For CIA exam retakers whose 4-year deadline is approaching: Should you repay the exam fees and start all over again? Or should you pack your bags and leave?
If you’ve failed the CIA exam and need to retake it, you might need to decide whether to quit or keep going at some point. But how do you make your decision? I hope these considerations will help any readers who are CIA exam retakers!
The decision to quit or keep going could be vastly different depending on how important the certification means to you. Let’s take our bloggers Gail and Annette, for example. In Gail’s case, she takes the CIA exam because she used to work as an internal auditor but has since moved on to a different role (that she likes). She feels that getting the CIA title is a safe bet, probably in case she goes back to internal audits.
This situation is very different from Annette’s case. She’d like to be a CIA because of her passion for internal audits. Plus, she has been a strong performer at her firm, and her boss promised her a promotion once she gets the certification. It’s a completely different story.
If this tangible benefit of getting the certification is unclear, then another reason is whether you see this as a personal challenge and whether you will regret it down the road if you stop now.
I’ve seen people trying again for various professional exams after giving up years ago. The feeling of failure lingers. They see nailing the exam as a validation of all the previously hard work not wasted away.
Trying for the exam when one gets older and exam-taking skills get rusty will be an extra hurdle. If there is still a chance of success, and you know you’d regret it later, I suggest you give it one more chance.
Part 3 is a huge hurdle for many candidates. In this case, I would try smashing this hurdle before handling Part 1 and Part 2. Those would be easy in comparison.
If you can’t pass Part 3 and decide that’s the end of it, at least you don’t waste your time taking Part 1 and 2.
This article about passing the CIA Part 3 exam is one of the most read articles on my site and arguably the most value-add to the CIA exam community.
My readers’ comments, feedback, and tips have been instrumental to the success of many others who follow my advice. They express their gratitude by contributing to the discussion.
Part 3 is hard, no matter how you look at it. For some reason, the course providers cannot catch up with better study materials. But the suggestions and the supplementary materials (often free ones) are sufficient to help you pass this last part of the exam.
It’s exhausting to keep spending money and working hard for one exam. Be prepared as best as you can with the right tools and attitude. Then go for it. If you fail again, take this as a closure. You have tried your best, and it isn’t your game. Don’t worry — there are other challenges in life waiting for you. Drop the CIA exam and enjoy life. It certainly isn’t the end of the world.
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.