The CISA exam used to be held three times each year. However, thanks to online registration and proctoring, you can now take this exam at any time. That’s right: the CISA exam dates for 2021 are whenever you want them to be! There’s no longer any need to worry about missing a testing window, though registration dates may still be important if you want to take the exam in person.
In this post, I am going to tell you how the CISA exam dates for 2021 will work, as well as any additional information you need to know about signing up for the CISA exam and taking it.
Since 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. However, at least you don’t have to worry about registration windows. Instead, once you register, you can schedule your exam for any time within the next 365 days. According to ICASA’s website:
Candidates are able to schedule their exam for any available date/time/location within their 365-day eligibility period. When scheduling an exam, candidates must select either online remote proctoring or an in-person testing center. Candidates who are unable to take their exam on their scheduled date are able to reschedule during their eligibility period if completed more than 48 hours prior to the original scheduled testing appointment.
This means you still must select a date and time to take the exam, but it doesn’t need to fall within a certain window. Additionally, if you need to reschedule, you can do so without a penalty as long as you reschedule more than two full days in advance.
If you prefer to take the test in-person, you can select this option during scheduling. You’ll enter your location, and the website will tell you which days and times are available. You can look up specific dates, times, and locations on the testing company’s website, PSI Online. Simply select the CISA exam and your location.
Fortunately, the expanded testing dates also mean expanded exam attempts. The “testing window” is now the 12-month period after you register, and you may take the exam up to four times within that one-year window. That includes your initial attempt plus three re-takes. However, be aware that you must allow a certain amount of time to pass before each retake.
For instance, if you fail your first attempt at the CISA exam on January 15, you cannot make your second attempt until February 14. If you fail that, you cannot try again until March 16, and you cannot make a final attempt until April 15. Moreover, you must pay for a new exam registration for every attempt.
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 registration period (four times).
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 and scheduling, 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 exam-day rules.
Exam date change requests:
Exam registration changes:
If you made an error with your name when registering for the exam, please update your profile by following these steps.
If there is an error in the exam type (CISA, CRISC, CISM or CGEIT), please submit this to support.isaca.org immediately.
All changes must be completed a minimum of 48 hours prior to your scheduled exam.
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.
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.
On testing day, the exam takes four hours to complete. If you choose to take the exam in-person at a testing center, 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 minutes at the testing center.
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 2021 and schedule your testing date.
After you have thoroughly prepped and studied for the exam, it’s time to register for and schedule your exam. When you sign up for the CISA exam in 2021, you will register as explained above, and also pay the fee (explained below).
After you have properly registered and paid, if you choose an in-person exam, 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. If you choose the remote online option, you will receive further instructions for accessing the exam at the proper day and time.
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 of 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 meeting the other requirements, you can apply for CISA certification.
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 2021. 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 to receive an email within 10 days of the exam. Be sure to double check that your email address is correct on the day of testing, so you don’t miss your results. ICASA will not release your test scores by telephone or fax.
Yes, you may take the CISA, CRISC, CISM, and CGEIT within the same 12-month window.
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.
If you’re going to take the CISA exam this year, it will be important to know the cost of the CISA exam fee 2021. 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.
|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.
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.
The CISA designation is awarded to individuals with an interest in Information Systems auditing, control and security who meet the following requirements:
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!
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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