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CIA Review Courses

Wondering how to pick the best CIA review course? I recommend you check out the options below and use my comparison to help you find the best course for you! 

If you prefer to get our recommendation, we'd highly encourage you to try Gleim CIA. They are the #1 best-selling CIA review course, and everywhere we go, we find CIAs who used Gleim to pass the CIA exam. Plus, our friends at Gleim have provided us with the best CIA review discount on the web, so it is an affordable course as well.

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CIA Learning System

Course

Pricing for 3 Parts

$949

$499

$499

$375

$995

Discount
Video Lectures Led by Professors
Adaptive Learning Technology
# of Practice Questions

3,060+

2,000+

1,850

5,300

N/A

Audio Review
Money-Back Guarantee*
Help from CIA Exam Experts
Access Time Limit

Access Until You Pass

Unlimited

Unlimited

12 Months

12 or 24 Months 

Detailed CIA Course Comparison

gleim cia review

Gleim CIA Review

Gleim is the oldest and most widely used CIA exam review course. If you browse my site, you'll notice that most of my readers use Gleim either as their core study materials or as a supplement to the CIA Learning System. Although, it has far more features than the CIA Learning System, so Gleim is really the only system you'll likely need.

Most noteworthy, 3 of our 4 CIA exam bloggers chose Gleim (on their own) to prepare for the exam; the remaining one started with another provider and switched to Gleim after 2 weeks.

Strengths

Very established provider

Gleim created the first CIA course in the industry. They also produced the first CMA course and one of the first CPA courses.

Integrated learning approach

The Gleim CIA prep course includes videos, test bank, audio reviews, textbooks, and an online study tracking system.

Lots of high-quality practice questions

This course contains the most comprehensive test bank of practice questions that closely simulate the real test experience.

Convenient offers

Gleim also offers I Pass the CIA Exam readers a Gleim CIA Discount. The discount is embedded in the link; no promo code is required.

Weaknesses

Skips the basics

If you have absolutely no accounting or auditing background either from school or work, this course may be tough to follow.

Personal Counselors aren't accountants

Gleim assigns a Personal Counselor to each customer who purchases a Gleim CIA prep coursee. However, this counselor is more like a coordinator and a cheerleader. He or she can forward technical questions to the professors, but this process takes time. Otherwise, the Personal Counselors can't help you learn about accounting.

Recommendation

If you have some accounting/auditing experience and are the type of candidate who learns best from doing lots of practice questions, I have no doubt that Gleim is best for you.

surgent cia review discount

Surgent CIA Review (Formerly ExamMatrix CIA)

Surgent CIA prides itself on its adaptive learning technology. Surgent offers the only adaptive course on the market to feature ReadySCORE technology.

Strengths

Weakness-targeting technology

The adaptive learning technology feeds students questions about topics for which they have low scores. In this way, the course essentially performs the role of a coach. This approach serves as one of the most effective ways for retakers to improve their scores. Because of this, Surgent CIA is a very intriguing course offering if you have failed a part of the CIA exam.

Weaknesses

Not comprehensive

The notes are basic, and I wouldn't rely on this product alone. Surgent CIA is pretty much just an online test prep.

Recommendation

Surgent CIA Review is a great choice for candidates looking for supplementary practice questions. It is also good for retakers who appreciate a system that strategically feeds them questions about their weaker areas.

hock cia review

Hock International CIA

Founded by Brian Hock, CPA, CMA, CIA, this CIA prep provider is quite popular both inside and outside of the US. Brian brings over 15 years of teaching experience to the course. Plus, Hock has top-notch content and customer service.

Strengths

Comprehensive materials

This course features great notes that explain the concepts thoroughly. Additionally, the Hock CIA video lectures can be added on as well, and these comprehensive classroom-style CIA lectures are great for visual and/or auditory learners.

Good price point

The Hock CIA course is more affordable than some other courses. Also, you can use my Hock CIA discount to save even more!

Excellent customer support & guarantees

Hock CIA includes access to their popular CIA forum with your purchase. You'll be able to ask questions in the forum, and you can also read other candidates' questions as well. Additionally, you'll be able to email the instructors directly if you have any questions. 

Finally, Hock CIA also includes 4 guarantees and they really stand behind their products.

Weaknesses

Smaller bank of multiple-choice questions

The practice questions are good, but the course doesn't include as many as we'd like.

Recommendation

If you need more explanations of the concepts behind the topics covered in the CIA exam but find Gleim CIA to be too expensive, Hock could be a good alternative. If you need more practice questions, you can get Surgent as a supplement.

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wiley ciaexcel review discount

Wiley CIAexcel

Wiley is another global brand in the accounting exam preparation industry. However, Wiley CIA does not have a full course to offer CIA candidates.

Wiley CIAexcel sells the study guide, practice question test bank, and focus notes individually. Therefore, you can purchase Wiley CIAexcel's products separately and use them to supplement other CIA materials.  In contrast, Gleim does not sell its products separately, with the exception of the CIA test bank. However, Gleim CIA offers a full course, so there is no need to purchase supplemental products once you purchase Gleim.

Strengths

Global brand

The Wiley name is known around the world and has a reputation for excellence.

Weaknesses

Not comprehensive

Wiley CIAexcel features only the textbook, online practice prep, and summary notes. This product is not a fully integrated and guided course (i.e., there are no videos, help from CIA experts, or study planners).

Not as well-known

The Wiley CIA system is not as widely used as Gleim.

Recommendation

If you are supplementing the materials from another CIA course and don't need a comprehensive option, Wiley might be right for you.

CIA Learning System

CIA Learning System

The CIA Learning System is sold by The IIA. This course is an integrated review system consisting of textbooks, a study planner, analytics, and practice questions. Even though this system has "IIA" in the name, don't be fooled: The IIA does not produce these materials. On top of that, the actual creators of the IIA Learning System do not have access to any inside information about the exam. And there are no video lectures or professors to help you.

Strengths

Great learning experience

I feel like the authors really want to teach you the material as opposed to just help you pass. For this reason, you can use the book as a great source of reference after the exam.

Well organized

The content presentation very closely matches the syllabus. However, you should know that the authors don't have access to the exam questions, so the manner in which the content is arranged doesn't provide much of an advantage.

Strengths

Expensive

No other course on the market costs as much as the IIA Learning System.

No money-back guarantee

If you aren't satisfied with your purchase after you start to use the course, you're stuck with it.

Not the most efficient

If your main purpose is to pass the CIA exam as opposed to learning about internal auditing through the exam, the CIA Learning System may teach too much and feel like a waste of your time.

Insufficient difficulty

The practice questions in the test bank are not as complex and comprehensive as you might find on the actual exam. I personally prefer tougher practice questions to get me fully prepared for the exam.

Limited demo

The free demo is of little use when compared to the full-access free trial offered by other providers.

Bad value

Because there aren't very many features or any videos, this product doesn't seem to warrant such a hefty price tag. You'd pay less for Gleim and would still get more features. And remember, a 3rd party writes the IIA study materials, so you aren't gaining any additional information when you purchase the IIA Learning System.

Recommendation

The IIA Learning System is a learning tool for those who want to take their time and learn about the best practices in internal audit. So, if you are on a tight budget or want to earn the certification fast, you might want to check out the other CIA courses.

Read My CIA Learning System Evaluation

Best CIA Test Banks

In the CIA exam syllabus, we see that the exam contains hundreds of questions about dozens of topics. The exam questions could ask you anything about the exam topics, so you must answer many, many practice questions to be ready to pass.

You can answer plenty of practice questions when you use a test bank, a collection of questions imitating those on the CIA exam. Using a high quality and comprehensive test bank lets you get more familiar with the exam content and testing environment and strengthen your weak areas.

Available CIA test banks vary in size, but Gleim has the best test bank on the market.

  1. Gleim CIA Review

The test bank within the Gleim course contains 3,000+ practice questions. What's more, the questions are of higher quality than other CIA test banks. Additionally, the Gleim test bank emulates the exam environment better than anything else and also includes detailed answer explanations for every question. You can also purchase the Gleim test bank separately, but you’ll receive the most questions and the most complete preparation when you purchase the Premium Gleim CIA Review Course.

If you prefer drilling questions to build your confidence, I recommend relying on the test bank found in Gleim.

CIA Video Lectures

Turning on video lectures is a great way to add some variety and interest to your CIA exam studies. Video lectures are video recordings of instructors teaching about the exam concepts and questions. Also, watching video lectures helps you process information faster and retain it longer, deepen your understanding, enjoy the learning experience, and have more convenient study sessions.

  1. Hock CIA Review

Hock CIA video lectures are thorough and based in a classroom environment. Brian Hock, CMA, CIA, will instruct and guide you through all the relevant CIA information in over 40+ hours of helpful videos. Brian has over 15 years of teaching experience, and the lectures will help you to understand detailed theory questions. Additionally, the videos will walk you through complex calculations as well. So, the Hock CIA lectures are great for candidates who need in-depth instruction.

The Hock CIA lectures can also be purchased separately and would be a great supplement to any review materials you already own.

  1. Gleim CIA Review

Gleim led the way in creating video lectures for the CIA exam prep industry. The Gleim Instruct CIA video series is the first of its kind, and it is still best in class despite a few other providers catching up with video content. In the Gleim Instruct series, professional educators lead CIA candidates through detailed examples and multiple-choice questions about the most important topics in the CIA exam syllabus.

If you plan to integrate video lectures into your CIA exam studies, you should plan to use Gleim CIA Review or Hock International CIA.

CIA Multiple-Choice Questions

The CIA exam consists entirely of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), but that doesn’t make the exam easy. You’ll see several different types of CIA exam MCQs, and each will assess you for distinct skills.

So, to answer these MCQs successfully, you must do more than just memorize information. Instead, you must consistently answer exam-caliber questions so you can achieve the knowledge levels required to perform well on the MCQs. Realistically difficult MCQs are essential to good CIA review, so you must use a course that delivers them.

  1.  Gleim CIA

The MCQs in Gleim represent the difficulty and functionality of real exam questions better than any other. Though the Gleim test bank is not the largest, it includes the most comprehensive and accurately challenging questions available. As the first CIA review provider, Gleim has the experience needed to create MCQs that sound and function like those on the CIA exam. Therefore, Gleim CIA gives you plenty of opportunities to get your knowledge where the exam expects it to be.

  1. Hock CIA

Like Gleim, Hock CIA has prepared a very high-quality bank of questions for CIA candidates. Hock is also a well-established accounting exam prep provider, so you can count on them to write questions that will effectively prepare you for the exam. Similarily, Hock questions also emulate the exam and will help you assess and address your weak areas. However, Hock is a bit more affordable than Gleim.

Certified Internal Auditor Audio Lectures

If you ever want to study for the CIA exam on the go, then you should turn on audio lectures. Audio lectures are the auditory content of a lecture, which means they’re great for audio learners and CIA candidates intending to maximize their time.  

Listening to audio lectures lets you study for the CIA exam while doing less mentally demanding tasks like exercising, cleaning, or commuting. Only one CIA provider offers audio lectures, so you don’t have a lot of options. However, with this one option, you will get what you need to be completely ready for the CIA exam.

  1. Gleim CIA

The Gleim CIA audio lectures address critical exam topics for every exam part about as thoroughly as the books. They are also available to stream or download for your convenience. Audio learners will not be disappointed by these professor-led audio lectures, as Gleim’s reputation for candidate-focused excellence extends to these resources as well.

If audio lectures are an important review component for you, you’ll find the Gleim CIA audio lectures to be extremely comprehensive and effective.

Best CIA Study Planners

One of the most significant plans you’ll make in the process of passing the CIA exam is your study plan. Formulating your CIA exam study plan is a big job, but depending on the CIA review provider you choose, your course can actually help you get it done.

  1. Gleim CIA Review

The Gleim study planner is the best on the market because it lets you add test dates and input your availability before producing a tailored schedule of sessions and assessments. Furthermore, this study planner adapts when you add or remove blackout dates and notifies you about missed study sessions.

  1. Hock CIA

Hock provides a study plan that tells you what to focus on each week, but they also allow you to alter your individual study agenda with their online study planner. The online planner automatically adjusts the general study plan according to your needs once you select a target exam date and day to begin studying.

Whether your course includes a study plan or not, establishing your study schedule involves determining how fast you want to pass, carving out time for regular study sessions, accumulating 1-2 study hours a day, and figuring out when you can finish studying. However, these study planners simplify this procedure.

CIA Exam Support & Access to Experts

The best CIA course goes to the extreme to prepare you for the CIA exam. One measure of how far your provider has gone is their customer support. Consequently, exceptional customer service is a true mark of quality CIA review, and only a few providers deliver.

Standard contact methods for CIA review providers include phone, email, live chat, and social messaging. Therefore, extraordinary customer support features access to teams of experts. The courses that distinguish themselves with these services are Gleim CIA Review and Hock CIA Review.

  1. Hock CIA

Hock CIA also allows you to reach out to course and content experts when you’re in need. And the Hock CIA Review Course makes it easy to get answers from individuals who know all about the course, the study process, and the exam material. Hock provides its candidates with an easy-to-use forum, and candidates can email Hock instructors directly as well. And Hock has one of the best customer service teams available!

  1. Gleim CIA

Gleim CIA has an outstanding reputation for customer support for 3 reasons. First, Gleim’s team of exam mentors called Personal Counselors will help you create a study plan, give advice, answer questions, and motivate you as needed. Second, the Gleim also has technical experts on hand to assist you with computer or course access problems. Finally, you can easily tap into the knowledge of Gleim’s CIA exam experts using the practice question inquiry system within the course.

Dynamic customer support makes a noticeable difference in the ease of your CIA exam journey, so put review providers who prioritize it at the top of your list.

CIA Exam Flashcards

Flashcards may be uncomplicated, but they’re still effective, even when it comes to studying for such a professional test as the CIA exam. Flashcards are ideal for improving your memorization of definitions, formulas, and more.

Making your own increases your comprehension and retention of the information, but because several review providers offer them, you can save time and effort by buying pre-made flashcards.

  1. Hock CIA Review

Hock provides CIA candidates with over 700 digital flashcards about critical exam content. These flashcards come in a convenient PowerPoint file, so you can also add your own flashcards if you like. With these digital CIA flashcards, you can really drill down on vital exam details and build your confidence in the testable topics using acronyms and mnemonics. Also, these flashcards even help you refine your skills in performing research activities, completing financial calculations, and working with spreadsheets.

What Is a CIA Review Course

A CIA review course is a collection of resources candidates can use to study for the CIA exam. These resources focus on presenting and explaining the exam content. You can access most of the materials in a CIA course online. These courses usually have:

  • Digital or physical books
  • A bank of practice questions
  • Video lectures
  • Audio lectures
  • A study planner
  • Performance tracking software
  • Customer service access
  • Limited time access

You can buy courses for each exam part separately or as a complete set.

Reasons to Use a CIA Prep Course

There are quite a few advantages to using a prep course to pass the exam. 

Content Coverage and Explanations

A CIA review course explains the exam content in a helpful and easy to follow way.

The 3 CIA exam parts test how well candidates know current internal auditing practices and understand internal audit issues, risks, and remedies.

Part 1: Essentials of Internal Auditing

  1. Foundations of Internal Auditing (15%)
  2. Independence and Objectivity (15%)
  3. Proficiency and Due Professional Care (18%)
  4. Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (7%)
  5. Governance, Risk Management, and Control (35%)
  6. Fraud Risks (10%)

Part 2: Practice of Internal Auditing

  1. Managing the Internal Audit Activity (20%)
  2. Planning the Engagement (20%)
  3. Performing the Engagement (40%)
  4. Communicating Engagement Results and Monitoring Progress (20%)

Part 3: Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing

  1. Business Acumen (35%)
  2.  Informational Security (25%)
  3. Information Technology (20%)
  4. Financial Management (20%)

More About the Certified Internal Auditor Exam Syllabus

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) shares the CIA exam content in the CIA exam syllabi. This information is very broad and doesn’t go into much detail about what you need to know to pass the exam. As a CIA candidate, you could review this information for yourself, but finding and learning the specifics of the material and developing the skills you need on your own would take a lot of time and effort. Consequently, you would have to do so much research that your studies would take much longer than necessary.

You have 3 years to finish all of the CIA program requirements once your application has been approved, but you don’t need to spend the majority of that time preparing for the exam. A comprehensive course already contains all of the information you need to pass and arranges it in expertly-authored books, videos, practice questions, and more. Also, a review course will save you a great deal of time while giving you immediate access to everything the exam may cover. With a CIA course, you can focus on mastering the material rather than compiling it all yourself.

Knowledge and Skill Development

A CIA review course makes sure that you reach the levels of knowledge and skill that you need to pass in time for exam day.

With a prep course, you can not only review the exam content, you can track your learning progress. When you have access to tools such as performance tracking software and study planners, you can ensure that you develop the knowledge and skills you need to pass in time for your testing appointment. The CIA exam syllabi expect you to be proficient with many of the content areas on the exam. According to The IIA, proficient means that you can

  • Apply concepts, processes, or procedures
  • Analyze, evaluate, and make judgments based on criteria
  • Put elements or material together to formulate conclusions and recommendations

The CIA exam uses multiple-choice questions to determine your proficiency. The best way to become proficient is to practice what you’ve learned, and the test banks of practice questions found in CIA review courses give you the opportunity to do so. If your CIA review course also emulates the look and feel of the exam (as some do), you can get not only reach the right level of knowledge with the exam concepts, but you can also get familiar with the exam environment. Accomplishing both of these tasks before you take the exam gives you a great deal of confidence and lowers your chances of being surprised on exam day.

Support System

A CIA review course offers a support system of information, advice, and encouragement.

Most CIA review courses include customer service in some form or another. For example, your course may connect you with exam mentors who can answer your questions, help you create a study plan, and encourage you all throughout your studies. It’s also very likely that your course will supply access to a technical team who can assist you with computer issues. You can usually contact these teams via phone or email.

How Much Do CIA Courses Cost?

While the cost of a CIA review course varies by review provider, most complete courses come in at less than $1,000. This is good news when you remember that you’ll have to pay other CIA exam fees as well.

You can save money on CIA review by using the free trials, making the most of your course, making your own flashcards if your course doesn’t include them, and using these CIA review discounts. Additionally, when you choose a course with an extended access period or an access until you pass guarantee, you don’t have to worry about your course access expiring before you finish the exam. This step spares you from having to pay for access renewal or another course.

When you’re ready to buy, research your options and look for a course with good guarantees. That way, you can find the best course for you the first time and pass the exam faster!

Most Affordable CIA Course

Prices for CIA review courses are not as high as exam prep for certifications such as the CPA and CMA. However, there are still CIA review course options that are fairly expensive and not worth the price. If you need to stick to a budget while making the most of your money, you’ll be happy with Hock CIA.

Hock CIA offers a lot of value and comprehensive materials for the price. With study guides, a test bank, flashcards, optional video lectures, digital and print resources, and more, you get so much for the money. You also get just the right level of detail at every turn through the course. And because they all bear the Hock International name, you also know that these study materials are high-quality and trustworthy.

With this special Hock CIA review discount, the Hock CIA course costs just $600 when you add the optional lectures and still supplies everything you need to succeed. With Hock CIA, you can pass the CIA exam even when money’s tight.

My Recommendation: Hock International CIA

How Do I Find My Learning Style?

Did you know? We all learn differently. Each person depends upon a unique combination of tools and experiences to understand information. To study effectively for the CIA exam, you must find study materials that accommodates your learning style. Therefore, you must figure out what type of learner you are.  

  • If you understand concepts faster when someone explains them to you, you might be an auditory learner.
  • Do you find yourself moving constantly when you’re trying to concentrate? You could be a kinesthetic learner.
  • Watching a video really can help you learn, and when it’s your preferred means of gaining insight, you may be a visual learner.
  • Love reading books and taking notes? Most likely, you’re a linguistic learner.
  • When you want to see the reasoning behind an idea in order to truly grasp it, you’re not being difficult: you’re being a logical learner.
  • If you prefer to take on the investigation of new information on your own, you may be a solitary learner.
  • Find yourself feeling most ready to learn when you’re with other people? You’re probably a social learner.
  • And, if you take a different approach to learning based on the material you’re trying to consume, chances are that you have more than one learning style. This is common.

Once you’ve discovered your learning style, judge each CIA review course according to how well it promises to meet your learning needs. The best way to do this is to access any available course demos. Most providers offer limited-time access to a free course demo that shows you how the course looks, operates, and addresses your learning style. Trying out these free trials lets you feel confident in your review course decision before you make a monetary commitment. 

How to Pick the Best CIA Prep Course

When you’re ready to pick the course for you, you should assess your options based on the following criteria:

  • How well the course components fit your learning style
  • Who has written the materials
  • How often the course is updated for the current exam version
  • What kind of customer service and support you will receive
  • How customers have reviewed the course
  • Who presents the lectures
  • How much value you will get for the price
  • What guarantees and course access periods are included
  • How long the course provider has been in the industry
  • Whether you can preview the course before purchasing
  • How well the course replicates the exam experience
  • How many practice questions are included

This list is long and not arranged in any particular order. You should determine which course qualities are most important to you and compare how well each course performs in these areas. Different courses work for different candidates, but I believe you can find the best CIA review course for you that meets your needs and helps you pass.

Suggested Course for Candidates Who Failed the CIA Exam

If you fail part of the CIA exam, it could be for one of several reasons. These reasons include a lack of sufficient study time, study effort, or study materials. Blaming your study course right away might be your gut instinct, but I strongly suggest that you analyze your personal study habits first. Only if you can honestly say that you put all of your effort into studying, used the course exactly as designed, and still failed should you officially call your course into question. At this point, if you do need to seek out new study materials, I recommend trying Surgent CIA.  

Surgent has defined its course as the champion of CIA exam re-takers because of its adaptive technology. This tech continuously assesses your knowledge levels and points out your weak areas until you’ve reached proficiency with all of the exam content. Focusing on your weak areas saves you time and enables you to overcome the topics that tripped you up before. Surgent also includes a free trial and a great pass guarantee. When you use this Surgent CIA Review discount to save on your switch, you can get back into the CIA exam game faster than you think.

My Recommendation: Surgent CIA Review

Certified Internal Auditor Course for Accounting Students

Great news: You can take the CIA exam as a student! Specifically, you can sit for the exam during your senior year of college. You just need to graduate and then meet the experience requirement within 3 years in order to get certified.

Taking the exam during school is wise because the exam content overlaps with some of your accounting courses. Therefore, the information will still be fresh in your mind, and you’ll still be in study mode. On top of that, the CIA exam fees are cheaper for students, so you can save money on the certification. However, you will still need a study course to pass the exam, and for students, I recommend Gleim CIA.

Gleim CIA Review is good for students because its outstanding content coverage reinforces everything you’ve been learning. Plus, its intuitive study planner makes it easy to fit study sessions between classes. And don’t forget: your Personal Counselor will be there for you every step of the way on your CIA journey: you won’t have to go it alone. When you use my Gleim CIA Review discount to save on your exam prep, you’ll be well on your way to passing the CIA exam in a semester or two.  

My Recommendation: Gleim CIA Review

Best CIA Course for Auditors

With the CIA certification, you can take your internal audit career to the next level. The certification is your ticket to increased skills, income, job opportunities, and more. So, if you’ve been contemplating the CIA, what are you waiting for? Even if you’ve been out of school and in the field for some time, you can rely on CIA review to get you up to speed on everything you need to know for the CIA Exam. The course I recommend for professional auditors like you is Gleim CIA.

Gleim’s CIA course covers all of the exam content in a clear, concise, and relevant way, you can pass the exam faster than you think. Gleim specializes in easy-to-read content outlines presented in short, digestible sections. Furthermore, the Premium course includes video lectures and access to accounting experts to give you extra insight into the exam topics. And, the comprehensive test bank will help you be completely ready by exam day. Use my Gleim CIA Review discount to save big on exam prep and start your CIA certification journey today!

My Recommendation: Gleim CIA

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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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