CISA Frequently Asked Questions 

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Get the answers you seek for the topics of Exam Registration & Administration, Certification Requirements and Exam Content.

Exam Registration & Administration
Certification Requirements  |  Exam Content  |  Other

Exam Registration & Administration

  1. How can I renew my certification for 2015?
  2. When will I receive my June 2015 exam results?
  3. Why does it take 5 weeks to process CISA/CISM exam results and 8 weeks to process the CGEIT and CRISC exam results?
  4. How is the exam scored?
  5. How do I provide comments on testing conditions?
  6. What is the date of the next exam administration?
  7. When does registration begin for the September and the December exams?
  8. What are the exam deadlines?
  9. Can I take the CISA, CISM, CGEIT and CRISC exams on the same day?
  10. Can I change my exam site or language?
  11. Can I defer my exam?
  12. Where can I find CISA/CISM/CGEIT/CRISC applications for certification?
  13. What are the requirements for CISA/CISM/CGEIT/CRISC certification?
  14. Why doesn’t ISACA currently offer computer-based testing (CBT)?

1. How can I renew my certification for 2015?

Certification renewals for the 2015 year are still open. Renewing your certification for 2015 requires two steps: paying the annual maintenance fee for 2015 and reporting your 2014 CPE hours.

To pay the fee visit www.isaca.org/renew.

To report CPE, visit www.isaca.org/reportCPE.

Please be reminded that ISACA CPE policies require that you earn and report a minimum of 120 CPE over your 3-year cycle AND 20 CPE in each cycle year. Individuals that do not complete the 2015 renewal by 15 July 2015 will be subject to revocation.

To report CPE, visit www.isaca.org/reportCPE

2. When will I receive my June 2015 exam results?

The CISA and CISM exam results will be released approximately five (5) weeks from the date of the exam. The CGEIT and CRISC exam results will be released approximately eight (8) weeks from the date of the exam. When released, they will be released by hard copy result letter and a one-time email notification to those who consented to receiving the result notification via email during the registration process and do not have a balance due on their exam fee. To ensure the confidentiality of scores, exam results will not be reported by telephone, fax or email other than the one-time notification email.

3. Why does it take 5 weeks to process CISA/CISM exam results and 8 weeks to process the CGEIT and CRISC exam results?

ISACA takes the processing of exam results very seriously. Best practice dictates that item performance be carefully reviewed after each exam administration to ensure that items performed in a fair and consistent manner. Also, ISACA’s policy is to release the results of all of our exams together, rather than individually as they are processed. CISA and CISM exam results will be released within 5 weeks of the exam administration (in place of the 8 weeks as currently exists for CGEIT and CRISC). This change was viable due to the maturity of the respective exams and item pool.

ISACA works with its testing agency to administer our exams in over 250 locations worldwide. The first step in the grading process is the review of the preliminary statistical analysis, which begins when a majority of answer sheets are returned. This usually occurs a week or two after the exam administration date. This preliminary analysis is conducted on each exam item in every language that the exam item is offered. Currently, ISACA offers 4 different exams, in up to 10 languages. This step is essential because it identifies items that did not perform well based on statistics. Items with poor statistics are reviewed by the members of the respective certification committee. If an error or inconsistency is discovered within an item, the answer key is adjusted to ensure candidates are not penalized for the error.

Items with performance statistics on translated exams are also reviewed to determine if errors in translation occurred, impacting the candidate’s ability to answer an item correctly. This review is performed by multilingual ISACA members who hold the respective certifications.

Once the answer keys are finalized, a passing point is determined and approved by the Certification Committee for each certification. At this point, the testing agency processes each of the exam candidate’s final grades by converting it into a score between 200 and 800.

ISACA and our testing agency are dedicated to the efficient processing of exam results. We are also committed to performing the proper due diligence so that test results are reliable.

4. How is the exam scored?

ISACA uses a 200-800 point scale with 450 as the passing mark for the exams. A scaled score is a conversion of the raw score on an exam to a common scale. It is important to note that the exam score is not based on an arithmetic or percent average. For example, the scaled score of 800 represents a perfect score with all 200 questions answered correctly; a scaled score of 200 is the lowest score possible and signifies that only a small number of questions were answered correctly.

A candidate must receive a scaled score of 450 or higher to pass the exam. A score of 450 represents a minimum consistent standard of knowledge as established for the exam by the respective ISACA Certification Committee. The passing score of 450 represents the minimum number of questions that must be answered correctly by the candidate in order to demonstrate practical application of the job task and knowledge statements. A candidate receiving a passing score may then apply for certification if all other requirements are met.

5. How do I provide comments on testing conditions?

Candidates who wish to address any additional comments or concerns about the examination administration, including site conditions or the content of the exam, should contact ISACA international headquarters by letter or by email (exam@isaca.org). Please include the following information in your comments: exam ID number, testing site, date tested and any relevant details on the specific issue. Only those comments received by ISACA during the first 2 weeks after the exam administration will be considered in the final scoring of the exam. Appeals undertaken by a certification exam taker, certification applicant or by a certified individual are undertaken at the discretion and cost of the exam taker, applicant or individual

6. What is the date of the next exam administration

The next opportunity to sit for the exam is 12 September for CISA and CISM only at select worldwide locations and 12 December 2015 for all ISACA exams (CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC) at all locations.

To find an exam locations go to ( www.isaca.org/examlocations). Click on September or December Exam Locations tab.

7. When does registration begin for the September or December 2015 Exams?

Registration for the 12 September and 12 December 2015 exams is now open. You can register for either exam at www.isaca.org/examreg.

Please note:

CISA Turkish will not be available at the September 2015 exam.

CISA Chinese Traditional, German, Hebrew and Italian languages are not available at the September or December 2015 exam administration.

CISM Japanese and Korean languages are not available at the September or December 2015 exam administration.

Information on the available languages by exam administration is available in our Exam Guide at www.isaca.org/examguide, page 3. 

8. What are the exam deadlines?

12 September 2015
Early registration deadline:     17 June 2015
Final registration deadline:     24 July 2015

12 December 2015
Early registration deadline:     19 August 2015
Final registration deadline:     23 October 2015

For more details please visit www.isaca.org/examguide

Candidates can save US $75 on the exam registration fee by registering online.

9. Can I take the CISA, CISM, CGEIT and CRISC exams on the same day?

The CISA, CISM, CGEIT and CRISC exams are given simultaneously in a 4 hour time frame. It is not possible to take multiple exams on the same day.

10. Can I change my exam site or language?

Yes, changes to the exam site, language, exam type or name changes are permitted per administration **.  Exam registration changes are subject to the following charges:

12 September 2015

  • On or before 24 July 2015…………………………no charge
  • 25 July  through 3 August 2015….……………………..$50

12 December 2015

  • On or before 23 October 2015……………………..no charge
  • 24 October and 30 October 2015………………..……$50

No exam registration changes will be granted after 3 August for September Exam and 30 October for December Exam.

**Please note that all deadlines are based on Chicago, Illinois, USA 5 p.m. Central Time.

For name, exam site, language or exam type changes, please send an email to exam@isaca.org. These changes do not include deferrals.

11. Can I defer my exam?

Candidates unable to take the exam can request a deferral of their registration fees to the next exam date. To learn more about deferring your exam, including deferral deadlines and costs, please visit www.isaca.org/examdefer.

Deferrals for the September 2015 exam are now open at www.isaca.org/examdefer.

Deferrals for the December 2015 exam will open in early July.

12. Where can I find CISA/CISM/CGEIT/CRISC applications for certification?

CISA applications are located at www.isaca.org/cisaapp.
CISM applications are located at www.isaca.org/cismapp.
CGEIT applications are located at www.isaca.org/cgeitapp.
CRISC applications are located at www.isaca.org/criscapp.  

13. What are the requirements for CISA/CISM/CGEIT/CRISC certification?

CISA requirements for certification are available at www.isaca.org/cisarequirements.  
CISM requirements for certification are available at www.isaca.org/cismrequirements.  
CGEIT requirements for certification are available at www.isaca.org/cgeitrequirements.
CRISC requirements for certification are available at www.isaca.org/criscrequirements.

14. Why doesn’t ISACA currently offer computer-based testing (CBT)?

ISACA is often asked why our exams are not offered in an online environment. It’s a great question, especially given that ISACA members and certifieds are primarily IT professionals. It is also an issue that ISACA’s Credentialing Board and certification committees continue to evaluate each and every year. There are three primary objectives that ISACA considers when offering exams:

  • Can exams be offered more efficiently?
  • Can exams be offered more securely?
  • Can exams be offered more affordably?

In order to determine whether to move from paper-based testing to computer-based testing, ISACA has weighed various factors including, but not limited to, being assured that:

  • Exam candidates are offered a consistent and suitable exam experience regardless of where they sit for the exam
  • Exam items are properly safeguarded
  • Exams are offered at a reasonable and fair fee

It is clear that there are advantages and disadvantages to offering exams in both paper-based and computer-based formats. Research has indicated that suitable CBT sites are not available in many of the more than 240 locations that ISACA currently offers exams, and many other CBT sites are not viable and secure for high-stakes exams. In addition, we have seen others who have shifted from paper-based testing to CBT increase their exam fees significantly (often by 100%) given the higher administrative costs.

At this time, ISACA’s Credentialing Board has determined that the cost of transitioning to CBT would outweigh the benefits to test takers and to ISACA as a whole. ISACA is proud of the success and demand for our certifications that has been achieved, and is committed to continuing to look at additional options for offering ISACA exams.

Certification Requirements  |  Exam Content  |  Other


Certification Requirements

  1. What do I need to do if I've received a revocation notice?
  2. Where can I find the CISA application for certification?
  3. Is there a fee to apply for certification?
  4. What are the qualifications to earn the CISA credential?
  5. What does the CISA continuing professional education program require?
  6. Do I need to submit documentation for my CPE hours?
  7. How do I renew my certification and/or report my CPE?
  8. Does ISACA provide discount on certification maintenance (renewal) fees if I have multiple certifications?

1. What do I need to do if I've received a revocation notice?

If you have received a revocation notice, please contact certification@isaca.org.

2. Where can I find the CISA application for certification?

CISA applications are located at Apply for Certification.

3. Is there a fee to apply for certification?

For certification applications received on 1 June 2012 and forward, an application processing fee of US $50 will be required to apply for certification. The application processing fee will support our dedication to efficient and proper processing of certification applications according to industry standards. The fee will also help support the integrity of the application process, which in turn reinforces the strength and reputation of the overall certification programs.

Payment for the CISA application processing fee can be made online at www.isaca.org/cisapay.

4. What are the qualifications to earn the CISA credential?

The CISA designation is awarded to individuals with an interest in Information Systems auditing, control and security who meet the following requirements:

  • Earn a passing score on the CISA exam
  • Adhere to the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics
  • Commit to abide by the CISA Continuing Professional Education Policy
  • Acquire a minimum of 5 years of professional information systems auditing, control or security work experience (as described in the job practice areas). Substitutions and waivers of such experience may be obtained if certain education and general IS or audit experience requirements are met.
  • Comply with Information Systems Auditing Standards

For further details, click here.

5. What does the CISA continuing professional education program require?

In order to become and remain a CISA an individual must agree to comply with the CISA continuing professional education program. This program requires an individual to earn a minimum of 20 hours annually and 120 hours every 3 years of continuing professional education. In addition, an annual maintenance fee of US $45 ISACA member and US $85 non-member is required.

  Download CPE policy

6. Do I need to submit documentation for my CPE hours?

Documentation of CPE hours does not need to be provided to ISACA unless you are selected for an audit of your CPE hours.

7. How do I renew my certification and/or report my CPE?

To renew the certification requires earning and reporting CPE hours annually and over a fixed 3-year cycle period and paying an annual certification maintenance fee.

Our CPE reporting system has recently been enhanced and certified individuals are now able to report CPE as they are earned.

Play View the Video Quick Tour
     Download the PDF Quick Tour
     CPE Reporting FAQs

How to report your CPE:

Log in at www.isaca.org

  • Click on MY ISACA
  • Click on MY CERTIFICATIONS
  • Click on Manage My CPE
  • Scroll down, then click on Add CPE button
  • Enter CPE activity information and click Save.

To pay the annual maintenance fee:

8. Does ISACA provide a discount on certification maintenance (renewal) fees if I have multiple certifications?

Yes, for those individuals who renew 3 or more ISACA certifications, ISACA offers a discount on the 3rd and 4th renewal fees of $20 for members and $35 for nonmembers.

Exam Registration & Administration  |  Exam Content  |  Other


Exam Content

  1. How long is the exam?
  2. What does the CISA exam cover?

1. How long is the exam?

A candidate is given 4 hours to complete a 200-question multiple-choice exam.

2. What does the CISA exam cover?

The CISA exam covers 5 IS audit, control or security areas, each of which is further defined and detailed through task and knowledge statements. For details, please go to CISA Job Practice Areas.

Exam Registration & Administration  |  Certification Requirements  |  Other


Other

  1. How do I request additional information or report an issue regarding a current or past credential holder?
  2. How can I become a CISA Exam Item Writer?

1. How do I request additional information or report an issue regarding a current or past credential holder?

To request additional information or to report an issue regarding a current or past credential holder, please contact the CISA certification department:

Email: exam@isaca.org
Tel: +1.847.660.5660
Fax: +1.847.253.1443

2. How can I become a CISA Exam Item Writer?

Apply online to become a CISA Exam Item Writer.

Exam Registration & Administration  |  Certification Requirements  |  Exam Content