Gleim CIA Review is one of the top CIA review courses on the market and certainly the most popular among my readers.
This CIA exam prep course has been helping aspiring CIAs pass the exam for 40+ years, and it may just help you to pass too. But before you make a decision one way or the other, you should use my assessment of Gleim CIA Review to learn everything you need to know about this course.
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Please note that Gleim released the 2021 edition of its CIA review course in June, 2020. Therefore, this article will make reference to both the 2020 and 2021 versions, as we have readers still sitting for the 2020 version at this time.
You can purchase the best-selling Gleim CIA Premium Review Course as a 3-part set or as these individual parts:
You can also finance your Gleim CIA study materials. However, you must have a U.S. social security number in order to apply for financing.
Whether you purchase the complete course or individual parts, you’ll receive the following course features from Gleim CIA:
The 2020 and 2021 edition of Gleim CIA Review includes their proprietary SmartAdapt technology.
The course’s incorporation of this adaptive technology means that candidates won’t have to guess what to study next during their review. Instead of leaving you to wade through the course chapters on your own, the online platform maps your study journey for you. With the course making these decisions, you’ll know exactly where to go next and when to go there.
The Gleim CIA’s adaptive technology also targets your weak areas so you can study more efficiently. In fact, each time you study, the Gleim course learns more about your knowledge and makes a smarter study path for you. Using this information, the course saves you time. For instance, once you show proficiency in a particular content area, you won’t need to spend much time on that topic anymore. Instead, the course will direct you to focus on bringing your scores up in areas where you are weaker.
Finally, as a future CIA, you may love data and the complete story it provides. So, thankfully for you, the Gleim course supplies you with all the data you need to achieve CIA exam success. Specifically, the course shows you all of your performance data in real time so you can determine your review status at a moment’s notice.
The updated interface also features an interactive study planner that helps you schedule all of your studies. To use the study planner, you simply enter your exam date as well as the dates you can’t study. Then, Gleim’s study planner generates a personalized study path just for you.
What’s more, you won’t even need to worry about the day-to-day details of your CIA review because the study planner tells you if you are falling behind or on track. So, with the adaptive technology and interactive study planner, the Gleim CIA course takes the guesswork out of studying.
Gleim CIA Review’s Premium Course includes video lectures. And highly respected instructors teach the Gleim video lectures. In fact, the Gleim professors are CIAs and IIA thought leaders. For example, the lead instructor is a professor and the Director for the Center for Internal Auditing Excellence at the University of Texas at Dallas, an IAEP school endorsed by the IIA.
So, within your Gleim CIA course, you’ll find 45 hours of in-depth yet bite-sized video lectures. As you watch these lectures, you can follow along in the study guide and take notes in the margins to help you digest and remember the complex topics.
Moreover, the video lectures also cover multiple-choice question answering techniques, so you can start to identify how the IIA is going to test you. And the instructors review the questions in great detail, taking their assessment down to the granular level, so you can learn exactly why the correct answer is right. And of course, according to Gleim’s signature style, you’ll also learn why the incorrect answers are wrong.
The fact that you can watch these detailed lectures on-demand (and from the comfort of your own home, no less!) leaves you with absolutely no reason to attend a live CIA review class!
Gleim makes their books available in printed and digital formats. Most importantly, Gleim aligns the content of their books with the IIA’s CIA exam syllabus. Each study unit outlines the most important concepts and provides examples where appropriate. Also, in the new 2021 edition, Gleim has enhanced its outlines to make identifying the different types of standards easier. The benefit of these new outlines is that they help improve your retention for exam day.
Additionally, the books include CIA MCQs and explanations. However, the bulk of the practice questions are in the online course, so you likely won’t be spending too much time with just the study guide.
Furthermore, the Gleim CIA study guides follow an outline format. Therefore, the books read less like a textbook and more like a detailed summary. Consequently, this style of writing and presentation seems to be a bit polarizing for our candidates.
The Gleim CIA exam bank of practice questions is the most notable part of the course. As candidates around the world have learned from these questions, this collection of questions has become the best-selling CIA test bank.
The test bank contains over 3,000 relevant questions and detailed answer explanations. And just like the lectures, these answer explanations teach you the reasoning behind the correct and incorrect answer choices.
What’s more, no other CIA review course to date has done a better job of recreating the CIA exam testing environment. Other courses have tried, but none have been as successful as Gleim. The screens in the Gleim test bank look exactly like what you’ll see on exam day, so you can be confident and comfortable with the testing interface by the time your test date arrives.
Like the Premium course, you can purchase the Gleim CIA test bank as a 3-part set or as these individual parts:
The Gleim Premium CIA Review Course is also the only one on the market to offer access to real accounting experts. So, if you have trouble with internal auditing concepts like ratios or sampling, you can simply use your course to contact one of Gleim’s experts. They’ll quickly provide an answer to your question and help you progress your understanding so you don’t get stuck.
Access to an exam mentor is another Gleim CIA Review exclusive. Once you purchase the course, Gleim will assign a mentor to you. You can then communicate with your mentor any time you like and ask them questions about your studies or about the exam. These mentors are always happy to assist you and really want you to have the best experience with the course.
The access until you pass guarantee is another exceptional feature of the Gleim CIA Review course. While other CIA review courses, like the IIA’s Learning System, leave you to find replacement materials once your materials expire or if the exam changes, Gleim is different. Gleim has essentially created a no-hassle guarantee. This guarantee gives you free updates to the course for as long as you need them and lets you request a refund if you fail. So, whether passing the CIA exam takes you 2 years or 10, you’ll always have access to your Gleim course. That’s why they call it access until you pass.
The Gleim CIA audio lectures are different from the video lectures. As mentioned, the video lectures are pretty granular and detailed. They also walk you through certain multiple-choice questions. In contrast, the audio lectures simply present a high-level discussion of the important concepts.
Therefore, audio lectures are perfect for on-the-go auditory learning, which is very convenient. And, you can stream or download the lectures — it’s up to you!
The Gleim Exam Rehearsal simulates the testing environment by featuring a timed practice exam. The course instructs you to take the Exam Rehearsal during your final preparation. The purpose of the Exam Rehearsal is to identify your remaining weak areas before exam day. Once you discover these areas, you can focus on them during the last days of your review in an effort to maximize your score when you take the CIA exam.
And in the new 2021 edition, Gleim provides not 1, but 2 full-length Exam Rehearsals with their premium review. However, if you are using the 2020 version, please note that you will have access to 1 Exam Rehearsal rather than 2.
Taking the timed Exam Rehearsal is the first step of your final review, so we recommend doing this about a week or 2 before your actual exam date. If you have the 2021 edition, we suggest that you take your second Exam Rehearsal a few days prior to your exam day.
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Do I think it’s worthwhile to use Gleim CIA Review as your CIA exam prep? Absolutely. But, before I lay out all my reasons in detail, let me tell you at a high level why I firmly believe Gleim has the best CIA review course on the market.
Gleim CIA Review is a great value, especially when compared to the IIA Learning System. If the IIA Learning System looks attractive to you, don’t let their creative marketing fool you: a third party that is not part of the IIA authors the Learning System. And the IIA Learning System comes at a high price without offering an abundance of study materials. In contrast, Gleim CIA Review includes both detailed video and summarized audio lectures, access until you pass, help from accounting and exam experts, a bigger test bank, and so much more. And the price of Gleim’s course is not much higher than the IIA Learning System.
Therefore, when you consider just course value alone, you can see that Gleim is the clear winner. But, we also love Gleim because the content is top-notch and it is the most established CIA review course, as it was the first in the industry.
My more specific reasons for recommending Gleim CIA Review include:
As a CIA, CPA, CMA/CFM, and CFII with a Ph.D. (not to mention Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida), Dr. Gleim has a vast knowledge in every aspect of accounting. Consequently, he has authored books and review courses for multiple disciplines within the accounting field. In fact, he was the original author of the renowned Wiley CPA Exam Review until 1990, and he also publishes the best-selling EA course Gleim EA Review.
What’s more, Dr. Gleim has a full team of staff. This team includes authors dedicated to updating the textbooks, personal counselors committed to providing individual customer support, and accounting experts assigned to answer technical questions from students.
For these reasons, Gleim CIA Review is the course that is sure to come with quite a few tricky and out-of-the-blue questions. But you can trust that Dr. Gleim includes these questions to make sure you are well prepared for exam day.
The Gleim CIA Review Course is the only comprehensive course on the entire market. I say this because no other course includes video lectures, access until you pass, and help from experts. What’s more, the Gleim test bank also includes the best and most relevant questions in the industry.
And, with the addition of SmartAdapt technology, the Gleim course gives you guided study assistance that focuses on your weak areas rather than information you already know so you can save time. But, I want to point out that the Gleim CIA Review course enables you to bypass the SmartAdapt system if you want. So, if you don’t like the idea of skipping over the content you already know, you can still go through all of the material.
Now, Gleim doesn’t publish its CIA pass rate. But, I keep track of how many of my students pass the CIA exam with the Gleim Premium Course. And right now, the pass rate is approximately 90%. In fact, I rarely hear that a candidate has failed with this course. Usually, candidates fail if they try to study with the Gleim CIA test bank alone. I do not believe the test bank on its own is sufficient to prepare you for the CIA exam, and you can find my reasoning below.
While I appreciate Gleim’s very detailed discussion of all potential exam topics, some candidates may find this abundance of information overwhelming. I also don’t love the format of the Gleim CIA books because I’m not a big fan of reading outlines. However, the outlines are a very efficient approach that doesn’t seem to bother most CIA candidates.
So, would I pick Gleim CIA Review to prepare me for the CIA exam? Yes, definitely!
I always prefer to study actively by answering lots of practice questions. This exercise lets me really learn the key terms and the concepts as well as how to apply the concepts. And Gleim CIA Review’s best feature is the test bank, so this is the course for me.
I also love the online tools that guide the user through the self-study process. This system fits my needs perfectly and works great for many other candidates as well!
Can someone use just the Gleim CIA test bank to pass the CIA exam?
Well, maybe. But if you’re tempted to rely on the Gleim test bank alone, you should know that you are taking a pretty big risk for 2 reasons.
Preparing with a test bank alone is risky because the absence of other study materials might hinder you from learning the concepts as well as you should. And without a strong grasp of the concepts, you’re more likely to fail. I believe that trying to pass with just the test bank increases your odds of failing because my experience proves that in the vast majority of instances in which a candidate used Gleim and failed, the candidate was only using the test bank.
So, using the test bank alone leaves you more likely to fail, which means you’re also more likely to have to pay to take that exam part again. And of course, the more times you fail, the more you end up paying in CIA exam fees. So, when you purchase just a test bank, you’re not saving money on the exam process.
And because you won’t have access until you pass, you probably won’t save money on your exam prep either. The Gleim test bank only includes 18 months of access and doesn’t include free updates, so you’ll have to buy the test bank again if you can’t pass in time or if the exam changes. Consequently, studying with just the test bank is not just a risk, it’s an expensive risk.
Therefore, because studying with just a test bank makes you more likely to fail the CIA exam and spend more on passing it, I don’t recommend going this route. Remember, the Gleim Premium CIA Review Course has the highest pass rate and is the best-selling course on the market, not the Gleim test bank.
Great news: I have the best and most exclusive Gleim CIA discounts available! I love my readers, so I’m very happy to share these offers with you. And I have even more good news: you don’t need a promo code to get my great Gleim discount. Instead, you simply need to click the button below to visit the Gleim site, add the study materials you want to your cart, and checkout. The discount automatically applies when you click this button, so you’ll see your awesome CIA discount at checkout. 🙂Save Hundreds on Gleim CIA Now!
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.