I recently wrote the CISA exam and made it in my first attempt with so much other work that I had to do at the office. I received numerous requests from friends who wish to sit for the exam and have asked me to share my tips with them. These tips are are some of the things I focused on and how these things made a difference in me passing the CISA exam in my first attempt considering that I do not have an IT (Information Technology) Auditing or IT administrative background. I have listed 5 tips that helped me in passing the CISA exam.
1. Be determined to pass the exam in your first attempt.
The universe has a way of opening up itself to the man or woman who is determined to achieve his/her goals.
I had made up my mind that I would not sit for the CISA exam twice. Although I came from an Accounting and Finance background, I did not let this to stop my determination. I had to exercise self-discipline and structure in my daily routine in order to create time to study towards the CISA exam. I knew it was not going to be easy but I had made up my mind long ago to pass the CISA exam in my first attempt.
2. Make sure you grasp the key concepts
In my first month of the CISA exam preparation, I did not have the time or the luxury to attend formal classes and courses. I only had the CISA study manual and the exam question bank to work with. That was about all that I had to write and pass the exam in the first attempt. I decided to read through the manual, making notes and researching key concepts online. Some of the definitions and concepts were clearer to me as I watched videos on YouTube and read more online materials. As I became more familiar with key concepts, this gave me the courage to face the questions. What most candidates struggle to pass the CISA exams is because they start by memorising the questions and going through the question bank without fully grasping the key auditing and IT concepts. During the actual examinations, they are unable to identify a question that was memorised which creates anxiety, fear, and poor performance.
3. Associate with other like-minded candidates that are preparing for the exam
I found out that the CISA exam preparation community is well organised and ready to help candidates succeed in the exam. I quickly joined a CISA exam WhatsApp group and I was actively involved in group’s exam preparation activities. It was a time for me to share my knowledge and to learn from fellow candidates tips in preparing for the exam. As someone from the finance and accounting background, I used this WhatsApp group as a way of learning new concepts in a simple and understandable manner. I could even ask follow-up questions in the group.
4. Practice as many exam questions as possible
During my last month to the exam day, I only answered questions. I used the ISACA question bank extensively to answer past exam questions. I answered an average of 90 questions per day (30 questions in the morning, 30 questions in the afternoon and 30 questions in the evening).
I am not sure about you, but I noted that in order to pass the CISA exam in your first attempt, you should have gone through, at least, 5,000 questions. I did the maths and noted that this was an average of 100 questions per day for 50 days. Which works out to about 2 months of practice questions.
5. Take a day rest before the exam, exercise, and drink lots of water
In your final days to the exam date, take some time out to exercise and rest. Your mind might have been stretched at this point, so it is important to relax your mind and give it time to digest all the information that you have absorbed.
To join our WhatsApp study group and get tips that will enable you make it in your CISA exam in the first attempt, contact me @RansomNformi