CISA Exam Dates 2020: Don’t Miss the Deadline (+ Early Discount)

cisa exam dates

The CISA exam is held three times each year: the second Saturdays in June and December, as well as that in September in selected locations. You cannot take the CISA exams any other times, other than during one of the scheduled exam times.

This is why it is essential you plan in advance for which testing window you want to enroll, study ahead of time, then register for that exam testing window. If you miss it, or if you don’t pass the exam, you have to wait until the next window to take it again.

If you’re planning to take the CISA exam this year, you need to know about the CISA testing windows for 2019. To ensure you have enough time for studying and preparation, it is important to understand the CISA exam dates and schedule.

In this post, I am going to tell you the CISA exam dates for 2019, as well as any additional information you need to know about signing up for the CISA exam and taking it.

CISA Exam Dates 2020

With the new exam in 2016, scheduling has become more flexible but the exam fee has gone up considerably. This is something to be aware of when booking your exam date. You also want to ensure you don’t miss the deadline. Because the testing is only offered during certain times of the year, you want to make sure you don’t miss out.

For the exam window of Feb 1 to May 24, the registration starts on November 1, 2018.

Exam Windows Feb 1 – May 24 Jun 1 – Sep 23 Oct 1 – Jan 24
Registration starts on November, 2019 TBD TBD
Final Registration closes by May, 2020 TBD TBD
Scheduling Deadline closes by May, 2020 TBD TBD

How Many Times Can You Take the CISA Exam?

So, how many times can you take the CISA exam? This is an important question because you can only take the CISA exam one time per testing window.

If you take it and do not pass, then you will need to wait for the next testing window to open up in order to try again. You will also have to pay the fees again.

There are no limits on how many times you can take the exam in general, only to how often you can take it in each testing period (only the once).

ISACA Exam Candidate Information Guide for 2019 Exams

You may choose to download the official guide from ISACA to help you, along with the information I have provided in this post.

The ISACA Exam Candidate Information Guide includes candidate information about exam registration, dates, and deadlines, and provides important key candidate details for exam-day administration.

I encourage all exam candidates to review the information contained in this guide to familiarize themselves with the key exam dates and deadlines, and exam-day rules.

Exam Windows Window Ending January 24
Registration starts on July 1, 2018
Final Registration closes by January 18, 2019
Scheduling Deadline closes by January 23, 2019


Exam date change requests:

  • Rescheduling: must be done at least 48 hours prior to exam time. No fees will be charged.
  • Deferral: deferral deadline is the last day of each exam window. It can be arranged, with processing fees of $200.
  • Update: exam fee is now non-refundable

Exam registration changes:
If you made an error with your name when registering for the exam, please update your profile by following these steps.

  1. Login to ISACA
  2. Next, click on the My ISACA tab,
  3. Click on the myPROFILE>Account-Certification CPE-Demographic Info tab,
  4. Now, click the Edit button at the bottom of the profile to make your changes,
  5. Finally, click Save.

If there is an error in the exam type (CISA, CRISC, CISM or CGEIT), please submit this to immediately.

All changes must be completed a minimum of 48 hours prior to your scheduled exam.

CISA Exam – How Does It Work?

Now that you know the CISA exam dates, you may have a few questions about how the whole process works. Getting as much information as possible upfront will help you prepare properly.

The CISA exam is about practical experience more than just memorizing facts or figures. This is because it tests you on the things you will need to know when working as a CISA. This is also why it qualifies for CPE.

The exam covers the five domains, which are the sections or areas of expertise that the job tasks may fit into. It’s important that you know about these things and how to make decisions as if it were in a real-world situation.

The job practice domains and task and knowledge statements are as follows:

1—The Process of Auditing Information Systems (21%)
2—Governance and Management of IT (16%)
3—Information Systems Acquisition, Development and Implementation (18%)
4—Information Systems Operations, Maintenance and Service Management (20%)
5—Protection of Information Assets (25%)

The exam covers each of these domains in job practice areas, as well as other areas of systems security, audit and control as they apply to the work CISA does.

How Long is the CISA Exam?

Once you arrive on testing day, the exam takes four hours to complete. You should arrive early to allow time for parking at the location, getting inside and identifying yourself, and preparing for the start time.

People also like to allow a few extra minutes in the end as there may be an after-exam survey. In total, you should allow for the four hours of testing time and at least 30 additional menus at the testing center.

How Do You Apply for the CISA Exam?

You can apply or register to take the CISA exams on the ISACA website. Here are valuable four steps they offer for how to register for CISA exam 2019.

1. It is important to verify there is a test site available before you register and pay for your exam. Search by location and date to ensure you can take your exam as planned. Testing center experiences vary, so pick the right experience for you.
Compare exam experiences       Check the exam schedule

2. Once you verify that there is a testing site available where and when you need it, you can register for your exam. Scheduling for your exam is a separate step.

3. You can pay for your exam at the same time you register, or you can pay later. Please note that payment is required before you can schedule your exam.

4. Now that you have ensured site availability, registered and paid, you can schedule your exam.

How Do You Take the CISA Exam?

After you have thoroughly prepped and studied for the exam, it’s time to register for the closest exam testing window to you. When you sign up for the CISA exam in 2019, you will register as explained above, and also pay the fee (explained below).

After you have properly registered and paid, you just show up on the testing day ready to go. You will have four hours to complete the entire test and there will be breaks for going to the bathroom or getting water.

How is the CISA Exam Scored?

ISACA uses a 200-800 point scale to score the CISA exam. You need to score at least 450 to pass. A scaled score is the conversion fo the raw score to a common scale. This is confusing to some people. However, what you really need to know is that it is not based on a percentage or average, or on arithmetic.

A score of 800 represents a perfect score. This would mean you answered all 150 questions correctly. The lowest scaled score possible is 200, which means that only a small number of the test questions were answered correctly.

The passing score of 450 or higher represents a minimum consistent standard of knowledge, according to the ISACA Certification Committee. It means you have answered the minimum number of questions to show that you have the practical knowledge needed for the job task.

With this passing score and the other requirements being met, you can apply for CISA certification.

When Will You Receive the Results of Your CISA Exam 2019?

Once it’s all said and done, you’re going to want to know how to you did on the exam. However, you have to wait a little while to get your results of the CISA exam 2019. You will receive a preliminary pass/fail on the screen when you finish the exam, so you at least know if you passed.

That said, you won’t get the full results on-site. Instead, you will need to wait for it to be sent to you via email, within 10 days of the exam. Be sure to double check that your email is correct on the day of testing, so you don’t miss your results.  They will not release your test scores by telephone or fax.

Can I take the CISA, CRISC, CISM and CGEIT and exams in the same exam window?

You cannot take the CISA more than once in one exam window. However, what if you are looking to take multiple exams? Yes, you may take one each of CISA, CRISC, CISM, and CGEIT within the same window.

Where Can I Find Testing Locations?

Do you want to plan in advance where to take your test? Exams are administered at PSI testing locations worldwide. PSI is the testing vendor for ISACA and they do change their testing sites from time to time.

They try to build the network larger so there are more locations available to candidates for testing. This is meant as a guideline only. Remember that test center availability is always first-come, first served so you want to be there early if you’re in a busy location.

How Much Is the CISA Exam Fee 2019?

If you’re going to take the CISA exam this year, it will be important to know the cost of the CISA exam fee 2019. Because the fees for some of these exams can be pretty steep, it’s good to know how much it’s going to set you back.

Member Non-Member
By 18 January 2019 US $575 US $760

The online registration process will let you register for an exam, and purchase study aids and an ISACA membership. This membership will immediately provide significant exam-related discounts, as noted above for the CISA exam fee. The final step of the process will enable you to pay online using a credit card, or indicate that payment will follow by check or wire.

Exam registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

How To Get CISA Certification

What is the process for CISA certification after you have taken the CISA exam? Once you’ve completed the exam, you can breathe a big sigh of relief. Most of the hard part is over!

The studying, the test prep, and even the fees are all behind you now. Provided you passed, there is an application you need to fill out to get your actual certification.

Once you have passed the CISA exam, you can fill out this certification application and send it in with the required documents. There is a $50 fee for the certification, due when you apply.

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

CISA Exam Dates 2019 Conclusions

Now that you have this important information about the CISA exam, you’re ready to go. You can make an informed decision about testing, registering for the exam, and getting your CISA certification. I understand that it can all feel a bit overwhelming, especially if this is your first time.

The information I have provided in this post will help you get a better handle on the entire process. You can feel confident going into the CISA exam, and getting your proper certification afterward. Do you have any questions I didn’t answer for you here? Let us know in the comments!

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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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