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Top 30 CISA Exam FAQ's You Need to Know

Jun 21, 20208 mins readAmit Masih
Top 30 CISA Exam FAQ's You Need to Know

CISA stands for Certified Information Systems Auditor and is a globally-recognized certification for IT/IS professionals by ISACA. This global association equips IT professionals with skills and training in risk management.

As a CISA certified professional, you have a much deeper knowledge to handle audits and control of your organization in a much better way.

Despite knowing the value, this certification holds, several professionals are hesitant to apply for the exam. The reason being several doubts that pop in their mind is left unanswered. 

In this article, I will try to answer a majority of CISA exam FAQs that will remove all your doubts and encourage you to sign up for the CISA exam and get certified to boost your career prospects.

Q: What is the CISA exam? A: Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) exam is a globally recognized specialist certification for professionals having work experience in information systems auditing, control, and security.

Q: How hard is the CISA exam? A: It should be clear that an internationally-acclaimed certification will require you to prepare well. At times the difficulty level has increased to match the current industry standards and requirements. Also, the difficulty level varies from person to person depending on their experience and preparation level.

Q: Is CISA worth it? A: CISA certified professionals get an edge over other candidates during the interview. They gain expertise to manage risk, handle control, and ensure compliance. Also, it opens the door to global job opportunities with salary packages at par with the industry standards.

Q: What experience is required to get certified? A: You can take the exam even if you do not fulfill certification requirements. But to get certified, you must have five years of work experience in information systems, have passed the CISA exam within the last five years, and have to pay certificate processing fees.

Q: How many questions are there in the CISA exam? A: There are 150 performance-based multiple-choice questions.

Q: What is the time duration of the CISA exam? A: The duration of the CISA exam is 4 hours.

Q: How to register for the exam? A: The exam registration process is quite simple. Then also, you might get confused about certain information that needs to be filled in. So you can refer to the complete exam registration process and keep the information ready before filling out the form.

Q: Is CISA hard to crack? A: CISA is an internationally recognized certification for experienced professionals. Hence require proper planning to clear the exam and get certified. You must avoid making mistakes that can lead to exam failure.

Q: What is the pass rate of the CISA exam? A: CISA exam has come a long way. There was a time when there were few resources available to study. But now, there are abundant training materials and resources are available. So as compared to the past, the pass rate has increased. 

Read more about the CISA exam pass rate.

Q: What does the exam cost? A: The exam cost is USD 575 if you have an ISACA membership and USD 760 for non-members. The exam fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Q: What are the best CISA study materials or books available? A: We have compiled a comprehensive list of the best CISA study material and books that you can refer to according to your requirements.

Q: What are the exam topics? A: Exam Topics:

  • Information systems auditing process (21%)
  • Governance and management of IT (16%)
  • Information systems, acquisition, development, and implementation (18%)
  • Information systems operations, maintenance, and support (20%)
  • Protection of information assets (25%)

Q: Who is best suited to take the CISA certification? A: CISA certification is best suited for IT audit manager, IS analyst, IT project manager, network operation security engineer, IT security officer, cybersecurity analyst, IT risk and assurance manager, IT consultant, or privacy officer.

Q: Can the exam be canceled or rescheduled? A: Yes, you can cancel or reschedule the exam 48 hours before the exam appointment.

Q: How can I reschedule my exam? A: If you cannot take the exam on the scheduled date due to some unavoidable reasons, you can reschedule by paying extra fees. You can only reschedule 48 hours before the appointment. If you do not reschedule before this deadline, the registration amount will not be refunded.

Q: What is the exam retake policy? A: If your score is less than 450, you can take an exam retake. As only one exam is allowed per testing window, you have to register in the upcoming window for a retake by making the payment and scheduling a new exam appointment.

Q: What are the exam day rules to follow? A: There are several exam day rules, from reaching the center to taking the exam. You can read a detailed guide on exam day rules to prevent last-minute chaos.

Q: What are the exam locations? A: There is a provision to take the exam online and by visiting the test center. However, you must confirm the allotted location before the exam as the scheduled exam might be canceled or postponed due to some unavoidable reasons by the organization. However, you will get notified via registered email.

Q: Is the exam proctored? A: Yes, the exam is proctored by a Pearson testing partner.

Q: What are the CISA exam preparation tips? A: To pass the exam in the first attempt requires a focused approach. It is possible if you know secret exam preparation tips that help you plan your study routine effectively.

Q: Can I request rescoring? A: Yes, you can request rescoring by paying a fee of USD 75. For every request, you have to pay the fees again.

Q: Do I need to pay to get certified? A: Yes, once you clear the exam, you need to apply for the certification by paying a processing fee of 

Q: Is the certificate valid for a lifetime? A: No. the certificate remains valid for three years and needs to be renewed after a renewal process.

Q: What does the certification maintenance cost? A: If you have ISACA membership, you have to pay USD 45 annually as certification maintenance fees, and for non-members, it is USD 85.

Q: How to maintain the certificate? A: Earn a minimum of 20 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits each year and a maximum of 120 hours over three years. It is required to keep your knowledge and skills in the privacy field up to date.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for the CISA exam? A: There are no age or educational restrictions to appear for the CISA exam, and even a 12th pass can appear for the exam. But it will not benefit you as you won’t have the required work experience to obtain the certification.

Q: Can a fresher apply for CISA certification? A: No, as a fresher, you cannot apply for the certification. Five years of work experience in information audit, control, and security is required.

Q: How long does it take to prepare for the CISA exam? A: It depends on your expertise level and time left for the CISA exam. However, creating a well-designed study plan for at least six months is recommended. You can refer to the ISACA exam guide, questions and answers database, join exam study communities and forums, and enroll in exam preparation courses.

Q: How many times can you take the CISA exam? A: You can take the exam four times a year, one main attempt and three retakes. For each attempt, you have to make a fresh registration. For the first retake (attempt 2nd), you have to wait for 30 days from the first attempt, for the second retake (attempt 3rd), 90 days from the date of the second attempt, and for the third retake (attempt 4th), 90 days from the date of the third attempt.

Q: What is the average salary of a CISA certified professional? A: CISA is one of the highest-paying IT certifications. Several factors, such as your work experience, organization, and designation, decide how much salary package you will receive.

Conclusion I have focused on CISA exam FAQs and tried to answer as many queries related to this globally acclaimed certification. As an IT/IS auditor, this information will help you bust several myths that stop you from taking the exam and getting certified.

If you have a deep interest in knowing more about CISA certification, you can read CISA certification: A Beginner-friendly guide.

Also, if you have any other queries, do ask in the comments below.

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