Wednesday, 15 October 2014

ISACA CISM and CISA FAQ: You have less than 9 days to register!


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The deadline to register for your December CISA and CISM exam looms ever closer. You now only have less than 2 weeks to apply before registration closes on the 24th October.

So whether you’ve already registered or are just about to – now is certainly the time to refresh your knowledge about the upcoming 13th December CISM or CISA exams.


Q. When is the next CISM and CISA exam?

The next CISM and CISA exam is on the 13th December 2014.


Q. When can I register for the December exam?

Right now! You don’t have long until registration closes on the 24th October!

Miss this and your next chance to take the CISA and CISM exams will be in June 2015 (the date is currently unannounced). 


Q. I’m not sure if I’m ready for the exam, how can I tell?

ISACA provide a handy Self Assessment Test for both the CISA and CISM exams.

These self-assessments will help candidates assess their knowledge of both the CISM and CISA practice areas respectively. The assessments contain 50 sample items covering the appropriate subject matter to match the exam blueprint.

Plus, these items are representative of the types of questions you could get on your CISM / CISA exam.

You’ll be in a great position to determine your strengths and weaknesses after taking these tests. If you can locate any gaps in your knowledge you’ll be able to better focus you’re studying.


Q. I want to speak to other people who are also revising for their CISM and CISA exams - are there any forums I can use?

ISACA have developed a community exclusively for CISA and CISM exam registrations.
These forums allow you to share ideas, experiences, questions and study resources with other like-minded professionals.

Both the CISA and CISM communities are intended to help you prepare for your exams. Chapter certification coordinators (part of the ISACA Chapter group who help promote IS audit and security professions) have also been invited to reply to questions and share their study methods.

The CISM community forum


These forums are moderated by past top exam scorers who facilitate and drive discussion. You can find the forums here:

Q. I can’t make the exam I registered for, can I defer?

If you can’t make the exam, you’re able to request a deferral of registration fees to the next exam date.

Defer the December exam and you’ll have to wait until the next one runs in June 2015. If you want to defer your December 2014 exam to June 2015 and you apply on or before 24th October 2014, you’ll be charged a US $50 processing fee.

Defer later than 25th October 2014 and you’ll be charged a $100 processing fee.

Keep in mind, December 2014 deferral requests will not be accepted after 28th November 2014.

If you need to defer your December exam, you can do so either online or by fax. You can submit your deferral on ISACA’s website.


Q. How are the CISM and CISA exams scored?

ISACA uses a 200-800 point scale with 450 being the passing mark for both the CISA and CISM exams. It is worth noting that the exam score is not based on arithmetic or percent average.

For example, a scaled score of 800 represents a perfect score with all 200 questions correct; whilst a scaled score of 200 is the absolute lowest score attainable and signifies that only a small number of questions were correct.

A score of 450 represents a minimum consistent standard of knowledge required by the ISACA Certification Committee. 


Q. If I want to comment on the testing conditions – how will I do so?

If you want to comment about the testing conditions you’ll have a chance to do so at the end of your testing session by completing ISACA’s, ‘Test Administration Questionnaire,’ located at the back of your exam booklet. 


Q. Why do I have to wait 5 weeks for ISACA to process my exam results?

ISACA take the processing of exam results seriously. Each item of performance is carefully reviewed to ensure that they performed in a fair and consistent way.

A review of the preliminary statistical analysis begins a week or two after the exams finish. This analysis is conducted in up to 10 languages, across all 4 ISACA exams.

These guys sacrificed both legs to pass their CISM.
 Now that's dedication.

Image courtesy of hywards/morguefile
ISACA state this is an essential step because it identifies items that performed poorly. These items with poor performance are then reviewed by members of their respective certification committee. If an error, inconsistency or anomaly is discovered the answer’s weighting can be adjusted to ensure candidates are not penalised for ISACA’s error.


Q. Why don’t ISACA offer their exams electronically? This is 2014 after all…

Since most ISACA certified professionals are typically IT professionals, you might expect them to conduct their examinations with the use of computers.

ISACA re-evaluates their transition to a computer based testing environment every year. However, they have not as yet been able to achieve an online exam environment that would be more efficient, more secure and more affordable.

Their research has indicated that suitable CBT sites are not available in many of their 250 locations. Plus, they cite that, when seeing competitors move to CBT, their exam fees have increased massively (often by 100%) to compensate.


About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.