Tips for Passing the CISA Exam
- Study the CISA review manual religiously. Yup, I used only the CRM as my learning material.
- Use the sample exam questions from the CISA CDs. Get your hands on previous year’s CDs too, if possible. Use the mock-up exam generator provided with the CDs. Try to answer the questions yourself first, then learn the answers. Do not memorize the answers, but try to understand the reasoning behind it. Even if you answered right on a question, study the answers anyway. This way, you should get the feel on how the questions on a CISA exam should be answered.
- Experience in audit is an advantage. IT audit is just like any other audit, but with a different scope. All the processes behind an IT audit is just the same with other audits: business process understanding, audit scope definition, audit planning, the audit itself, and reporting. The knowledge of these processes will get you to a running start.
- Experience in IT is an even greater advantage. The Company has sent numerous people before to the exam but most of them failed. The reason: they have no IT background nor experience. Whether you like it or not, CISA is about IT. Many of the questions will relate to the IT world.
- Arrive early at the exam location. Nothing will wreak havoc on your mental state like arriving late on the d-day. Provide some time to locate your classroom -my exam location was a school – and seat number.
- Skip the preparation courses. I did attend a course at the expense of The Company. I don’t think it helped me very much, though. You can only gain so much from the speakers, who talked about their experience in the field rather than the exam materials themselves. The only way it helped me was in the form of mock-up exam sessions. I also think that these courses will bring some good for you if you don’t have any experience in auditing.
- Have a hearty breakfast first. The test takes four hours, you know – mine lasted from 10 AM to 2 PM– so you’d better prepare yourself for a good fight.
- Leave your car vehicles at home. JIS won’t let you park on their premises, so you’ll have to park on its neighbours’ premises, which are in kinda short supply. Good news for you guys with motorcycles, JIS allows you to park there. Last time I heard, no vehicles are allowed inside.
- Wear jackets and, perhaps, headwear. The classrooms are very cold. You’ll be there for at least 3 hours, so do yourself a favor.
- Take a careful note of your designated classroom. The rooms are sparsely located, so if you get into the wrong one, you’ll take much time locating the real one.
- Have your photo ID card ready. The proctors will really compare yourself with the photograph. I have a friend who was questioned by his proctor because he changed his hairstyle when he took his exam.
That’s it. Best of luck to you guys taking the exam!