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Top CISA Exam Questions and Answers

Data or information is the most vital asset for companies in this digital age. With increasing cyber threats, protecting data and information systems at all costs has become a priority for organisations. In this regard, the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is one of the leading professional certificates offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). You need to pass the exam for which you need to learn CISA Exam Questions to become such a professional. There are several CISA Domains that you must understand to identify the one you want to pursue.  

The State of Cybersecurity 2022 report states 41 per cent of enterprises conduct their cyber-risk assessment annually. The same report reveals that 48 per cent of professionals perceive cybersecurity as their primary area of professional responsibility. These statistics prove why professionals should understand the value of security audits for information systems. This blog discusses the top CISA Exam Questions and answers. Read this blog to start preparing to crack your exam!  

Table of Contents  

1) A brief look at the CISA examination  

2) Top CISA Exam Questions and Answers 

    a) The IT Assurance framework comprises all the following except for: 

    b) What is the ISACA audit standard's goal to ensure organisational independence

3) Conclusion  

A brief look at the CISA examination  

The CISA exam comprises five job domains that range from IT Governance and Management of Information Assets. An IT Auditor's main task is to perform an audit, as defined by the ISACA. It designed the domain of Information Systems Auditing to establish and maintain a framework for the governance of Information Security (IS) systems. The framework intends to guarantee the alignment of the information security strategy with the goals and objectives of the organisation. 

An IT Auditor performs many tasks besides the fundamental roles of auditing and evidence collection. Auditors certified by the ISACA must abide by the ITAF and comply with its Code of Professional Ethics. Adherence to these two frameworks will guide IT Auditors to ensure a trustworthy and consistent audit methodology. You must have a sound understanding of CISA Requirements to successfully pass the exam.

CISA Certified Information Systems Auditor

Top CISA Exam Questions and Answers  

The following are the top questions and answers in the CISA exam:  

Q1) The IT Assurance framework comprises all the following except for:  

a) IS audit and assurance standards  

b) IS audit and assurance guidelines  

c) ISACA audit job practice  

d) ISACA Code of Professional Ethics  

Answer: C – ISACA audit job practice  

Explanation: The ISACA audit job practice is not a part of the IT assurance framework, and the remaining options are incorrect as they are contained within the IT assurance framework.  

Q2) The duration of an audit project has exceeded its limit, and the management team is checking the project's schedule and completion status. What may the audit be lacking?  

a) Cooperation from the individuals being audited  

b) Adequately skilled auditors  

c) Clearly stated project objectives and scope  

d) Effective project management  

Answer: Effective Project management  

Explanation: The first step of the exam is to assess if the audit is managed effectively to ensure that all parties comply with the audit process's directives, schedule, resources and status. As for the remaining options above, they are plausible to be the answers but need more information for validation. Hence, option 'd' is the most suited answer.  

Q3) Out of the following statements, what is true about the ISACA Audit Standards and Guidelines?  

a) Audit standards of the ISACA are optional  

b) Audit guidelines of the ISACA are mandatory  

c) Audit standards of the ISACA are only required for SOX (Sarbanes Oxley) audits  

d) Audit standards of the ISACA are mandatory  

Answer: Option 'd' - Audit standards of the ISACA are mandatory  

Explanation: The audit standards of the ISACA are mandatory for audit professionals because their compliance with the standards is a prerequisite for retaining their CISA credentials. The option about mandatory ISACA audit guidelines is incorrect as they only serve as guidance for professionals abiding by the standards. The third option is also false because the audit standards are necessary for all audits, like the Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE18), and so on.  

Q4) An IT auditor is conducting an audit on a user account's request and fulfilment process. There are many transactions involved, and the auditor can only focus on a portion of them. They will view a randomly selected group of transactions and those for privileged access requests. What is this type of sampling called as?  

a) Random sampling  

b) Statistical sampling  

c) Stratified sampling  

d) Judgmental sampling  

Answer: Option 'a' - Judgmental sampling  

Explanation: The IT auditor aims to evaluate the transactions and select the ones with the highest risk; hence the option 'Judgmental sampling' is the correct answer. The option' Random sampling' is incorrect because few transactions are selected with a basis. The option' Statistical sampling' is also wrong because a few transactions are not chosen randomly. The option 'Stratified sampling' is also incorrect as this example does not demonstrate stratified sampling.  

Learn about the audit process for information systems by signing up for the Certified Information Systems Auditor Course now!  

Q5) What is the ISACA audit standard's goal to ensure organisational independence?  

a) The IT auditor cannot work in the same organisation as the auditee.  

b) The audit standard ensures that the auditor appears to be an independent worker.  

c) The audit standard ensures that the auditor operates using a separate budget.  

d) The audit standard ensures that the auditor acts independently within an organisation.  

Answer: Option 'd'  

Explanation: According to Audit Standard 1002 of ISACA, the auditor's position in the organisation's command-and-control structure must guarantee their independent operation. The independence helps the auditor avoid getting coerced into offering an auditing opinion in favour of the organisation. Option 'a' is incorrect because ISACA's audit standard does not demand the auditor to operate separately in another organisation. Option 'b' is incorrect because the auditor needs to exercise the truthful form of independence instead of only its appearance. Option 'c' is also incorrect because ISACA's standards do not equate an auditor's independence to a separate operating budget.  

Q6) Which of the following is the correct audit type for a financial services provider like a payroll service?  

a) SAS70  

b) SSAE18  

c) AUP  

d) Sarbanes-Oxley  

Answer: Option 'b' - SSAE18  

Explanation: The SSAE18 audit type is designed for providers of financial services like general accounting, payroll, expense management, etc. Option 'a' is incorrect as the SSAE18 audit type has replaced the standard. Option 'c' is incorrect because this audit type is general purpose and not for financial services. Option 'd' is incorrect as this audit type is only for the business of a public company in the U.S.  

Q7) An auditor audits an organisation's personnel onboarding process and evaluates the background check procedure. They are interested in assessing whether these checks are conducted for all personnel, eventually leading to 'no-hire' decisions. Which of the following techniques supports the objective of this audit?  

a) Request for the hire and no-hire decisions from the auditee  

b) Evaluate the background check procedure and note the features included for each candidate  

c) Request the ledger for the background check, which contains the candidate names, background check results and hire and no-hire decisions  

d) Request all the contents of the background checks with the hire and no-hire decisions.  

Answer: Option 'c' - Request the ledger  

Explanation: The request for the evidence will provide the auditor with sufficient information to assess the background checks for all positions. Option 'd' is incorrect as the auditor does not need to see the background check details because it is a piece of highly-sensitive information. Since option 'a' does not prove any correlation between the hire and no-hire decisions, it is incorrect. Option 'b' is also incorrect as it demands the evaluation of records and not only the business process.  

Q8) What are the consequences if an IS auditor with CISA credentials and an ISACA membership violates the Code of Professional Ethics by ISACA?  

a) Imprisonment  

b) Employment termination  

c) Fines  

d) Loss of ISACA certifications  

Answer: Option ‘d’ - Loss of ISACA certifications  

Explanation: According to ISACA's code of conduct, a member who violates the ethics can be investigated and subject to strict measures by the organisation. Option 'c' is incorrect as Fines are not among ISACA's means of disciplinary action, except if the member violates the laws. Option 'b' is also incorrect unless the IS auditor's violation is grievous, based on their imminent termination.    

Q9) An auditor has submitted a SOX audit report comprising 12 exceptions to the client, who has disagreed with the audit's findings. The audit client is disappointed and requests the auditor to dismiss any six findings from the audit report. The client offers the auditor an exchange of 20,183 GBP for the elimination. A review of the findings revealed that all the findings were valid. How can the auditor proceed?  

a) The auditor must refuse the payment and negotiate with the auditee to remove only three findings  

b) The auditor must refuse the payment and remove all six findings  

c) The auditor must report the situation to the audit committee of the client  

d) The auditor must immediately report the incident to their manager  

Answer: Option 'd'   

Explanation: The auditor must prioritise reporting the incident to their manager, who will decide how it should be handled. The manager will likely inform the client's audit committee, who can refer the incident to authorities. Options' a' and 'b are incorrect as the auditor must stand their ground and maintain the integrity of their report.    

Q10) Can an auditor depend on their client's risk assessment for planning their audit?  

a) No. The auditor should conduct the risk assessment by themselves.   

b) Yes, in all scenarios.  

c) No. The auditor does not need a risk assessment to develop an audit plan.  

d) Yes, if a qualified entity does the risk assessment.  

Answer: Option 'd'   

Explanation: A qualified entity outside the organisation can do the risk assessment for the auditor to develop the audit plan. As a result, higher-risk areas are assessed more than lower-risk areas. The other options are incorrect because an auditor sometimes cannot utilise a client's risk assessment. It is also not always mandatory for auditors to conduct the audit themselves. Furthermore, doing a risk assessment will help the auditor create a better audit plan designed to alleviate risk.    


This blog has discussed the most common CISA Exam Questions and Answers to help candidates prepare and assess their knowledge of the job practice domain. The domain covers the ISACA's professional ethics, ITAF, risk analysis, etc. Professionals must be well-versed in auditing the security of information systems, as it is a highly weighted examination domain.   

Acquire the knowledge of security tools and IT audits for CISA by signing up for the CISA Training Course now! 

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