Waqar is our CIA exam blogger. After busy working on his MBA for a few months, he is back with new strategy for the CIA exam.
So I took the session of 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 have two answers or looked like both answers are correct; but after attempting and reading the explanation, you got the reason why right is right and wrong is wrong. Therefore, it’s really important to read all four options before picking the answer.
Another reason of the low score was that I answered questions while still reading through the answer choices. Sometimes, we need to read all answer choices first, but I acted hastily. This happened to me in the CMA exam — 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 text book, I did read the theory at the end but It did not help me that much in 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 which tells the student the origin of the question. For example, I saw two codes in my session of leadership and communication: one from publisher (Gleim) and other from CIA exam past exams. Past questions are tricky compared to the publisher questions.
I will be able to compare better when I have Wiley on my hand. I am planning to get it within one month so I could prepare better. I have read so many stories in the comments where people saying they did only Gleim and passed it easily, I also believe it because I was also the one who was able to complete CMA with Gleim.
This time, however, I will not take any risk and will prepare as many questions as I can to do it in my first attempt. Each time I practice questions and write for the blog, my passion burns with flames for the success.
See you in the next post with more progress of my journey.
Waqar Akmal, CMA
Note from Stephanie
Many candidates find Part 3 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 for completing the questions is not for completeness sake; it is rather an exercise for you to identify the weaker areas, so one 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 text book. 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.