Keeping New Year’s resolutions is hard. In fact, it’s so hard that it’s become a culture-wide joke. Resolutions aren’t measured in success or failure for that year, they’re measured by the number of days you lasted before you said, “Forget it,” and threw your new running shoes into a river. When you decide to pass the CIA exam though, you shouldn’t have to worry about giving up. This New Year’s, if your resolution is to become a Certified Internal Auditor, Gleim wants to help. Here are some tips to make 2018 the year you keep your resolution and earn your CIA credential.
Pass the CIA Exam: Study Tips for the New Year
1. Be realistic.
Be realistic about making resolutions and setting goals for 2018. Sure, you can make resolutions to lose 10 pounds, take yoga classes twice a week, and start those piano lessons, but can you really do all of that while studying for your exam? Focus on just one main resolution right now: passing the CIA exam.
It’s also important to develop a study plan based on your real life, not your fantasy life. It’s not realistic to plan to study four hours a night, every single weeknight, and then try to fit another eight hours on Sunday. Few people have the time or energy to do that, even if they’re full-time students. Gleim has developed a Study Planner, which is available through the Gleim CIA Review Course, which allows you to personalize your study schedule based on your commitments and limitations. Using the Study Planner tool can help you budget time and make a concrete study plan that is truly feasible and realistic.
When the holidays end and you’ve sufficiently celebrated the new year, your schedule will most likely return to normal and become predictable again. Take advantage of that by sticking to the same study schedule each week. Find a schedule that works for you; study a little bit every day or take an entire day out of the week to get deep into the material. Gleim generally recommends you study 10 hours per week for Parts 1 and 2 and 14 hours per week for Part 3. This will vary depending on how far out your next exam is, but for a comprehensive review, you should plan on around 240 total hours of studying. Find the number of hours per week that will get you prepared in time, and break that into manageable chunks. Do this and you’ll steadily move forward toward your ultimate goal: your CIA certification.
2. Use Technology to Your Advantage.
Our phones can be incredibly distracting. If you’re like most people, you regularly find yourself on your phone instead of getting work done. Keep yourself on track with a goal-setting app. There are many free apps on the market that will send reminders to your phone, so when you find yourself on your phone scrolling through the news or other photos, a notification will pop up in front of your face letting you know it’s time to study. Alternatively, if self-motivation isn’t your strong suit, use peer motivation. There are apps you can find that keep you accountable to your goals by using peer motivation. Your friends can check in on you to see if you’ve completed your study session for the day, and remind you if you haven’t.
If you’d really rather not look away from your phone, don’t worry, the Gleim CIA Review Course is mobile friendly. You can access study materials and thousands of review questions anywhere on any device.
Keep in mind that the first few days of studying consistently will be the hardest. You’re developing a new habit, but using an app will help that habit stick. Once you’ve overcome the tough step of getting started, sitting down to study will get easier. Just get through one day at a time and you’ll get the momentum going. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, remember? So get that motion started.
3. Turn the Abstract into the Concrete to Pass the CIA Exam
Give yourself a concrete record of your accomplishments. This could be a poster-board listing of the concepts in Part 1 with boxes you check off as you progress. It could also be a spreadsheet app on your phone that tracks your work. The point is to show yourself that you’re making progress through the material. Once you see that you have studied the majority of the concepts, you might feel inspired enough to power through and finish the rest of Part 1 a little early. When you have everything completed and checked off, take a moment to acknowledge your hard work and reflect on all you’ve learned.
It also helps to have a concrete image attached to your overall goal. For example, if getting your CIA certification means you’ll automatically get a raise in your job, decide what you want to do with that extra money. Do you want to travel and see the world? Do you want to finally buy a car that’s less than 10 years old? Find a picture of that country you’ve always wanted to see or that new dream car—anything that will help you visualize your ultimate goal—and tape it to your monitor. Seeing that picture every day will give your unconscious mind continued motivation to keep working. You’re not working for an ephemeral “something” wafting around out there in the ether. You’re working toward no more weekly trips to the mechanic or drinking wine by the Arc de Triomphe.
Pass the CIA Exam Before the 2019 Exam Changes
Remember, too, that CIA exams don’t have definitive testing windows; you can take the exam when it works best for you. The IIA has announced that the CIA exam will be changing January 2019. So for 2018, why not make passing the CIA exam your most important resolution? Stick to your goals by being realistic and using all the help you can get. Then, you can choose the exam date that works for you, avoid the looming 2019 CIA exam changes, and be able to enjoy the many benefits of passing the CIA exam.
Choose A CIA Review Course to Help Achieve Your Goals
More CIAs have turned to Gleim CIA to pass the CIA exam than any other review course. To get your CIA exam plan started, learn why Gleim CIA is the most trusted name in CIA exam prep with an unlimited access to our free CIA demo. The Gleim CIA Review Course provides access to video lectures and outlines, a comprehensive test bank of CIA exam questions, an online review, and more.