CISA is a globally recognized certification for IT professionals, especially auditors. The higher the value certificate holds in the market, difficult it becomes to possess it. It tests your skills and knowledge based on real-life scenarios, and you cannot pass the exam by simply memorizing facts.
Hence, if you genuinely want to upgrade your skills and move ahead of the competition, this is a must-have certification. However, knowing the right path to acquire it can help you crack the exam with ease without wasting your precious time and money.
So, let us now dive deep to explore several tips on how to prepare for the CISA exam that is super easy to follow and implement.
How to Prepare for CISA Exam
These are a few important CISA exam tips to help you prepare effectively for the CISA certification exam. You are not bound to follow each tip, and you have to select what works best for you like.
If you do not like studying alone, you can have an accountability partner to check on your preparation. If you love studying independently, you can refer to study guides.
1. Understand the Core Concepts
It is the most crucial CISA exam tip. Before finalizing any study routine, you should know what the exam is about and learn the domains covered in detail. You are expected to have a clear understanding of:
- Information technology concepts
- Risks involved while implementing IT strategies
- Functions and features of security and controls of IT components
- How you can implement controls to minimize the occurrence of risks
- A precise knowledge of how to audit IT components by analyzing potential threats
- Implementing and evaluating risk control strategies
- Providing feedback and suggestions to improve the existing strategies
2. Analyze your Existing Knowledge
Knowing only about the exam topics is not enough. You must evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, i.e., what topics you already know and what topics require more preparation.
If you already work in a CISA specified domain, it will be pretty easy for you to analyze. The best way to do this is to take a mock test. You can find several practice questions and mock tests in CISA study guides, or you can do a self-analysis on the official ISACA website. It will help you evaluate your existing knowledge and identify weak areas that you need to work on.
3. Have a Study Plan
Having a study plan is very important. It helps you study regularly, complete your exam preparation within the deadline, and achieve your goal to pass the CISA exam on the first attempt.
Depending upon your existing knowledge, you design your study plan. You can allot study hours, considering the study material you need to go through and how much time you can spare along with your work schedule.
If you are working full-time, you can schedule your study hours early morning or late at night. Also, the date on which you wish to take the exam plays a vital role in deciding the number of hours you have to devote each day for preparation. Having work experience as an auditor will help you quickly adapt to new stuff along with your current knowledge.
If you have no experience in either audit or IT, it might take longer for you to prepare for the CISA exam.
4. Know about Exam Question Format
Knowing the question paper format beforehand will ease out the preparation process. CISA exam tests your conceptual and practical knowledge. There are multiple-choice questions based on technology and auditing standards and real business situations and how you can handle them. There is no requirement to study specific technologies, like Oracle, SAP, or SQL.
5. Read the Questions Carefully
You must consider practice tests as actual exams. Please read each question carefully as they can be tricky or wordy. Do not rely on gut feeling as tough questions have distractors to which you might fall prey. So read carefully, cross out incorrect answers, and select the best one.
Also, try to complete practice tests in the specified timeframe as the actual exam as it will help you handle the stress of the real testing environment and how to complete the paper within the given time.
6. Evaluate your Answers
After attempting all the questions:
- Analyze both the right and wrong answers.
- Carefully read the explanation for both of them, as it will help you understand the logic behind selecting a particular solution out of the given choices.
- Focus on the wrong ones and try to evaluate where you went wrong.
Keep practicing till you get 100% correct answers. Though the same questions are never asked in the exam, practicing increases your thinking and problem-solving ability to help you pass the exam easily.
7. Do not Depend Solely on Memorizing
Though you need to memorize only fundamental concepts, you must understand them first. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge about basic concepts and apply practical solutions to the existing businesses to mitigate risks.
8. Avoid Free Online Tests
Some online sites and blogs offer free test series to prepare for these international certifications. But if you wish to pass these exams with flying colors, avoid falling prey to free tests.
Most of them contain outdated questions and wrong answers that will do more harm than good to your CISA exam preparation. You should get your concepts cleared and follow study material only from authorised resources.
9. Exam Day Tips
- Do not rush for last-minute revision. Relax a day before the exam, as it is essential to keep your mind fresh on the exam day.
- Hydrate yourself, do breathing exercises, indulge in some sport, or listen to soft music. It will energize your body and mind.
- You can have a snack before the exam but not during the exam.
- Keep your mobile phone on silent mode in your bag, kept at a specified place and not close to you.
- Know about the exam location in advance, and it will take away the confusion to search the exact location during the exam day.
- Reach the exam center an hour before the exam.
- Do not stick to one question. If you do not know the answer move ahead and leave it to review later.
- Read all questions carefully as there is only one correct answer to each. So if you get stuck between two choices, read again and think about why one choice is better than the other.
- Keep aside 10-15 minutes revising your answers.
Read more about Exam Day Rules
The Final Words
These tips on how to prepare for the CISA exam will help simplify your study plan. You can refer to all or select any of them according to your expertise and available time.
Apart from these tips, there are several aspects associated with the CISA certification exam, such as CISA certification, exam day rules, CISA exam pass rate, and best study material. You can follow these links to have an in-depth understanding of this internationally acknowledged certification.