Gleim CIA Review is one of the top CIA review courses, and certainly the most popular among my readers.
This CIA exam prep course has been helping aspiring CIAs pass the exam since 1981, and we will go through the pros and cons in detail. Disclosure: The I Pass Team may earn a small amount of compensation if you purchase from our links; our team uses these revenues to maintain the site and produce awesome free content just for you!
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Gleim CIA Review is a very structured online learning tool that guides candidates on how to self-study effectively. Within each study unit, there are:
The books are available in either a printed or digital format. The content is aligned with the IIA’s CIA Exam Syllabus. Each study unit outlines the most important concepts and provides examples, where appropriate. Additionally, the books include MCQs and explanations.
The online test prep software is probably what Gleim is best known for. There are 3,060 multiple-choice questions that are presented in a simulated testing environment. There is detailed diagnostics report and performance tracking capability that helps you identify your own strength and weakness.
This is essentially the audio version of the book. It serves as an additional channel for candidates to learn and review the exam materials.
There is a timed practice exam in a simulated test environment for your final preparation. Your final weak areas will be identified here so that you can continue to maximize your scores in these areas before exam day.
Dr. Gleim is Professor Emeritus at the Fisher School of Accounting, University of Florida. He has been recognized by the University of Florida as the author of “renowned accounting [materials] that to this day are the field’s authoritative learning resource.”
1. Gleim Has a Strong Team
Dr. Gleim has authored books and review courses on multiple disciplines within the accounting field. He is, in fact, the original author of the renowned Wiley CPA Exam Review until 1990.
He has a full team of staff, including dedicated authors to update the textbooks, personal counselors to provide individual customer support, and accounting experts to answer technical questions from students.
2. Highly Recommended Test Prep Software
Gleim CIA test prep includes more than 3,000 multiple choice questions. This includes all IIA-released questions with answers and full explanation.
As a CIA, CPA, CMA/CFM and CFII with a Ph.D. (and Professor Emeritus at University of Florida), Dr. Gleim has vast knowledge in every aspect of accounting. (Dr. Gleim has also published the best-selling EA course Gleim EA Review.) Gleim CIA Review is the one with quite a few “tricky” and “out-of-the-blue” questions to make sure you are well covered.
3. A Learning Tool that Teaches You How to Self-Study
I really like how the CIA Review System is designed to help students overwhelm the difficulty in self-studying:
This is how the CIA Review System works:
The content from the books and test prep software can be overwhelming, but the Review System divides the content into manageable study units.
For each study unit, you begin by completing a set of questions to find out how much you know before the review. Based on the performance, you can decide if you want to learn even more through detailed video lectures, read the book, and more.
Then, there is a set of tricky true-false questions which test your knowledge on fundamental concepts. Based on this performance, you can decide how to go through the CIA review book.
The study unit concludes with another set of practice questions so you can put what you just learned in practice.
1. No Lecturer Teaching in the Video
The video (within Gleim Online) is an audiovisual presentation that highlights the main points in each unit. It doesn’t go into details, but I believe this is purposely designed so. I like how the presentation summarizes the key points in each chapter, but I can see that some candidates don’t find it as useful.
Update: Gleim now offers video instruction. In fact, the lead instructor is a professor and Director for the Center for Internal Auditing Excellence at the University of Texas at Dallas, an IAEP school endorsed by the IIA.
2. Book Could be Overwhelming?
While I appreciate the very detail discussion on every topic I could see that some candidates will find it hard to read, or too much to read.
Having said that, if you follow the study guide in the CIA review course, you will see that students are not required to read the whole thing but just focus on the parts they are not familiar with. You can even skim through the summary and go straight to practice questions.
If you are asking me… yes, definitely! I always prefer “active studying” by doing lots of practice questions, because I actually learn the key terms, the concepts and how concepts are applied through the exercise.
Gleim’s biggest value-add is the practice questions and the online tools that guide me through my self-study. It fits my needs perfectly. It works well for many others too!
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.
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