Are you interested in mastering the fundamentals of systems audit and gaining expertise in cyber security? If that’s so, this article is for you since we will be discussing the CISA Certification.
For those interested in IT auditing and security, the CISA® certification could be a suitable fit. If you are an entry-level to mid-career professional, CISA® can exhibit your competence and demonstrate your capability to plan, organize, & create reports on audit-based operations using a streamlined and riskier approach.
Let’s walk you through the CISA® certification process step-by-step and go over all the specifics.
What is CISA® certification?
A certified information systems auditor (CISA®) certification is a certificate that proves the holder’s knowledge of IT auditing (Information Technology). The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), a global body that is dedicated to IT protocols, practice standards, and education, offers the CISA® certification. By listing the certification on your resume, you may prove to prospective employers that you are likely to be a highly qualified and valuable addition to their IT team.
Steps to Get CISA® Certification
The procedures to become a CISA-certified professional are not too difficult. Following are the steps that candidates need to follow:
Register For the Exam
The first step for you is to complete your registration process for CISA® on the official website of ISACA. Before you schedule and take your exam, you must register for it and make a payment. The exam is accessible online with remote proctoring or in-person at an examination center. You must pay an exam cost of $595 for non-ISACA members and $465 for ISACA members when you register. At the time of your registration, eligibility is set, and it is valid for a year (12 months).
Start the Preparation
After the exam registration, you may prepare either by yourself or by making a proper study plan, or by following an ISACA-approved review manual. In addition, the ISACA offers live training classes to assist individuals to prepare, and you may buy a membership to the ISACA database. It contains important explanations, answers, and a variety of review questions to help candidates in preparation. You can also join the best CISA Course at the top training institute for streamlined and organized preparation.
The books listed below will provide you with knowledge, guidance, and wisdom, help you prepare for exams, and will give you a clear understanding of the certification. Choose two or three that will work well with your learning style and time constraints.
- CISA® Study Guide (Third Edition)
- CISA® All-in-One Exam Guidebook, 4th Edition
- CISA® Review Manual, 27th Edition
- CISA Review Questions, Answers & Explanations Guide, 12th Edition
- CISA® Certified Information Systems Auditor Study Guide
Appear For the Exam
The 4-hour CISA® test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. Exam scores are in the range of 200-800 marks, and you must obtain at least 450 to pass. If your first attempt at the CISA® test gets a score below 450, you may retake it. There are five components in this test:
- Protection of Information Assets
- Information Systems Operations & Business Resilience
- Information System Acquisition, Development, and Implementation
- Management & Governance of Information Technology (IT)
- Information Systems Auditing Process
English, French, Japanese, Chinese Mandarin Simplified, Chinese Traditional, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Turkish are the available exam languages.
Acquire Needed Work Experience
You must have at least 5 years of professional experience in a position related to security, control, or auditing to be eligible for the CISA certification. It can be finished either before or after the exam. Candidates may select from a number of exemptions and alternatives for work experience, up to a total of three years. If you already have the desired work experience, you must take the test within in less than ten years after starting your first job. A university lecturer with two years of experience in a relevant field, such as computer science, accounting, or IT auditing, may replace one year of job experience.
Apply For Certification
You can apply for the CISA® certification online after passing the exam and completing the relevant work experience. There is a $50 nonrefundable application processing charge. The application also contains a commitment to adhere to the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics, which governs personal & professional aptitude for CISAs.
Maintain Your Certification
As per the policy of Continuing Professional Education (CPE), ISACA mandates all persons who pass the CISA® examination and gain this certification have to renew it every 3 years. It is mandatory to pay a yearly maintenance fee of ISACA, at least 20 CPE hours, as well as an extra 120 contact hours over a 3-years. period. A yearly maintenance cost of $45 for ISACA members and $85 for non-members is also required.
CISA® Exam Syllabus
The CISA® Exam Syllabus consists of five areas. The exam is divided into five domains depending on the topic matter covered in each segment. Those five domains are-
- The process of auditing information systems (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%)
Time Required to Clear Get CISA Certified: You can obtain your CISA® certification as soon as you take and pass the exam provided you already have the necessary relevant job experience. As a result, it will only take as long as it takes you to study and prepare for the exam and be scheduled to take it. Depending on the knowledge of IT auditing & security, as well as how much time can be invested, you might be able to take the exam and clear it in three to six months.
Tips to Clear CISA® Exam and Get CISA® Certified
The CISA certificate is appropriate for those with an interest in information system auditing, control, and Cyber security. CISA is a paper-based exam, and those who wish to take it must prepare well and plan ahead of time in order to get a complete grasp of the topics included in the exam. The following are some preparation strategies and recommendations to assist CISA candidates to pass their exams on the first try.
- Plan Your Exam Ahead of Time- It is always recommended that individuals start their studiesy three to four months before their exam date since thorough preparation is required to comprehend the CISA concepts. CISA applicants must plan ahead of time, dedicate a few hours to prep, and keep their schedule to cover all CISA topics.
- Check and Refer to the ISACA Review Manual- It is advised that students use the ISACA Review Manual for the exam’s calendar year. Participants can use additional publications to gain a good knowledge of CISA topics, although the ISACA Review Manual is recommended initially.
- Take Practice Tests and Exams to Prepare- Many practice tests are provided in the official ISACA materials, and many more tests are available in online resources. You will have a better understanding of what the real tests would be like after taking the practice exams. Additionally, you might discover your weaker concepts.
- Enroll in Study Groups – These organisationsorganizations will allow you to share your knowledge with others who share your purpose while also benefiting from what they have learned. These kinds of groups may be found on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can join these groups and request personal notes from experts who have already passed the CISA exam.
- Learn to Think Like an Information Security Auditor – People with a vast technical background but limited audit job experience must pay extra attention to having an auditor’s viewpoint from the start. You must develop a method of thinking that is consistent with how ISACA will think while developing exam questions.
Job Prospects After CISA® Certification
We’ve discussed how internal auditors obtain their CISA, but the certification can also lead to additional opportunities.
- IT Audit manager
- IS Analyst
- IT Security Officer
- Network Operation Security Engineer
- Cyber Security Professional
- IT Consultant
- IT Risk and Assurance manager
- Privacy Officer
- IT Project Manager
- Chief Information Officer
You should now have a better understanding of how to get a CISA® certification. Furthermore, you should have enough knowledge to decide whether this is suitable for you. CISA®-certified professionals are in high demand across the globe. Every organization requires cyber security and IT professionals to ensure that its operations function smoothly and without errors. Those with relevant experience can find employment in financial institutions given the expansion of the data-driven and IT industries.
So, what are you waiting for? Join any of the top Cyber Security courses and assist your career growth.