CIA Review Subscription Now Available

HOCK is pleased to announce our new CIA Review Subscription, giving you the option to study for the CIA exams on a pay-as-you-go plan for as long or as short as you need to study. Rather than making a one-time traditional purchase, there is a small sign-up fee and then a monthly fee to continue to access the online materials and receive support. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

The CIA Review Subscription is the ideal solution for anyone who:

  • Knows that they can study for the exams in a few months and does not need access to the materials for an extended period of time.
  • Is interested in studying, but is not confident about the difficulty or time required and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money up front.
  • Needs to study on a budget but would still like to use HOCK’s comprehensive materials including our textbooks, questions, and videos.

The CIA Review Subscription includes:

  • Printable PDF and/or Hard Copy Textbook (yours to keep after your subscription ends)
  • Videos
  • ExamSuccess Online (Multiple-Choice Questions)
  • Electronic Flash Cards
  • Mock Exams
  • Full Support from HOCK

The Subscription does not include:

  • ExamSuccess download for Windows and Mac computers
  • Access to the mobile App with practice MCQs
  • Downloadable audio mp3s

If you need any of these materials, then the CIA Review is a better option for you.

Have questions about the new CIA Review Subscription or any of our exam prep? Do not hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to help. We look forward to helping you achieve your CIA – start studying today!

CMA Parts 1 and 2 Study Plans Update February 2018

The Study Plans for CMA Parts 1 and 2 have been updated with check boxes next to each topic to read, video to watch, and questions to practice. The boxes can also be checked off electronically if you’re following the study plan in the PDF.

HOCK students can download the latest Study Plans from My Studies, and the Study Plans are also available for free on the CMA Study Plans page.

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

Still Time to Join – Study with Brian for June 2018 CMA Exams – Join by February 9, 2018

It is not too late to join the Study with Brian Facebook Live Group for CMA Part 1 or Part 2, but you do need to join by February 9th.

Get your HOCK materials and join the Study Groups today to pass your CMA exams in June 2018!

If you don’t have your HOCK CMA materials yet, you can learn more about the HOCK CMA Exam Prep including our exclusive “You Pass Or We Pay” Guarantee.

HOCK students with CMA Review or CMA Complete can join the Facebook study groups through February 9th:

Facebook CMA Part 1 Study Group

Facebook CMA Part 2 Study Group

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

Study with Brian Session – CMA Part 1 – January 22, 2018

This week on January 22 and 23, 2018, HOCK international launched its first-ever study groups for CMA Parts 1 and 2 called Study with Brian using Facebook Groups and Facebook Live. This video is the entire first session of Study with Brian for CMA Part 1 from January 22, and it will be the only session that we post publicly.

Study with Brian is open to CMA students who have the HOCK CMA Review or CMA Complete materials. The current Study with Brian Group is designed to guide you through your studies to pass the exams in June 2018. However, it is not too late to join the Study Group. We will be allowing students to continue to join for a couple more weeks, so get your HOCK materials and join us to prepare to pass the CMA exam in June!

HOCK students with CMA Review or CMA Complete can join the Facebook study groups:

Facebook CMA Part 1 Study Group

Facebook CMA Part 2 Study Group

If you don’t have your HOCK CMA materials yet, you can learn more about the HOCK CMA Exam Prep including our exclusive “You Pass Or We Pay” Guarantee.

Reminder: Study with Brian for CMA Parts 1 and 2 Starting January 22, 2018

Join Brian Hock starting January 22 for “Study with Brian,” a new study group for CMA students exclusively from HOCK international. Using a combination of live and recorded videos, Brian will lead the group through each week of your studies, finishing in May so that you can take and pass the CMA exams in June.

Starting next week on January 22nd and 23rd, Part 1 will be live on Mondays at 11 a.m. US Eastern Time (GMT -5) and Part 2 will be live on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. US Eastern Time (GMT -5). The live sessions will be available to view later if you are not able to watch and participate live.

HOCK students with CMA Review or CMA Complete can join the Facebook study groups:

Facebook CMA Part 1 Study Group

Facebook CMA Part 2 Study Group

If you don’t have your HOCK CMA materials yet, you can learn more about the HOCK CMA Exam Prep including our exclusive “You Pass Or We Pay” Guarantee.

HOCK closed on Monday, January 15th, 2018

HOCK international will be closed on Monday, January 15th, 2018 in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend. Limited email support will be available over the weekend.

Our online store remains open 24/7, and you can still save 20% on HOCK CMA, CIA, and CPA materials through January 31st!

Study with Brian for CMA Parts 1 and 2 Starting January 22, 2018

Join Brian Hock starting January 22 for “Study with Brian,” a new study group for CMA students exclusively from HOCK international. Using a combination of live and recorded videos, Brian will lead the group through each week of your studies, finishing in May so that you can take and pass the CMA exams in June.

HOCK students with CMA Review or CMA Complete can join the Facebook study groups:

Facebook CMA Part 1 Study Group

Facebook CMA Part 2 Study Group

If you don’t have your HOCK CMA materials yet, you can learn more about the HOCK CMA Exam Prep including our exclusive “You Pass Or We Pay” Guarantee.

CMA Review Subscription Now Available

HOCK is pleased to announce our new CMA Review Subscription, giving you the option to study for the CMA exams on a pay-as-you-go plan for as long or as short as you need to study. Rather than making a one-time traditional purchase, there is a small sign-up fee and then a monthly fee to continue to access the online materials and receive support. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

The CMA Review Subscription is the ideal solution for anyone who:

  • Knows that they can study for the exams in a few months and does not need access to the materials for an extended period of time.
  • Is interested in studying, but is not confident about the difficulty or time required and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money up front.
  • Needs to study on a budget but would still like to use HOCK’s comprehensive materials including our textbooks, questions, and videos.

The CMA Review Subscription includes:

  • Printable PDF and/or Hard Copy Textbook (yours to keep after your subscription ends)
  • Videos
  • ExamSuccess Online (Multiple-Choice Questions)
  • Essay Questions
  • Electronic Flash Cards
  • Mock Exams
  • Full Support from HOCK

The Subscription does not include:

  • ExamSuccess download for Windows and Mac computers
  • Access to the mobile App with practice MCQs
  • Downloadable audio mp3s

If you need any of these materials, then the CMA Review is a better option for you.

Have questions about the new CMA Review Subscription or any of our exam prep? Do not hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to help. We look forward to helping you achieve your CMA – start studying today!

New Year's Sale Extended through February 28th! Save 20% on all CMA, CPA, and CIA exam prep.Buy Now and Save!