I want to share my experience here, and let you know that passing CIA is possible. I´m an internal auditor, and my native language is Spanish, and I’m from South America, so the CIA here is almost like a dream, the main drawbacks is that EVERYTHING is in English.
The overall process to pass the 1, 2 and 3 parts took me 5 months. The part 1 and 2 I did with gleim and standards. And when I started to study for the third part, was the main shook, the amount of material was overwhelming, and I felt that was almost impossible to understand everything and my brain started to melt. The financial and accounting part was the most challenging due to the amount of information and again in another language where nothing makes sense.
After that, I came across to this website, and everyone was talking about the financial and accounting part as not as difficult as Gleim present it, and I thought if I do not trust my colleagues what I am? A monster? jajaja . So, I put all my trust on the tips and I simply did not study the Gleim questions for the financial and accounting part and I just read the concepts, every page with calculations I just skipped that section (It was hard, believe me). Additionally, I just took the syllabus, and I tried to match the IT concepts with the GTAGs , I did the same thing for Governance and Risk management.
The night before the test I did not sleep, the only thing that was in my head was the words of most of my bosses saying that for a staff auditor will be impossible to pass the cia because they hold higher positions in the company and they could not make it (Senior managers and Directors).
The day of the test (Today), I was so nervous that I could not eat, or drink anything, when the test started I felt like this is it, I have to answer every question thinking that this must make sense in the reality in every day business.
About the questions, 20 IT, 30 Governance, RM and CSR, the rest was a mix of the syllabus but common sense questions. And JUST 3 BASIC CALCULATIONS, one depreciation, acid test, and variable costing ( did not know that one).
Finally, when I pressed send, I think my heart stop for a while ( Sorry the dramatism but I´m latin). And the printer started to sound and I felt like that moment took an eternity. And the results were there: Pass, I love that word know. ( I had my Hollywood moment, like in the movie pursuit of happiness)
Overall, I want to let you know that is possible, you must overcome everything that is in your head and think positively. In my case, only 30 people are CIA in my country and they are Directors and Senior manager. And now I am a CIA too.