CISA Exam Study Guide


CISA Exam Study Guide

CISA is one of the most sought-after certifications in the IT industry and the most popular IT certification in the field of IT auditing. Offered by ISACA, the CISA certification is a measure of an IT professional’s ability to monitor, measure and ensure the security of the IT system of a company. CISA is globally recognized, which makes holders of this certification able to find well-paying jobs anywhere in the world.

To become certified, one needs to pass a 4-hour exam which includes 150 questions in a multiple-choice question format. Five main domains are tested, including auditing processes, IT governance, IS development, IS operational management and protection. The CISA study guide published by ISACA is one of the best resources for exam preparation.

The best way to prepare for the CISA exam is by learning the key fundamental topics first. You need to have in-depth knowledge about IT auditing. For clearing your CISA exam, you are also required to have an in-depth knowledge of different security risks and how to control them.

Apart from testing your fundamental IT knowledge, the exam also checks how you can effectively implement your existing knowledge practically. So, solving practice questions is one of the best ways to prepare for the CISA exam. You can also take the self-assessments available on the ISACA's official website, as they help to determine your strengths and weaknesses while preparing for the exam.

An effective learning plan is extremely important to pass your CISA exam within the first attempt. Based on your work schedule and learning abilities, you can design an effective learning plan for yourself. Before organizing your learning plan, you need to determine how much time you can invest on a daily or weekly basis for exam preparation.

If you are already working as an auditing professional or have some previous experience in auditing, then it might be relatively easier to prepare for the CISA exam. You might even require lesser time to complete your preparation for the test. It is believed that every learner has different learning needs and requirements. Some respond better to visual learning methodologies while some learn better through reading. If you are a visual learner, you can download videos of online lectures and tutorials to prepare for the test. If you perform well through reading books, then you can learn from books and study guides to prepare for the exam.

Many learners become tensed a few days before their exam. Practicing exam questions is a great way to gain confidence and overcome stress or anxiety before the test.

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Solving practice questions can also help you determine how much time you require to complete the entire test. If it takes more than four hours to complete the test, then you can work to improve your time management. Since every question requires a different amount of time to complete, you can consider giving a minimum of fifty to sixty seconds for attempting each question. 

Although attempting practice questions can give you a better idea about time-management for the exam, you still need to manage time according to the complexity of questions in the actual exam. Make sure to not waste time or overthink a question that you are unsure about. 

Try to attempt every question, and do not leave any question unanswered. At times, people find more correct options than one for a question. In such situations, it is better to go for the option that goes well with the ISACA test designers’ viewpoint.

Using the CISA Study Guide for Maximum Results

The CISA study guide offers a wealth of knowledge and helps the student to develop an auditor mindset. In order to get the best learning experience from the study guide, here are a few tips that should be followed:

  • Focusing on the core concepts is crucial. This means that when studying each chapter of the guide, focus on developing your ability to identify risks, security features of different systems, control methods to reduce risks and audit techniques to measure performance.
  • The ISACA CISA study guide offers practice test questions and mock exams. These should be practiced regularly to not only assess self-knowledge but also to become familiar with the questioning technique used in exams, or, as some might say—to start thinking like ISACA.
  • The study guide can be very helpful when used with a carefully thought out study plan. The student should plan the number of daily study hours and mark the topics or concepts that will be covered each day.
  • Focus on the conceptual and practical aspects of each topic. The ISACA exam approach tests students’ skills in both these areas. While reading the study guide, it is critical to grasp the knowledge of the theoretical fundamentals of IT auditing. At the same time, it is important to be able to apply those skills in a practical environment. It should also be remembered that while the ability to apply concepts in a practical setting is an expectation, students are not expected to be fluent in any kind of IT platform or tool. That is not the job of an IT auditing professional.
  • Make your experience count. The most important skill that one needs to learn is to acquire an auditing mindset. This requires the student to use all their experience of working in the IT field and to apply the concepts to their experience. Fresh students with no professional IT experience should reach out to professionals within their network and listen to their advice. This can include IT auditors and network administrators.

In addition to the CISA study guide, there are other physical and online resources that students can use to prepare for online CISA certification training. Many of these resources are offered by ISACA, while other publishers have also brought out their own resources. Some of the most commonly used and popular resources that can be used with the CISA study guide are described below:

CISA Online Review Course

The CISA Online Review Course offers another online tool to help students prepare for the CISA exam. This resource offers detailed sections on each of the five essential domains of CISA. Every bit of information is relevant to job practice areas. This comprehensive resource also includes interactive educational modules as well as practice exams to monitor exam performance.

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