Surgent CIA Review (formerly ExamMatrix CIA Review) is an online exam preparation platform that dynamically reacts to how you answer every question thanks to A.S.A.P. technology, Surgent’s most well-known feature. However, the Surgent CIA Review course has its pros and cons. So, if you’re looking for great study materials to prepare you for the CIA exam, will the Surgent CIA course do the trick?
I’m going to answer that question and others in full detail. So, learn more about Surgent CIA Review and save money on this course if you decide it’s the right one for you.
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Jack Surgent founded Surgent Professional Education in 1985. Since then, Surgent has expanded its brand to include CPA, CMA, CIA, EA, and CISA review courses. In fact, Surgent makes the list of best SIE exam study materials, too.
Later, in 2015, Surgent acquired ExamMatrix and the innovative adaptive learning technology ExamMatrix developed. Since then, Surgent has enhanced all of its review courses with this technology. Therefore, by producing some of the only adaptive accounting exam prep courses in existence, Surgent has been able to make a name for itself in the different accounting exam prep markets much faster.
And the content of Surgent’s courses is also high-quality, thanks to the 100+ years of experience in education, marketing, technology, and financial and accounting services the leadership team at Surgent Professional Education possesses.
Surgent offers one CIA review course that includes:
The main learning components of the Surgent course include:
As you may recall, the CIA exam only includes multiple-choice questions (MCQs). And one of the best ways to get a CIA passing score is to practice with MCQs. Therefore, the Surgent CIA Review test bank only includes MCQs as well. Specifically, Surgent’s course supplies candidates with over 2,000 MCQs. And as the CIA exam has a total of just 325 MCQs, 2,000+ is substantially more. However, Surgent’s test bank size is decent but not the highest among other CIA review courses. Several other courses have much more than 2,000 practice questions, and one course even has double this amount.
You may find that Surgent’s test bank size is satisfactory if you can improve your knowledge of the exam content quickly. However, if you need to answer a lot of practice questions to solidify your comprehension of the concepts, then you may need more practice questions than this. Working with a small number of practice questions leaves candidates more likely to memorize the questions than deepen their understanding of the information. And, unfortunately, memorizing the questions is a bad CIA exam strategy.
However, Surgent’s test bank does include full-text answers to the practice questions, and you can use these answers to determine why the right answer was right, and the wrong answers were wrong. Reading the answer explanations is an integral way to learn from your mistakes, so this component of Surgent’s course is especially useful.
Since acquiring ExamMatrix in 2015, Surgent has been able to take the technology of its courses to the next level in several ways. Therefore, candidates will appreciate the high-tech, intuitive, and convenient features contained within the Surgent CIA Review course. You can access all of your Surgent CIA review materials online, and you can do so quickly and painlessly, thanks to the easy-to-use course interface.
Furthermore, you’ll find that the Surgent course adapts to you and supplies detailed performance analytics about your performance with the exam content. And, these performance analytics inform the adaptive study planner within the course, so if necessary, the study planner will adjust the number and/or focus of your study sessions as you progress through the course. The study planner’s adjustments appear in the daily surge dashboard that dictates the material you should review that day. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about what to study from one day to the next, as you’ll find directions for your entire study session in the daily surges.
As mentioned, the entire Surgent CIA course is online. And yes, the online course includes the textbooks because the textbooks come as PDFs. With this formatting, Surgent is able to integrate the textbooks into the course seamlessly. For example, as you’re answering practice questions, you can quickly click to the places in the textbooks that discuss the answers to the questions. You can also read the books on your mobile device, as the entire Surgent course is mobile-compatible. In this way, you can easily study on the go. However, if you would prefer hard copies of the books, you will be out of luck.
The one thing that sets the Surgent CIA Review course apart from others is its unique adaptive learning technology platform, which Surgent calls A.S.A.P. Technology. This software identifies your strengths and weaknesses and then adjusts your study sessions to target your learning needs. Then, the system gives you questions appropriate to your knowledge levels, and as you deepen your understanding of the exam content, you receive more complex and difficult questions.
My readers who’ve used Surgent have told me that the questions in the Surgent CIA Review course were difficult, but the explanations helped them grasp the concepts. Consequently, using the answer explanations to learn from their mistakes empowered them to tackle the difficult questions on the actual CIA exam.
One of the most useful features of Surgent CIA Review is ReadySCORE technology. This unique tool uses accurate performance indicators to show you how well you would score on the exam if you took it right now. Therefore, ReadySCORE is a real-time assessment of your exam readiness. And when you combine this valuable information with unlimited practice tests, you can ensure that you go into the exam fully prepared.
So, how does ReadySCORE work? Well, as you move through each lesson in the Surgent CIA review course, your knowledge improves. And as your understanding deepens, the course employs real-time performance analytics, study time reports, and progress data to inform your ReadyScore. Therefore, your ReadySCORE is a number representing your current strength of knowledge per content area and topic.
Surgent is judicious with the ReadySCORE, so Surgent candidates’ CIA exam scores are often higher than their ReadySCORE in the course. Therefore, you can be confident that your ReadySCORE is a good representation of how well you will perform on the CIA exam.
With Surgent, you get 18 months of full access to the course. Surgent updates the online course periodically, so you are always using the latest version. Therefore, everything within the course is available to you for the full 18 months, which is enough time to pass the exam. But if you take years to finish the CIA exam, you will have to pay a fee to maintain access to your Surgent course.
Another concession of the Surgent CIA course is the refund you can receive if you can prove that you spent a sufficient amount of time studying with the course and still failed. Surgent’s criteria for a sufficient amount of time studying with the course considers the average amount of time spent on each question, the average score on the practice quizzes, and documentation that you took the exam within 1 year of purchasing their product.
If you’ve acquired a solid grasp of internal auditing through college studies and work experience, then you may not want much more than a test bank for your CIA review materials. And in this case, Surgent really shines, as their course serves as a very good test prep option and also includes PDF textbooks. So, people looking for additional practice questions will really appreciate this course.
The limitless number of practice exams you can take is another major draw for the Surgent CIA course. Some courses only create 1 or 2 practice exams per CIA exam part, but Surgent knows that some candidates could really use more. Therefore, Surgent has not capped this component of their CIA course, and in this way, they’ve made their test bank all the more valuable.
To introduce you to the course software, Surgent supplies a free trial of their course. Furthermore, Surgent has a great customer service team that will answer any of your questions about the course or about studying. However, this team can’t help you with content-related questions like, “How do I solve this question involving liquidity ratios?” Instead, to get access to accounting experts who will address your content-related questions, you’ll need to go with Gleim CIA Review.
Another benefit of Surgent is its easy-to-use interface. The course interface is accessible on various devices and has a sleek, modern look. What’s more, the dashboard is well designed and displays important information in a prominent location. The fact that the interface is so intuitive simplifies the use of the course and saves candidates time. Being able to use it on a variety of devices makes it easier to study on the go.
Surgent CIA Review comes with 3 reference books for exam preparation. But, based on comments from my readers, you can’t rely on just these books to pass the exam. So, keep in mind that reading these books alone is not sufficient for CIA exam studying.
While Surgent includes great technical support for the course, it doesn’t offer access to any help with accounting. In other words, you cannot ask a question about the CIA exam content itself. Surgent doesn’t have any Personal Counselor or an online forum from which to seek advice if you get stuck on a concept or a particular question.
Another downside to the Surgent test prep is the lack of both video and audio lectures in their study materials. Without these materials, you’re only options for learning are the digital textbooks and the practice questions. So, if you’re a visual or audio learner who relies on lectures (especially if you are fresh out of college or university), then this absence might be a dealbreaker for you.
Surgent CIA Review costs $229 for a single part and $599 for the complete set. In comparison, the Gleim CIA test bank costs $139-$169 per part and $447, respectively (less if you use my exclusive Gleim CIA discount). So, while even an expensive CIA review course pays for itself once you pass the exam and get certified, many people can’t make a huge CIA review course invest upfront.
Surgent’s course is still reasonable and affordable, but you have other options that give you more value for your money.
Two of the most popular and highly recommended CIA review courses are Gleim and Surgent. How do they compare, and which one is best?
Based on initial appearances, both courses have a lot to offer. But in reality, only Gleim CIA Review is really a full course with everything you need to pass the CIA exam. As mentioned, Surgent’s course isn’t much more than a test bank, so it’s better for candidates who just need more practice questions. Surgent is still fairly new in the industry, so I believe they need more time to flesh out some of their weaker areas in order to become a strong contender against Gleim. However, Surgent is making progress with their commitment to adaptive technology.
To better inform your decision between these courses, check out my comparison of Gleim CIA vs. Surgent CIA review.
My overall impression of Surgent is positive. As stated above, it has many of the best qualities that you’d look for in a CIA test bank. Though Surgent is a relatively young brand compared to other review course providers, they still produce one of the top 5 (or one of even the top 3) CIA review courses in the industry. Consequently, the company has a lot to offer and seems very committed to helping people pass the CIA Exam.
Specifically, Surgent’s materials focus on helping people pass as fast as they can. Again, their signature course component is their adaptive technology, the purpose of which is to save you time while maximizing your efforts. So, because Surgent has a strict goal of helping you improve your weak areas, you can use their course to really home in on your most troublesome topics. In this way, you can study more efficiently.
And because Surgent’s course detects the content areas to which you need to dedicate the most attention, some candidates find Surgent to be most helpful after they’ve failed a CIA exam part with a different course. Exam retakers will appreciate this system that strategically feeds them questions about their weaker areas.
Surgent CIA Review is also a great choice for candidates looking for supplementary practice questions. Surgent may not offer the best instruction, but their course serves as a good source of additional questions that can expand your current test bank option.
With this all in mind, Surgent CIA Review is an excellent course for:
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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.