for part 3, study hard, don’t give up and your effort will be paid off!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Tian,

      First of all congratulations on your accomplishment!!!

      I am writing CIA Part 3 soon and am feeling overwhelmed with all this additional material.

      Did you study those additional materials mentioned on this site, that is the Practice Guides, GTAGs 1,4 & 17, etc or was studying Gleim alone adequate to pass the exam?

      Can you outline the material you used to study for this part?

      Were there a lot of Governance, RM, CSR and IT questions?

      Is the exam doable for a first timer?

      Thanks for your assistance.

      • Tian says:

        Hi Maria,
        It is alright to feel overwhelmed. I felt the same too! The fact is you are not expected to remember every single stuff in the material, but at least have a good grasp of concept.
        I have tried reading up PG, GTAG, CSR, but I find it is just making it worse as my brain can only take this that much. So, I stick with only Gleim at the end and I did alot of google for anything that I cannot understand from Gleim alone. After getting hold of good basic understanding, i refer back again to Gleim and all is making sense. Gleim is good if you already have a good foundation, as it summarises all key points that you need to know in order to pass the exam. So, in my case, I only go extra mile (i.e. google) in the area that I can’t understand from Gleim. last 2 days before the exam, i only focus in my weak area as my revision so that it stays fresh in my head.
        Thats just my way of study, it may differs from person to person.

        I have tried both questions bank from IIA and Gleim and I find Gleim is the closest to the real exam how questions are asked.

        It is doable for first timer for sure! From my experience, as long as you put effort and have serious commitment for it, you can nail it.

        Good luck and stay positive!

        • Maria says:

          Hi Tian,

          Thank you so much for your speedy response.

          Its just that I am a person that likes to focus on one set of materials and learn that well.

          But reading the comments on this site indicated that Gleim is inadequate for the major subjects tested that is Governance , RM, CSR and IT and that the additional IIA material should be learnt….but for me it is just too much!!!

          I am asking if a student can pass this exam by focusing on Gleim material and Test Bank alone once the concepts are understood?

          The areas I mentioned above,,,, were those areas tested heavily in your exam?

          I just want to know which areas to really place most focus.

          Thanks for your assistance.

          • Tian says:

            Hi Maria,
            for me, Gleim is sufficient, both material and test bank.
            yes, Governance, RM, CSR, IT are heavily tested.

          • dreamcatcher says:

            HI Tian and Maria,

            Tian congrats.. and Maria goodluck. Maria I would suggest referring to the suggested practice guides as so many people passed with them and so many people failed without them. My exam is in a month ( I am very overwhelmed too)!
            I am using gleim, all suggested supplementary materials, and additional research of unfamiliar topics.

            If you feel that the info is too much then the following might help:
            – summarize the concepts of each chapter
            – summarize the key notes of each practice guide
            – it’s all about UNDERSTANDING and not memorizing
            – put yourself in the shoes of an internal auditor

            I wish you both success!

            Note: the exam is of a very high standard, so try your best.

    • Meghan D says:

      Congratulations! I agree that studying with one set of materials is ideal, but I understand that there are some circumstances in which a candidate would see a benefit from owning two different types of prep. In your situation, it sounds like one course was the perfect fit! Congrats again!


  • Maria says:

    Thank you Tian for your response and Dreamcatcher….thank you for your suggestion….I would most definitely read the additional IIA supplementary material to give myself an advantage in passing CIA Part 3…

    Tian … all the best in your future endeavours.

    Dreamcatcher …. all the best in your exam.

  • George says:

    I passed part three!!!!!! Sixth attempt!!! I had passed parts 1/2 on first try. I really struggled with part 3. I obtained an MBA in 2009 and learned about most of the things that appeared on the exams, but time tends to make us forget things. Here is my recommended study approach and please note that this is what I did leading into my sixth attempt, which was a pass:

    I did not really attempt any practice questions AT ALL leading into my sixth attempt. This had been a futile effort as it turns out for part 3. In my opinion, Gleim does not adequately prepare you for part 3. At least the question bank does not. Parts 1/2 for Gleim were great.

    I read GTAG 1/8/10/17 as many times as possible. I also read PG Assessing RM ISO, PG Coordinating Risk/Assurance, PG CSR, PP Role of IA in ERM, and Google.

    In my opinion it is really important to keep a positive mindset going into, and during the exam itself. If you don’t have a positive attitude, then you are likely to get stuck on part 3 like I did.

    Best of luck to everyone striving to become a CIA. The end result is worth the blood sweat and tears!!!

    • Seta says:

      Hi George,

      Firstly congratulations.

      If possible, would you give some infos about finance/accounting part of the exam?

      Thanks in advance

  • Diane says:

    Hi, First Congrats to George!
    I also want to say that I PASSED this week on my first attempt! I passed part 1 on my second attempt and part 2 on my first attempt. No audit background but accounting background. 53 years old so a lot of experience of work in the background. This, I am sure help a lot in understanding concept.
    I also want to say that Gleim is not sufficiant for part 3. IIA is good and complete. I did all the question of IIA except accounting because it is a total waist of time. I was not able to remember the ratio so I just understood why there where important and when to use the most simple ones hoping no calculation and I did not have any calculation beside EOQ.
    Reading and reading and reading is the key for this exam. I was not able to retain also all the terminology for IT and I was OK on the exam. For me what also help is that I have decided to do the exam in French my first language. For exam I&2 I did in english( first failing was in French). My head was not able to capture everything so when I finally decided to switch in French, everything was clearer to me. Last, I started taking ginseng in january and help a lot. This is my personnal experience but in case it can help someone! Thanks to the whole community and special thanks to Stephanie! I would not have made it without you! 🙂 Good luck to everyone!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Diane,

      Congratulations on your success!!!

      1, Could you please expand on why in your opinion Gleim is not enough for CIA Part 3?
      2. Did you use the additional IIA Practice Guides detaied on this site to assist you in passing?
      3. Could you identify which areas you were tested on?
      4. Is the exam very difficult to pass or it is doable?

      • Diane says:

        Hi Maria, sorry for the delay
        I have mentionned that Gleim is not sufficiant because you need to read all the GTAG and other mentionned above compare to the IIA that already cover these topics well. I read once these guides but if you use Gleim, read them more than once.
        Lots of CRS and risk mgmt like the others have mentionned.
        Is it doable to pass. The only thing that I can say that happened for me: don’t go if you do not feel ready. My objective was end of december and tought I should go because I will never know everything. But beginning of Feb, I felt really ready and confident. I can say that there was only 1 question I could not remember seeing in my study. Hope this help

  • Michael says:

    Dear all,

    Since the page helped me a lot for the preparation of the exam, I wanted to share my experience after passing part 3 today.

    First of all, I took the exam in Germany. I used only Gleim for the preparation and tge additional IIA guidance mentioned above. In my opinion Gleim does a good job covering all the necessary areas. Only the calculations on accounting and costing don‘t reflect the actual exam.

    As to my experience for part 3 today: A lot of questions on CSR an IT Outsourcing have been asked. So I think it would be smart to study the respective practice advisory and GTAG more extensively than I did… Had to make a lot if guesses with those questions.
    Only 2 smaller calculations where needed (EOQ and break even point, which was very easy).

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,

    • ameer says:

      tell me how many question about communication it consist 5-10%?
      CSR is small topic , how many questions you face in the exam ?
      please give me your advise.

      you pass cia , so you are aspcial person
      congra again .

    • Maria says:

      Hi Michael,

      Congratulations on your success!!! That is a great achievement.

      1. Can you expand a little more on the content on the exam as to the type of topics
      you faced, whether it was heavily tested and there level of difficulty?

      2. If one is running out of time would you recommend leaving out the finance

      3. Would you say that reading the additional IIA materials (PG and GTAGS) helped
      you to pass or without them the Gleim is adequate for passing?

      4. For me reading the additional IIA material for the PG and GTAGS is too much and
      I don’t know where to place my focus….reading and learning everything is too
      much. Please advise based on your experience.



      • Michael says:

        Hi ameer, Hi Maria,

        I would guess that there have been around 5 or 6 questions regarding CSR and about 3 or 4 questions regarding IT Outsourcing. So compared to the overall percentage according to the Syllabus it was a big topic (but this was maybe just bad luck for my exam). As to communication I cannot remeber, if there was a question about it in my exam.

        Regarding your questions Maria:

        1. I cannot remember all of the Topics, but i think none of them required a very deep knowledge of the topics.

        2. In my opinion leaving out the accounting and costing calculations from the Gleim books can save you some time and will not hurt you that much for the exam. However a basic knowledge on accounting should be available (e.g. basic ratios, basic composition of a financial Statement).

        3 + 4. I think for corporate governance (especially CSR as mentioned above), Risk Management (ISO31000) and Basic IT (such as General vs. Application Controls) the IIA materials are very helpful. Gleim does not cover all of this. But as mentioned before I think this heavily depends on the questions you will get on your exam day. As a minimum I would suggest reading the GTAG 1, 7 and the guidance on ISO 31000, CSR and Governance in private industry.

  • Thu says:

    Hello all,
    I passed part 3 today and officially completed 3 parts. My huge thank to all people who gave comment about their experiences. I would like to share mine and hopefully it can be helpful to others.

    1. About my exam: Questions are quite straight forward and not tricky tut it requires you to understand the concepts behind rather than memorizing things.

    3 main topics that were tested heavily are Governance, IT (application controls, Infrastructure, outsourcing),Risk ( ISO 31000, risk responses). For CSR, I have about 3-4 questions.

    2. To my surprise, I have about 9 Finance questions related to bonds (2), inventory (3), costing (2), investment decision (2). But only 1 calculation question which I decided to skip as it looked quite new to me.

    3. Other topics are product life cycle, management theory, employee performance appraisal, product tarrif, free-trading…

    From my experience, I used materials from the IIA and others mentioned here (ISO 31000, Gtag..). I did not used Gleim material. Instead I used their question banks. However, I skipped question banks in Finance part as they are too complex and time consuming. Instead, I used Youtube to get basic understand about Finance and also IT.
    Good luck to you all !

    • Alice says:

      BIG CONGRATULATIONS Thu on your accomplishment !!
      Would you please kindly me Email me at alicechoi[@] when you can. I have a few questions for you regarding the IIA study material. Thank you so much!

    • Arip says:

      Hi All,

      I would like to convey my greatest appreciation for those who provide comments here. I just passed part 3 today thanks to the practical advises I got from this comment sections that help me focus with my study. As you are aware, there are many subjects covered under part 3. The comment sections here help me concentrate on selected subject matters and simply skimmed through other subjects. How do I prepare for my exam:

      1. Material. I use Gleim CIA review 2016 edition. I bought a used book from Amazon for US$60 since I cannot afford to buy the newest edition. In addition to this, I also study the following materials: PG-CSR, PG-Coordinating Risk Management, PG-Assessing Organization Governance in Public Sector / Private Sector, PG ISO 31000, GTAG 1, GTAG 4, GTAG 14, and GTAC 17. I also us a test bank from Gleim from 2010, I got this for free from my colleague. I suggest you buy for the newer version if you can afford one. These test questions really helped me in understanding the concepts.

      2. Focused subjects. I skimmed through all the finance and financial ratios since I have an accounting education background and focusing in depth on Governance, Risk Management, IT general and application controls, and moderate emphasis on organizational structure, strategic management, and global business environment.

      3. The Exam. I do not remember the exact number but there are several questions on CSR, ISO 31000, IT general control, Governance, IT infrastructure, IT outsourcing, and IT User developed applications. Other questions are related to business/product development cycle, fragmented industry, competitive analysis (which I know nothing about), ISO 26000, employee performance appraisal, entry barrier, trade tariff, capital budgeting such as NPV, decentralized structure, etc. To my surprise, I do not get any calculation questions but there are four conceptual questions related to inventory valuation method.

      I wish you all luck for those who are about to take the exam and thank you very much for those who share their experiences here.

      • Kenzie says:

        Hi Arip!
        Big congrates on your achievements and Thanks a lot for sharing, it’s good to know that the comments and tips from this page still apply to the most current/up-to-date exams 🙂
        I have similar strategy with you as I also did accounting education as well, so won’t spend too much time on the F&A part I think.
        Can you share your timeline in terms of the preparation? For example how many months did you spend in total, are you studying full time or part time alongside working? And how many hours roughly do you spend on studying everyday?
        And what is your final review strategy? Did you spend time to read everything for multiple times in the end or only focusing on the “hot” areas?
        Many thanks for your help and congrates again! 🙂

        • Arip says:

          Hi Kenzie,

          Thanks for your response. I studied for about 3 months in between my works which involves lots of traveling and playing with my 3 years-old son. So I mostly study during my flights when I am traveling around the globe (mostly to Africa), I spent roughly 4 to 5 hours every week. I even prepared my own check-list table in a spreadsheets to keep track which subjects i have covered and marked the ones that I am not yet confident with. Please email me for those who wants the spreadsheet with the embedded supplementary materials.

          I covered almost all in the Gleim materials except for the finance part, I do all the simple practice tests and ignore the calculation or any questions that are more than 3 paragraphs.
          My final strategy is to focus only on the hot topics as mentioned a lot in the comment sections.


      • Lisa says:

        Congrats Arip!!! Well done.

        I am currently preparing for my exam in May 2018. I have been struggling a bit with the IT component of the exam.

        Based on the highlights you provided, could you expound on the IT Infrastructure component.

        Additionally, could you point me to where (chapter etc.) in the Gleim book I can find the IT infrastructure study notes. I am kind of not clear on what IT Infrastructure includes.

        Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

        Congrats again.

        Thank you.

        • Arip says:

          Hi Lisa,

          Thanks for your response and good luck for your exam. I do not know which Gleim book you are using, since I am using the 2016 edition. But you can study about IT infrastructure from GTAG 4 – management of IT auditing. The related questions are simple and straightforward.


      • ameer says:

        Hi Arip! big Congrats
        I’m also interested in your spreadsheet and any other thing that might help.
        what is the main topics on financial management and global business?
        My email is


      • ameer says:

        Hi Arip,
        please tell me , do you remember IT outsourcing questions? In which GTAG I can find the main topics?

    • ameer says:

      Hi THu ,congratulations

      please help me .
      do you remember IT outsourcing questions? In which GTAG I can find the main topics?
      taarif in which topic i can find it ?


  • abayomi says:

    Hi Arip! Congratulations on your grand achievement. Kindly specify about how many question was covered in the finance part. I am also interested in your spreadsheet and other jottings you may have. Thanks. My email address is –


  • Thu says:

    Hi Ameer, dont remember exactly the IT questions regarding IT outsourcing. However, they were about the responsibility of management when outsourcing and the process order of outsourcing. They are all well covered in GTAG 7.

    For Tarrif, It was just 1 question and cover in IA learning material in the section of VIII- Global bussiness.

    Good luck,

  • Zamig says:


    Yesterday I passed CIA part 3 on my second attempt. (Completed all parts)

    About exam preparation after failing first attempt:

    I used primarily Gleim learning material by comparing with IIA learning material. Each learning system has it’s cons and pros. In some topics Gleim material is very detailed and in another topics IIA does as well in my opinion. Additionally practiced each Gleim test questions except financial calculations. GTAG 1, 4,17, ISO 31000, CSR is very crucial to read in detail, please do not overlook appendix in GTAG material.

    Questions in exam were very conceptual based. It requires to remember topics by joining them with your analyzing ability in order to get final correct result.

    Thank you.

  • abayomi says:

    Dear Zamig, hearty congrats to you. happy for your resilience that paid off eventually. I have a little query though regarding management /leadership principles. Do you think questions were heavily tested there? Around how many questions do you recall were tested in those areas and finally is Gleim enough for that area or i should supplement with others in that area.

    Congrats again!

    • Zamig says:

      Thank you Dear Abayomi,

      I can not remember exact quantity of questions (approx. 2-5 questions. The quantity of questions for topics differ from exam to exam. In my first exam there were more questions related with IT) I guess Gleim material is enough for these topics. Please, do not anticipate questions to be the same or close to practice questions. Relax, believe yourself and try to control your stress before exam.

      Thank you.
      Good luck!

      • Lisa says:

        Hi Zamig, congratulation on passing your exam and being certified.

        I have my exam next month. Could you provide some insight on the Accounting/Finance questions?

        Any assistance would be greatly appreciate.

        Congrats again and all the best.

        • Zamig says:

          Dear Lisa thank you.

          Financial and accounting questions were very simple. Inventory valuation methods (FIFO, LIFO, Average), Liquidity ratios. I think it does not mean every test taker will meet the same topics. I recommend to learn each concept in detail.

          Good Luck!

          • Farah says:

            Hi Zamig,

            Congratulations in your achievement.

            I have a question regarding finance/accounting concepts not the calculations. Are they heavily tested? around how many questions did you get on them? Also, is there any area the exam was focused on?

            Best regards,

        • Mahdi says:

          Hi Zamig, congratulation on passing your exam and being certified.

          I would be very happy if you kindly send me the spreadsheet to my email:

  • Mahdi says:


  • tri says:

    HI all,
    I just pass part 3, so i’m so exicited to share my Journey to CIA
    About my background: I graduated at Economics and Finance. I had 2 years experience at External Audit and 1 year at Internal Audit in a listed company.

    Part 1 just focused mainly on how you should behave as an Internal Auditor. Luckily, I worked at listed company so what i am doing is exactly in the book. Therefore, I took the test in 2 weeks

    Part 2 is a supplement for part 1. I recommend you to study Part 1 and Part 2 together and take both tests in the same day. It will save you a lot of time.

    After finishing Part 1, i worked at another company in completely different industry, so i delayed the Part 2 test after 4 months and i took 1 month to finished part 2

    In part 1 and part 2, i used the test bank from gleim and IIA. I woke up at 5 a.m to do the practice test in 2 hours in everyday, so i remember the theory very well. However, in the real test, the questions are completely different with the questions in the practice test. Therefore, you should understand the key concept behind the practice questions.

    Part 3 is very very different with part 1 & 2 and covers lots of theories. I think that Part 3 focus mainly on how the business works. Because of my background so i don’t study anything about accounting, finance and economics. I think the questions about accounting are very simple ( Defintion about ratio, how to calculate them, depreciation, FIFO, LIFO, rate of return and nature of process costing).

    Part 3 questions focus on Goverance (component of governance, CSR, environment), Risk management Framework ( ISO 31000, COSO), structure of organization, Five Porter, characters of fragmented industry, leadership, business cycle, Which are objectives of marketing strategy, signaling, IT governance and IT Control, EFT, encryption, IT infra. Some questions are outsourcing activity and the concept is very similar with question in Part 2 and Part 1 if you are using Gleim test bank

    In part 3, i used only test bank from IIA. Part 3 did not focus mainly on calculation and i took 3 months to finish it.

    Tips: During the test, you should try to think and act as you are real internal auditor. However, this tips is only useful if you work in a standard internal audit environment. My previous company ( the listed company) was very standard while the current company is not. Therefore, i only assume that if i was interal auditor at the listed company what should i do.

    Spending 2 hours/ everyday to practice the question.

    • ameer says:

      congratulation Tri!!!
      please can you tell me about :1.calculation questions ,how many and in which topics ?
      2.outsourcing? you face any questions about communications?
      4. rate of return!!, is the question related to calculation or the concept?


    • Lisa says:

      Congratulations Tri!!!!!

      All the best in your future endeavors.

      I hope I have your luck in my exam next week.

      Could you provide any insight or pointers on the following topics you mentioned (with the nondisclosure parameters):

      1. The objectives of marketing strategy
      2. Signaling,
      3. Business cycle
      4. ISO 31000 maturity model

      Any specific advice/suggestion for someone sitting their exam in less than 1 week?

      Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


    • Meghan D says:

      Thanks for your advice!

      Kind regards,
      I Pass the CIA Exam

  • tri says:

    Because of the non-disclose policy so i cannot tell you specificly
    1.calculation questions ,how many and in which topics ? Calculate ratio
    2.outsourcing? Responsibility of management about outsourcing you face any questions about communications? Only how to become listener
    4. rate of return!!, is the question related to calculation or the concept? Only concept

  • Roy says:

    I cleared my Part 3 yesterday on my 2nd attempt! Time to give back to the community as I find this forum really helpful 🙂

    1. Look through all the Supplementary Guides and GTAGs that was suggested. Unds the key concepts.

    2. If you are NOT taking Part 3 on the first attempt, I have a quick tip for you. Look through the forum and note down what the others had mentioned that was tested. Compare to the topics that you encountered during your previous attempt(s). Those that did not appear for you may likely be tested in your next attempt!

    I spent a year on Part 3 and six months for both Part 1 & 2.

    Good luck and persevere on!

  • Fred says:

    Hi All,

    Overall, thank you so much all and of course Stephanie! I got it yesterday !!!

    I found this website lately and i had already worked quite a lot (3 months, 2 h /day on Finance). In reality I worked on all part almsot equaly. I finished the exam in 71 minutes. I knew it would be good before getting the result, as i was able to tell for 90% of the questions what was the good answer and why the others were wrong. Obviously i worked on all parts as they are in reality linked together. People who got it without studying everything (as they said) are probably semi-god to me.

    I give you what i woulld have to have found 6 months ago.

    I tried to give a gloabl overview of the question. Obvisouly this is a guidance, i do not rememebr exactly that there are 7 questions on governance !

    Governance = 7/8 questions
    A. Corporate Governance 3 q
    B. Environmental = 2
    C. CSR = 3

    Risk Management : 15 questions
    A. Risk Management : 4 Q
    B. Risk Frameworks on COSO / ERM : 5Q
    C. Organizational Structure : 6 Q

    Organizational Structure : 20 Q
    A. Risk/Control s = 4Q
    B. centralized/decentralized = 2 Q
    C. Various Business Cycles = 2 Q
    D. Business Process = 3 Q
    E. Inventory : 1 Q
    F. EFT/EDI/E-commerce : 2Q
    G. Life Cycles : 3Q
    I. Outsourcing Bu: 3Q

    Communication 7Q
    A. Communication (organizational dynamics) : 5Q
    B. Stakeholder : 2 Q

    Management / Leadership Principles
    A. Strategic Management : 4 Q
    B. Organizational Behavior : 4 Q
    C. Management Skillss : 4 Q
    D. Conflict : 2 Q
    E. Project / Change Management : 1 Q

    IT / Business Continuity
    A. Security : 4 Q
    B. Application : 4 Q
    C. Infrastructure : 3/4 Q
    D. Continuity : 1 Q

    VII. Financial Management 15/16 Q
    A. Financial Accounting: 10 Q
    B. Managerial Accounting : 5 Q
    I was so suprise, but I had about 15 Finance questions related to bonds (2), inventory (1), costing (2), investment decision (1), amortization (1), equity (1), cash controls (1), equity investment (1), capital budgeting (1), on financial Instruments (1). Only 2 calculations question on ratios. Not that easy.

    Global Business Environment : 10 Q
    A. Economic Environments : 3 Q
    B. Cultural / Political Environments : 2 Q
    C. Legal (on contracts) : 3 Q
    D. trade legislation : 1 Q

    Hope it helps good luck to everyone. And no, there is no chortcut, there are questions on all domains !

  • Sspeed says:

    Hello all, I have my final CIA part 3 exam scheduled in a month and I’ve gotten through all of the material with the exception of Finance and Accounting. I am working on those now. I’ve very frustrated though as I feel these chapters are really slowing me down because I am having a hard time grasping all the information. The calculations are very frustrating to me too. I feel confident with all the other chapters and have also read all the required Implementation Guides including GAIT and GTAG. I feel like I will loose time if I devote the time I need to understanding Finance and Accounting fully.

    I’ve read from many of you posting that Gleim chapters 14-18 should be studied lightly and if I really know the Governance, Risk, CSR and IT I should pass.

    Any other thoughts or words of advice for someone who is freaking out of Finance and Accounting?

    • Meghan D says:

      The best way to tackle the calculation questions is through practice. And I’d recommend studying for each Gleim study unit thoroughly, so you are not unprepared on exam day. Have you sat for the Part 3 by now? Please let us know how you did.

      Kind regards,
      I Pass the CIA Exam

  • Farah says:

    Hi everyone,

    Have anyone took the exam recently and can provide us briefly on what if focused on?

    Best regards,

  • Alan says:

    Hi thanks for all. where can i find Practice Advisories PA 2110-1 to PA 2120-2? I don’t seem to find these from the above link. thanks 🙂

  • Festus says:

    I cleared CIA part 3 today on my 2nd attempt.

    Please understand all the IIA guidance that have been suggested on this site. They are very helpful as I got so many questions referring to them.

    I did not have any calculation questions.

    Please concentrate more on Governance, CSR, Risk management (COSO & ISO 31000) and IT. IIA CIA review manual is very good for these areas.

    Good luck to everyone.

    • Farah says:

      Congrats on your achievement!!! Could you please let me know what areas on finance/accounting did the exam focus on? conceptual area that I should know as I will be taken the exam 2 days from now, and any other advices.

    • ameer says:

      I have a question ,please help me to answer!!
      the question is : a cosmetics company produce cosmetics in USA, it decided to produce cosmetics also in france and italy . because it has :1. competitive advantage 2. comparative advantage. please help me to select the correct choice

  • farah says:

    I took part 3 today in my 3rd attemept and failed scoring 576. I’m so fusturated and dont no how to restudy all the things again.. as I studied all Gleim book, practiced all Gleim practice questions and read and understood the supplementary materials.. what do you think I should do next in order to pass? any suggestions

    • Karla says:

      Dear Farah, I’m taking the exam in 2 months, could you tell us your experience this time in the exam?

      I appreciated your support.

    • Art Yip says:

      Hi Farah,

      Sorry to hear. If money is not an issue, you might want to consider purchasing the IIA’s CIA Learning System. The change in material will give you a fresh boost. Follow their system from the beginning to end, and use your Gleim online practice questions as a supplement. IIA’s CIA Learning System also have an electronic flash cards system that will help you learn and understand the concepts.

      Use your previous exam experience to help yourself. Try to think back on where you made the mistakes and learn from them. Even if the questions on the next exam will be different, you can still apply the concepts. 576 isn’t that low a score. Keep in mind to focus hard on Risk Management, Governance along with CSR, and IT. Those topics are usually tested heavily and deeply. Stay determined, and believe you can do it and you will!


      • Meghan D says:


        Your advice about using the exam experience as a learning tool is spot on. Seeing the actual exam is just one more tool for your tool built for next time 🙂

    • Meghan D says:


      Did you have the version of Gleim that includes the lectures? If you are reading the text and completing practice questions, it may not be clicking because you may be more of a visual learner. You could always try a Gleim demo to see if the lectures helped you.

  • C says:

    Hello everyone,

    I passed parts 1&2 a few months ago and just registered for part 3 which I need to pass as soon as possible and, since the only available date in the only test center in my country before mid-October was early September, I decided to try (which, in case I fail, will still give me one more opportunity to take it before 2019 changes)

    I therefore have about 3 weeks, including 7 days during which I won’t be working (other days working full time 9-6) to go through the whole content and understand/memorize as much as possible. I haven’t done anything yet – starting tonight.
    I will use Gleim study material.
    I know I have very high chances to fail but still want to take on the challenge! 🙂 and any advice or information you think that my help me would therefore be very welcome.

    Based on what I have read so for, am planning to focus a lot of Governance (including CSR), Risk Management, IT. The topics I am the least comfortable with are all Finance/accounting related ones, which I know very little about at the moment. From what i have read they are not that important, but concepts still need to be known.

    Thank you very much in advance for your help! and congratulations to all of you who already passed!!! 🙂 it’s very nice to read – and encouraging.


    • Cormorade says:

      Hi C,
      Trust everything goes well. Would you be able to share with us the latest exam update (particularly finance part)? Thanks in advance!

    • Meghan D says:

      Depending on how many hours you study per day during those three weeks, it’s definitely doable. Have you sat for the Part 3? Please let us know how you did, if so!

      Kind regards,
      I Pass the CIA Exam

  • Alice says:

    Hi all,

    thanks for this useful platform and also comments! ?
    Can I ask two things with all your help?

    1. Is there anyone who recently took the Part III exam and what was the experience, testing focus etc?
    2. I am using Gleim for study now. For Gleim users, I would like to know how much time people spend on each unit on average and how many tests you do for each unit. I feel sometimes frustrated. I spent average 3 to 5 hours studying the unit outline (perhaps partly due to the fact that I am not English native speaker). Then I took the tests but sometimes with only 60 or 70% correction rate (even excluding these finance calculation questions). In addition, do you exhaust all the questions related to each unit as well (sometimes can be 150 questions or so for an Unit)?

    Thanks so much,



    • abayomi says:


      • Dewey says:

        Took the part 3 on Sep 28th and nailed it on my first try.

        1. Questions were from the entire sections with focus on governance, ERM, business process/management, communication, IT (General control, application control, ISO 31000, COBIT), and accounting (no calculation)

        2. As a non-native english speaker, I recommend you get yourself familiarized with words and phrases of questions.

        I also used the gleim test bank for the part 3.

        • Alice says:

          Thanks Dewey for your kind reply. Useful indeed!

          Re business processes, is that possible to specify, e.g. business process analysis like queuing theory, TOC, re-engineering etc. or some business processes like EOQ, inventory management, etc?

          • Dewey says:

            Hello Alice,

            Like I said initially, questions were from all over chapters, meaning the exam is miles wide and inch deep with little tweak here and there.

            I literally saw all of your “e.g.” on my exams and what I can assure you is longer you prep for the exam, harder it gets.

            You definitely have to memorize some such as ratios and etc., but it does not mean you have to memorize all. The goal is to understand concept as I said “miles wide and inch deep”.

            Extra reading PG, GTAG, etc is must as I saw a few questions straight from those.

            Hope this will be able to answer your questions.

  • CIA in progress says:

    Hi everyone,

    I really appreciate your advices. Is it really necessary to read the information contained in the GTAG’s appendix 1, 4 and 17? Or reading the GTAG’s with a good understanding is enough?.

    Please help!!

  • TC says:

    could whoever took pt3 recently comment on the exam?

  • Moreno says:

    Hi everyone,
    I passed the third part of the exam this week and I’m very happy to finally be a CIA.
    I studied a lot for the third part and I was very prepared (about 250 hours of study).
    For those who have to take the exam, my opinion is that it is simpler than you can imagine having done the tests of GLEIM.

    Now a question for those who have already become Certified Internal Auditor: to be sent home, how is the certificate packaged? Rolled up in a tube?
    I’m afraid that with the shipment to the other part of the world (I’m in Italy) the certificate will be ruined 😀

    Good luck to everyone!

    • abayomi says:

      Dear Moreno please share the extras you read for e.g the additional GTAGS etc and how you were able to eliminate the incorrect answers during the exam because you just mentioned that the exam is quite easier than we can imagine


      • Moreno says:

        Dear abayomi,

        regarding the extras, I read 2-3 times all the documents that are recommended by this website.
        Honestly I found only a couple of questions that required a knowledge of the extras, one on the ISO 31000 and the other on an IT topic (unfortunately I do not remember what topic).

        Regarding the ability to eliminate incorrect answers, I do not know how to answer you 🙂
        I simply studied a lot (6 months), I was very prepared, I did more than 12k tests on GLEIM and studied hours and hours the book. Reading the questions I could quickly identify the correct answer, I finished the exam with 20 minutes remaining.

        Let me know if I can help you in any other way, if you have specific questions, if you have doubts.


        • Flo says:

          Congratulations to you Moreno.
          Can you let us know the main coverage of your exam? Thanks in advance!

          • Flo says:

            and how many accounting/finance questions did you get? 🙂 and calculation questions?

          • Moreno says:

            Hi Flo,

            I have not identified a main coverage, I think it has been more or less tested all the syllabus.

            Accounting / finance questions between 5 and 10, with calculations 4 or 5.


  • I don't give up says:

    Hello my colleagues!

    Yesterday, I took the CIA exam part 3 and unfortunately I dind’t pass.

    My experience is described as follows:

    1) Financial part: I really think, I had a bad luck with this topic and I had around 12 questions not very easy related to:

    *I will be very specific in order to help you. Units are based in Gleim*:
    – Common stock and preferred stock (Unit 16.4)
    – Stock split (Unit 15.5)
    – Capital Budgeting (Unit 16.6 Specifically this term)
    – Calculate breakeven very important to review the different methods to get it like, units, $ and cost (Unit 18.3)
    – Budget Methods (Unit 18.2)
    – Residual Income (Unit 16.1)
    – Calculate Operating Cycle (Unit 15.7)
    – Contribution Margin and costing variable (direct) (Unit 17.5)
    – Inventory systems (Unit 14.6)
    – Effects in inventories based in cost of sales (Unit 14.6)
    – Analize efects in inventory turnover (unit 15.6)

    As you can see, I had a least one question from units 14 – 18. So my advice is you have to review everything in the syllabus refer to this part but in general you don’t have to understand every detail instead have a good overview, advantages and effects.

    2) CSR around 10 questions (please you have to study and understand the guide from the IIA, Gleim is not sufficient)
    3) IT controls (Unit 12.4 (aplication))
    4) IT Outsourcing (GATG 7 Table 1: IT Outsourcing Life Cycle: Risks and Auditor Involvement by Stages)
    5) BCM (Unit 13.6)
    6) ISO 31000 (Refer to the ISO)
    7) 5 Porter’s forces (the key is UNDERSTAND the factors affecting each force no to memorize)
    8) Advantages and advantages from organizational structures (centralized, decentralized, matrix, etc) Unit 3
    8) The rest were (maybe 2-3 questions from each one) expansion capacity, leadershing, global business, communications with the board, CAE and Stakeholders and leadership.

    Can you suggest the best approach to retake?

    My exam wasn’t easy and I need moderate improvements in all areas except Finance, Global bussiness, communications and leadership (significant). I really sure I know the topics but the questions are very tricky.

    Please your help!!! :(.

    And for anyone who is planning to take the exam there´s no shorcuts you have really understand everything.

    • Meghan D says:

      We’d like to discuss your re-take with you, so please send in an email to stephanie[at]


    • Farah says:


      Hope you’ll pass next time. May I ask if you have finance/accounting backgroun I mean you major at university?

      • I don't give up says:

        Hello Farah,

        I studied accountancy at university but I graduated in 2005 (13 years ago) so I don’t remember some topics.

        I think the questions in financial were not difficult but my principal problem was I didn’t review all the topics in the syllabus refering to Financial and accounting instead I just reviewed some topics that I read here like CVP, inventory and so on.

        Unfortunately, I had a bad luck because I was tested all the other topics that I thougth weren’t relevant but I was wrong (so sad for me!).

        My advice is working with the syllabus and review all the subjects in the financial part but you don’t need all the details just advantages, differences and the main concept, calculate the principal ratios and understand the others (even in the new syllabus it is tested in proficiency).

        I hope my advices serves to you, my wish is to help to other candidates who want to get the CIA fullfilled like me.

        All the best for you!

        • Farah says:

          Thank you so much for sharing. Any other things specifically you want to highlight about the questions you faced that you regret not studying as well?

  • John says:

    Guys, I just passed my CIA exam part 3. I am now a CIA (after confirmation from IIA). I should encourage you, especially those who are taking their exams this year. It is possible!

    I started my Journey this June and did Part 1 and 2 all together on 28th and 29th June and finished my part 3 on 12th Dec.

    Learn to understand,

  • GK88 says:

    Hi Guys,

    I just passed my part 3 exam on my first attempt. Just wanted to encourage everyone who are planning to get this year, that it can be done. Dont get overwhelmed by the size of the content. As long as u understand the concepts, you can get it done.

    I did take tips from the posts here and did have a similar experience. D Focus on CSR, Risk Management, Governane, IT.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  • midodji says:

    My name is Midodji and I actually prepare for the CIA part 3. I Tried it twice but I do not succed it. I plan to take my exam on march of this year. So I will be pleased to know if there are some persons who have already take the news part 3 exam. If So, I want they share there exam experiences with us. how is the exam and what topics are test on the exam.
    Thank you very much

  • dwarf says:

    I took part three this past Saturday and passed. If you focus on the tips mentioned above you should be fine.

    • Meghan D says:

      Congrats, and thanks for sharing!


    • Dee says:

      What review course did you use and what was your study method? For example, did you read the CIA learning book and use Gleim multiple choice questions or did you use the Gleim book and Gleim multiple choice questions for all of your studies? Lastly, was this your first time taking Part 3? If not, did you find the exam easier in 2019 than 2018 with the reduced syllabus?

    • CIA2019 says:

      Hi Congrats…If you can share in detail how you prepared for the exam, which study material and test software used, whether we need to study GTAG, standards and other guides in IIA website also, apart from publisher study materials. All these tips would be very helpful for students appearing in part 3 under new syllabus

      • dwarf says:

        I used Gleim for the study material and did not look at any GTAG’s or any other supplemental material. I would recommend knowing the IT section. It’s good to be strong in all the study units but I would recommend knowing IT very well. I studied probably 5 weeks for 8-10 hours a week. I think the study method comes down to personal choice. I found Gleim to be more than sufficient but if it doesn’t work to your study style try something else. I didn’t focus too much on the multiple choice questions which was a similar strategy I used for parts 1 and 2, and instead focused on going through the book and watching lectures multiple times. With the exam being over different topics its hard to compare difficulty, but I felt pretty confident about the IT sections in Gleim going in so I felt like the exam was comparable to parts 1 and 2.

  • B says:

    With the change in syllabus, are there any tips with regards to GTAGs that one should focus on? I went through the article a few times and did not find any suggestions for this regarding the new syllabus.

    • Meghan D says:


      The IIA is advising candidates to cross-reference the syllabus with the available GTAGs. However, if you have a full CIA review course, you shouldn’t need to reference the GTAGs. The exception to this would be if you have a really weak area that could be improved upon by referring to other sources (like the GTAGs).


  • Nhan says:

    Passed the CIA part 3 exam last week, I used Gleim and I noticed that it contained a lot of additional materials that I did not see on the actual exam.

    • Meghan D says:

      Hi Nhan!

      Thanks for your feedback! And I’m glad to hear that you passed Part 3!

      CIA candidates only see one version of the exam when there are many, so it’s not surprising that you didn’t see every single concept on your actual exam that was covered in Gleim CIA Review..

      I hope this helps!

      I Pass the CIA Exam


    • Upendra says:

      what was the focus of your exam – IT or other?

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