How To Take Cia Exam


The CIA exam, or Certified Internal Auditor exam, is a professional certification typically required for those with an interest in becoming an internal auditor. This exam assesses the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the role and grants the industry-recognized Internal Auditor (IA) designation. The exam covers topics including Auditing and Assurance, Business Environment & Concepts, Financial Accounting & Reporting, and Information Technology & Security. To master the knowledge needed to perform these audits, test-takers must study hard and prepare for the challenges of the exam.

Pre Exam Preparation

Before sitting for the CIA exam, understanding the content assessment is essential. Knowing the body of knowledge and related subtopics that will be tested on the exam can help focus your study. Additionally, if English is not a first language, some review may be beneficial to ensure understanding of critical topics. It is essential that test-takers have a fundamental knowledge of the English language, especially in the areas of reading, writing and comprehension.

The CIA exam is offered in Prometric testing centers worldwide and its contents can be studied through textbooks and online training sessions. Many universities and private institutions now offer courses specifically for the CIA exam, providing the most up-to-date material to help you accurately prepare for the exam.

Understand the Exam Rules

When sitting for the CIA exam, candidates must follow certain rules and regulations. Be sure to remain familiar with the protocol to ensure a smooth and successful experience. First and foremost, arrive to the test center at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment. Make sure to bring acceptable forms of identification with you. No electronic items are permitted in the testing room, so leave all phones and other prohibited materials outside of the center or in the car.

Be Familiar with the Exam Interface

The CIA exam is computer-based, and the testing center should have the necessary technical skills available. It is important to understand the basic functions of the exam interface. Most test-takers are familiar with a computer but may not understand the navigational functions of the assessment components. Therefore, it is best to become familiar with the interface prior to testing. This can be done through online tutorials or through books provided by training centers.

Cover All Sections of the Test

The CIA exam consists of three sections that cover the four core areas of internal auditing. The first section is for practitioners, who will receive an IA certification after successfully passing the exam. The second section covers management and leadership, and the third section offers an in-depth look at data, statistics, and security. In order to become a fully certified internal auditor, all three sections must be passed.

Take Your Time on the Test

The CIA exam is typically two to four hours long, depending on the section. Test-takers should take their time while answering questions, ensuring they understand the material and are accurately interpreting the question. The exam is not intended to be rushed, and test-takers must remain focused, allowing enough time to finish all sections before the deadline.

Know What to Expect Post Exam

Once the exam has been taken, test-takers should expect to receive their results within 8-10 weeks. They will receive a passing score if the cumulative score is 75% or above. Those who do not pass will have the opportunity to retake the sections they have failed, but must wait at least 90 days before attempting the exam again. Achieving a passing score means the test-taker has completed the requirements and officially achieved a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation.


The CIA exam is a high-stakes assessment and must be taken seriously. Test-takers should prepare well and understand the body of knowledge, functions of the computer-based test, the rules of the testing center, and the outcomes of taking the exam. To succeed in the exam, preparing from reputable and comprehensive IRA materials is essential. Proper preparation will ensure test-takers know the material before taking the highest professional certification for internal auditors.

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Rosemary Harrold is an accomplished writer and researcher who is both passionate and knowledgeable about the world of secret services. She gained an MSc in International Relations in 2017 and has since built on her expertise with numerous publications on intelligence agencies, their practices, and recent developments. Rosemary has been writing about IBM, CIA and FBI activities since then, as well as providing in-depth analysis on intelligence-related topics.

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