I Pass the CIA Exam!

Almost ready for CIA Part 3!


ready for cia part 3Lynnel is our CIA exam blogger from the Philippines. She passed Part 1 and 2 a few months ago, and will be taking Part 3 in May.

Hi everyone! I have been away for a few weeks to focus on my preparation for Part 3 and spend time with my family during the holy week.

For those who are new on reading my blogs, I mentioned on my previous posts about my study techniques and progress for six weeks.

You might ask, how’s my studies? I can say I am almost ready for Part 3 and I just need to focus more on my weaker areas and practice questions. On the other hand, I registered for Part 3 exam on May 18 (Philippine time) and it’s just two weeks away. I appreciate if you’ll include me in your prayers and send “good luck” on the comment box below.

Part 3 CIA Progress

I can really relate to those who are preparing for Part 3 on how hard it is compared to Part 1 and 2, but I believe in Stephanie, it is doable.

I remember how overwhelming it seemed when I gathered all my resources (Gleim and IIA Learning System). But, as soon as I finished everything and answered all practice questions, I realize that it is manageable and nothing is impossible. When I felt discouraged I always remember one of my favorite quotes:

The only limit you have is what you set yourself”.

In my previous post, I mentioned that my next study process is understanding stage (read and answer practice questions) .

At first I am scoring very low on practice questions and there are certain type of questions I am always tricked. What I do is to trace the concepts which make my answer wrong on book or practice guides.

In addition, I mark/highlight the concept as well as the sub-unit which I score low. It is helpful for me to know my weak areas early to be able to improve on these areas.

Meanwhile, there are times when there are new concepts on practice questions which I did not encounter in the book or other practice guide , what I did was to create a separate note for these concepts and the concepts which I always forgot.

My weak areas are IT and some parts of Management/Leadership principles. I know Gleim is insufficient in terms of IT , on book but not on test bank, but once I read the GTAGs, I understand the concepts very well. At the same time, there are a lot of terms in Management/Leadership which makes it difficult.

I also mentioned in my previous blog posts that I will focus on accounting parts but I changed my mind because I talked to a lot of CIA exam passers and on part 3 page just to understand the concepts because questions on real exam for accounting part are basic. So, I dedicated my time on IT, Governance, CSR, ISO 31000 and other practice guides.

I believe, I am on the right track and successful in my study process.

Note from Stephanie

Great to hear from you! Thanks so much for writing when you must be so busy preparing for the exam. You identify the weaker areas that are all too common to many of us — IT and the management principles. It’s encouraging to know that the GTAGs helps filling the gaps in Gleim’s books.

Yes, we’ve heard from so many on how basic the financial part is. I am sure you will be fine. We’ve got to prioritize our time right? They are important concepts to master but let’s go deep after the exam 😉

I understand you will be telling us about the new study technique that you are using. Looking forward to your next post!

About the Author Lynnel

Lynnel is a recent graduate, with a BSBA Major in Internal Auditing in the Philippines. Lynnel passed Part 1 and 2 on the same day, and Part 3 on her first attempt.

  • Diane says:

    Dear Lynnel, I wish you gook luck for your exam. I past the second part 3 weeks ago and felt more than happy. Very rare feeling where you fell that you have made it on your own, that you are responsible for this and nobody else.
    I also felt that it is manageable and nothing is impossible when I had done all the gleim’s questions. I will try to have the same feeling on part 3: for me that means that you are ready!
    Thanks for your comments, specially on part 3 for IT. I heard that Gleim and IIA was not sufficient but if you say that test bank and GTAG are doing the job, I will do the same. GOOD LUCK!

    • Lynnel says:

      Hi Diane, thank you! Congrats on passing part 2 and I agree to that rare feeling after you passed. I felt that too! I believe, if others passed with any other resources, we can too. We just need to have a good foundation with the concept and just believe in ourselves. All the best for part 3! 😊

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Lynnel, I just was to wish you all the best on part 3. I know you will do well…you will Pass.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Diana, congrats on passing Part 2.

      I am currently doing Part 2 and I hoping you could give me some tips.

      Are there any practice guides you used and what were the areas on your exam?

      I know each exam is different and I know you cannot tell me exactly what was on the exam but any pointers or tips would help.

      Thanks in advance.

      • Diane says:

        Hi Lisa
        Sorry for my late reply!. Difficult to give you more info than what you have on this site. I had questions related to almost everything. But I can tell you that if you have Gleim, it is good enough for part 2. I dif not read any GTAG or practice guide. Good luck!

      • Tiffany says:

        Hi Lisa,

        I have recently begun studying for Part 2 of the CIA as well. I created a group on LinkedIn called CIA Exam Study Group. My thoughts are more brains are better than one so members can benefit, share and learn from each other during this process.

  • Tiffany says:

    Hello all!!!

    I would like to thank Stephanie and the team for always posting relevant information. The advise and real life experiences are a big help. I sat and unfortunately failed Part 1 of the CIA exam on April 1, 2017 (the fact that I failed on April Fool’s day made it stung that much more). Since then I have been on such a downward spiral and not sure of how to move forward.

    However, yesterday I read a motivating story of a successful candidate and it put wind under my wings again. Riding that wave, I created a group on LinkedIn called CIA Exam Study Group with hopes of forming a study group with others on this journey.

    If you are like me and you would like to break the monotony of studying by yourself for the CIA exam, then please join.

  • N says:

    HI Lynne,

    I have passed CIA part 1 and 2 by just using Gleim.
    As for part 3, I plan to study all materials from IIA and Gleim, as well as the supplemental guidance on the IIA website.
    I will focus less on Finance and Accounting (as recommended by other users) and focus more on IT, Governance, Risk Management, CSR, business process, etc..
    My technique is to study from both Gleim and IIA and after each chapter I will make summary notes.
    I just started Governance and Risk Management… planning to take the exam on September or October 2017.
    I am confident that I will pass the first time if I study from both Gleim and IIA + supplemental guides, and essentially do the Gleim questions..

    Good Luck and let us know how it goes..

    Best wishes,

    • Lynnel says:

      Hi N, looks like you have a good strategy for Part 3. Thank you and I wish you all the best for Part 3.

      • N says:

        Hi Lynne,

        Thanks for your reply. Currently I am confused and in a limbo … I don’t know if I should drop The IIA Learning system and just use GLEIM + the practice guides/supplemental materials in the iii website. I feel studying from two providers (Gleim and IIA learning system) might be confusing and time consuming…

        What is your insight?

        • Lynnel says:

          Hi N,

          Studying for both providers varies depends on person. It was Art who suggested that IIA is sufficient most specifically for IT, Org Structure and Mgt. Leadership. You need to assess first , if you don’t have any background with these areas you may want to study it with IIA.

          Also studying from both providers is time consuming. You may want to study gleim and those topics suggested by Art in replacement with the topics in Gleim. Although I believe, Org Structure and Mgt Leadership are sufficient with Gleim.

  • Aubrey says:

    hi How many hours per week and how many weeks have you been studying for part 3.
    I noticed you mentioned that you are using both Gleim and IIA system. I am now a bit worried because i am sitting for my part 3 end of June and i am only using Gleim.
    Any specific reasons for using both and the benefits of doing so.Also the downside of just using gleim only.

    All the best in the CIA Part 3 exam am loooking forward to your pass for inspiration lol

    • Lynnel says:

      Hi Aubrey, I’m reviewing full time for Part 3. And it is my personal choice because it’s hard to handle working 6 days a week and also attending review classes. But I only attend review classes for Part 1 and Part 2. It’s been almost 4 months since I started studying for Part 3, and I do 6-8 hours a day , Mon-Fridays. That includes reading, answering practice questions , summarizing and etc.

      Meanwhile, I am only using gleim and IIA resources (GTAGs, Practice guides and etc.) I guess Stephanie just misunderstood it as IIA Learning System. I also researched on topics specifically on IT such as SDLC, RAD which Gleim was not able to explain well. GTAGs and PGs really are helpful if you want to know well these areas there are topics that was covered on IIA webinar archives. You may want to check that out to understand it well. They are free for members.

      Thanks for the goodluck and all the best for Part 3. 😊

      • Diane says:

        Hi Lynnel
        Just to make sure I understand.. you took about 4 to 5 months full time for part 3 ? I am also going to study full time and was wondering if it was more 3 or 6 months…
        I also understood that you were also reading IIA learning system… wrong conclusion… I have both ( IIA learning system and Gleim test prep only) I will read both and do ALL the questions. Many thanks for the extra given…webinar etc..
        Again good luck to you!

      • Stephanie says:

        Oops sorry did I say that? I’d better correct it 😉

    • N says:

      Hi Aubrey,

      I would highly recommend to look at the IIA as it is sufficient to help you understand the concepts very well opposed to Gleim that will be more of a summary. Since this is the most difficult part, studying from both the IIA and Gleim is a must..

      Also, I have read that the Finance/accounting part questions for so many users were very basic..

      All the best.

  • Minh Nguyen says:

    Dear Lynnel,

    Thank you so much for sharing your study experiences! They are very helpful.

    Wishing you ALL THE BEST for your CIA part 3 exam!

    Be focused, believe in yourself and your hard work.

    We all confident that YOU WILL PASS! 🙂

    • Lynnel says:

      Thank you Minh Nguyen for believing in me. You’re right I passed today! 🙂

      • Minh Nguyen says:

        Congratulations, Lynnel!
        It’s so great to know that you have successfully completed CIA program :). Your accomplishment inspires me and other friends in this forum a lot.
        Looking forward to hearing more about your exam experience 🙂
        Best wishes to Lynnel!
        Minh Nguyen,

  • abayomi says:

    Dear Lynnel, waking up from bed today and all i can think of is you knowing fully well today is your day! I particularly admire your courage and steadfastness throughout this challenging journey, it is my prayer that all your effort will be crowned with outstanding success. We eagerly await your success story and pray alongside for you.
    All the best

    • Lynnel says:

      That’s so sweet abayomi, I really appreciate it! Thank you for your prayers. I passed today! 🙂 Goodluck on your exam.

  • Ann says:

    I passed part 3 a couple weeks ago and wanted to pass on some tips that I found helpful and accurate. To give you some background, I passed the first time and studied about 10 hours a week (for 3.5 months) until two weeks before the exam, when I put in a considerable more time. In fact, the week before my work let me study from home so I probably studied 8 hours a day. I used Gleim and read every section, viewed the videos and answered all the practice questions. I found this to be helpful. Here are my tips:

    1.) My exam was very heavy on CSR and ISO 31000 – more than what was in Gleim. I would suggest using supplemental material for these topics.
    2.) Definitely focus more on the IT, risk and governance sections than the finance sections. I made the mistake of spending too much time on the 5 finance chapters then on the test there was approx. 5 questions and none of them were as hard as some of the Gleim questions (especially the managerial accounting chapters). And in fact, I had only one financial ratio on the exam. I would cover the material and know it but on my exam the questions weren’t very technical.
    3.) Definitely spend time on the 5 chapters comprising managerial/leadership principles…
    4.) I had numerous IT questions and found Gleim to provide the information I needed to pass the exam.
    5.) During the test, try and give yourself enough time to go back over every question again – not just flagged ones. In fact, I had enough time to do that and more. Sometimes you realize the correct answer by going through the other questions on the exam.
    6.) Put in the time for this test – it is different from part 1 and 2 and requires more studying. Get into a study routine and stick to it.

    Hopefully these tips help! Again, I only used Gleim and for me, it worked! But I was very diligent and studied every week (Monday thru Friday) for two hours from January through April. I took the test the last week of April and studied about 8 hours a day for a week before the test.

    • Minh says:

      Congratulations, Ann! Thank you so much for sharing helpful tips 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Ann, what a comprehensive and detailed feedback! Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to give back to our community. I can see how many candidates find this tremendously helpful. All the best to you and to your career! Stephanie

  • Edak says:

    Hi, glad you hear that you passed. I have passed part 1 and 2 ( 1st attempt) but I have failed part 3 twice. My scores was 551 and 570 on both test. I am close but not there. I have the gleim review and the supplement material from the IIA website. Not sure what I am missing. Should I purchase the CIA learning system for part 3 ? Will that be a better review source for me

    • Meghan D says:

      Lynnel isn’t a regular blogger anymore; however, we’d be happy to help. Please send an email to stephanie[at]ipasstheciaexam dot com.

      I Pass the CIA Exam

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