CISA Success Stories from Achievers

Dear CISA Aspirants,

Why roam in wilderness when we already have paths defined ? Let us hear strategy from achievers themselves. Below mentioned prominent personalities who have already proved their excellence in field of IS security,audit & control having global experience are here to mentor us:

Arzu Kutukcu-Turkey

Arzu is a certified information system auditor and computer engineer with vast knowledge and experience  in IT Audits.

Her CISA success story:


I passed CISA on June 2016. I didn’t attend any course.But I joined a whatsapp group created by Mr. Upen Patel where active participation is very important.
The group has participants from India,Canada,Dubai and many other countries. Without this CISA group I wouldn’t be able to succeed.
It was amazing teamwork.
I studied ISACA CRM twice, and read Micheal Gregg’s old version book Michael Gregg is my favorite, by the way).
Studying questions and read answers carefully is vital for cisa preparation.
And last one is self confidence. Believe me, you don’t need IT background to be successful.
in addition to all these, I benefited a lot from youtube video from Hemang Doshi. I found the videos and his short notes on very informative and concise.Good Luck!”

Gokhan Polat-Turkey

Gokhan is the head of  Internal Audit department of a very well established organization in Turkey. He can be reached at [email protected].

“Trust yourself and tell yourself I will achieve this. After this, all other requirements will be easy for you. You should read at least one time the official book and solve questions. It will be better if you study with a group of people. Whatsapp groups are very useful for it. To know someone who has a good knowledge on exam will be very helpful. CISA needs audit perspective, so you must try improve this perspective. On exam day, go on to trust yourself. For my opinion, this is the most important part of certification period.”

Debasis Mohapatra – India

Mr. Debasis Mohapatra  is a qualified chartered accountant and a certified information system auditor.He is being considered as an expert in field of internal audits, risk management and GRC. He is associated with leading life insurance company of India. We can reach him at [email protected]

“I started studying for CISA exam just 60 days before. This is my experience I share with you. In exam questions, out of all possible answers given, 2 to 3 options you will feel like correct answer. But the option which is most suitable for the given circumstance/situation will be the correct answer. So the best way to prepare yourself for CISA exam is to get familiar with the options for different questions and for this the question bank will help substantially in this regard. The more time you cover the question bank will enhance your chance further.

I can say with pride that my CISA qualification was possible because of Mr. Hemang Doshi. I only followed the question bank and the guide provided by Hemang Doshi in Youtube. I can say with guarantee that this will be enough to qualify CISA. You can read the ISACA CRM for gaining more knowledge which is on your own interest. Best of luck!”

Mohammed Shijil-India

Shijil is a certified information system auditor and  engineer in computer science. We can reach him at [email protected]

“I started studying for the exam just 40 days to be honest i did not complete the CRM book. Topics which i felt boring, i skipped. I focused on some website which has summary. 40% of my preparation came from Hemang Doshi’s video. First and last advice to cisa aspirants is that go through database questions and justification atleast 10 times. I say JUSTIFICATION!! And please don’t read any other book or question bank. All the best”

Brian Maengwe – Kenya

Brian is an ICT risk analyst with many prestigious qualifications such as CEH, ITIL, ISO 27001:2013 and CISA. We can reach him at [email protected]

“Read through the manual at least twice. Do the questions until you understand why you got them wrong in the first place. Also watch the videos on YouTube by Hemang Doshi. The videos should be after you’ve understood the manual. All the best”

Mrs. Farhat Jummani-India

Mrs Farhat has abundance of knowledge and qualifications such as CISA,MCom, MCP, MScCS, MCA and actively engaged in research activities. We can reach her at [email protected]

“Read each Domain from the ISACA Module twice to ensure you have understood the concept well. After that try and solve the respective Domain from Database of ISACA. Do not learn the answer to any question, as the aim of ISACA is to test your concept understanding. Videos of CA Hemang Doshi, can aid you to clear your concept of the topic in hand. All materials plus my own dedicated efforts have today given me the opportunity to guide you. My own experience is that we had scenario based questions so do prepare yourself mentally for that as well. Once you complete all domain study, do practice tests as time management is a crucial factor. BEST WISHES & BLESSINGS”

Mohamad Javed Hashim – India

Javed is a certified information system auditor and master of technology. He can be reached at [email protected]

“My genuine advice is to read CRM & practice DB and watch Hemang’s Videos to get good percentile in all domain.It is a continuous process which obviously a time consuming activity. Understanding of topics is core to success .and understanding ISACA WAY that’s more important .Keep yourself simple and just think like an auditor. Keep your tech world things aside just put yourself in the situation as an auditor . If you are good enough in 3-4 chapter, you should aim for 100%. Read the CRM at least 2wice. Practice db question read the justifications which is the method I followed to get succeeded.Justifications are so important. Again effort and time is ultimate.”

Arnab Bhattacharya – India

Arnab holds ample of prestigious certifications and degrees such as CMA, CIA, CFSA, CISA, SAP Finance Consultant and still planning for many more. We can reach him at [email protected]

“I started my journey in Finance in early 2012, since I only knew how to study by rot learning the indian way and I tried to apply these learning methods to my first exam CIA part1. The result was disastrous I ended up failing my first exam and the next one as well.
After a lot of research on various forums I got the hang of it that you have to thoroughly understand the concepts and apply them on the main exam.
My main strategy was read the review course one chapter/section at a time and then practise the MCQ’s relevant to it. Make a note of why I got a question wrong or why a specific distractor is incorrect and then re-learn and try to understand the concepts in a new way. I will admit Youtube vids and investopedia was a big help in this.

In the end after giving so many exams I changed my strategy for CISA exam, I just went for the MCQ’s first without reading the review course.
I was using the question bank provided by ISACA. I was able to score 60% in my first attempt. Then I did a review of what went wrong and corrected my conceptual understanding of the underlying concepts.

In the next MCQ run I was able to score above 75% in most sections.
I always made it a rule to only do 40 to 50 questions in a single session and never overstress myself.

3 days before the main CISA exam I took a complete break from all the studies and revision. I was done with my exam with 1 hour to spare and in the end I scored a top 20% score.

Overall a heads up on some common strategies used by the examiners to throw you off guard is,

1.They will include at least 4 to 5 questions that you wont have a single clue as to what the answer is. This is to get you out of your comfort zone and is a scare tactic.

2. What ever concepts are covered in the MCQ’s that or a similar concept will be tested on the main exam. You can say the exam setter’s hands are tied and he has very limited tools at his disposal.

3. While doing the MCQ’s always be curious to know why a distractor is incorrect. The Main exam questions are formed in such a way that the incorrect distractor in the MCQ question bank is often the correct answer in the main test. This is to throw the rot learners under the bus.

4. The main exam is more about conceptual understanding rather than trying to remember a particular formula or trying to remember a mnemonic.

5. The exam heavily tests the auditing concepts and procedures. You have to be very through with how to audit something and how to resolve audit problems.

Moral of this long story.
Unlearn the indian ways of rot learning and re-train your minds to learn by concepts.

If you guys need some help just shoot me a mail @ [email protected]

Abbasi Mirza – Singapore

AB  is a qualified Chartered Accountant from ICAI and also having prestigious qualifications such as CFE and CISA. Through his wide  experience and positive attitude he has been instrumental and mentor for many cisa aspirants to get CISA certification. We can reach him at [email protected].

“Information System Audit, I feared this subject for almost decade…as I failed few times in CA Final due to this subject as everything was bouncing to me. Since then I decided to overcome my fear but with work & family commitment couldn’t do it till recently I cleared my CISA Exam in Dec-16. In Nov-15, I did registration for Jun-16 exams and then keep postponing to Sept-16 and thn to Dec-16…mindset was such that I could have deferred further…. Question arise, why I kept deferring exam after registering it….and what made me taking exam in Dec-16. Well, reason is simple because CRM seemed too dull to me and I couldn’t read even half page in one sitting. I start reading, get frustrated and leave it as it is thinking that it’s not my cup of coffee. I was part of few CISA Study what’s app group since Jan-16 and I came across many CISA Champs from all parts of Globe. One common thing in everyone that they follow traditional method of preparation i.e. Reading CRM at least once (twice or thrice, depending on your education background and work experience) and practicing Q&As. Above advise wasn’t helping me because I am too lazy person to read anything. Though I wasn’t giving exam but I kept participating in Q&As and Knowledge Sharing in Group which helped me a lot. In Mid Oct-16, I was thinking of deferring the exam but I realized that stepping back every time won’t help me in overcoming my fear. So I decide to wipe-off all orthodox advises received till date and to prepare & clear CISA in my own preparation style. My preparation style was:- 1. Not to read CRM or anything which seems boring and dull, but refer it only for difficult topics. 2. Watched video’s (Hemang Doshi and others on Youtube, Etc), read & understand short notes & pictorial presentation on CISA topics, etc 3. Practice ISACA Online Q&A Databse, read & understand explanations for even wrong answers, discuss in the what’s app group and more importantly prepare my own notes for referring in last week and 24 hrs before exam. 4. Keep googling difficult terms & topics and read online before referring those topics in CRM (which I always try to avoid). 5. Encouraging people to ask me questions or let me know their difficult topics. I do googling on it, read & understand from various sources, watch videos, etc and get back to them with simple explanation. By doing so I helped them as well as I learnt new topics every day. Before starting my preparation as above, I do self-assessed my strength in each domain. As my preparation style seem short cuts to many people and it was too risky, I did SWOT analysis for each domains and prepared expected scoring in each domain as per my strength. For 50 days, I did daily 2-3 hrs study (including participating in group discussions) and on weekends devoted 15-16 hrs. Was feeling confident on exam day though I didn’t took any study leave and finally I was able to nailed it down and overcome my decade old fear. Many thanks to Hemang Doshi and all mentors who helped me and kept me motivated during this journey…. Besides earning CISA Certification, I earned lots of friends spread across the Globe.”

We truly appreciate this gentleman who willingly shared all his easy to understand notes for our benefits:

Assaye Egi – USA

Assaye holds very important position as a  director of Internal Audit in one the reputed organisation of USA. He earned many prestigious qualifications such as CISA,CIA and CFE and demonstrated expert level of experience and knowledge in field of audit, risk, controls and governance. We can reach Assaye at [email protected].

“I have good back ground in auditing but IT. Specially the last two domains . I have no clue on some topics until I started looking for YouTube . Luckily I found one by Hemang. That helped me a lot to understand the difficult topic easily . Then completed each question on Review Question 11th edition . When I got wrong I make sure I understand why . I was so happy when I took test . I had a good feeling I could pass . And I did pass on first attempt . Take your time attempt all question watch videos …you will be good . “

Upen Patel-USA

Upen holds almost all the certifications from ISACA. Infact he holds almost all the certification in field of Information Security including CISSP. He is also actively involved as a volunteer in NY chapter of ISACA. He knows ISACA better than anyone of the us. Through his constant support, guidance and motivation he is being instrumental in success of many CISA candidates. He is always happy and eager to mentor us. We can reach him at [email protected].

“I passed the CISA exam in Dec 2016.    I did not take any review course. To study I read the CISA Review manual twice. This helped me learn and comprehend the concepts. I was also a part of a CISA study group on whatapps and by participating in this group I was able to better prepare myself for the exam. In the whatapps group, I even met Hemang Doshi who has created many CISA related videos. I have watched all his videos, and he carefully explains how to select an answer. I would strongly suggest watching Hemang Doshi’s videos. When you study with practice questions carefully read the answers and examine the explanations. Many thanks to Shweta, Abbasi, Arzu, and Gokhan who helped motivate me and were a crucial part in helping me pass this exam.”

Harrison Cheng – Canada

Harrison is a senior IT Audit Consultant having expertise in IT Audit, Security and Risk & Controls. We can reach him at [email protected]

“Thoroughly study the CISA review manual and then go through the practice questions to identify gaps in your knowledge. For each knowledge gap, re-read the applicable section in the CISA review manual and visit online resources such as Hemang’s youtube video to further understand the concepts. Repeat the above process until you are consistently answering the practice questions correctly.”

Ketan Gupta – India

“I have been thinking to give CISA exam from 2015 onwards but never could gather my guts and give commitment. In 2016, I decided to appear in December but again work pressure increased and I had to defer my exam. Come 2017 and I decided to completely focus on CISA as I realized that work will never stop and life will become heavy as you grow. The most important thing which I did was complete the exam registration process (otherwise you will keep on postponing it) and selected 28th September, 2017 as the final day. I started my journey to claim the highest peak and began my studies from July. I followed the below steps for CISA preparation :-
1. Start reading the CISA Review Manual ( It should be your Bible, Bhagwad Gita, Quran). Initially you will hate it since it is very much detailed but eventually you will fall in love. Read each and every word (as you might never know what might come out in the exam) and highlight the portion which you feel you are stumbling upon. Give more importance to the Task and Knowledge statement mapping. Once you are done with a particular domain, practice the ISACA DB questionnaire as much as possible so that you can accustom to the exam pattern and type of questions. Once you are familiar with the ISACA questions, you can check out the website specifically created for CISA aspirants. Also, join the web telegram group for CISA as they discuss the concepts, questions and any queries.
2. After completing all the domains, read the CRM again and go through each domain more accurately (by now you should take less time compared to the previous study time). Try to mark the portion which you might feel is important and left out in the previous study.  Repeat ISACA DB questionnaire,
3. If time allows, get well-versed with highlighted portion in CRM. Start practicing the mock tests (ISACA DB questionnaire practice exam section,, ISACA local chapters questions) atleast 20 days before the exam. Mark the portion you are making mistake and go back to clear the concepts. One more thing is keep a English Dictionary by your side as it sometimes becomes difficult to understand the keyword.  Try to score atleast above 90% in the mock test and ISACA DB questionaires.
Try to relax for 2 days before the exam. Take a leave from office. Go out and have a good time with your family and friends (I watched a movie in this case). On the final day, remind yourself that you CAN do anything in the world and biggest enemy is YOU who is stopping from achieving the success. JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. When the exam begins, do NOT panic and answer each questions with calm mind as you will have ample time to review the questions (4 hours).  When the result came out, I was flabbergasted to see the word PASS. I called the instructor to see if this is really true. When she confirmed, I was overjoyed and could not believe my eyes that I cleared the CISA exam. I would also like to thank my colleagues, family and friends who have supported me in this journey.
BEST OF LUCK for the exam. Please feel free to get in touch at [email protected]