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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.
Pricing for 3 Parts
Video Lectures Led by Professors
Adaptive Learning Technology
# of Practice Questions
Help from CIA Exam Experts
Access Time Limit
Access Until You Pass
12 or 24 Months
Detailed CIA Course Comparison
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
The notes are basic, and I wouldn't rely on this product alone. Surgent CIA is pretty much just an online test prep.
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.
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.
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.
Smaller bank of multiple-choice questions
The practice questions are good, but the course doesn't include as many as we'd like.
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.
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.
The Wiley name is known around the world and has a reputation for excellence.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The free demo is of little use when compared to the full-access free trial offered by other providers.
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.
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.