The CIA exam is changing in January 2019. These changes will affect every part of the exam, and you will need to plan for them. We want to help you understand what is changing and work with you to create the most ideal schedule for passing the exam in light of these changes. We’ll explain the 2019 CIA exam changes and recommend the best way to plan your study agenda so that you can pass all three parts before the end of 2018.
The Purpose of the 2019 CIA Exam Changes
The CIA exam is meant to reflect the current role of internal audit across industries, and as that role evolves, the exam is updated to keep pace. The changes coming in 2019 will
- Update the exam parts according to the way internal auditing is currently practiced around the world
- More closely align the CIA content outlines with The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing
- Minimize duplication and overlap among the three exam parts
- Clarify the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to pass the exam
What Is Not Changing on the CIA Exam
Though the CIA exam changes coming in January 2019 are drastic, they’re not all-encompassing. They don’t impact the
- Exam administration
- Eligibility requirements
- Registration process
- Exam fees
- Number of questions
- Total testing time
- Passing score
Basically, the changes do not affect the exam structure.
What Is Changing on the CIA Exam
On the previous exam version, The IIA specified within the exam syllabus that candidates are expected to demonstrate certain levels of knowledge about each exam topic. These knowledge levels were “Awareness” and “Proficient”. While the new exam version now refers to them as “cognitive levels,” they still represent the depth of knowledge required for a topic. The new syllabus features two cognitive levels:
- Basic Level: tests memory and comprehension
- Proficient Level: assesses application, analysis, and evaluation abilities
The main 2019 CIA exam changes involve significant modifications to each exam part’s syllabus. The topics, or “domains,” of Part One and Part Two have been revised and expanded to better align with (and more accurately test) The IIA’s Standards. The Part Three syllabus has been reduced and refocused on the core knowledge and skills that internal auditors must possess to do their job. These tables compare the old and new versions of each part’s syllabus:
CIA Part One Syllabus Changes
CIA Part One: Internal Audit Basics
CIA Part One: Essentials of Internal Auditing
|I. Mandatory Guidance (35-45%)||I. Foundations of Internal Auditing (15%)|
|II. Internal Control/Risk (25-35%)||II. Independence and Objectivity (15%)|
|III. Conducting Internal Audit Engagements – Audit Tools and Techniques (25-35%)||III. Proficiency and Due Professional Care (18%)|
|IV. Quality Assurance and Improvement Programs (7%)|
|V. Governance, Risk Management, and Control (10%)|
|VI. Fraud Risks (10%)|
CIA Part Two Syllabus Changes
CIA Part Two: Internal Audit Practice
CIA Part Two: Practice of Internal Auditing
|I. Managing the Internal Audit Function (40-50%)||I. Managing the Internal Audit Activity (20%)|
|II. Managing Individual Engagements (40-50%)||II. Planning the Engagement (20%)|
|III. Fraud Risks and Controls (5-15%)||III. Performing the Engagement (40%)|
|IV. Communicating Engagement Results and Monitoring Progress (20%)|
CIA Part Three Syllabus Changes
CIA Part Three: Internal Audit Knowledge Elements
CIA Part Three: Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing
|I. Governance/Business Ethics (5-15%)||I. Business Acumen (35%)|
|II. Risk Management (10-20%)||II. Information Security (25%)|
|III. Organizational Structure/Business Processes and Risks (15-25%)||III. Information Technology (20%)|
|IV. Communication (5-10%)||IV. Financial Management (20%)|
|V. Management/Leadership Principles (10-20%)|
|VI. IT/Business Continuity (15-25%)|
|VII. Financial Management (10-20%)|
|VIII. Global Business Environment (0-10%)|
Your Plan to Pass Before the 2019 CIA Exam Changes
So how should you set up your exam schedule based on these changes?
Because the 2019 CIA exam changes are so drastic, we strongly recommend that you avoid them by passing all three parts in 2018. If you already intended to take the exam this year, that’s great! Don’t change your plans to wait for the 2019 exam changes: just keep moving forward toward CIA exam success. If you’re unable to sit for all three parts this year and you’ve already passed one or two by the time 2019 comes around, you will not lose credit for those parts when the exam changes. Credit for any exam part taken in the current exam remains valid for the eligibility window of four years from your application date. However, the Gleim CIA team’s history with the exam has shown that it is much harder to prepare for a newly-revised exam than for an exam thousands of candidates have taken for the past several years. There is more anxiety about the unknown, as you don’t have the experience of your peers to give you valuable input and feedback. In short, don’t let the inability to sit for all three parts by the end of the year prevent you from even starting in 2018.
If you’ve been trying to determine the best time to take the exam in light of the coming changes, the answer is now. There is no reason to wait for the new exam version, but there are several reasons to start now and pass all three parts this year.
- You can definitely pass before 2019.
- The scoring standards have been set for several years.
- You can enjoy the benefits of becoming a CIA sooner.
- There is never a perfect time to take the exam.
The CIA exam doesn’t have specific testing windows, which means you can take it year-round. Additionally, a comprehensive review program should help you prepare for and pass all three parts in 20 weeks or less.
If you wait to take the exam, your scores will be a part of The IIA’s standard-setting study to determine what constitutes a passing score of 600 on the new exam.
The many advantages of earning the CIA certification combine to form the biggest reason to pass the exam in 2018.
As a professional who may also be juggling a family and many other commitments while studying, you should make the decision to take and pass the exam now rather than “waiting for a better time to come along.” There are always reasons to procrastinate, but you must commit and follow through in order to achieve your goals.
Start your CIA journey by learning all about the CIA exam in this free study guide.
The Best Order to Take the CIA Exam Parts in 2018
To pass the CIA exam as soon as possible, you should take the exam parts in numerical order:
- Part One
- Part Two
- Part Three
For most candidates, this is the best order for the CIA exam parts because currently, the content of Part Two builds on the content of Part One, and the content of Part Three has some overlap with both Parts One and Two. However, if you are a senior student or new graduate with recent business and accounting coursework in business ethics, IT, business continuity, and global business concepts, or an auditor who specializes in IT, you may prefer to start with Part Three.
We also recommend numerical order to candidates who may have to take one part after the exam changes. When the 2019 CIA exam changes come, Part Three will experience a sizable reduction in domains that will make preparation for this part less overwhelming. Right now, the amount of material Part Three covers can be tricky to manage, so taking Part Three after the exam changes may alleviate some of that study strain. And when you buy our Premium CIA Review System now, you’ll receive our Access Until You Pass® guarantee, which ensures your materials will always be current until you pass. With free and constant content updates, our course will prepare you for both exam versions. But it’s still better to finish all of that studying before the exam changes for the reasons we just mentioned. And really, why wait? If you have the time now and have set this goal to pass, then finish it!
The CIA Review You Need to Pass in 2018
Passing all three parts before the exam changes is possible, and it’s easier when you study with Gleim CIA Review. As the leader in CIA exam prep for more than 35 years, Gleim has more experience than any other review provider guiding CIA candidates like you through extensive exam changes like these. The Gleim CIA Review System has everything you need to pass the current version of the exam before it’s replaced, so you can rely on Gleim to spare you from having to experience the exam changes. See just how well our 2018 course will prepare you by accessing our free CIA demo today.