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The Dilemma of Studying: Annette’s Blog

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annette-cia-exam-blogger-circleAnnette is our first exam blogger from Namibia. She passed Part 1 and 2, and is working on the last part. This is going to be her 6th attempt for Part 3.

I once found this graph on the Internet. It displays exactly my inner struggle of sitting down to study:

Often times I start with good intentions, at least 3 months in advance of the exam date, and then life just keeps happening and I find excuses. In school I have been an above average student and also at university I passed most of my subjects with distinction, but somehow studying for the CIA is not as easy!?

I am not so much a morning person – I love my bed, i.e. if I can get ready for work in half an hour I get up at 07h30. I stayed at a boarding school for 12 years (my entire school life) and there we had compulsory 2 hours study sessions in the evenings. So, that is what I tried to apply, study evenings for my CIA; however it is not so easy, as I am working from 8am to 5pm doing Internal Audit all day long. After work I often feel mentally exhausted and tell myself just a short break and then I will study (yellow quadrant of graph), well you can guess what happens.

So lately I have realised morning sessions are better for studying. Definitely not 5am (did I mention I love my bed?), but from 8am until noon are my most productive hours, this reduces my study time to weekends mostly (or is this an excuse or avoidance – red quadrant?).

So 2-3 weeks before exam date I am stressing (blue quadrant) and tell everyone I cannot join events etc. because I have to study (greenish quadrant). Obviously that is no help and not at all productive.

I used IIA’s Learning System Study Planner and even downloaded Stephanie’s planner based on Gleim. I complete them, I might even print them, but I do not follow them.

I have not found my perfect study schedule – any suggestions on your best study time and planner?

Note from Stephanie

The chart is hilarious! (but so true)

Back then I also had a pretty demanding work schedule, and I can’t agree with you more on the mental exhaustion that makes studying impossible after work. And before work close to impossible.

So I dedicated my entire weekends — all days Saturdays and Sundays — to the preparation (for the CPA exam). I got a good 16 hours per week because of that, and it worked fine for me. It lasted for 9 months. I am not sure if it worked if the craziness extended beyond a year.

Great if other readers could share their study plans!

For those who are ready to start their CIA journey, I have this rough estimation of prep time required for your reference. Happy studying everyone!

About the Author Annette S

Hello, I was born, raised and have been working in Namibia as an internal auditor. I finally passed my CIA exam after 7 attempts on Part 3!

  • Bamidele Oba says:

    Hello Annette, please what study material did you use for your CIA Part 3. I am currently studying for Part 3 with intention to take the exams in December this year and i use the Gliem CIA Review System 2018 Edition. I have read a lot of comments about the insufficiency of Gleim. Please can you advice on what study material to use.

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