The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification comes with benefits that can open new doors for you. But the path to becoming a CIA, while worthwhile, is not always easy. Taking the CIA exam can be a time-consuming process. And as you well know, accountants and auditors already have packed schedules. So, CIA candidates commonly go through the process of applying for the CIA program, scheduling the CIA exam, then realizing they need to reschedule their testing appointment or cancel it altogether. So, what do you do if life gets in the way of your plans to sit for the CIA exam? Well, you don’t need to panic. Instead, if you need to make a CIA exam change, you can consider your options. So, learn about the CIA exam reschedule procedure and the CIA exam cancellation procedure.
Under what circumstances would you need to reschedule the CIA exam? Well, you may have another obligation that is forcing you to change your plans. Or, you may simply not feel prepared by the time your testing appointment comes around. In either case, you can reschedule your CIA exam.
But, you must do it in time. Specifically, you must reschedule your CIA exam prior to 48 hours before your original appointment time. To do so, you must contact Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE is the company that administers the CIA exam on behalf of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). If you don’t reschedule through Pearson VUE before you only have 48 hours until your appointment, then you will receive a “No-Show” status for your appointment and must pay the full CIA exam fee when you register for another appointment.
Pearson VUE offers 2 straightforward options for changing your CIA exam date. You can either call the company’s customer service line or visit its website. However, no matter which rescheduling method you choose, you must pay a $75 CIA exam reschedule fee directly to Pearson VUE. Even if you have to reschedule more than once or need to reschedule more than one exam part, the cost to reschedule CIA exam appointments is always $75.
Pearson VUE customer service agents can help you find and schedule a new CIA exam date. However, Pearson VUE does not have a general customer service number. Instead, they have customer service phone numbers for the America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions. To ensure you are calling the correct customer service number, you must check Pearson VUE’s website.
Pearson VUE customer service agents are available Monday through Friday, but hours do vary by location.
To reschedule your CIA exam online, you will need to visit the dedicated IIA page on the Pearson VUE website. On that page, you must
In the event that you need to change more than 1 CIA test date, you will need to repeat the above process for each exam part.
After you reschedule your CIA exam, whether by phone or website, Pearson VUE will send you an email confirming your new CIA exam appointment date. If you do not receive this email shortly after finishing the CIA exam reschedule procedure, reach out to Pearson VUE immediately, especially if you are nearing your 48-hour window. You can contact Pearson VUE via email or through the customer service number for your region. I also suggest logging into your Pearson VUE account to ensure your new exam date is in the system.
It happens. Candidates fail the CIA exam. In fact, the average overall CIA exam pass rate of 41% proves that most CIA candidates don’t pass. But the reasons for the low pass rate are complex. So, if you didn’t pass your exam on the first try, don’t give up hope. You can and should try again! But if you failed the CIA exam, how to reschedule?
Well, before you can retake your failed exam part, you first have to wait. Specifically, you must wait 90 days due to the fact that the IIA has implemented a 90-day waiting period for retakes.
Now, you can re-register for the exam as soon as the IIA publishes your initial CIA exam score in your Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS) account. But if you re-register for the failed exam part right away, then when you go to Pearson VUE’s website to schedule your exam appointment, the soonest exam date that will be available to you will be 90 days from the date of your failed exam part.
And you will still only have 180 days to schedule and sit for your exam after you register for it. However, if you wait until 90 days later to re-register for the failed exam part, the entire 180 days of exam appointment dates will be available to you.
The 90-day waiting period does not apply to exam parts you have not yet taken.
To retake a failed exam part, you will need to register through CCMS again. Once you log in, you will click “Complete a Form” again, select the exam part you want to retake, and pay the full exam fee again. Then, the IIA will send you a new “Authorization to Test” email with further instructions. Follow the instructions to schedule your retake through the Pearson VUE website.
Though the IIA does not limit the number of times you can retake a CIA exam part, they do make you pay the full exam fee again every time you register to take an exam part again. And of course, they make you wait 90 days to return to that exam part despite the fact that you only have 4 years to meet all of the CIA requirements such as passing the CIA exam.
Therefore, failing a CIA exam part is pretty inconvenient as it costs you both time and money. But how can you avoid failing part of the CIA exam? You can study with a CIA review course.
A CIA exam review course really can be a difference maker in your pursuit of CIA exam success. By explaining the exam content, providing opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills, and supporting you with customer service, CIA review courses give you everything you need to pass the CIA exam. Some even address different learning styles by supplying a variety of ways to learn. For example, you can find a course that includes video lectures, audio reviews, textbooks, or a combination of all 3.
What’s more, some courses include adaptive technology that detects your weaknesses and helps you improve until you’ve reached proficiency. Usually, these adaptive courses also contain interactive study planners that adjust to your schedule. Tools like these help you know what to study and when so you don’t have to take on the CIA exam alone.
You can find the best CIA review course for you by reading my comparisons of the most popular courses on the market. Then, you can use my CIA discounts to save big on your preferred exam prep.
Finally, if you’d like more personalized assistance with your CIA review course decision, you can contact me. I can guide you to the course that meets your needs. And if you used a CIA review course to prepare and still failed a CIA exam part, then you can ask for my help in determining if you need to supplement your current course or move on to a new course altogether.
Once you register for a CIA exam part, the IIA gives you 180 days to schedule and sit for it.
Now, 180 days is a long time. And having a long time to take the exam can be comforting, as it means the IIA isn’t rushing you. On the other hand, having a long time to test can also be challenging because we can’t always predict the directions our lives will go in during a period of approximately 6 months.
Therefore, if you do schedule your exam appointment but find that the unexpected has come up since then and compelled you to put your CIA exam plans on pause, then you should probably cancel your appointment so you can reschedule later and not forfeit your exam fee.
One instance in which you may want to cancel would include knowing you can’t make the appointment but not knowing exactly when you will be able to reschedule the appointment within the 180 day period. Another circumstance for cancellation would be one in which you wanted to reschedule but your preferred exam center did not have any open seats that worked for you at that time. So, you could cancel your appointment and then check back in with Pearson VUE at a later date.
To make a Pearson VUE cancellation, you must call your regional customer service number. You cannot complete the cancellation process online.
If rescheduling or canceling your exam appointment is not the cure-all to any CIA exam timing woes you may encounter, then you may be interested in the CIA exam and CIA program eligibility extensions the IIA offers. The IIA gives candidates these opportunities to extend some of the CIA time limits so that candidates can fulfill all of the requirements and earn the certification.
If you feel you need more time to take the CIA exam beyond the 180 days of exam eligibility you receive when you register for an exam part, you can request a 1-time extension of your exam eligibility window. This extension will give you another 60 days or until the end of your program eligibility period, whichever comes first, during which to take a CIA exam part.
You can only use this extension if you have not already scheduled your exam part or if you have canceled your original appointment. And to receive this extension, you must pay a fee of $100, whether or not you are an IIA member.
To apply for the exam eligibility extension, you must log in to CCMS, submit the Exam Registration Extension form, and pay the fee.
As mentioned, CIA candidates have 4 years to complete all of the program requirements in order to receive the certification. Considering the fact that many candidates have already finished the education requirement and may have at least a headstart on the experience requirement as well, 4 years is a generous amount of time to fulfill all of the requirements, even passing all 3 CIA exam parts.
However, if you, unfortunately, find the deadline of your program eligibility period drawing near and you won’t be able to satisfy all of the requirements before it arrives, then you can apply for a 1-year, 1-time program eligibility extension. The extension aids both candidates who have not successfully passed the CIA exam parts yet and who have not taken the exam parts yet. The fee for this extension is $275, again, regardless of IIA membership status.
To apply for the program eligibility extension, you have to log in to CCMS, complete the Program Extension form, and pay the fee. If approved, your 12 additional months of eligibility will begin on the original program expiration date.
If you choose not to apply for the extension and the 4-year eligibility window closes, you will have to re-apply to the IIA. You must also retake all exam parts and repay all of the exam fees in full.
One other type of extension available to CIA candidates is the hardship extension. The IIA may apply this one-time extension to either the exam eligibility period or the program eligibility period for candidates in extenuating circumstances. These circumstances may include illness, death in the family, maternity and paternity, natural disaster, civil unrest, or military service.
If you would like to apply for the hardship extension, you must submit an incident through CCMS detailing your extenuating circumstances. The IIA will then review your request and tell you how to proceed, as they require supporting documentation for all requests. The IIA does not specify a fee for the hardship extension.
Depending on where you live, you may or may not qualify for an extension. So, be sure to check with your local IIA office to discover if these extensions are available to you.
Whatever the reason, if you must reschedule your CIA exam, then the CIA certification will cost you more time and money. Therefore, you should do everything in your power to keep your original appointment date. And often, showing up for that appointment means working harder to adequately prepare for the exam. These tips tell you how to work hard enough to avoid a CIA exam reschedule altogether.
Earning the CIA certification is the next natural step in the career of many auditors. But this process takes concentration and preparation. Because you have 4 years to meet all of the requirements and 180 days to sit for the exam once you register, you may feel that time is on your side. But of course, so many things demand our attention that time can easily get away from us.
So, to ensure that you’re totally ready to pass your CIA exam part by testing day and won’t need to reschedule, I recommend that you start studying before you schedule your exam. Then, you can select any Pearson VUE CIA exam appointment available without having to worry if you’ll finish your studies by then.
So, you know that preparing for the CIA exam takes time. But specifically, how many CIA exam study hours should you devote to each part? The answer to that question often depends on your professional background and current understanding of the exam material.
Candidates who have an existing knowledge of content in the CIA exam syllabus can expect to put a minimum number of study hours into their exam part preparations. In contrast, candidates who need a basic understanding of the topics tested should study longer in order to feel safe. Therefore, I’ve outlined the number of minimum and safe study hours I suggest for each exam part.
|Exam Part||Minimum Hours||Safe Hours|
I’ve based these estimates on my interactions with numerous CIA exam prep courses. So, don’t take this insight for granted. Instead, keep these hours in mind as you create your study plan and schedule your exam appointment.
If you’d like more information about the CIA process and how to pass each exam part the first time, you’ll find it in my free CIA exam study materials. The course consists of emails that walk you through each step of taking the CIA exam and earning the certification. You will also receive more information on CIA exam prep so you can get the best course for you. Learn more or sign up below!
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.