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How the CIA Learning System helps you study

By Mags, who has passed the first two exams with the last to go

Hello everyone. I’ve just started using the new student hub and I saw the appeal for students to blog about their experience so thought I might kick this off with some comments about the CIA learning system.

The CIA Learning system has pros and cons in my opinion but is definitely useful. I like the way the site is separated into the three parts of the CIA so you can easily go to the relevant section. Being able to download all the material to read on a kindle app is great, it meant I could attend workshops without having to lug the text books about (great for part three especially). The flashcards are useful up to a point. I found they were especially useful for part one when I was learning the theory. I used the double-sided print option and got various family members to test me. One thing that is a bit annoying though is finding a definition that has several different correct answers but only one listed on the car; e.g. milestone chart/Gantt chart/activity chart/horizontal bar chart – just different names for the same thing but the flashcard only gives you one name per definition so the definition comes up on four separate cards with four different answers. Initially this was very confusing.

The quizzes were helpful although I think the wording in the questions is often longer and more complicated than in the actual exam. I found that the real exam questions tended to be shorter and more straightforward, particularly for Part two; e.g. on the learning system there are many questions that ask ‘which of these four options’ is correct and the answer is that three or even all of them are correct. On the exam, I tended to get questions where only two options were correct which made answering easier. The quiz questions on the new CIA student hub on the Chartered IIA website are more straightforward and the explanations about why answers are correct or incorrect are better.

I used the reports from the quizzes to target my study. When I did the quizzes and the post test for part two my results showed a clear weakness in one section so it was obvious what I needed to focus on in the run up to the exam. I found there was a limit to how often I could take these quizzes though, as after a while I just remembered the correct answers. Mixing it up a bit by doing the quizzes on the CIA student hub as well as on the CIA learning system helped with this. The practice exam was also useful as it gave me a feel for using the ‘flag for review’ option that you get in the real exam.

Good luck to everyone taking exams!

22 May 2017