Certified Information Systems Auditor and CISA Exam Tips

  • CISA® (Certified Human resources Auditor) can be a globally recognized certification for IS Audit, Control and Assurance. The certification is disseminated by ISACA formerly called Human resources Audit and Control Association but used only being an acronym now due the wider scope of domains and certifications it currently covers. ISACA issues the CISA, CISM, CRISC, CGEIT along with the CSX Certifications. The CSX may be the latest addition that covers the Cyber Security domain. It is possible to refer detailed CISA syllabus at given URL:


    CISA could be the oldest of the ISACA Certifications, dating back to early 1978. Over 1.25 lakh people have earned the CISA designation since inception (according to ISACA website). It’s valued across industries and even mandated for select job profiles. It’s amongst the highest paying IT Certifications as per a study conducted by Global Knowledge.


    To become a CISA Certified professional, you can find 3 key steps.

    Pass the CISA exam
    Have relevant expertise of 5 yrs. (there are specific exemptions to this particular. For details, visit ISACA).
    Abide by the code of Ethics and Professional Standards set forth by ISACA. This website post will handle the first with the 3 portions, namely the passing in the CISA exam.
    From 2017, the CISA exam will be conducted via CBT (Internet based Testing). For more information about this, look at the post titled Changes towards the CISA Exam Structure from 2017

    Ideas to pass the CISA

    Make use of the CRM (CISA Review Manual) judiciously. The newest will be the CRM 26th Edition that's available for the ISACA Bookstore for your purchases. It’s a must have. It’s considered the Bible for CISA although it’s very verbose, it’s well outlined with detailed and well-constructed sentences with apt examples. However, the CRM isn't cornerstone, meaning you would not find questions inside the CISA straight from the CRM. CISA is a professional certification and it relies more on application of knowledge as opposed to rote learning. Hence, the CRM shall be used judiciously in the sense that you don’t cram the many topics but you instead understand the usage or application. For instance, BCP or Business Continuity Planning is to be understood from your point of how or each time a BCP is initiated, who initiates the BCP, which are the pieces of the BCP and exactly how it’s completely different from a DRP (Disaster Recovery Planning). In case you instead could skim around for who invented the BCP or which organizations use or don’t utilize the BCP, you happen to be absolutely wasting your preparation time.

    The CISA Review QAE Manual or Questions, Answers and Explanations Manual is a must have. You can either find the 11th edition or subscribe to get a 1 year subscription for the QAE database. Are both exhaustive and provide you with tons of domain-wise practice tests with detailed explanations. They also have a full-length Mock exam by the end. They're good resources as well as a nice confidence booster for your preparation. However, do note that the CISA questions may not come from the QAE for apparent reasons. As a matter of fact, most the CISA questions might predict syllabus for you in the exam. The reason is, even though the QAE focuses more about the direct questions, the CISA examination tests the candidates knowledge of the concepts. Nonetheless, getting an 80-90% consistently around the QAE assists many participants feel a tad better prepared and mentally strong while appearing for the CISA.

    ISACA CISA certification sample questions can give you brief idea on questions difficulty level


    Online language resources, videos or podcasts are another important source of preparation. Web based course portals like ApnaCourse.com have self-paced / instructor-led video classes for CISA which are aligned for the CRM. The main benefit of doing such online courses is to get a greater and clearer idea of the concepts inside the CRM. As noted earlier, the CRM is very verbose and it’s highly likely you could lose focus midway. Movie courses will help retain the attention span. It’s proven that powerpoints have better attention and rete

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