Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

CIA Part 2 Textbook for the 2019 CIA Exams Now Available

HOCK is pleased to announce that the CIA Part 2 Textbook for the 2019 CIA exams is now available in My Studies. All HOCK students who have access to the Part 2 Textbook for the current exam syllabus have access to the Part 2 Textbook for the new syllabus at no additional charge.

An important reminder: students studying for exams through December 31, 2018 should continue to use the old/existing materials to prepare for their exams. Only students studying to take the exams in 2019 should use the new materials.

Additional materials for all Parts of the new 2019 CIA exam syllabus will be released in the coming weeks as they completed. Please watch our web site or social media pages for further announcements.

As always, if you have any questions about the materials or the exams, please do not hesitate to contact us.

CIA Part 3 Textbook for the 2019 CIA Exams Now Available

HOCK is pleased to announce that the CIA Part 3 Textbook for the 2019 CIA exams is now available in My Studies. All HOCK students who have access to the Part 3 Textbook for the current exam syllabus have access to the Part 3 Textbook for the new syllabus at no additional charge.

An important reminder: students studying for exams through December 31, 2018 should continue to use the old/existing materials to prepare for their exams. Only students studying to take the exams in 2019 should use the new materials.

Additional materials for all Parts of the new 2019 CIA exam syllabus will be released in the coming weeks as they completed. Please watch our web site or social media pages for further announcements.

As always, if you have any questions about the materials or the exams, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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

New! HOCK CIA App with MCQs for iOS and Android

HOCK is pleased to announce the new HOCK CIA App by Appitur® that offers the same multiple-choice questions as our ExamSuccess software, but now can be used offline on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and Android phones and tablets. If you have access to the CIA Questions for Part 1, 2 and/or 3, you have access to the same Parts in the new App; simply log in using your My Studies email and password from the Account screen in the App.

ExamSuccess for Windows and Mac and ExamSuccess Online will remain available, offering HOCK students flexibility in choosing which questions system works best for you.

If you are not a HOCK student, the question access can also be purchased separately in the App for $40 per Part.

iOS App: https://itunes.apple.com/app/hock-cia-exam-prep/id1291777923

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appitur.hockcia

Appitur® Co. provides a mobile platform that enables professionals to maximize time preparing for certification exams. Appitur’s platform provides mobile apps that enable users to access multiple choice questions and answers no matter their location.

CIA Flash Cards Update September 2017; Now in PowerPoint Format

The CIA Flash Cards for all 3 Parts have been updated, and are now in PowerPoint format. Using PowerPoint will make it easier to use and edit the flash cards without the additional software previously required. Students who still want an interactive flash card scheduling program can use OpenCards, but this is completely optional.

The updated PowerPoint flash cards are free for current CIA Review students and can be downloaded in My Studies.

You can also learn more about the HOCK CIA Review and other exam prep materials if you are not already a HOCK student. Start studying today!

CIA Study Plans Update August 2017

The Study Plans for CIA Parts 1, 2 and 3 have been revised to reflect the recent content updates in the textbooks and ExamSuccess software. The revised Study Plans also include additional general guidance before the Section by Section details for each study Unit.

HOCK students can download the latest Study Plans from My Studies, and they are also available on the CIA Study Plans page.

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

CIA ExamSuccess Updated (August 2017)

CIA ExamSuccess has been updated to match the recent updates to the CIA textbooks. The biggest changes were in Part 3, where we streamlined the questions to match the Part 3 textbook. We also updated the topic names in all Parts to make it clearer where the questions relate to the CIA exam syllabus.

The new version of CIA ExamSuccess can be downloaded in My Studies. We recommend that all candidates studying for any Part of the exam update their software; all existing sessions and history will be preserved.

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

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

CIA Part 3 Textbook Update July 2017

The CIA Part 3 textbook has been revised, and the new version is now available for download in My Studies. Printed textbooks shipped on or after Friday, July 14th are the new version.

While we normally would post a detailed list of changes, the changes are so extensive that it is not practical to make such a list. This update streamlined the presentation of almost every topic, resulting a textbook that is shorter and more focused. If you are currently studying Part 3, it is not necessary to re-study any Sections that you have already studied, but we do strongly recommend switching to the newer version as you continue your studies.

If you have any questions about the new version and/or how to proceed with your studies, please contact us and we will be glad to provide guidance based on your study plan.

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

CIA Part 2 Textbook and Videos Update June 2017

The CIA Part 2 Textbook and Videos have been updated to reflect the latest IIA Standards that will be tested beginning July 1st, 2017. The updated Textbook and Videos are available for current students in My Studies.

The updates to the Standards were minimal and the impact on the exam is not very extensive. The changes made to our CIA Part 2 materials include:

  • Updating the wording of the Standards. However, the changes did not alter the meaning or intent of the Standards.
  • Adding additional guidance from the Practice Advisories.
  • Minor updates throughout the materials to improve readability.

If you are currently studying CIA Part 2 and will be taking the exam after July 1st, you do not need to re-study any of the topics that you have already completed. If you are studying from the PDF, we would advise continuing your studies using the updated version. If you are using a hard copy, it is not necessary to re-print your entire book, though we would recommend re-printing topics not yet studied.

One final note: The IIA replaced the Practice Advisories with Implementation Guides, but the meaning and intent of the guidance is still the same. Because the Practice Advisories are more detailed than the Implementation Guides, we have left the Practice Advisories in our material because they are a better study tool.

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

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