Philip Cao

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ISACA Blog: My Journey to Passing the ISACA CGEIT Exam

3 min read


While my preparation time for the exam was relatively short, I had been building up experience over the past seven years, which significantly contributed to passing this exam. Being a person who is constantly trying to change my perception regarding the “why” of IT, I came across ISACA and its certifications. Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) seemed to be the best fit for my career. Here are a few of the things I learned on my journey to the CGEIT exam.

  • Take time to select the right certification for you:  To achieve this I engaged in some research and brief reading on the various certification tracks, I spoke to persons who were already certified by ISACA and assessed my job critically. By doing this, I was comfortable I had made the right choice of track for me—CGEIT.
  • Become a member:  Signing up for membership provides you discounts and benefits, which are very valuable.
  • Get the official material:  I got the official material as a base to work with, which helps in setting a benchmark to begin the journey to the exam.
  • Assess where you are honestly:  I started off with the practice test first and my results were horrible. At one point I was asking myself, am I crazy to pursue this? But, that is actually what helped me understand that I had a lot of work to do and exactly how much I had to cover.
  • Do some reading:  I read the books and discovered interesting things you sometimes take for granted simply because you may not be consciously aware of its impact. After reading a majority of the material, I redid the practice test and my results were still scary, but I was now in a good position to develop my own personal learning strategy to get me up to exam readiness.
  • Develop a learning strategy:  The same things will not work for everyone, so you have to get creative to design learning habits that work best for you. I ended up breaking down the practice questions and book chapters into smaller groups. I read, engaged questions and before I answered, I linked mentally to my job function/experience so I could see it in proper context. With that, my practice test scores skyrocketed and I could safely narrow down answers to two choices and then analyze further to arrive at the best answer.

Finally, it was time toface the exam.  The exam was well written and even enjoyable.

Now with a successful exam result, what is left to do is to apply for certification, which I am looking forward to doing. Good luck to all aspiring candidates. For even more tips, read my post here:

Ammett Williams, CCIE
Telecommunication Team leader at First Citizens, TT

[ISACA Blog]

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