Accounting Certifications: Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

3. CIA exam and preparation

Passing the CIA exam is one of the requirements for becoming a Certified Internal Auditor.  The exam is comprised of three parts:

  • Essentials of Internal Auditing
  • Practice of Internal Auditing
  • Business Knowledge of Internal Auditing

When you take a CIA exam part, you are given between 120-150 minutes to complete questions.  You can complete each part separately.  A passing score is 600 points for each part.  All exam parts need to be completed within three years.

The CIA exam is administered by a third party called Pearson VUE.  At the time we were preparing this article, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the IIA temporarily implemented a way to take the CIA exam via the Internet.  The link to access the exam software is available on the IIA’s website.  Once you login and access it, you will take the exam online with the assistance of a proctor (i.e., a person helping to verify your ID and make sure you don’t cheat on the exam).  Prior to the Covid-19 restrictions, the exam was taken in person at physical testing locations of Pearson VUE.  These test centers are located in more than 105 countries.

After you have taken the CIA test (part), a notification will be emailed to you when your score becomes available (24-48 hours).

Preparation for the CIA exam is an important part of the process.  There are a lot of training materials, books, and online forums available for the CIA exam.  You can start with the IIA website’s bookstore to get an idea about such materials but keep in mind that there are also excellent CIA training materials not prepared by the IIA.

Not a member?
See why people join our
online accounting course: