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Certified Information Systems Auditor and CISA Exam Recommendations

CISA® (Certified Information Systems Auditor) is really a globally recognized certification for IS Audit, Control and Assurance. The certification is issued by ISACA formerly called Information Systems Audit and Control Association but used only as a possible acronym now due the broader 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. You'll be able to refer detailed CISA syllabus at given URL:
http://www.edusum.com/isaca/isaca-information-systems-auditor-cisa-exam-syllabus
CISA could be the oldest with the ISACA Certifications, going back to early 1978. Over 1.25 lakh everyone has earned the CISA designation since inception (much like ISACA website). It’s valued across industries and also mandated for select job profiles. It’s within the highest paying IT Certifications much like a report conducted by Global Knowledge.
To become CISA Certified professional, there are 3 key steps.
Pass the CISA exam
Have relevant work experience of 5 yrs. (a number of exemptions to this particular. For details, visit ISACA).
Follow the code of Ethics and Professional Standards established by ISACA. This website post will handle the initial of the 3 portions, namely the passing in the CISA exam.
From 2017, the CISA exam will be conducted via CBT (Internet based Testing). To learn more about this, check out the post titled Changes for the CISA Exam Structure from 2017
Tips to pass the CISA
Utilize CRM (CISA Review Manual) judiciously. The latest is the CRM 26th Edition that's available for the ISACA Bookstore for sale. It’s an absolute must have. It’s considered the Bible for CISA and even though it’s very verbose, it’s well presented with detailed and well-constructed sentences with apt examples. However, the CRM is not cornerstone, meaning you would not find questions in the CISA completely from the CRM. CISA is a professional certification also it relies on application of knowledge as opposed to rote learning. Hence, the CRM will be used judiciously meaning that you just don’t cram the many topics but you instead see the usage or application. For instance, BCP or Business Continuity Planning is to be understood from the reason for how or every time a BCP is initiated, who initiates the BCP, what are aspects of the BCP and exactly how it’s completely different from a DRP (Disaster Recovery Planning). In the event you instead were to skim around for who invented the BCP or which organizations use or don’t utilize BCP, you're absolutely costing you preparation time.
The CISA Review QAE Manual or even the Questions, Answers and Explanations Manual is important. You can either select the 11th edition or subscribe for a Twelve month subscription for the QAE database. Both of them are exhaustive and give you plenty of domain-wise practice tests with detailed explanations. Next to your skin a full-length Mock exam towards the end. They're good resources plus a nice confidence booster for your preparation. However, do note that the CISA questions wouldn't come directly from the QAE for self-evident reasons. As a matter of fact, a lot of the CISA questions might predict syllabus to you personally in the actual exam. Associated with, even though the QAE focuses more on the direct questions, the CISA examination tests the candidates understanding of the concepts. Nonetheless, getting an 80-90% consistently on the QAE has helped many participants feel a little bit better prepared and mentally strong while appearing for your CISA.
ISACA CISA certification sample questions can present you with brief idea on questions difficulty level
http://www.edusum.com/isaca/isaca-cisa-certification-sample-questions
Online resources, videos or podcasts are another critical source of preparation. Online course portals like ApnaCourse.com have self-paced / instructor-led video classes for CISA which are aligned to the CRM. The advantages of doing such online courses is to buy a greater and clearer idea of the concepts in the CRM. As noted earlier, the CRM is fairly verbose and it’s highly likely you could get off track midway. Picture courses may help offer the attention span. It’s proven that slides provide better attention and retention than textbooks. Thus, it’s strongly recommended to enroll in a self-paced exercise program like the one available on ApnaCourse for CISA.
Plan, Plan, and Plan: There is no better tool or easy guide for that CISA than a proper planning. The optimal preparation time is 4 months when you have experience in Auditing or IT Security contributing to 6-8 months for those not used to these areas (assuming you would spend around 7-8 hours every week). Define your exam date with plenty of forethought and detail your study plan thoroughly. It’s great for create a Gant Chart of the study plan with week-wise milestones. Buy the relevant CRM, QAE and sign up for a web based training or instructor-led training beforehand. The master plan should be up until date of the exam so be sure you have significant control onto it including provisioning for almost any contingencies like unplanned vacations etc. that may hamper your study plan.

Avoid online with free streaming tests: A simple search will throw open a lot of online free tests for the CISA. Please avoid taking such tests. Most are outdated or have wrong solutions that may confuse test taker. The CISA is more application based so because of this it’s vital that you comprehend the concepts thoroughly as an alternative to takes numerous tests. The references mentioned inside the above points numbered 1-3 are sufficient for the preparation. When you have done the QAE completely, that you should enough.
Perform the Mock per week before the exam date. As mentioned earlier, the QAE provides 1 complete mock exam. Do this on the weekend exactly 5-7 days prior to the actual exam date. Create an exam atmosphere and prevent family disturbances. It’s imperative that you recreate a test situation because the CISA is often a gruelling 4 hour long exam. Most candidates often make entire 4 hours’ time because of the impossibility of the test. Hence, it’s essential to take a seat through a mock or possibly a simulator exam of comparable structure.
About the days post the mock exam and prior to actual exam, revise the concepts over and over again. It doesn’t hurt to analyze the CRM, quickly investigate QAE and revisit bookmarked sections of the online training. But avoid trying to understand new concepts. If for example you didn't intend to find out about Virtualization with your earlier preparation time, avoid trying to learn it now. It’s better to master the domains you happen to be positive rather than to head to newer ones. To find out a domain-wise scoring for CISA, there is absolutely no minimum marks per domain a candidate should achieve that need considering as pass. Hence, invest some time revisiting and reviewing the concepts and understand your parts of good and bad points.
Enjoy the day before test. It’s very easy to lose your cool and fret about the exam the very next day. However, it’s crucial that you relax whilst fresh for your exam. Drink plenty of liquid yesterday, energise your system well, watch some Shows or play an activity and above all enable you to get enough sleep. Again, the CISA is a reasonably gruelling exam. Most candidates will be in their early or late 30’s while appearing for the CISA so it’s been over 8-10 years since they sat on such long duration exams.
Try taking some refreshments on the exam hall. Quality hall does provide principle facilities including rest rooms and mineral water. You happen to be also in a position to carry refreshments though the same needs to be kept separately instead of on the desk. It is possible to put in a sugar toffee or possibly a glucose drink just before test. Avoid electronic devices including cellphones. Have them in silent mode and within your bag. The bag needs to be kept with a designated area only and never close to you.
Don’t rush towards the exam centre. Make sure you have enough time to become there a minimum of 1 hour prior to the exam start time. It may help to understand the complete location with the exam centre a couple of days prior so you don’t get tensed trying to find the centre location about the exam day. It will be best if you possess a shawl or sweater for those who are required to sit right under the AC or near a cooler. Most CBT centres get really chill right after hours. Quality instructions will begin half hour ahead of the exam time. Make certain you see the instructions carefully. Complete the essential information details when you proceed using the examination
Breathe deeply and initiate your exam. When the initial few questions boggle you, simply mark them for review and go forward. Don't spend time about the questions you aren’t sure. Such questions is only going to consume your time and create fear within you. You are able to revisit these questions towards the end. Answer the ones that you really feel are confident and cozy.
You’ll find not many answer choices which can be ignored. In the 4 options per question, in many instances, all 4 or min 3 will are most often the proper option choice. However, keenly understand the question. Look at question once, twice as well as thrice. Just one word or a phrase may produce a different meaning altogether. Evaluate every answer option and discover why one should be suited than the others. Keep an eye for bolded or highlighted words inside the question like “MOST”, “BEST” etc. Such questions mean that while all answer choices suited, there is only one option that's correct. Ask “Why” on every option choice. This means to ask “Why option 1 is correct” or “Why option 2 is not the right option” etc. The harder you ask yourself “Why” the bigger can be your chance of determing the best answer.
Assess the answers before submitting the test. It’s highly likely the exam was stressful and you are relieved to own completed it over time. But ensure to maintain 10-15 minutes to review your answers, no less than those marked for review or the ones that seemed tricky. Don't force yourself to affect the answer. Analyse and discover why a specific options correct or better suited and never the others.
Pray the almighty colliding with the Submit button. Check your provisional result and jump up if you have passed! Until Dec 2016, the CISA would have been a paper based exam which in fact had having to wait of 5 weeks for the results to be published. That’s changed from 2017. The CISA has become Online (CBT). To find out more, read the related blog titled Changes towards the CISA Exam Structure from 2017. Because of this you would get a provisional score whenever you select submit.
Return home and commence the detailed application. The approval includes particulars on work experience, waivers or no etc. Its takes ISACA about About six weeks to process a software. So be sure you start filling that early and submitting it quickly. Once you might have passed the test and submitted the approval, you'll be approved by ISACA becoming a CISA Certified Professional.
Hope this website covered the only thing you would look for in your preparation for the CISA. All the absolute best on your exam! Leave your comment below for any clarification or a happy note if these pointers helped you pass.
To read more about ISACA CISA Syllabus take a look at this useful site.