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Gleim CIA vs. HOCK International CIA: Is It Too Close to Call?

Choosing Gleim CIA or HOCK CIA for your CIA review course is an important decision. For this reason, we’ve prepared the information you need to pick the best CIA prep course for you. Gleim CIA vs. HOCK International CIA is a common comparison international candidates ask us to make, so we’re happy to pass our honest and detailed findings along to you!

As previous CIA candidates, the team at I Pass has used all the major CIA review courses with varying results. Therefore, to prevent yourself from paying for a course that may not work for you, you can use this guide to help you select HOCK CIA or Gleim CIA.

Gleim CIA vs. HOCK International CIA Comparison Chart

CIA Review Attribute

Attribute Importance

Gleim CIA Review -- Premium Course

HOCK International CIA Review Course

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.



Video Lectures

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

Over 45 lecture hours included

42 lecture hours 

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

2,705 questions included


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

Digital and physical books included 

Digital and/or 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.

Digital flashcards included

Digital flashcards included

Who Wins? Gleim CIA Review or HOCK CIA Review

Gleim CIA and HOCK CIA are nearly tied for the better CIA review course. However, we declare Gleim CIA Review the champion because this course includes more practice questions, which may be a critical component for some candidates.

HOCK CIA is a great option if you're a visual learner because HOCK's videos are more engaging than Gleim's. Also, HOCK is much more affordable, especially with our exclusive HOCK CIA discount, so if you're on a budget, HOCK may be the course that wins out in the end.

Also, we have some readers that purchase Gleim and then add the HOCK lectures -- with this combination, you'd have access to the most MCQs and the very best lectures (win-win)!

HOCK International CIA vs. Gleim CIA Review History

HOCK International CIA has been in business for 19 years. In contrast, Gleim has been helping candidates pass their accounting exams for over 45 years. Additionally, Gleim produced the very first CIA review course, which continues to be the course that more CIA candidates choose than any other.

Founded in 1974 by Dr. Irvin Gleim, CPA, CIA, CMA, EA, Gleim has enjoyed a long run of helping turn CIA candidates into full-fledged CIAs. Gleim was also the first CIA course to include instructional videos led by award-winning professors. What's more, Gleim has helped more CIAs pass the CIA exam than any other course on the market.

Brian Hock, CMA, CIA, established HOCK International CIA. He is also the instructor you’ll see in the HOCK CIA videos. He has taught accounting certification exam classes for over 15 years. Plus, he is highly regarded as clear and helpful instructor.

Gleim CIA vs. HOCK CIA Course Interface

Gleim has enhanced its CIA courses with the company's popular, proprietary SmartAdapt technology. This adaptive platform allows CIA candidates to ensure they are spending their time wisely. So, if you are struggling in a particular area of exam content, the Gleim course will automatically help you strengthen your knowledge of the confusing concepts. In contrast, if you are particularly strong in a specific area, the Gleim CIA course will not waste your time by making you study information you already know.

In addition, the Gleim course includes easy-to-read detailed analytics that provide you with on-demand information about your performance. You’ll see both high-level and granular information in the analytics, so you’ll always be aware of how you’re doing.

In comparison, HOCK CIA does not include adaptive technology in its interface. The HOCK interface is easy to navigate, but it lacks some of the helpful analytics that Gleim provides. In addition, HOCK does not offer candidates a guided approach like Gleim does. Consequently, CIA candidates using HOCK must pick the next area to study using their own judgment. Some candidates may be fine with this scenario, but we frequently receive questions from candidates who need help knowing what to study next and when. So, having a course that already does this for you is super helpful!

HOCK CIA Course or Gleim CIA Review Materials

Video Lectures

Many of HOCK CIA’s video lectures are led by Brian Hock, CMA, CIA. And Brian has a passion for the CIA exam, which comes across in his videos. (Plus, HOCK has just introduced a video streaming service called HOCK Stream. For now, it only includes the HOCK CMA videos. However, it should be updated soon to include CIA videos as well.)

Like the Gleim lectures, HOCK CIA will include walkthroughs of complex questions. Additionally, important concepts are also included. We do find HOCK's lectures to be more engaging than Gleim's though. Some of Gleim's video lectures feature professors reading from the textbook, and we're not sure how helpful (or interesting) that is. Whereas with HOCK, you'll find that the lectures are unique and interesting. Plus, international candidates often remark that Brian Hock is easy to listen to and clearly explains the concepts.

In contrast, video lectures come standard with the Premium Gleim CIA Review course, which is the best value of Gleim's two courses. The Premium Gleim CIA Review course includes 45+ hours of instructional video lectures presented by Joseph Mauriello, CIA, CPA, CMA. Mauriello is a senior lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas and is the Director for the Center of Internal Auditing Excellence. Furthermore, the IIA has recognized his work in internal auditing.

The Gleim CIA video lectures are especially valuable to have because they cover in-depth walkthroughs of difficult CIA exam questions. Specifically, the instructors tell you how to approach and answer these questions. Furthermore, the professors help you identify distractors within CIA exam questions. Examples of distractors are extraneous information in the question stem or incorrect answer choices that very closely resemble the correct answer. 

Access Length

Both the Gleim CIA Premium Review Course and HOCK CIA Review give candidates unlimited course access. So, you’ll only have to pay for the course once rather than paying more if your course expires.

At least two CIA courses only grant candidates 1 year of access, but Gleim and HOCK are more gracious in this regard. The I Pass team runs into many instances in which candidates need longer than 12 months to pass all 3 parts of the CIA exam, so we know that having a course with an unlimited length of access is especially helpful.

Additionally, both Gleim and HOCK also provide you with free updates throughout your studies. Therefore, if the CIA exam syllabus changes at any point, you won’t have to pay to receive the updated information. Rather, Gleim and HOCK will automatically add that information to your course without requiring further compensation.

Help from Experts

With your Gleim CIA Review course, you can ask the experts questions. Therefore, if you get stuck on one particular topic area or question, you can reach out to the team for help. Also, you’ll be able to ask your very own exam mentor to guide you through the CIA exam study process. This mentor will help you plan for your exam and can formulate strategies with you to master your weak areas.

Similar to Gleim, HOCK also provides you with access to people who can help you when you run into hurdles in your studies. HOCK also supplies mentors who can assist you with your exam plans. In contrast to Gleim, HOCK CIA avails its candidates with direct email addresses and a forum on which you can ask questions. Therefore, we find that HOCK is more accessible in this regard. 


Both HOCK CIA Review and Gleim include digital flashcards.

However, everyone on the IPass team believes that making your own flashcards is beneficial because writing and re-writing new concepts enhances your understanding and retention. But, we still believe that the CIA flashcards made by review providers can be a good study aid for some candidates.

HOCK CIA Pass Rates vs. Gleim CIA Pass Rates

Neither HOCK nor Gleim disclose their CIA pass rates, which is common practice in the industry. Validating pass rates and ensuring they don't contain any misinformation is difficult. Therefore, very few review courses provide pass rates.

However, over the years, we have gathered pass rate information from our readers. So, we've learned that the Gleim Premium CIA Course has a pass rate of more than 90% among CIA candidates who visit our site.

In contrast, our HOCK CIA sample size isn’t large enough, so we do not feel comfortable computing a pass rate for HOCK CIA Review.

HOCK International CIA vs. Gleim CIA Review Learning Styles

Both Gleim and HOCK supply study materials that accommodate various learning styles. For example, since both courses offer video lectures, visual learners will feel right at home with either. However, Gleim also suits auditory learners because they offer audio lectures too. HOCK CIA does not offer audio lectures at this time. But with HOCK, you could listen to the video lectures instead of or in addition to watching them. So, for this reason, auditory learners may not feel let down by the HOCK materials.

Gleim CIA Discounts vs. HOCK CIA International Discounts

You can find Gleim CIA discounts that are exclusive for our readers on this site.

Who Should You Pick? Gleim CIA or HOCK International CIA

After assessing the different aspects of each course, we find that Gleim CIA Review is the winner if having a large test bank of multiple-choice questions is the most important factor for you. Because Gleim's course includes 50% more practice questions than Hock's, you'll have more opportunities for practice. Additionally, Gleim CIA provides a guided course with detailed analytics and adaptive technology that focuses your studies. Finally, Gleim is a known leader in the CIA exam prep industry, so it’s the safe choice.

However, if your decision isn't based purely on the number of questions or adaptive technology, HOCK CIA may be the best choice for you. HOCK is less expensive and is still highly comprehensive. And you can save big when you utilize our official HOCK International CIA discount. 

Taking the CIA exam is expensive. And if you fail and have to retake an exam part, your costs will only increase. Thus, choosing the right CIA review course at the onset of your studies is imperative.

Course Feature

Gleim CIA Review

HOCK International CIA Review

Access Until You Pass



Professor-Led Video Lectures



Course Quality






Help from Experts



High Pass Rates


Not enough data

Completely Comprehensive Course






As the summary shows, HOCK scores 5.75, while Gleim scores 7. And you can score exclusive savings on the champion CIA review course with our Gleim CIA discount. Also, when you purchase a more comprehensive course like Gleim CIA, you’ll increase your chances of passing on your first attempt!

Next Steps

If you'd like more guidance in choosing the right CIA review course for you, please contact me for a complete and customized recommendation. To learn more about the process of becoming a CIA, you can also sign up for my free CIA exam study materials.

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