Gleim CIA v. Wiley CIAexcel – A Fair & Honest Comparison

Should you choose Gleim CIA or Wiley CIAexcel? In our fair and honest comparison, you can learn which of the 2 options is best for you. As former CIA candidates, we can attest to the accuracy of this comparison. We have used most of the available CIA review courses, and you may even call us course comparison experts! We’ve cut through all the marketing fluff to provide you with only the most relevant and truthful information. So, let’s take a look at Gleim CIA Review and Wiley CIAexcel to see how they stack up against each other.

​Gleim CIA v. Wiley CIAexcel - ​At a Glance Comparison Chart

​CIA Review Attribute

​Attribute Importance

​Gleim CIA Review -- Premium Course

​Wiley CIAexcel -- Study Pack

Access Until You Pass

High -- Without continued access, you have to pay for a new course if your course expires before you finish the exam.


Not included -- You'll only have access for 12 months.

Video Lectures

Medium -- Video lectures could be more important for visual and auditory learners.

Over 40 lecture hours included

No video lectures available

​CIA Test Bank

High -- Without practice questions, you won't be able to apply the knowledge you've learned throughout the course.

Over 3,000 questions included

Over 5,000 questions included


High -- You'll want the books to learn the concepts, especially if you do not receive video lectures with the course.

Digital or physical books included (choose digital to save on shipping costs)

Physical books included


Low -- flashcards reinforce the topics you've already learned, but research shows you'll be more likely to commit the items to memory if you create flashcards yourself.

​Not included

Focus notes included (these are like flashcards, but with more information on each card)

​Gleim CIA Review or Wiley CIAexcel: Winner

For the best CIA review course (and the most comprehensive one too), we award Gleim CIA the winner. Gleim CIA includes everything you need to pass, and it's one of the most widely used CIA courses available.

We really like Wiley CIAexcel for supplementing, but since Wiley doesn't include video lectures or access until you pass, we wouldn't recommend it as a standalone course.

Gleim CIA Review and Wiley CIAexcel History

Gleim CIA has been around since 1974. While it started out only publishing CPA review courses, Gleim now sells the #1 CIA review course. The CIA review course is a few decades old, and the team at Gleim works diligently to update the lectures and content every year. 

Wiley CIAexcel is relatively new. But really, just the name is new. Wiley CIAexcel was previously known only as Wiley CIA. Wiley has actually been around longer than Gleim, but Wiley has not been producing CIA review for as long as Gleim has. The team at Wiley does make the necessary updates to its CIA course, but we've seen Wiley make more improvements to Wiley CMAexcel and Wiley CPAexcel than Wiley CIAexcel.

​Gleim CIA v. Wiley CIAexcel Interface

Gleim recently updated the interface of its CIA course when it released the new 2019 edition. This new interface includes adaptive technology. With this new addition, Gleim has made it possible for candidates to study more efficiently. The adaptive course provides candidates with an easy-to-use interface, and detailed analytics are readily available.

The Wiley CIA interface is very modern and also easy-to-use. The course provides detailed analytics, but Wiley does not have adaptive technology in its platform.

​Conclusion: Gleim CIA and Wiley CIAexcel

​If you are questioning the validity of this comparison, please note: As we have taken the CIA exam before, we applied our actual course experience under real study conditions when building out this comparison. We did not rely solely on available marketing information and screenshots. ​

Additionally, we should point out that there are a couple things that both courses lack. Neither Gleim nor Wiley CIAexcel offer a downloadable app that would allow you to study offline. Both courses publish books for offline studying, but the bulk of the questions can be found in the online banks. Therefore, finding a reliable internet connection is vital no matter which course you choose.

Furthermore, neither CIA review course includes access to live lectures or a live presenter. The Gleim lectures are good, but they are recorded, and no face-time with the professor is available. Gleim does allow you to ask questions, but you must do so within the course, and Gleim only provides the answers in writing. Our ideal CIA review course would include face-time with a professor, but currently, there isn't a course like this on the market. 

Therefore, the best option that meets all relevant and critical features is Gleim CIA Review. If you already have Gleim CIA Review, Wiley CIAexcel is a great supplemental option and will provide you with an additional 2,000 questions for Part 3. 

​What's Next?

If you're still unsure which course is the best for you, please contact me for a thorough and helpful recommendation. You can also sign up for my free CIA exam study materials to learn more about the process of becoming a CIA.