Waqar is our CIA exam blogger. After being busy working on his MBA for a few months, he is back with a new strategy for the CIA exam.
So, I took the CIA exam session on leadership and communication and scored around 77% (average of the sub-units). I answered most of the questions hastily — something which I should not have done and will not do after this session.
Before we start, here is a beautiful quote:
The harder you work, the luckier you get”
In my opinion, the main difference between my MBA class and the CIA exam is that CIA questions are trickier. For those questions, you need to take a minute and think before answering the question. When I was working on the questions, it was as if some questions had two answers or looked like both answers were correct; but after attempting and reading the explanation, I got the reason why the right answer was right, and the wrong answer was wrong. Therefore, it’s really important to read all four options before picking the answer.
Another reason for the low score was that I answered questions while I was still reading through the answer choices. Sometimes, we need to read all answer choices first, but I acted hastily. This happened to me during the CMA exam, too. When I was preparing for CMA Part 1, my mentor told me, again and again, to read each and every option because the examiners would try to trick us. I have learned my lesson again.
In terms of the Gleim textbook, I did read the theory at the end. But it did not help me that much with the questions. On the practice questions, I would like to rate the questions as “A Grade.” Some questions are really tricky, while others are simple if you have gone through the book. Every question in the Gleim test bank includes a code that tells the student the origin of the question. For example, I saw two codes in my session on leadership and communication: one from the publisher (Gleim) and the other from past CIA exams. Past questions are tricky compared to the Gleim questions.
I will be able to compare better when I have the Wiley CIA materials in hand. After all, I am planning to get it within one month, so I can prepare better. I have read so many stories in the comments where people say they did only Gleim and passed the CIA exam easily. And I believe it because I was also someone who was able to complete the CMA exam with Gleim.
This time, however, I will not take any risks and will prepare as many questions as I can to pass the CIA exam on my first attempt. Each time I practice questions and write for this blog, my passion burns with flames for success.
See you in the next post with more progress on my journey.
Waqar Akmal, CMA
Many candidates find the CIA Part 3 exam difficult, so you are doing really well to get 77%.
Working on practice questions is one of the most efficient ways to study. But it could also be the most frustrating, especially at the beginning. The purpose of completing the questions is not for completeness’ sake. Rather, it is an exercise for you to identify your weaker areas, so you can improve based on that.
I also encourage candidates to go slow — work through the first few practice questions as if they were examples in the textbook. Walk through the steps slowly and make sure you understand the underlying concepts. We are talking about quality over quantity here. Once you get the hang of it, it is a lot less painful, and one can work faster with much better accuracy.
I have some exam tips for both studying and test-taking strategies here.
Howdy guys, I am Waqar Akmal from Pakistan. I am currently enrolled in MBA program (Third Semester) and have completed the CMA exam. I am now working towards the CIA exam.