Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

The Only Question You Need to Answer to Pass the Exam

There is one question that you must be able to answer correctly in order to pass a professional exam. If you can answer this question correctly, you will pass the exam. If you cannot answer this question correctly, it is very unlikely that you will pass. Watch the video to find out the question!

So, before you start preparing for any question that is going to be on the exam, make certain you can first answer the question of why you are studying. Why are you studying?

CIA Part 2 Textbook Update April 2019

The CIA Part 2 Textbook has been updated, and the new files are available for current students to download in My Studies. The significant changes are listed below including page numbers in the new book. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CIA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student.

Section I

Page 57: Added Standard 2120: Risk Management.

Section III

Page 120: Added more discussion of liquidity ratios and working capital.

Page 132: Added topic “Review of the Working Papers.”

Section IV

Page 152: Added more points from PA 2440-2 on whistleblowing.

Page 154: Added discussion of Standard 2600 on the acceptance of risks.

Page 155: Added PA 2060-1: Reporting to Senior Management and the Board and a discussion monitoring engagement outcomes.

My Studies Video Display Updates April 2019

HOCK is pleased to announce two new features for our CMA, CPA, and CIA videos in My Studies:

  1. Check marks will now appear on the button for each video after it is watched completely. The buttons will also turn from green to gray as another visual indicator of completion.
  2. The last time a video was watched shows underneath the name of each video.

These new features are live in My Studies and incorporate video data going back to 2013 when HOCK first launched our videos.

Not yet a HOCK student? Learn more about our CMA, CPA, and CIA exam prep and starting studying today!

CMA and CIA ExamSuccess Online Now Shows All Incorrect Answer Explanations

HOCK is known for its complete and detailed study materials, and the explanations for all of the correct and incorrect answers in our question bank are equally comprehensive. Our CMA and CIA ExamSuccess Online platforms now both show the full explanations for all answer choices, not just for the correct answer and, if answered incorrectly, the chosen incorrect answer.

The update is online and available immediately for all new ExamSuccess Study, Re-Study, Review, and Exam Sessions. Sessions already completed will not have the history / results updated and will still show only the explanations for the correct and, if applicable, incorrect answer choice.

CIA Part 3 Textbook Update March 2019

The CIA Part 3 Textbook has been updated, and the new files are available for current students to download in My Studies. The significant changes are listed below including page numbers in the new book. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CIA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student.

Section I

Page 74: Added discussion of big data, types of data, and the four V’s of data.

Section II

Pages 83-84: Added examples of and audit considerations for input, processing, and output controls.

Pages 89-90: Added details about privacy risks and privacy audits.

Page 93: Added a description of brute force password attacks.

Section III

Page 104: Added information about private browsing, XML, and XBRL.

Page 106: Added discussion of Software as a Service (SaaS).

Page 118: Added a definition of business continuity and elements of a business continuity plan.

Page 119: Consolidated two different lists with elements of a disaster recovery plan into a single list.

IIA Offers CIA Application Fee Waiver Through March 31st, 2019

If you have been thinking about studying for the CIA exams, now is the perfect time to start. Through March 31st, the IIA is waiving the application fee (up to a $230 US value) for the Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) designation. Visit the the IIA site for more information or access CCMS to apply. To qualify, applications must be submitted by March 31st.

HOCK offers a complete suite of CIA Exam Preparation with textbooks, flash cards, videos, study questions, and much more, with 20% off during March. Please contact us if you have any questions about the CIA certification or the HOCK CIA exam prep.

CIA Mobile App Update for the 2019 CIA Exams Now Available

HOCK is pleased to announce that the HOCK CIA App by Appitur® has been updated for the 2019 CIA exams. All HOCK students who have the CIA Parts 1, 2, or 3 Review can access the updated App by logging in inside the App with their HOCK My Studies email and password.

Learn more about the HOCK CIA App and if you have any questions about the materials or the exams, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to help.

CIA Part 1 Textbook Update January 2019

The CIA Part 1 Textbook has been updated, and the new files are available for current students to download in My Studies. The significant changes are listed below including page numbers in the new book. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CIA Textbooks and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student.

Section III

Page 31: Added lists of the knowledge and skills that an internal auditor should have.

Section V

Pages 47-50: Additional discussion about governance, the Board of Directors, and managing stakeholders with regards to governance.

Page 52: Small topic added about the governance process relationship with risk and control.

Pages 57-58: The IAA’s role as an ethics advocate and what is included in a code of conduct.

Page 60: A list of the main aspects of ISO 26000.

Page 61: Added a discussion about the Pyramid of Social Responsibility.

Pages 67-70: Detailed descriptions of risk appetite, risk tolerance, risk capacity, and the influences on a company’s risk appetite.

Page 101: New lists cover the benefits and limitations of internal controls.

Pages 105-106: Added discussion about the segregation of duties along with some examples.


Page 152-153: Appendix D added with a sample code of conduct. Previous Appendix D is now Appendix E.

CMA and CIA ExamSuccess Updated (April 2018)

CMA and CIA ExamSuccess for Windows and Mac have been updated with newer question databases. The new versions can be downloaded in My Studies. We recommend that all candidates studying for either exam update their software; all existing sessions and history will be preserved.

The updated questions are already live in ExamSuccess Online and no update is required.

Myths and Misconceptions about Preparing for Exams

In my twenty years of helping candidates pass their certification exams, I have come across many myths and misconceptions that can cause candidates to spend more time and/or more money than they need to. These myths are often perpetuated through the marketing that companies use to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Unfortunately, this marketing can be very misleading as you research the best materials to use to study.

Myth #1: More material means better material

There are not a lot of materials that you need to prepare properly; all you need is a way to learn and way to practice. Usually, this means a textbook (but can also include videos if the videos cover the entire syllabus) and practice questions from past exams. The quantity of pages, number of questions, hours of videos, etc. is not as important as whether or not that material is complete, relevant, and prepares you to pass the exams. You generally do not need multiple question banks, either, because the question banks from each provider are usually very similar, including the same previously-released exam questions.

Myth #2: More expensive material means better material

While it is usually true that “you get what you pay for,” it is true only if what you are paying for adds value for you. When a material provider pays to receive “status” from the examiner or has an affiliate agreement with another site that “recommends” them (more on this next), these are costs that are passed on to you but do not add any value. If someone “approves” or “recommends” certain materials, be certain to find out the criteria for that recommendation. Any non-quality-based recommendation adds no value to you.

Myth #3: Review comparison sites are really unbiased

For many professional exams, there are websites that claim to offer unbiased reviews of the different providers. What is not very well known is that most of these sites receive commissions from the material providers listed on them, meaning that the reviews are not objective. Usually, the company that is rated the highest is the one that pays the highest commission to the review site. On some sites this relationship is disclosed (though often not very prominently), but on many sites it is not disclosed at all.

As an example, one of the review sites for CMA materials used to list HOCK as their #1 provider with five stars. When the owner of the site asked HOCK to join an affiliate commission program but we chose not to participate, we lost 2 stars overnight and went from first place to third place in their rankings. The change had nothing to do with the materials, but rather the review site could make money recommending other providers who would pay a commission.

Besides the undisclosed financial relationship, these sites often have incorrect and/or outdated information because they write a review and then it sits online, unchanged sometimes for years. These sites also give no mechanism for the course providers to provide updated information or to respond to the reviews if there are inaccurate or incorrect statements.

You may have noticed that there are a lot of these review comparison sites for CMA, CPA, and CIA materials that do not include HOCK. This is usually because we refused to pay a commission to the person who runs the site. I am certain that we have lost business over the years because of this decision, but I also know that it has allowed us to keep our prices more affordable for you, because we do not need to include a 20% or 25% commission mark-up in our price. What you pay for HOCK materials goes to value-added activities, and not to expensive marketing relationships.

Myth #4: Pass rates are accurate and honest

Many course providers post a pass rate for candidates who use their materials. I have written about this in the past (https://www.hockinternational.com/why-pass-rates-useless-why-we-dont-publish-them/), but these pass rates mean almost nothing because there is no straightforward and consistent way to calculate them. Which candidates are included? Or excluded? How do we determine a “pass?”

For example, if a candidate buys materials from Provider X and fails, but after purchasing Provider Y materials they pass the exam, is that candidate a “pass” for Provider X, Provider Y, or both? Does Provider X still include the first failure in their pass rate? Provider X could claim a 100% pass rate for that one student because they eventually did pass, but a 50% pass rate would be more accurate and honest.

Or, if a candidate uses materials from three providers and passes on their first attempt, who claims that “pass?” One way that you can see the inaccuracy of pass rates is by looking at all of the providers who publish pass rates. Every company claims a pass rate that is significantly higher than the exam’s published pass rate by the examining body. If these claimed pass rates were true, the real pass rate for the exam would as high as the claims made by the providers.

Myth #5: You must attend a class

For many years I taught live classes, and I know that a good class can be very helpful. However, the materials that a company sells should be sufficient to pass the exam with self-study. If you are going to study in a classroom, please make certain that the class will be value-added. See this post that I wrote previously listing some questions you should ask a classroom provider (https://www.hockinternational.com/questions-live-taught-classes/).

In addition, pay attention to the number of hours in the class. Some classes (including online classes) can include a large number of hours of instruction, which may be used to “justify” a higher price. No matter how good the teacher is, however, you need to spend time yourself studying and practicing questions. Not all of your study hours need to be instructor-led and if the class goes on too long, you are not getting any value from many of those hours.

For the CMA exam, both HOCK and the ICMA recommend 150 hours of study per part, and our videos are currently only 24 hours for Part 1 and 25 hours for Part 2. I have been teaching CMA since 2000 and we use those videos as the basis for our “You Pass or We Pay Guarantee.” If I am able to teach the content that you need in 25 hours per part, you do not need to be in a classroom for 100 hours per part.

Myth #6: Personal counselors are personal and needed

Some companies offer a personal counselor or similar service. While this sounds good, we believe that personal counselors are of limited added value to your studies. There is a specific syllabus for the exam, and every candidate must learn the material on the syllabus. You are able to determine in what areas you need additional study by looking at the statistics in your practice questions. If you have 94% for a topic, you know that topic well. If you have 43% for a topic, you do not know that topic well and you need to keep studying it. Maybe the counselor helps keep you motivated because they contact you every one or two weeks, but a good study plan can also keep you keep on track.

Besides statistics, only you know how well you understand a topic, regardless of the statistics. Are you guessing on the questions a lot? Are you confident in your knowledge as you read questions and answer them? Those are indicators about your preparedness that only you know. The counselor can’t tell you what your understanding and confidence level is.

In the end, interacting with a personal counselor adds time to your study process because the time you take talking to them or trying to meet specific administrative reporting tasks is time that you could be studying and learning the material instead.

Myth #7: There are shortcuts to passing the exam

Occasionally, a company will claim to have materials that reduce the time that you need to spend studying or have a shortcut to focus on “the right topics” for the exam. While that would be nice, there are no shortcuts! There is a syllabus for the exam and you need to learn all of it. Some common shortcuts include mnemonic devices or memory tricks, which may seem like they are working when you practice with questions that you become familiar with in the practice software, but on the exam you will have questions that you have never seen before. If you have only memorized a handful of key terms or phrases, you will not be able to answer questions on the exam that are different than the practice questions.

Using such shortcuts may reduce the amount of time you spend preparing for your first attempt on the exam, but you will spend the full amount of time later when you need to prepare to take the exam again. Not only do the shortcuts not save you any time, they cost you money as well when you don’t pass on the first attempt.

Final Thoughts

I hope that it is not too late for you to avoid some of these myths and misconceptions that could make your studies more expensive or take more time than necessary. You won’t find any shortcuts or marketing gimmicks at HOCK; instead, we will prepare you effectively and efficiently to pass the exams on your first attempt with comprehensive materials and support that give you all of the tools that you need – no more, and no less.

Brian Hock, CMA, CIA