According to an estimate more than 27000 aspiring information systems auditors take CISA exam and a very short percentage of these will pass the exam. Because of the rigorous exam and the value it carries with it, CISA has been consistently included in the highest paying certifications related to information technology and information systems auditing.
One of the factors that determines success at the exam is preparation and this in turn depends on which resources you use for your preparation for the CISA exam.
A lot of people start their search with ‘free cisa study guide’ and think that they can ace the exam with a freely downloadable guide and some dumps. But that seldom happens because it is almost impossible to pass CISA exam with a free study guide because of various reasons.
First of all, these free study guide writers have even not appeared in the exam. They have no idea about the exam and the type of content appearing in the exam. Secondly, CISA exam is a conceptual exam and it is not possible to read a short study guide and pass the exam. You have to thoroughly study the concepts and practice the questions before standing a good chance of passing the exam.
When you will search for CISA study guides, you will come across the following three resources. My personal favorite is of course original content from ISACA, which is the body that conducts the exam and regulates CISA certification. There can be nothing better than a study guide from the examiner himself.
Top 3 CISA Study Guides
ISACA CISA Review Manual & Exam Questions
This is THE number one resource for preparing for the exam. It is a world of information with a laser focus on the exam. The quality of the CISA Review Manual is better than any other book out there. It covers everything that will appear in the exam. It is updated regularly and has been written by a team of CISA certification holders and has undergone a quality review by ISACA itself. So CISA Review Manual and CISA Review Question & Answers Manual are the best CISA Study guides by a wide margin.
CISA Certified Information Systems Auditor Study Guide
This is also a popular book for CISA preparation. It has been written by a CISA certified professional David L. Cannon. It also covers all the domains of the exam and is currently in its third edition. I will recommend it as a supplementary material to CISA Review Manual but I will not recommend that you prepare for CISA exam solely relying on this book. It includes about 500 review questions.
All-in-One CISA Exam Guide
It is also a popular CISA exam guide which is currently in its second edition. It has been written by Peter H. Gregory who is a CISA certified professional with other security certifications too. He has written more than 20 books on information security. It has more than 600 pages and comes with about 200 practice questions. Again you may like to buy this book to further comprehend the concepts.
CISA Exam Secrets Guide
This book was published in 2013. So in my understanding it is quite outdated when it comes to an exam guide for CISA exam. It is produced by Mometrix Test Preparation. I will personally not pick this book when preparing for the exam because the content does not look very interesting.
In my view, all you need as CISA Study Guide is CISA Review Manual and CISA Review Questions, Answers and Explanations Manual and you are good to go.