Kostas is one of our readers who recently passed Part 3 of the CIA exam. Here is his sharing.
Good morning. On 15/7 I took and passed part 3 of CIA. This was my second attempt since on the first one I was not prepared at all, due to heavy workload. I scored 575.
Here is my experience and my attempt to help others pass this very difficult test:
I only used Gleim for my study and even though it is sufficient enough you will need supplementary study on ISO 31000 and CSR and IIA PA’s.
I studied for approximately 20 hrs per week for 3 months. Reading book, making notes and doing MCQ’s every day. I managed to score from 96% to 100% before taking the exam.
I had approximately 15 finance questions, mostly on inventories, of which only 2 required some basic calculations.
IT focused on RAD and IT controls (general and application). Approximately 15 questions.
ISO 31000 (risk management) and CSR were heavily tested.
The rest of the questions were a mix of all the rest of the study units (decentralized organizations, collectivism vs individualism, tax, exchange rates, globalized markets, fragmented and emerging industries etc.
Approximately 5 questions were same as Gleim’s.
Focus on analyzing the question and find out what exactly the examiner requests from you. DO NOT overthink and stick to the question subject. This way you may easily eliminate at least 2 if not the 3 wrong answers.
Some questions, within the test are RELATED. You may find yourself in a situation were you do not know a topic at all or it seems odd, however in later questions this topic arises again and you are able to understand to what it relates and find the correct answer. Go back to the other question and correct what seemingly was VERY hard to answer. Pay attention.
Some questions seem general in nature and disrupt your focus on what they request. Well again stay focused and find the topic that it relates to from the answers to the question. Read the answers and then the question again and make them TRUE/FALSE.
Some questions were straight forward and you knew the answer just by having studied a lot.
Trick is to understand the concepts when reading and NOT just learning by heart.
FOCUS. Yes it is difficult and you are anxious. Yes i know. However when you see a difficult question immediately move to the next one and DO NOT panic. It is a roller-coaster. You will get 2 difficult, then one easy and then 1 odd and 1 subjective and then 1 out of the blue and then 2 easy or whatever. This is the MAJOR difficulty of the exam. Control your emotions. If you are feeling like being fed up and your head hurting, well then you are in the correct path.
Focus on the goal and motivate yourself with every question you find difficult. If you studied hard then you have to understand that by 95% you know the answer. Also guess what…this answer is provided below. NAIL IT.
Good luck to everybody.
Note from Stephanie
Kosta, congrats again in nailing your Part 3, finally! We as a community are really glad to hear your success. Thank you for reassuring that understanding the concepts is important, and if we know our stuff, quite a few questions can be straightforward.
And when we face tough questions, your tips on looking for hints from other questions as well as the focus in eliminating wrong answers are really helpful. Also, using the true/false method to narrow down the choices is great.
Thank you for this thoughtful sharing. We wish you all the best!
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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