Top 5 Best CIA Review Course and Study Materials [We Reviewed 15 Total]

Updated: January 16, 2024 You’re our #1 priority.
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Best CIA Review Courses

Why choose the CIA designation over other financial certifications? I’m Bryce Welker, a CPA and study prep expert, and I’ll tell you why. The CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) is not just a certification; it’s a key to diverse opportunities in corporations, government agencies, and non-profits.

Finding the right CIA review course can be daunting, but my team and I have simplified it for you. We’ve filtered through numerous options, just like we did for the CMA and CPA exams, to bring you the best. The right study materials are crucial for passing the CIA exam and securing your future as a Certified Internal Auditor.

Don’t risk choosing a course that doesn’t fit your unique learning style; it could cost you time and money. That’s where we step in to guide you.

Here’s the bottom line: The CIA review courses we’ve selected are top-notch. If you’re worried about the CIA exam, relax and explore these five recommended courses. Trust in our expertise – they’re worth it.

Comparison of the Best CIA Review Courses

  1. Surgent CIA Review Course
  2. Gleim CIA Review Course
  3. UWorld CIA (formerly Wiley CIA) Review Course
  4. CIA Learning System
  5. Powers Resources CIA Review

1. Surgent CIA Review Course

The most efficient and most organized way to prepare for the CIA exam.



How do you rate Surgent CIA Review?

4.2/5 - (22 votes)

Introduction to Surgent CIA Review

The Surgent CIA Review Essentials Pass stands out as a comprehensive and expertly designed course for those aiming to become Certified Internal Auditors. Developed by seasoned professionals in the field, this course offers an in-depth exploration of the CIA exam’s requirements. It’s tailored to meet the needs of a diverse range of learners, from beginners to those seeking to deepen their understanding of the subject matter.

The Essentials Pass is a testament to Surgent’s commitment to delivering an educational experience that is not only thorough and up-to-date but also adaptable to individual learning styles.

Surgent is my number-one choice for one reason: easy navigation! Its interface is user-friendly and isn’t hard to use. This makes studying easy, and let’s face it, no one wants to work harder when you can work smarter.

What to Expect from Surgent

Embarking on the Surgent CIA Review Essentials Pass, learners can anticipate a transformative educational experience. The course comprehensively covers all essential topics of the CIA exam, ensuring a deep and thorough understanding. Participants will gain access to a vast array of resources, including engaging video lectures, detailed textbooks, and a plethora of practice questions that closely simulate the actual exam.

One of the standout features is Surgent’s adaptive learning technology, A.S.A.P.® Technology, which customizes the study plan according to individual needs, focusing on areas requiring the most attention. The ReadySCORE™ function offers a realistic gauge of exam readiness, empowering learners to approach their CIA exam with confidence and clarity. With 24/7 support and continuous updates, the Surgent CIA Review Essentials Pass is an invaluable tool for anyone serious about excelling in the CIA exam.

Surgent CIA Review Pros & Cons


Study Planner: This helpful study tool helps you determine precisely how much time you’ll need to spend preparing to pass the CIA Exam. Best of all, the Study Planner adjusts based on performance, so you’ll always know exactly where you stand.

A.S.A.P. Technology: It may sound complicated, but it actually helps you study faster. You’ll start by completing MCQs for their system to gauge your knowledge. Which, in turn, is used to create a hyper-personalized study program that allows you to focus on your trouble areas.

Your Daily Surge: This helpful feature helps put everything together and provides daily updates to your study plan and the next best course of action.

Up-To-Date, Always: There are many online prep programs that will attempt to squeeze extra money out of their students by requiring that they pay for course updates. Fortunately, Surgent is not one of these companies; they offer all updates to their CIA prep courses completely free of charge!

PDF Literature Included: There are some students who have an easier time just hitting the books when studying for a big test like the CIA exam. It’s for the sake of these individuals that Surgent includes PDF textbooks, conveniently accessible on computers or smartphones, containing in-depth CIA study tips and information.


No Audio or Video Lectures: Unfortunately, Surgent does not include audio or video lectures in their CIA prep program. However, if you’re having trouble, you can generally find video lectures and explanations on YouTube.

Bottom Line: From the start, the Surgent A.S.A.P. technology allows students to study from material that’s unique to their knowledge. In addition to the regular updates, a detailed study planner helps to guide each day of education there is no time is wasted. This makes Surgent an excellent study companion on your path to passing the CIA exam.



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2. Gleim CIA Review Course

Bilingual test prep materials and an included personal tutor

This is Exactly Why Gleim CIA Review is One of Our Favorite Certified Internal Auditor Courses On The Market


Introduction to Gleim CIA Review

The Gleim CIA Review is a renowned and meticulously crafted program designed for aspirants of the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation. This program is the creation of experts with deep insights into the CIA exam’s nuances and the challenges faced by candidates.

Gleim’s approach to CIA exam preparation is holistic, offering a blend of in-depth knowledge and practical application. The program is ideal for a wide range of learners, from those taking their first steps in the auditing field to seasoned professionals seeking to reinforce their expertise.

Why do CIA hopefuls love Gleim? Many students have noted that the layout of Gleim’s practice exam sessions closely mirrors the actual CIA exam. This similarity helps students become comfortable with the exam format and reduces anxiety on the test day.

I personally love Gleim because the program’s structure and layout are designed to accommodate the busy schedules of those who are juggling work and study. Others tend to agree since this Gleim vs Wiley CIA Reddit thread lists ease of understanding as one of the main pros.

Reddit users also like Gleim for their realistic practice questions and customizable practice tests.

What to Expect from Gliem CIA Prep

“Participants in the Gleim CIA Review can look forward to an immersive and comprehensive learning experience. The program covers the full spectrum of the CIA exam syllabus, ensuring a complete grasp of each subject area. Learners will have access to an extensive suite of study materials, including interactive video lectures, meticulously crafted textbooks, and a vast array of practice questions designed to reflect the real exam’s format and difficulty.

A standout feature of the Gleim program is its SmartAdapt™ technology, which intelligently adapts to each learner’s strengths and weaknesses, creating a personalized study path. Additionally, the program offers detailed performance analytics, giving learners a clear understanding of their progress and areas needing improvement.

With ongoing support and up-to-date content, the Gleim CIA Review is a comprehensive tool for those determined to excel in their CIA exam and advance their careers in auditing.

Gleim CIA Course Pros & Cons


Course Includes A Special Personal Counselor: If you enroll in Gleim’s CIA courses, you won’t need to pay for a tutor because each student is assigned their own counselor. This is a huge advantage: having a person specifically dedicated to any problem that may arise. Your counselor will help you create a study plan and answer any questions you may have about the CIA exam process or study materials. Contact your counselor via phone or email whenever you need a helping hand.

Largest Question Bank: Gleim’s online CIA course includes 3,000+ multiple-choice questions, and students can use the large test bank to create practice exams. You can filter practice questions by type and number or exclude questions you’ve already answered to make your studying more efficient. Detailed answer explanations are also included as a valuable tool to help you understand the why behind the answers.

Available in Spanish: Gleim’s prep course is also available in Spanish. If you are planning to take the CIA exam in Spanish, then it makes the most sense to practice with Spanish study materials to prepare yourself. Practice questions can be seen in both English and Spanish.


Focused on Self-Study: Gleim’s CIA program is heavily geared towards self-study learners. While this is great for independent students, those who thrive in a more structured classroom environment or prefer instructor-led sessions might find the program less accommodating to their learning style.

Bottom Line: Gleim CIA Review is highly recommended for its personalized approach, offering each student a dedicated counselor, and boasts the largest question bank with over 3,000 multiple-choice questions. However, its focus on self-study might not suit those who prefer a structured, classroom environment.



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3. UWorld CIA (formally Wiley CIA) Review Course

Please be advised that Wiley’s CIA course has undergone ownership changes and has been sold to UWorld. Due to these changes, it’s hard to provide accurate recommendations or endorsements for the course. We recommend potential users to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before making any purchase decisions.

UWorld (formerly Wiley)


Introduction to Uworld CIA (formally Wiley CIA)

UWorld’s CIA courses are designed to assist aspiring Certified Internal Auditors in their exam preparation. Developed by professionals with experience in the field, these courses offer engaging teaching methods and an interactive learning environment. Suitable for both newcomers and experienced auditors, the courses aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the CIA curriculum. However, it’s important to note that the depth and style of content might be overwhelming for some, and the course may require a significant time commitment to grasp all the material fully.

What to Expect from Wiley

They offer a structured approach to covering essential CIA exam topics. You’ll find interactive video lectures, detailed study materials, and practice questions similar to those on the actual exam. The courses excel in breaking down complex topics, though some learners might find the pace and teaching style challenging.

Personalized study plans and progress-tracking tools are available, but users should be prepared to actively engage and possibly seek additional resources for areas where the course might not fully align with their learning needs. While the courses provide robust support and up-to-date content, the investment in terms of both time and cost might be a consideration for those with limited resources.

Why do I like Wiley? It’s their videos!

The inclusion of instructor-led videos and mock exams helps students get a real feel for the CIA exam, making them better prepared for the actual test day. Other users

UWorld CIA (formally Wiley CIA) Pros & Cons


Full Integration: Wiley CIA Review has high-end technology fully integrated into every aspect of its course. This tracks your progress and generates a custom study schedule that will help you identify and eliminate any gaps in your internal auditing knowledge.

Focus Notes: Wiley’s Focus Notes offer a unique set of study notes that you can’t find with any other educational product or service. These notes implement mnemonics, graphics, and references to authoritative sources to provide condensed notes that sum up each section of the CIA exam.


Limited Guarantee: Wiley aims to help students like you pass the CIA exam on their first attempt— as well as help students who have tried other prep courses and failed to ace their exams the next time around. Unfortunately, they don’t currently offer any refund guarantee if you don’t pass after using their course.

Change of Ownership: The recent acquisition of Wiley by UWorld has thrown a wrench into the works. While Wiley has been a trusted name for a while, its future is now cloaked in uncertainty due to this change in ownership. Will UWorld uphold the integrity and quality of Wiley’s offerings, or might they phase out the product entirely? It’s this ambiguity that hampers our ability to wholeheartedly recommend it at the moment.

Bottom Line: Wiley CIA Review is a powerful study aid that can help you successfully pass all three parts of the internal auditor exam with no retakes but because of the recent Wiley sell out, we can’t wholeheartedly reccomend it like we have in the past.

4. Powers Resources Corporation (PRC) CIA Review Course

Multitude of exam questions, practice tests, and flashcards

CIa Prep Course


Introduction to PRC CIA Standard Bundle

PRC makes my list for one major reason: the PRC CIA Standard Bundle offers a range of study materials for CIA exam candidates, including textbooks, eBooks, and flashcards.

While it provides various formats, the bundle’s effectiveness may vary depending on individual learning preferences. The addition of tools like the Live Virtual Classroom and Tutorial Videos is beneficial, but they might not fully replace the need for more personalized guidance.

What to Expect from the PRC CIA Standard Bundle

The bundle offers a mix of expert support and self-study materials with an 18-month access period. While its platform is versatile, adapting to different devices for on-the-go study, the sheer volume of content, including a question bank of over 3,500 questions, can be overwhelming. The virtual flashcards are handy, but they may not suffice for in-depth understanding. This bundle could be a useful tool for disciplined self-learners, but those seeking more interactive or structured learning might find it lacking.

Power Resources CIA Pros & Cons


Lots of Practice Questions: Powers Resources provides you with over 3,700 MCQs and explanations as to why each answer is either correct or incorrect. You will be able to take notes and compile new test sessions with your marked, incorrect, or unattempted questions.

Mock Exams: At the end of every CIA Part, you will have two mock exams where you can practice all you’ve learned in a way that mimics the real CIA exam. This is essential when you are conducting your final review and want to practice your understanding of a real CIA exam layout and functionality.


No Video Lectures: PRC does not have any video lectures. You must read the textbook in order to review the material, which is not ideal for visual learners.

Lesser-Known Brand: Compared to other established CIA review providers, PRC CIA is relatively lesser-known in the industry. This might raise concerns for some students about the credibility and effectiveness of their course materials.

Limited Community Feedback: Being a lesser-known entity compared to industry giants means there might be fewer user reviews and community discussions about PRC CIA. This can make it challenging for potential students to gauge the course’s effectiveness and gather peer insights before enrolling.

Bottom Line: While Powers Resources offers a commendable array of practice questions and essential mock exams that mimic the real CIA exam experience, it falls short in some areas. The absence of video lectures might be a setback for visual learners. Additionally, as a lesser-known brand in the CIA review landscape, potential students might find it challenging to find ample community feedback or peer reviews, leading to concerns about the course’s overall credibility and effectiveness.


5. Institute of Internal Auditor’s (IIA) CIA Learning System

Up to 2 years of access to quizzes, practice test questions, and other CIA study materials

institute of internal auditors


Introduction to The IIA’s CIA Learning System

The IIA’s CIA Learning System is a comprehensive program designed to prepare candidates for the Certified Internal Auditor exam. It offers a blend of comprehensive reading materials and interactive online study tools, aiming to provide complete preparation and flexibility. The program includes both self-study and instructor-led courses, catering to different learning preferences. However, some users have noted that the course material can be somewhat dry and lacks video content, which might be a drawback for those who prefer more dynamic and visual learning methods.

What to Expect from The IIA’s CIA Learning System

Candidates can expect a thorough approach to CIA exam preparation with the IIA’s CIA Learning System. The program offers detailed reading materials that are so comprehensive that they often negate the need for additional sources. Its practice questions and exams are particularly praised for providing effective reinforcement and feedback.

For those who prefer a more structured learning environment, instructor-led online and in-person courses are available, combining self-study materials with expert instruction. However, the absence of video content and the dry nature of some materials might not appeal to all learning styles, potentially making the study process less engaging for some candidates.

Although I like this course, I did find that the IIA Learning System is not as comprehensive and challenging as some other courses like Gleim CIA. This could be a concern for students seeking a more in-depth study experience.

IIA Course Review Pros & Cons


Flexible Program: One of the perks of this program is the long access period. The self-study Full Kit includes two full years of access to the course and all the study materials for each of the 3 parts of the CIA exam. This means you can divide up the material and take your time preparing for each part of the exam at your own pace.

Online Study Tools: Interactive online tools help students determine what they should be studying. A diagnostic pre-test allows students to identify strengths and weaknesses, and the SmartStudy feature can be used to create an individual plan of study. The quizzes at the end of each chapter and the post-tests show how much information you’ve memorized and what you should spend more time reviewing.


Expensive: The CIA Learning System is one of the more costly courses on the market, and you just don’t get that much for your money. The lack of more advanced features that are included in most competitors’ courses makes it difficult to justify the $875 price tag.

Limited Demo and Poor Analytics: Although there is a free demo, you won’t get access to all parts of the course. You can take a short, guided tour of the site and its features and get a glimpse of an example textbook chapter. Feedback on your performance and progress is also limited, although there are some online diagnostic tools that help you identify your strongest and weakest subjects.

Limited Flexibility: The IIA’s courses and materials are structured around their own standards and methodologies. While this ensures alignment with the IIA’s expectations, it might not offer the flexibility or diverse perspectives that some students seek, especially those who want to explore a broader range of audit practices and theories beyond the IIA’s framework.

Bottom Line: The IIA’s CIA Learning System offers students a flexible program with a generous two-year access period and interactive online tools, including diagnostic tests and personalized study plans. However, the course comes with a hefty price tag that might be hard to justify given the absence of some advanced features found in competitor courses.

Take Advantage of the Best CIA Review Course Discounts

Ultimately, you need to find a course that has exactly what you need if you want to pass all the CIA exam questions and become certified.

However, it can be difficult to find one that provides the appropriate learning technology without breaking your budget. On the other hand, however, you definitely don’t want to settle for an inferior course just because it’s cheap. If you take the CIA exam and completely bomb it, you wasted that money!

Therefore, you should check out our CIA course discounts to find the best deal for the best course. This way, not only will it fit into your budget more easily, but it’ll also appropriately prepare you to pass the test. This is the best way to study smart without paying the big bucks!

CIA Prep Course Comparisons

As a CPA and study prep expert, I’ve meticulously compared various CIA review courses to help you find the one that best suits your learning style and needs. Here are a few head-to-head comparisons.

Surgent vs. Gleim CIA

Surgent CIA Review stands out for its efficient, organized approach and user-friendly interface, making it the top choice. Its A.S.A.P.® Technology and ReadySCORE™ function provide a personalized and realistic gauge of exam readiness. Gleim, while offering the largest question bank and a personal counselor for each student, is more focused on self-study, which might not suit all learning styles.

Feature/Aspect Surgent CIA Review Gleim CIA Review
Approach Efficient and organized Comprehensive and self-study focused
User Interface User-friendly User-friendly and intuitive
Adaptive Technology A.S.A.P.® Technology and ReadySCORE™ SmartAdapt™ technology
Question Bank Extensive question bank Largest question bank
Personal Support Email and phone support Personal counselor for each student
Learning Style Personalized study plan, suits various styles More suitable for independent learners
Flexibility Adaptive learning for efficient study Flexible, but requires self-discipline
Course Access Period 18 months access Unlimited access
Additional Features Daily Surge updates, free course updates Detailed performance analytics

Winner: Surgent

Gleim vs. UWorld

Gleim CIA Review, with its comprehensive approach and SmartAdapt™ technology, offers a more personalized and immersive learning experience. UWorld (formerly Wiley CIA), though providing detailed study materials and interactive video lectures, might be overwhelming for some due to its depth and style.

Feature/Aspect Gleim CIA Review UWorld (formerly Wiley CIA)
Approach Comprehensive and personalized Detailed and structured
Adaptive Technology SmartAdapt™ technology Advanced technology for structured learning
Learning Experience Immersive and interactive In-depth with interactive video lectures
Learning Style Suitable for various learning styles May be overwhelming due to depth
Question Bank Large question bank Extensive study materials
Personal Support Personal counselor for each student Support through various channels
User Interface User-friendly and intuitive User-friendly with engaging content
Flexibility Adapts to individual learner’s needs Requires commitment due to course depth

Winner: Gleim


PRC offers a commendable array of practice questions and mock exams but falls short with the absence of video lectures and limited brand recognition. The IIA’s CIA Learning System, despite being more expensive and lacking advanced features, offers a flexible program with a generous access period and interactive online tools.

Feature/Aspect PRC CIA Review The IIA’s CIA Learning System
Approach Practice-focused, exam-oriented Comprehensive, flexible program
Learning Experience Focus on practice questions and mock exams Blend of reading materials and online tools
Learning Style Self-study, independent learning Suits a variety of learning styles
Question Bank Over 3,700 MCQs and explanations Extensive practice questions and exams
Interactive Content Lacks video lectures Interactive online study tools
User Interface Standard, functional User-friendly, interactive interface
Flexibility Limited due to absence of video content Generous access period, adaptable to pace
Brand Recognition Lesser-known in the industry Well-recognized, affiliated with IIA
Cost More budget-friendly More expensive, but offers comprehensive content
Support Email and phone support Instructor-led courses, online support

Winner: PRC

IIA vs. Surgent

The IIA’s CIA Learning System provides a comprehensive program with detailed reading materials and interactive online study tools. However, it falls short in terms of cost-effectiveness and flexibility compared to Surgent, which offers a more efficient, personalized study experience with its adaptive learning technology.

Feature/Aspect The IIA’s CIA Learning System Surgent CIA Review
Approach Comprehensive, structured program Efficient, organized approach
Learning Experience Detailed reading materials, interactive tools Personalized, adaptive learning experience
Learning Style Suits various styles, interactive elements Tailored to individual learning needs
Adaptive Technology Standard online tools A.S.A.P.® Technology, ReadySCORE™
Question Bank Extensive practice questions and exams Extensive question bank
Interactive Content Interactive online study tools User-friendly interface, engaging content
User Interface User-friendly, interactive Highly user-friendly, easy navigation
Flexibility Generous access period, adaptable to pace Highly flexible, adapts to user’s pace
Cost-Effectiveness More expensive, comprehensive content More cost-effective, efficient study
Support Instructor-led courses, online support Email and phone support

Winner: Surgent

UWorld (formerly Wiley) vs. PRC

Wiley CIA Review, despite the recent ownership change, offers integrated high-end technology and unique Focus Notes. PRC, with its multitude of practice questions and mock exams, lacks video lectures and is a lesser-known brand, which might raise credibility concerns.

Feature/Aspect UWorld (formerly Wiley CIA) PRC CIA Review
Approach Structured, in-depth learning Practice-focused with mock exams
Learning Experience Comprehensive with interactive video lectures Focus on practice questions and exams
Learning Style Suitable for various styles, in-depth Ideal for self-study, independent learners
Question Bank Extensive study materials Over 3,700 MCQs and explanations
Interactive Content Interactive video lectures Lacks video lectures, text-based content
User Interface User-friendly, engaging Functional, straightforward
Flexibility Structured yet adaptable to learner needs Limited flexibility, more self-directed
Support Multiple channels of support Email and phone support
Additional Features Personalized study plans, progress tracking Mock exams, customizable practice tests
Brand Recognition Well-recognized in the industry Lesser-known brand, growing presence

Winner: UWorld

CIA Study Materials: Honorable Mentions

Features to Look For in the Best CIA Prep Courses

Adaptive Learning Technology

Adaptive learning technology customizes the study experience based on the learner’s strengths and weaknesses. Surgent CIA Review excels in this area with its A.S.A.P.® Technology and ReadySCORE™, making it highly efficient for a personalized study plan. Gleim CIA Review also offers adaptive learning with its SmartAdapt™ technology.

Comprehensive Question Bank

A large question bank is essential for thorough exam preparation. Gleim CIA Review stands out with the largest question bank, offering over 3,000 multiple-choice questions. PRC CIA Review also provides a substantial question bank with over 3,700 MCQs.

Interactive Learning Experience

Interactive content, such as video lectures, enhances the learning experience. UWorld (formerly Wiley CIA) is known for its detailed study materials and interactive video lectures. The IIA’s CIA Learning System also offers interactive online study tools, although it lacks video content.

Personalized Support

Personalized support can be crucial for students needing additional guidance. Gleim CIA Review offers a personal counselor for each student, providing a unique advantage in this area.

User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly interface helps in making the study process more efficient and less stressful. Surgent CIA Review is praised for its easy navigation and user-friendly platform. UWorld and Gleim also provide intuitive and engaging user interfaces.

Flexibility and Accessibility

Flexibility in study schedules and course access is important for accommodating different learning paces and lifestyles. Gleim CIA Review offers unlimited course access, providing great flexibility. The IIA’s CIA Learning System also offers a flexible program with a generous access period.


Considering the investment, cost-effectiveness is a key factor. Surgent CIA Review is known for its efficient and cost-effective learning approach. Power Resources Corporation, being more budget-friendly, also ranks well in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Brand Recognition and Credibility

Established brand recognition can be indicative of the quality and effectiveness of the course. Gleim, Surgent, and UWorld are well-recognized names in the industry, lending credibility to their courses.

In summary, while Surgent CIA Review and Gleim CIA Review top the list with their comprehensive features, other courses like UWorld and Power Resources Corporation also offer specific strengths that may appeal to different candidates based on their individual needs.

Choosing the Right CIA Study Material for You

Choosing the right type of study material for the CIA exam is vital for your success. With options ranging from self-paced online courses to live in-person classes, each format offers unique advantages. It’s important to consider your learning style, schedule, and educational needs to find the best fit.

Self-Paced Learning


  • Flexibility: Ideal for those with unpredictable schedules or who prefer studying at their own pace.
  • Customizable: Allows learners to focus on areas where they need the most improvement.


  • Requires Discipline: May not be suitable for those who need structured guidance.
  • Limited Interaction: Less opportunity for real-time interaction with instructors or peers.

Best For: Independent learners, professionals with busy schedules, and those who prefer a tailored study approach.

Courses: Surgent CIA Review, Gleim CIA Review, UWorld, PRC CIA Review, The IIA’s CIA Learning System

Live Online Classes


  • Structured Learning: Provides a classroom experience with the convenience of remote access.
  • Interactive: Opportunities for real-time Q&A and discussions with instructors and peers.


  • Less Flexible: Scheduled classes may not suit everyone’s timetable.
  • Dependent on Internet Connection: Requires a stable internet connection for uninterrupted learning.

Best For: Learners who prefer a structured format and enjoy the dynamics of a classroom setting, but need the convenience of remote access.

Courses: The IIA’s CIA Learning System

Live In-Person Classes


  • Personal Interaction: Direct contact with instructors and fellow students enhances learning.
  • Structured Environment: Regular schedule and classroom setting can improve focus and motivation.


  • Less Convenient: Requires commuting to a specific location.
  • Fixed Schedule: Less flexibility compared to online formats.

Best For: Individuals who thrive in traditional classroom settings and value face-to-face interactions.

Courses: The IIA’s CIA Learning System (through local IIA chapters)

Private Tutoring


  • Personalized Attention: One-on-one sessions tailored to individual learning needs.
  • Direct Feedback: Immediate and specific feedback on performance and areas of improvement.


  • Higher Cost: Generally more expensive than group classes or self-study options.
  • Scheduling: Requires coordinating times with the tutor, which might be challenging.

Best For: Students who need individualized guidance, have specific learning challenges, or are seeking intensive preparation.

Courses: Gleim CIA Review

Each of these study formats has its unique advantages and is best suited for different types of learners. It’s important to assess your personal learning style, schedule, and preferences when choosing the right CIA study material.

CIA Exam Format Overview

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam is a critical step for professionals seeking to advance their careers in internal auditing. Understanding the exam format is essential for effective preparation and success. Here’s a high-level overview of what to expect:

Exam Structure

The CIA exam is divided into three parts, each focusing on different aspects of internal auditing:

  • Part 1: Essentials of Internal Auditing – Covers the foundation of internal auditing, risk management, and internal control concepts.
  • Part 2: Practice of Internal Auditing – Focuses on the practical aspects of conducting internal audit engagements.
  • Part 3: Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing – Tests knowledge on business concepts, financial management, and information technology.

Question Types

The exam consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of internal auditing practices:

  • MCQ Format: Each part contains a specific number of MCQs that candidates must answer within a set time frame.

Time Allocation

Each part of the CIA exam has a different time allocation, allowing candidates to manage their time effectively:

  • Part 1: 2.5 hours
  • Part 2: 2 hours
  • Part 3: 2 hours

Scoring and Passing Criteria

The CIA exam is scored on a scale of 250-750, with 600 being the passing mark for all three parts.

Exam Delivery

The CIA exam is computer-based and can be taken at authorized Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.

Language Availability

The exam is available in multiple languages, catering to a global audience of internal audit professionals.

Understanding the CIA exam format is crucial for candidates to tailor their study approach effectively. Familiarity with the structure, question types, time allocation, and scoring system will aid in developing a strategic study plan and increase the chances of passing the exam.


What is the CIA certification, and who should pursue it?

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification is a globally recognized credential for internal auditors. It is ideal for professionals seeking to enhance their understanding of internal audit practices and demonstrate their commitment to the field. This certification is suitable for internal auditors, risk management staff, and those involved in internal control and corporate governance.

How does Surgent’s adaptive learning technology, A.S.A.P.® Technology, enhance CIA exam preparation?

Surgent’s A.S.A.P.® Technology personalizes the learning experience by assessing a candidate’s existing knowledge and focusing on areas that need improvement. This technology creates a customized study plan, ensuring efficient use of study time and increasing the likelihood of passing the CIA exam on the first attempt.

What makes Gleim CIA Review unique compared to other CIA review courses?

Gleim CIA Review is known for its extensive question bank, personal counselor for each student, and SmartAdapt™ technology. These features provide a comprehensive and tailored learning experience, making it a popular choice among CIA candidates.

Can UWorld’s CIA Review course be overwhelming for some students?

UWorld’s CIA Review (formerly Wiley CIA) is detailed and thorough, which can be overwhelming for some students. The depth and style of the content require a significant time commitment, making it more suitable for those who prefer an in-depth approach to learning.

How has the recent ownership change affected Wiley CIA Review?

The recent acquisition of Wiley CIA Review by UWorld has introduced uncertainty about the future direction and quality of the course. Potential users are advised to conduct thorough research and consider the current state of the course before making a decision.

What are the limitations of PRC’s CIA Review course?

PRC’s CIA Review course lacks video lectures and is a lesser-known brand in the industry. These factors might be drawbacks for visual learners and those seeking courses with a more established reputation.

Is The IIA’s CIA Learning System worth its cost?

The IIA’s CIA Learning System is one of the more expensive options on the market. While it offers a flexible program and interactive online tools, the lack of advanced features and video content might not justify the higher price tag for some students.

How does Surgent CIA Review compare to The IIA’s CIA Learning System in terms of technology and content?

Surgent CIA Review offers advanced adaptive learning technology and a user-friendly interface, making it more appealing for those who prefer a modern, personalized study experience. In contrast, The IIA’s CIA Learning System, while comprehensive, lacks these advanced technological features and may seem less flexible.

What are the benefits of having a personal counselor in Gleim CIA Review?

A personal counselor in Gleim CIA Review assists students in creating a study plan, answering questions about the CIA exam process, and providing guidance on study materials. This feature adds a level of personalized support that can be particularly beneficial for students who need additional guidance.

Can I try any of these CIA review courses before purchasing?

Many CIA review courses offer free trials or demos, allowing candidates to experience the course format and content before making a purchase. It’s advisable to take advantage of these offers to find the course that best fits your learning style and needs.

Bryce Welker, CPA

Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes,, YEC and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. Bryce was named one of Accounting Today’s “Accountants To Watch” among other accolades.   As Seen On Forbes