For those 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?
The decision could be vastly different depending on how important the certification means to you. 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), but somehow feels like getting the CIA title is a safe bet, probably in case she goes back to internal audit.
This is very different from Annette’s case: she’d like to be a CIA because of her passion in the internal audit, has been a strong performer at her firm, and a promotion is promised once she gets the certification. It’s a completely different story.
If this tangible benefit of getting the certification is not clear, then another reason is whether you see this as a personal challenge, and whether you will regret 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 previous hard work not wasted away.
It’s going to be extra hurdle trying for the exam when one goes older and the exam taking skill gets rusted. If there is still a chance of success, and that you know you’d regret it later, I suggest you give it one more chance.
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 is one of the most read articles on my site, and arguably the most value-add to the CIA exam community.
The comments, feedback and tips from my readers have been instrumental to the success of many others who follow the 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 are not able to 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 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.