CISA Certification Cost and Exam Fee Structure


cisa certification cost

Let’s check out the CISA certification cost. Is it worth all the time, money and effort?

1. ISACA Membership (Optional)

Membership fees consists of international dues, local chapter dues and new member fee. Here is the level in 2017:

  • international dues: $135
  • local chapter dues: range from $0 to 140
  • new membership fee: $10 if online; $30 if faxed

Although you don’t need to be a member to take the CISA exam, the membership discount to exam fee ($185) is enough to offset this membership fee in the majority of cases.

2. CISA Certification Exam Cost

The following refers to online registration. Mailing and faxing your registration will incur an additional cost of $75.

2017 CISA Exam Fee
Early-bird registration
Standard registration

3. Additional CISA Exam Cost

If you need to defer your exam, there is a processing charge of $50 to $100 depending on when you submit the request.

There is no discount for retakers. Good incentive to pass the exam on your first try!

4. Certification Application Fee

You need to pay $50 for one-time application fee, followed by maintenance fee every year, as shown below.

5. Annual Maintenance Fee

Once you fulfill all the requirements, you can obtain the certificate. The annual maintenance fee is $40 for members and $65 for non-members.

6. Other CISA Certification Cost

CISA exam fee paid at the registration does not include any study materials. The study materials cost anywhere from $40 for a study guide, to $300+ for the official CISA review manual and question database. Please refer to this page for review and comparison.

CISA Certification Cost Comparison

Here are 4 scenarios. The first two reflects a well-planned candidate who makes good use of the savings, such as registering online and getting the early-bird discount.

The last two reflects a “disorganized” candidate who registers late and without using the online system, and defers his exam.

The difference between member and non-member is small, but the timing of application has a bigger impact:

Membership fee (median)* $175  – $175  –
Exam Registration $525  $710 $575  $760
Mail-in application charge  –  – $75  $75
Deferral charge  –  – $200  $200
Certificate application fee $50  $50 $50  $50
Certificate maintenance fee $45  $85 $45  $85
Review materials $450 $450 $450 $450
Total $1,245 $1,295 $1,570 $1,620

In conclusion, plan ahead 🙂

Lastly, is the CISA Exam Cost More Expensive than Other Professional Exams?

With only one exam part and relatively less expensive review materials, your CISA investment is likely the most affordable.

Here is an estimated spending in USD for your reference:

Exam fees only  Exam fees + review course
 CPA  ~$1,000  ~$3,000
 CIA  ~ $1,000  ~$2,000
 CMA  ~$1,300  ~$2,500
 CFA  ~$3,000  ~$4,500

For Your Reference

* We take the median of local chapter dues ($40). The total membership fee presented here is $135 + $40 = $175. New members need to pay an extra $10 to join the membership.

About the Author Stephanie

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.

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  • Ken says:

    Today is 10/2602016. I was granted CISM Oct 2015, and and CISA this month and have registered for CRISC.
    To get me here, ISACA has collected the following but I don’t know what everything is for.
    Feb. 2015: $170
    Mar. 2015: $490
    Jul 2015: $440
    Aug 2015: $50
    May 2016: $45
    Sep: 2016 $855 + $50.

    ISACA shows I owe another $45 to renew CISA already +another $45 to renew CISM. If I pass CRISC, I guess i’m supposed to pay another $50 to apply and then annual renewal for all three + membership + local chapter $135 dues.

    I just want the letters behind my name and to maintain 8570 or whatever it’s called now. I never imagined how much money ISACA would take. And continue to take.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Ken, thanks for sharing. I can’t figure it out either… it would be great if you can find out the nature of the bigger items — v helpful info to alert the readers!


    Kindly advice on the added advantages of completing CPA and having a degree on Accounting and Finance.

  • Khanya says:

    Good day

    If I want to write in the September period will I get an opportunity to access the early registration discount that the June exam takers get? or is there a way to register now and only have my first attempt in September. I want the early registration discount but I don’t want to write in June, its too soon 🙁

  • Tendy says:

    good day
    there is no Zimbabwe on the Chapters. so is it possible to register under the South African Chapter??

    thank you

  • harry says:

    Dear Stephanie

    Just after completed CIA exams, now I am preparing for CISA exam to have an exam in November or December this year. I just joined a member of ISACA by paying the member fee, by which we can expect a discount on exam fee, but it is not clear for me how much we can get a discount on the early exam registration …. just I found on the ISACA website such discount for Yr2016, but not for Yr2017, can you advise me whether they still have early exam registration discount ?

    Thank you !

  • Cristi says:


    If I register as ISACA member during this period(1 June – 31 July), am I entitled for full rights, especially in what regards the exam registration(for current exam registration period ending on 30 September) and preparation materials discounts(CISA) ?



  • Sine says:

    Hi Guys…I have been trying to get the cisa exam early bird deadline registration for the august/september period, but there is nothing on the ISACA website and another thing is that I heard that there was discount they ( repeaters who wrote in June 2016 preparing for September 2016) normally received in previous years, is that still applicable in 2017?


  • malixole says:

    Hi Guys

    I want write CISA exams now in November- December period 2017, I see there is an exam amount of 760 for non-members, does it include the study material required to the exam? is there a special price for this period of the year or it only applies in january

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Malixole,
      I wish I could answer this question but I am still trying to figure it out… the CISA info isn’t as clear as before. You might want to call them up directly. Regards, Stephanie

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