The certified internal auditor – or CIA certification is a specialized designation that is sought after by accounting professionals looking to further their career and boost their level of expertise. In order to gain this impressive credential, a pre-approved CIA candidate must sit for the three-part CIA exam, which is created by the Institute of Internal Auditors – or IIA.

If you are considering taking the CIA exam, you may be wondering how difficult it is to pass the exam and exam part is the hardest of the certification exam. At ExamMatrix, our specialty is preparing our clients for exam day by providing relevant information – from exam costs to details regarding the certification process, to work experience requirements, and guide the prospective CIA candidate toward superior study guides for exams like the CIA exam and beyond.

Read on to find out what exam part we believe to be the most challenging portion the CIA certification candidate will come across.

Parts of the CIA Exam

The CIA exam is made up of three parts with anywhere from 100-125 questions per section. Depending on the number of questions in the particular exam part, completing a single section may take anywhere from one hour to two and a half hours. We recommend taking these parts individually to increase your chances of earning a passing score. Some CIA candidates find it is slightly easier and less mentally taxing to schedule their exam parts over time, rather than on one day or throughout one week, to allow for more concentrated study time which is especially helpful with sitting for the third part of the exam.

Generally thought to be the hardest portion of the CIA exam, the Internal Audit Knowledge Element is the third and final section of the test series. While it only contains 100 multiple choice questions and takes approximately one to two hours to complete, it requires the test taker to complete more advanced calculations and covers complex topics in greater depth than in other sections, such as risk management and business continuity.

To ensure your success on every part of the exam, it’s worth your time to over-prepare for the CIA exam and adhere to the study guide and requirements outlined by the CIA Exam Review of your choice. Keep in mind that you must study wisely to complete and pass all three exam parts within a 4-year span starting from the date of your application approval for your scores to be considered valid. To maximize your study time, we recommend using a CIA exam review that incorporates adaptive learning technology to save yourself study time.

If you have been approved to sit for the CIA exam and have any more questions about eligibility requirements, the internal audit practice, or more on how you can become a Certified Internal Auditor?

Ask an expert or let us know in the comments!

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