ISACA Certification Study Guide: Overview and Career Paths


It is quite hard to consider a corporation that doesn’t use any kind of data system as a basis for doing business. In fact, the particular standard for many companies as Dumpsout has several information systems that are business-critical and can probably contain confidential data like financial information, personally identifiable information or maybe trade secrets.

Become a licensed

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • This learning path builds your knowledge of auditing information systems. Learning path components include:
  • ⇒ Network infrastructure security
  • CISA practice exams
  • ⇒ And more

To keep this sensitive data secure, organizations need professionals specializing in information systems auditing, with skills to know aspects like necessary controls and security measures . which is where the ISACA’s CISA (Certified Certified Information Systems Auditor) plays a key role, since it’s become the well-liked IS audit certification program by individuals and organizations round the world.

As with any top ISACA certification, the CISA exam isn’t a simple task and requires adequate preparation. The exam itself has 150 questions from five domains and must be completed in but four hours. Candidates also are required to supply proof of a minimum of five years of experience in IS audit, control, assurance or security.

While challenging, you’ll achieve CISA certification with the proper preparation and energy . Here are 10 tips to assist you steel oneself against the CISA exam.

1. Remember: The “IS” in IS Auditor Stands for Information Systems

It is commonplace for candidates to confuse IS auditor with information security auditor. While information security is that the central subject of 1 of the CISA domains (protection of data assets), it represents only 25% of what’s covered on the exam. Other domains include: the method of auditing information systems; governance and management of IT; information systems acquisition; development and implementation; information systems operations; and maintenance and repair management. So, if you would like to advance your career as an information security professional, the CISM is perhaps a far better choice, another top-level ISACA certification focused on information security management.

2. Learn to Think Like an IS Auditor

As stated before, the CISA certification is especially intended for Certified Information Systems Auditors. For candidates with an extended technical background, but little audit experience, special effort should be taken to take care of an auditor perspective right from the beginning . On the opposite hand, auditors with limited technical knowledge must work on getting a correct understanding on the basics of any technical concept over CISA’s five domains. Also, it’s important to stay in mind personal experience could also be completely useless: It doesn’t matter whether it’s an industry standard or best practices adopted by your company, if it’s not perfectly aligned with ISACA’s way of thinking, it’ll be of no use during the exam.

3. Read the ISACA Exam Candidate Information Guide

Each year, ISACA updates its candidate guide providing many useful information for the exam. The guide are often freely downloaded here. No candidate should take the CISA exam without reading this guide. It reviews topics like the exam registration process, dates and deadlines, and key candidate details for exam-day administration. It even contains valuable information like the exam domains, the amount of exam questions, its length and therefore the languages available.

4. Use ISACA Resources

ISACA’s official publications are great exam-prep resources. i like to recommend reviewing the CISA Review Manual (CRM), a comprehensive guide specifically created to assist prepare CISA candidates for the exam. Currently on its 26th Edition, the CRM is academically sound and revised consistent with the foremost current CISA job practice, meaning it represents the foremost recent, complete, peer-reviewed IS audit, assurance, security and control resource available for the exam.

As for practice questions, think about using the CISA Review Questions, Answers & Explanations Manual or the CISA Review Questions, Answers & Explanations Database. Both contains 1,000 multiple-choice study questions that, while not actual exam items, can help CISA candidates to urge a far better understanding of both the sort and structure of what is going to appear on the particular exam. It also provides an in depth explanation of both the right answer and incorrect options, and provides an incredible way of knowing what topics need further attention.

It is important to understand both the manual and therefore the subscription-based service have an equivalent questions, but the later has a plus in terms of usability: Since it’s available via the online , CISA candidates can access questions anywhere. It also allows for the creation of custom sample exams, with randomly selected questions from any of the exam domains, thus allowing a concentrated study especially areas or a generalist approach. It also keeps track of previous scoring history, making it simple to spot strengths and weaknesses supported specific domains or subjects, and allows you to focus study efforts accordingly.

5. Leverage Free Exam-Prep Resources

As stated before, there’s no doubt that ISACA’s official publications are the simplest resources for preparing for the exam. apart from their paid manuals and question databases, ISACA also provides many free study material. For starters, the CISA Self-Assessment it a 50-question sample exam, covering the acceptable proportion of every material to match the CISA exam blueprint. Another great free resource is ISACA’s Glossary, because it contains complete definitions for every term utilized in the CISA domains. ISACA’s Knowledge Center also features a vast collection of free materials like whitepapers (just make certain to stay the main target on exam topics).

6. Create Your Own Custom Study Plan

The CISA exam will test you on five domains covering a spread of various subject areas. you want to confirm you’ve got enough time to review all domains a minimum of once; this includes not only studying, but also completing mock exams, visiting online forums and spending overtime reviewing areas that require improvement.

Without adequate planning, your chance of success will drop. Creating a study plan that matches your personal needs

is essential; even an easy to-do list can help tons . For your custom study plan, you ought to consider factors such as:

  • How soon does one shall take the examination? Check the ISACA website to seek out a time and site that works for you.
  • How much time are you able to devote to your study efforts? If you’re already working, or produce other commitments, confirm you’ll dedicate sufficient time to the fundamentals , like covering all exam topics, taking practice tests and reviewing exam simulations.
  • How much are you able to spend on preparation material and training courses? search for official, certified study materials and training to form sure you’ve got a radical understanding of every topic covered within the exam. an excellent option is getting the official candidate guide and reading it early on; this may create a solid basis for further skill development using your choice of coaching methodology.
  • What training method most accurately fits you? Some people prefer self-learning, while others think there’s no substitute for the classroom. Other candidates find online training helps them study on-the-go, at any time. Use your past learning experiences to assist you choose the tactic to assist you prepare best.
  • How well acquainted are you already with the exam subjects? Even very experienced professionals, with good knowledge about the certification subjects, can have a tough time during the examination. Your personal experience can prevent some studying time, but you ought to take into consideration factors like the exam length and question logic. Relying an excessive amount of on experience alone may be a poor strategy which will likely cause bad results.

7. become involved In an Exam Prep Course

Deciding to use a self-study-only approach could seem sort of a bold decision, but it’s going to not be the simplest strategy. it’s important to know achieving exam success requires in-depth knowledge of several different subjects, even for entry level certs. albeit you’ve got real-world experience, a number of it’s going to not apply since the certification body’s view could also be quite different from the tasks you’re wont to doing within the field.

Going through a certification preparation course allows you to spend a while with an experienced instructor, with actual knowledge on the way to beat the exam. it’s a superb opportunity to urge all of your questions answered, share experiences and methods , and even network if it’s in-person training. This leads to a greater success rate on any certification exam.

8. Join a web Community

A simple Google search can find several CISA forums, wikis and private websites where both candidates and authorized professionals share their certification experiences.

As usual, it’s important to verify the credibility of any source you’re using. as an example , if you’re trying to find a proper definition of an idea that’s covered within the exam, the simplest approach is using official material, e.g., books, guidelines and other official publications. But, if you’re trying to find general advice, posting your question to a web forum like reddit or TechExams are often quite helpful.

Many candidates visit online forums and look for “CISA success.” this will function both preparation and motivation for the upcoming exam. If you’re feeling confident, searching “CISA failure” posts can also offer you some important advice, as learning from the mistakes of others is much less painful than from your own.

A word of advice: Unless you’ve got time to assist others, stand back from toxic people and posts. Many unfortunate exam takers go browsing to vent their frustration and this will be discouraging.

9. Have an Exam-Day Preparation Plan

Finally, the large day is close to happen. Your primary focus should get on not exhausting yourself and being at your best during the exam.

A few things to remember:

  • Is your exam kit ready? Check the candidate guide to form sure you’ve got everything you would like for the day of your CISA exam. this might sound silly, but some candidates fail to even attend the test for not fulfilling basic requirements like adequate identification. Call your testing center to verify you understand the wants .
  • Are you calm and well rested? Many candidates fail due to physical and brain-fag . Staying up late doing a final round of study may sound tempting, but last-minute reading is typically not an honest thing, and should even leave you anxious. If you think that it’s important to try to to a final review, do a selective reading instead. Also, don’t focus solely on weaknesses.
  • If you’ve got not mastered a selected topic so far , you’ll like better to specialise in enhancing the areas where you’re good. an excellent tool for selective reading is using summaries or glossaries, which have many important information, a number of which you’ll have missed during your study sessions.
  • As for the physical side, ingesting (even small amounts) of alcoholic beverages may be a really bad idea. If your exam is during the morning, having a balanced breakfast and drinking many water may be a very helpful thanks to confirm you’re at your best. If it’s during the afternoon, eat a light-weight lunch.

Did you create the required arrangements to get on time at the test site? Candidates might not be admitted to the location if they’re late. If you’re using public transportation, countercheck the simplest routes; if you’re driving to the exam site, confirm you recognize where to park beforehand.

10. Clear Your Mind

That’s it, exam day has arrived! Take a deep breath and remember that you simply put within the time and are prepared to succeed.

Here are some last-minute tips:

Be aware of your time . During the exam, you’ll reach a high level of concentration i prefer to call “the zone.” this suggests a greater focus, which is sweet for problem solving, but can cause you to lose track of your time . What could seem like seconds are often precious minutes; hours tend to pass at a really fast rate, so confirm you’ve got time to travel through every question on the exam.

Take some time reading the questions. Even with limited time, it’s important to not rush. Take some time , concentrate to every question and answer option and confirm you understand what’s being asked. await distractors (options that are obviously false) in multiple-choice questions which will be quickly eliminated. it’s also important to pay close attention to terms like MOST, LEAST, NOT, ALL, NEVER and ALWAYS, since they will entirely change a sentence. Remember, questions that ask you to select the “best answer” may have quite one correct option. you want to be ready to understand and choose the foremost suitable account the given situation.

Try to relax. Remember to stretch and relax your muscles during the exam. A relaxed mind can assist you solve difficult questions.

Remember, there’s no reason to panic. Remaining calm will improve your concentration. If you followed your study plan correctly, your results will likely be great; if not, you’ll have tons more experience during subsequent try!


In the end, the CISA certification may be a great option for advancing your career. In practical terms, it’s going to just be the competitive edge you would like to land a promotion or maybe a senior IS auditor position. However, needless to say , such benefits come at a cost: Only the foremost dedicated candidates will succeed. Plan ahead, use the aforementioned tips as a basis for your study strategy, but also consider enrolling in official training. Your efforts are bound to pay off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *