When preparing for the CISA® exam, it can be a bit difficult to navigate through the exam syllabus. If you are looking for a guide to prepare for this certification exam, here you can find every detail, including preparation, benefits, employment opportunities, and the method of maintaining the CISA® certification.
CISA® Certification Exam
The exam is conducted by the ISACA, therefore, the first thing that you should be aware of is the exam pattern, which we will come to in a minute, and any recent updates that you should be aware of. Not only should you have a proper study plan but also appropriate study materials and guidance for optimal exam preparation. The CISA® certification exam consists of 150 Multiple Choice Questions with the correct or the “best” answer.
Let us take a look at some of the great ways to start preparing for the CISA® certification exam.
CISA® Certification Exam Tips
- Sourcing Relevant Study Material
The first thing that you have to do is make a list of useful study materials and guides and source them according to your preference and format. Even if you are new to the CISA® certification exam, having reference material will help you get an idea of what to study.
- Knowing the Syllabus
The utmost important step towards successful exam preparation is knowing the relevant and updated exam syllabus, and in this case, the syllabus of the CISA® certification exam. This will not only help you know the areas in which you need to study and focus better but also prepare you mentally for the exam.
- Understanding the Basics
You have to grasp the fundamental concepts of the topics that you need to study for the CISA® certification exam. Studying for this exam should be done surrounding the practical applicability of the information at hand rather than mugging up facts and data. The questions will judge you based on your understanding of concepts related to technology and auditing standards, and practical procedures or it may require your ability to present findings to the management.
- Knowing the Exam Pattern
One of the most important aspects of CISA® certification exam preparation is learning about the exam pattern. This will help you get an idea of the type of preparation that you need to take for the CISA certification exam. Since questions asked by ISACA are mostly concept and practical applicability based, you need to make sure that you put optimum effort into the relevant type of questions for maximum outcome. While you may not need to have in-depth knowledge of technology platforms such as SQL and SAP, you may be tested on core technologies such as internet security, encryption, etc.
You should be continually in the process of self-evaluation as simply memorizing anything will not help you in the actual exam. Rather, being in the process of testing your understanding of core concepts as you would answer in an exam will help you in multiple ways. Not only will you be able to improve your answering ability but also fill in the gaps in your knowledge, as well as boost your confidence.
There are some ways to approach this. One way is by taking mock tests based on the CISA® certification exam format or practicing from sample papers. If possible, you can enroll yourself in a CISA Course to boost your CISA certification exam preparation. Another way to practice questions is by taking the self-analysis test on the ISACA website. Not only will this be beneficial for your preparation but also help you get an idea of your performance that you can put in the actual exam.
- Make a Study Plan
Having a definite study plan is as important as sticking to it. The plan of action you make ensures your chances of success in the CISA® certification exam. Depending on how much you already know or don’t know, you can draft an appropriate plan. The duration can vary based on your own time preferences and work commitments. You should also ensure that you have crisp and relevant study material so that you don’t waste time learning stuff you don’t need.
If you are an IT Audit professional then you would probably require less time preparing for the exam. Strengthening your answering ability by practicing mock tests may just be sufficient to clear the exam.
If you are someone with experience in either field of IT or Audit, you may require to put effort into the lesser known subject. Brushing up the concepts of the already known topics will save you time.
If you don’t have experience in either field, you should start studying at least 6 months before you decide to take the CISA® exam. Enrolling in a CISA course will help you gain valuable insights into the relevant fields if you are only getting started.
- Think the ISACA Way
When answering sample questions and mocks, understand and identify how ISACA asks the questions. Read every word carefully as they mostly tend to be tricky per se. Even the choices given may have one that works as a distraction. When you are not sure about the correct answer, consider all of the options one by one and eliminate the ones that don’t follow suit. Pick the best answer among the given choices.
- Mental Preparation is Important
Even when you have all the relevant study materials, sourced multiple mock tests, and kept an eye on the right answer most of the time, you should have strong determination to clear the exam, specifically in one attempt. If you are not clear in your head but preparing for the exam nevertheless, your preparation will not bring you optimal results. Don’t waste time if you are not ready. It can be an overwhelming experience to take any exam, especially if you have very little idea to start with. But remember, you don’t get a refund if you don’t pass the exam.
- Be Judicious With Your Time
By this I mean you should be able to manage your time well during the exam. In the CISA® certification exam, you will be allowed 4 hours to answer 150 multiple choice questions. This boils down to an attempt time of 70 seconds per question. It may take less time to answer some questions but some might take longer than usual. Who should know which ones to answer first, and which ones to attempt later?
- When In Doubt, Move On
It may so happen that you are unsure about an answer. In such a case, pick your best guess and move on to the next question. Leaving it blank may not be the best thing always. This is because you will not have the time to review later, and the exam is positively graded.
Now that you have an idea of how to approach your preparation for the CISA® certification exam, make sure to follow these tips. You can optimize your preparation for this exam by enrolling yourself in a CISA® certification course that will guide you through the concepts and skills required to ace the CISA® certification exam in just one attempt.