I've analyzed the pros and cons of CISA review courses based on readers’ experience and comments from various IT audit forums. With this information, you can find the CISA review course that works best for you.
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The CISA Review Manual serves as the foundation for many candidates' CISA review, but it is dry and boring. It also lacks explanation and examples.
For a more efficient way to understand the concepts, I recommend using one of these supplements.
CISA Review Course
Surgent CISA Review
Price After Discount
# of Video Instruction Hours
# of Multiple-Choice Questions
# of Exam Simulations
Access Time Limit
Technical support only
Phone and email communication with Allen Keele
Technical support ($599)
Live support ($499)
Yes (40 CPE credits upon completion)
Pass or refund guarantee*
6-month extension if you don't pass
7-day money-back guarantee*
Recommendation & Analysis
* Conditions apply. Please check the respective review course providers for details.
Surgent provides exam prep for various accounting and tax certifications. It prides itself on its proprietary adaptive learning technology that feeds students questions according to their weaknesses.
The adaptive learning system is one of the most efficient ways for students to learn and can really help retakers improve their scores.
Surgent offers a pass-or-get-your-money-back guarantee.
Lack of materials
This course is not an integrated review system. It does not come with videos, audios, flashcards, or personalized customer support. Additionally, the reference book only covers basic concepts.
I find Surgent to be a great supplement to the CISA Review Manual, especially for those who understand the concepts and only need more practice questions.
Renowned info security expert Allen Keele operates this popular review course.
This is the only full CISA review course, as it includes video instruction, hundreds of practice questions, and exam simulations for an affordable price.
SuperReview affords great customer service with direct phone and email communication with Allen Keele available.
You can use this course to help you fulfill the CPE requirements.
No money-back guarantee
Other courses come with such a guarantee, so SuperReview's lack of it is a letdown.
Fewer practice questions
SuperReview doesn't supply as many practice questions as Surgent CISA Review.
I believe you could supplement or even replace the CISA review manual with this excellent, fully integrated course.
Simplilearn is one of the largest online training platforms, as they cover over 40 certifications. So far, more than 4,800 students have used their CISA review course.
SimpliLearn has created a very clear and organized video instruction series.
With this guarantee, you can try out the course for up to 7 days. As long as you don't access more than 50% of course content, you can receive a full refund. (Please read the terms and conditions for details).
No test bank
The course presents quizzes after each study module but doesn't have a database of practice questions (questions only in mock exams).
SimpliLearn is the second most expensive course, but it needs a little more value for the price.
The Simplilearn course is a good choice if you're looking for a further explanation of the exam concepts via video.
Mock exams are incredibly useful for your CISA exam preparations for several reasons. First of all, as you can see from the CISA syllabus, the exam contains 150 questions. So, after you finish going through your CISA review course, you can challenge your stamina for the exam by taking a mock exam that has the same number of questions.
Secondly, the mock exams in CISA review courses contain questions imitating ISACA's actual CISA exam questions. So, taking a mock exam gives you the best simulation of the actual testing experience before you take the exam. When you take a mock exam, you can get a better sense of what to expect on exam day and thereby increase your odds of performing well on the real exam.
Finally, your performance on mock exams is a good indication of your exam readiness. If you don't do very well, then you know you need to strengthen your areas of weakness as much as possible before taking the real exam. Therefore, you should definitely take at least one mock exam a week or more before your exam date.
The number of mock exams available to you will vary according to your review course. But the best CISA review course for mock exams is Simplilearn CISA Review.
Simplilearn provides 5 mock exams within their course. Candidates take one of these mock exams after finishing the review section for each domain. The online mock exams recreate the real CISA exam environment, and Simplilearn grades these exams for you. What's more, Simplilearn holds candidates to a higher standard for passing the mock exams than the real CISA exam does. Therefore, passing a Simplilearn mock exam ensures that you are certainly ready for the real CISA test.
Some CISA exam candidates learn best by having someone explain the exam principles to them or by watching a presentation. These candidates are audio or visual learners, and they need more than just a textbook to successfully prepare for the CISA exam. Other candidates may use more than one learning style to increase their comprehension of certain concepts. Therefore, these individuals can also benefit from audio or visual content, as such study materials give them the instructional variety they need to keep their minds engaged.
If you are one of these types of candidates, you should seek a CISA review course with video lectures. Video lectures feature professors and experts in information systems auditing who walk viewers through the exam content and provide further explanations and examples. They also discuss practice questions and reveal why the correct answer was right and the incorrect answer was wrong. Therefore, video lectures help audio and visual learners focus their attention on the exam information and process this information more quickly.
Several CISA review courses offer video lectures, but the course that supplies the best videos is Certified Information Security CISA SuperReview.
CISA SuperReview contains over 650 narrated slides for a total of 30-40 hours of video content. And Allen Keele, CEO of Certified Information Security and industry expert, leads the CISA SuperReview video lectures. CISA SuperReview works hard to produce professional video lectures that cover the content of the entire course. So, you don't have to worry about trying to understand a certain topic with a different study resource. You can prepare for the entire CISA exam using the CISA SuperReview video lectures.
As mentioned, the CISA exam features 150 multiple-choice questions testing candidates on their knowledge of the 5 CISA exam domains. And though the formatting of the exam and the exam questions may be simple, the exam is not easy because the exam questions can be quite tricky. Specifically, the CISA exam is a rigorous assessment of your information systems auditing knowledge, and the exam syllabus addresses a significant scope of information compared to the number of exam questions. Therefore, the exam questions could ask you about anything on the syllabus, and you have no way of knowing how many questions, if any, will discuss certain topics.
For these reasons, you must answer a lot of CISA exam practice questions to be completely prepared for the exam. The more practice questions you answer, the more familiar you will become with both the concepts of the exam content and the angle of the exam questions. Securing a great deal of exposure to practice questions is the only way to develop a great deal of confidence for the exam, so you need a CISA review course that delivers practice questions in high quantities.
The range for the number of practice questions within the CISA review courses on the market differs, but the course that comes with the most practice questions is Surgent CISA Review.
Surgent has 1,650+ practice questions in their course, which is a great deal more than any other CISA course. Therefore, when you study with Surgent, you know that you'll have enough practice questions to get comfortable with the exam MCQs.
What's more, you won't have to worry about memorizing the exam questions instead of grasping the exam concepts. Sometimes, when CISA review courses don't offer enough practice questions, candidates face the temptation to simply memorize the questions because they see the same ones so often. But this strategy is a waste of time because the chances of you seeing the same question on the exam that you saw in your review course are extremely low.
Therefore, using the practice questions to deepen your knowledge is a better approach. And thanks to the high number of practice questions the course contains, using practice questions in the best way won't be a problem when you study with Surgent CISA Review.
Passing the CISA exam is a big challenge, and you have a better chance of managing this challenge successfully when you don't take it on alone. Instead, having a great support team by your side enables you to make better decisions about your exam preparations and save time. You can also get through your review faster if you have the ability to ask experts for help when you get stuck on a particularly troublesome topic. Therefore, you should look for a CISA review course with excellent candidate support so you can enjoy the study benefits such support affords.
While the different CISA courses on the market support candidates to varying degrees, CISA SuperReview does the best job of being there for its candidates. Specifically, CISA SuperReview is the only course that allows you to speak directly to the creator of the course, an individual who knows both the course and information systems auditing inside and out. Yes, with CISA SuperReview, you can call or email Allen Keele and ask him all of your CISA exam questions.
You can be confident that Allen is one of the best people in the industry to consult when you're trying to pass the CISA exam. Therefore, having access to him is one of the most valuable aspects of the CISA SuperReview course.
As certification exams that address auditing, the CIA exam and the CISA exam experience some topical overlap. But because the internal auditing scope of the CIA exam syllabus is very broad, only Part 3 of this exam shares much content with the CISA exam. For this reason, if you took the CIA exam and failed it, you may or may not have learned enough about information systems auditing to pass the CISA exam. So, taking the CISA exam is a good idea if you want to specialize in IT, but you will need a deeper knowledge of IT in order to do well on the exam.
And the best course from which to acquire that deep knowledge is CISA SuperReview. CISA SuperReview covers all of the basics of IT, so it is the most thorough course on the market. And with 30-40 hours of video lectures, it is also the most instructional course on the market. CISA SuperReview's candidate support includes an open line of communication with Allen Keele, one of the biggest names in IT auditing. And, this course has hundreds of practice questions and dozens of practice exams that will assess your understanding and ensure you're ready for exam day.
So, if you went up against the CIA exam unsuccessfully and are looking for redemption in the CISA exam, then you'll want to arm yourself with CISA SuperReview.
If you're an accounting student, you should already have some good study habits established. You are taking classes, so you're in study mode, and you're responsible to do a lot of learning on your own. Yet, at the same time, you may struggle to stay motivated, as going from one subject to another can leave you feeling burnt out. Therefore, you need instruction that holds your attention and energizes you. You also need training that's comprehensive enough to keep everything you've learned fresh in your mind.
So, as an accounting student taking the CISA exam, the review course I recommend to you is Simplilearn. This course offers self-paced learning and lifetime access so you can study what you need when you need. Furthermore, Simplilearn keeps their video lectures for each domain short and succinct so you can fit them into your busy lifestyle.
The course also presents 4-5 practice questions and 1-2 case studies at the end of each domain so you can check your learning progress quickly and experience variety in your review. What's more, Simplilearn offers mock exam and domain-wise test papers for additional assessment and instruction. Finally, this course packages everything in an easy-to-use online interface that you can tap into with your mobile device when on the go.
Nobody wants their CISA review to last any longer than necessary. But some of us actually have a very narrow window of time in which we can pass the exam based on our specific circumstances. So, if you're one of these individuals who needs to prepare for and pass the CISA exam fast, then I suggest studying with Surgent CISA Review.
Surgent's review course contains several features that accommodate CISA candidates in a time crunch. First, the Surgent course has adaptive technology that minimizes your study time by targeting your weak areas, which is more efficient than studying everything for the same amount of time no matter how well you know it. Secondly, this technology creates a study plan for you, so it eliminates the guesswork and prevents you from having to spend time planning each study session. Finally, the ReadySCORE tool analyzes your real-time performance analytics, progress data, and study time reports to tell you how ready you are to pass the CISA exam at any given time.
Therefore, the Surgent course has everything you need to focus on the content you need to study most and, consequently, be ready to pass the CISA exam in the shortest amount of time. Surgent also offers a pass or refund guarantee. So, if the course doesn't help you meet your exam deadline, at least you can get your money back (if you satisfy the policy conditions).
Still unsure about what a CISA review course even is? If so, allow me to define it. A CISA review course is a collection of study materials designed to help someone pass the CISA exam. These resources enable a CISA candidate to engage in self-study of the exam content so that they know everything they need to know for exam success by the day of their testing appointment. While not all CISA review courses are equal, the materials you may find in a CISA course include:
Additionally, some review courses also come with mock exams and performance tracking software. And the duration of your access to these courses varies as well. But when you use a CISA review course, you increase your chances of passing the CISA exam in several ways.
At this point, you may know which CISA review course I think will work best for you, but you may not know why I think you need a CISA review course in the first place, especially when the CISA Review Manual is available. Well, I have several reasons for insisting that CISA candidates use a review course to prepare for the CISA exam.
The first reason is that a CISA review course covers all of the exam content, so you can learn everything you need to know for CISA exam success quickly and conveniently. The CISA exam syllabus is vast, and the CISA Review Manual is very technical and dry. Therefore, most candidates need a source of additional instruction to ensure that their understanding of the exam material is deep enough. You may need to go back to the basics of information systems auditing, or you may need more than just a reference manual to grasp the concepts. In either case, a CISA review course addresses all of the exam content and presents it for you in the most digestible way.
Secondly, a CISA review course gives you opportunities to develop your knowledge and skill with the exam content. Specifically, a review course's method for gauging and increasing your comprehension is to supply you with practice questions and mock exams. Answering practice questions and completing mock exams allows you to evaluate your understanding of the exam topics by revealing your strengths and weaknesses. These steps also allow you to become familiar with the exam format and environment prior to test day, both of which will benefit your exam performance.
Finally, when you choose to use a CISA review course, you also put a team of exam experts in your corner. With the support of people who know about the IT auditing, the CISA exam, and your CISA course, you'll never be left in the dark. Instead, you'll get answers to all of your questions as well as encouragement and advice for all of your exam decisions. And when you don't have to take the CISA exam on alone, you're more likely to take the CISA exam down with a passing score.
The price of a CISA review course differs depending on which course you choose. For example, Surgent CISA Review costs just $349, while Simplilearn CISA Review will set you back $1,749.
However, you can save on Surgent, CISA SuperReview, and Simplilearn by using the CISA review course discounts provided on this page. Furthermore, you should not decide which CISA review course to use by considering the cost alone. Instead, you should make your selection based on the number of study materials offered, the value of the course, and the capacity of the materials to meet your learning needs. Additionally, you can use my analysis of each course to learn more about each course before you buy. And, you can contact me for a personalized CISA review recommendation.
A review course will not be your only CISA expense, as you will also have to pay CISA exam fees. However, purchasing a course is one of the worthiest investments you can make in the process of earning the CISA certification, as using a CISA course gives you the best chance at passing the CISA exam on your first attempt.
If you do have a strict budget for your CISA review course, then your best option is Surgent CISA Review. Surgent's CISA course comes with a large test bank, adaptive technology, unlimited practice exams, a pass guarantee, 12 months of access, and more. So, with a price of just $349 after using my discount, this course is a great value.
However, the one thing Surgent CISA Review is lacking is video lectures. So, if you're an audio or visual learner, you'll need to spend a bit more and get CISA SuperReview. CISA SuperReview costs $499 after using my discount, but it also includes videos.
While the prices of CISA review courses are not as high as those of other exams, like the CPA and CMA, CISA exam costs can still add up. Therefore, to save money, you should use discount codes and free trials and make sure you get the best course for you the first time.
To help you make the best, most informed decision about the CISA review course that will work for you, you need to know your learning style. And you can determine your learning style by considering what processes help you learn best. Your learning style options include:
You may also have more than one learning style, which is common. In this case, you take different approaches to your learning based on the type of material you are consuming.
When you are ready to pick the best CISA review course for you, you have to look at more than just the price. Rather, you must research what you'll get for your money. The best course may not be the most expensive course, but the cheapest course may not be worth your money, either. What's more, the right course for you may be the wrong course for someone else. So, you not only need to compare costs, but you also need to evaluate features so you can get the combination you need.
That being said, I do recommend one CISA review course above the others.
I believe CISA SuperReview has the best video lectures, practice questions, and content coverage. On top of that, it includes excellent customer support with access to Allen himself. It also supplies you with CPE credits. Because you get everything you need in one nice package, CISA SuperReview is my top recommendation.
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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