Hock International CIA Review 2019: Uncovering the Pros and Cons

Hock CIA Review 2018Should you take the Hock International CIA Review Course to help you prepare for the CIA exam? We’ve got the answer to that question as well as information about the review courses we recommend most (and even discounts to help you save on them).

To pass the CIA exam, and especially to pass on your first try, you must prepare properly. A CIA review course is essential for effective exam preparation, so you need to know which CIA review course to use. If Hock International CIA Review is the course for you, you can determine that with our assessment of this course.

Hock International CIA Review History

In 2000, Brian Hock, CMA, CIA, created Hock Training in Moscow, Russia, in order to offer a classroom course setting for the CPA, CMA, CIA, CFA, and other accounting certification exams. Based on the success of Hock Training, Hock founded Hock International in 2003 in the U.S. with a focus on providing accounting certification exam study materials worldwide.

Currently, Hock International offers review courses for the following exams:

Contents of Hock International CIA Review Courses

For CIA exam prep courses, Hock offers 2 options:

  1. Hock CIA Complete: includes textbooks, practice questions, and videos
  2. Hock CIA Essential: includes textbooks and questions only

You can choose to purchase courses for each exam part separately (Hock CIA 1, 2, or 3), or you can buy all 3 parts together. Additionally, you can choose your textbook formats (printable PDF or PDF and hard copy). Finally, since the videos are an add-on, you can choose a package with or without this feature.

With the Complete Hock CIA review course, you get:

  • 698 pages of comprehensive textbooks: textbooks come in PDF or hardcopy versions
  • 30 hours of videos: Brian Hock leads the video lectures that follow a classroom-style format
  • 1,850+ multiple-choice questions (MCQs): MCQs are available in the online class or mobile app and include answer explanations.
  • 530 flashcards: the flashcards appear in a PowerPoint format.
  • 3 mock exams: the mock exams contain new questions that don’t appear in the test bank.
  • 4 guarantees: these guarantees include the One-On-One Support, Up-To-Date materials, No Expiration, and Best Price Guarantees.

Furthermore, Hock provides their candidates with 3 layers of support:

  1. Teacher support – The Hock experts answer all of your questions.
  2. Technical support – You receive assistance on using your materials correctly.
  3. Exam support – Hock helps you complete the process of registering for your exams once you’ve completed your studies.

As you can see, with these 3 levels of assistance, Hock goes above and beyond the technical support to which some review providers limit their support. Consequently, candidates who would like a little more hand-holding through the study and testing process will appreciate Hock’s commitment to them.

Strengths of Hock CIA Review

1. The Textbook Provides Comprehensive Content

Hock CIA prides itself in its textbook, as Hock writes their textbook for those who do not have a background in internal auditing. Therefore, the textbooks start with the basics and are also easy to read and understand. So, if you are the type of person who likes to learn from a textbook, then the Hock textbook could be a big draw for you. Not everyone is a linguistic learner, but nevertheless, Hock creates good textbooks.

2. You Can Study On the Go

Printed books are available, but you may also choose to read the PDF format on iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Kindle, and other mobile devices. So, this benefit enables you can take your study materials with you everywhere. Preparing for the CIA exam takes quite a bit of study time, so having flexibility on when and where you can study is important.

3. The Videos Offer a Classroom Setting

Hock records the video lectures in a classroom setting, and Brian Hock is the instructor. During the lectures, Brian covers the main points from the textbook, gives insights into difficult concepts, and solves calculation-based problems. Consequently, many people enjoy these videos because they are different from the standard YouTube videos of someone talking to you through a screen. Some CIA candidates find classroom-setting videos to be better for their educational needs, so these videos are great for them.

Weaknesses of Hock CIA Review

1. The Number and Quality of Practice Questions Is Limited

Based on readers’ feedback, Hock has decent practice questions, but the breadth and depth of the Hock test bank are lacking when compared to Gleim CIA Review. For example, Hock only supplies 1,850 practice questions in their 3-part course. Almost 2,000 MCQs may sound like a lot, but when you see that Hock spreads this number of questions out over all 3 parts of the CIA exam, you realize Hock’s question bank is not really that thorough.

Practice questions are essential for being completely CIA exam-ready. Therefore, the more practice questions a review course has, and the more in-depth they are, the higher we can rate that review course. Unfortunately, Hock just doesn’t measure up in this regard.

Gleim excels in this area partly because Gleim has a longer history with the exam and a CIA review course team. Gleim also provides review materials for all accounting and tax qualifications, including the CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and AFSP. Therefore, Gleim has an easier time coming up with different but related questions and training their students to think on their feet. Consequently, Hock lacks this capacity.

2. The Videos Are Not the Most Comprehensive

Hock has recorded videos for each of the 3 CIA exam parts. And these videos are actually fairly thorough. This lineup for Part 1’s sections demonstrates that:

  • Introduction and the IPPF – 14 Minutes
  • Background of the Standards – 13 Minutes
  • Types of Standards – 5 Minutes
  • The Internal Audit Charter – 22 Minutes
  • Assurance and Consulting Services – 7 Minutes
  • The Code of Ethics – 15 Minutes

Yet, the total number of video hours for all 3 exam part is just 30. In comparison, Gleim CIA Review has more than 45 video lecture hours. So, for being 50% bigger than Hock’s, Gleim’s video lecture library is clearly more comprehensive.

3. Everything Is Good But Not Great

At first glance, Hock impresses by providing an integrated review course package such as personalized study planner and a free trial of their offerings. These features are nice and help entice candidates.

However, when you look further, the study planner isn’t really personalized (it’s a PDF), let alone customizable, as it is with Gleim CIA Review. And, the “free trial” is actually a sample download instead of full-access of their product for a specific section or period of time. So, you don’t get to see everything that they have to offer, and for the price you pay, this is unfortunate, especially when other courses are offering free trials to the full course materials.

4. This Course Is Not Really the Best Value for Your Money

Hock CIA Review is a decent course, but it pales in comparison to its competition. Given that the prices of many CIA review courses are similar, Hock CIA Review isn’t the best value for the money. The basic Hock course comes with well-written textbooks, but you have to pay another $300+ to get the classroom-style video lectures as well. For about the same price, you can get the Premium Gleim CIA Review Course that not only includes video lectures but also a bigger test bank, audio reviews, several levels of customer support, and a sophisticated, comprehensive, and adaptive online course.

The Cost of Hock CIA Review

I’ve said that Hock doesn’t give you the best value for your money, but how much money does Hock ask you to give them? Well, the regular cost of the course without videos is $624, and it often goes on sale for $499. This sale price of 20% off appears on and off throughout the year. Hock does offer a payment plan with $99.80 down. This accommodation is convenient for candidates who can’t or prefer not to pay for their entire review course upfront.

However, for not that much more money, you can get a whole lot more value when you purchase Gleim CIA Review. What’s more, my readers get exclusive discounts on Gleim that make this high-quality course much more affordable. Additionally, with Gleim CIA Review, you’ll get these benefits over Hock CIA Review:

  • 50% more instructional videos
  • Thousands of more practice questions
  • Premium adaptive technology
  • Customizable study plans
  • High-quality, acclaimed professors teaching the video lectures
  • Faster updates to your course
  • More value for your money

My Recommendations

Hock CIA Review is a good choice for those who don’t know much about internal auditing and need to virtually start at zero. However, it is not the best CIA course out there. While Hock CIA Review has some of the basics, a lot is missing from this review course. Therefore, I cannot recommend it until significant improvements occur.

There are some alternative choices for CIA review and I’m going to go over those next because I think it’s really important to show you other options and why I think they are superior to Hock, although there are some good things about Hock.

Alternative Choices for CIA Review

Since I do not recommend Hock International’s course as my top CIA review course choice, what other options do you have? Well, good news: several other great options are out there. While Hock is not bad, it just doesn’t measure up to what Gleim or Surgent offer, especially when the costs are so close. Hock has made upgrades and improvements over the years, but the course quality still doesn’t align with its price tag.

Hock International CIA vs. Gleim CIA Review

Gleim CIA Review is my favorite review course. Additionally, Gleim CIA Review is also one of the top CIA review courses on the market and certainly the most popular among my readers. For more than 40 years, they have been helping candidates pass the CIA exam, and they can help you pass as well.

Gleim CIA Review has a great interface, awesome CIA videos, and supplemental books and study guides. Of course, it also has a great CIA test bank that imitates the real exam environment and ensures that you’re ready for the real exam.

You can purchase all 3 parts of this comprehensive review course individually or as a set. 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.

To learn more, you can read my  Gleim CIA course review. You can also get more information in my comparison of Gleim CIA vs. Hock International CIA.

Hock CIA vs. Surgent CIA Review

Surgent also offers a decent CIA review course that is a good alternative to Hock. Over the years, Surgent has come a long way in the exam review industry, and they are quickly becoming a leader in courses for accounting, tax, and finance professionals.

Surgent also offers review courses for the CPA Exam, EA exam, CMA exam, and CISA exam. Surgent’s most well-known feature is their A.S.A.P. technology, which makes their courses adaptive. They also have free updates, test prep, and great customer service. However, Surgent’s courses have other pros and cons to consider as well, so you should get our take on Surgent CIA Review before you make your decision.

Gleim CIA vs. Surgent CIA

Which is best between these 2 courses? While both are good, Gleim is my top pick.

In the showdown between Gleim CIA vs. Surgent CIA Review, both courses look comparable. But this is not the case because Gleim CIA Review is a full course with everything candidates need to pass the CIA exam. On the other hand, Surgent CIA Review is better for candidates who just need more practice questions.

So, while both systems have their uses, which one you choose depends on what you need in your CIA materials. Luckily, we can help you navigate the pros and cons of each option.

My Conclusions About Hock CIA Review

Again, I do not recommend Hock for your best choice in CIA exam prep. I believe better options exist, so I instead suggest you try Gleim CIA Review or Surgent CIA Review. The CIA exam is a significant challenge, and in order to achieve your goal of passing it, you need the right tools to get you there.

Still not sure about Hock? Check out our pros and cons of the best CIA review courses!

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About the Author Stephanie

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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  • sharlene demeritte says:

    does part 3 of cia has the audio (MP3) . Its clear that video is not available.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sharlene, that’s right Part 3 video won’t be available until fall 2015 (technically it’s Fall but I don’t know that exact release date). I believe they prepare the video and audio together so it is likely not yet available.

      If you like Hock, send them an email. They are usually very responsive. Cheers, Stephanie

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