Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding ISA course

BALU.... (CCI STUDENT....) (44619 Points)

09 November 2009  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding ISA course

This FAQ is divided into the following sections to provide specific information relating to the milestone at which a candidate is:
ISA Milestone
ISA Portal - Storehouse of Imp Information
ISA Professional Training
Background Materials/ Books for the ISA Course
ISA Eligibility Test (ET)
ISA Refresher Courses/ Seminars/ Conferences
ISA Assessment Test (AT)
ISA Portal - Storehouse of Important Information
Where do I find information about the ISA Course?
  Information about the ISA Course is available through the specially created ISA Portal at This can be accessed through the Internet at your office/ home/ cyber cafe/ client's office.

The ISA Portal is the public interface of the ISA Administration to provide all information about the ISA Course and its activities.
What Categories of information is available in the ISA Portal?
  The ISA Portal provides information about ISA Registration, Professional Training, Eligibility Test, Assessment Test, Test Results, Merit Lists, ISA Panel, Important Information/ Seminars/ Conferences/ Workshops/ Refresher Courses etc.
Complaints/ Feedback?
  Candidates can register their requests/ requirements/ complaints at the ISA Portal for timely redressal. The mails received at the feedback column are replied/ answered promptly. A reply is sent on the address provided. In addition, candidates are provided with a complaint number. They can check the status thereof by giving this number.

Candidates are requested to make use of this facilty to seek information timely response to their requirements.
How do I check whether my application has been received by the Institute and duly processed?
  Candidates can check their registration status at the said portal by giving their Membership Number and Name. The system would immediately check are report the status - whether application has been received and the status thereof. Kindly provide 3 / 5 days for mails to reach and for necessary processing considering volumes of requests received.
Back to questions

About the ISA Course
Who is eligible to join the ISA Course?
  A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Those who have passed final exam conducted by ICAI, and have applied for membership (subject to enrollment as a member).
How to register?
  Candidates can apply for the ISA course either online or by post.
  Online Registration
  Logon to, click on 'Members' in the Main Menu select 'Courses>>Isa>>Online Registration' for ISA course. After the completion of the registration process, you will receive a temporary reference number, and an e-mail confirming your registration.
  Offline Registration
  Use the Registration form attached to this prospectus, and send the completed form, along with the requisite fee, to:

ISA/ CAAT Helpdesk
Committee on Information Technology
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
Plot Nos.52-54, Vishwas Nagar, Shahadra
Delhi - 110 032
(Near Karkardooma Court)
Telephone Direct : +91 11 30210619
Telephone Board : +91 11 39893990 Ext. 619
Fax: +91 11 3021681/ 680
E-mail IDs:
isa @, caat @, secyitc @
Website: &
Pertinent Details
  You can also download the application form from

The receipt of the application will be acknowledged through a letter within a week.

Prospectus: The prospectus can be obtained by writing to the address mentioned above, or by sending an e-mail request to:
isai @

Note: After registration, candidate will receive a unique ISA Registration Number. He/she has to quote this number in all correspondence with the institute , in matters related to the ISA course.
When to Register?
  Registration for the ISA course is open though out the year.

ISA Professional Training Batches are scheduled considering the candidates registered. Hence, it is requested that candidates register at the earliest.
Fee Structure?
  The following is the current schedule of fees for the ISA Course (Total):
Particulars Amount
  Prospectus: Rs.150/- (or equivalent in foreign currency )
  Course Fee:Rs.10,000/- (or equivalent in foreign currency )
Registration Fee includes Study Material, PT, Eligibility Tests, an internationally acclaimed textbook on Information Systems Control and Audit and also includes membership to to conditions.

Fees Payable to: The ISA Course fees are payable by way of a Demand Draft/ Pay Order, drawn in favour of ' he Secretary, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India', payable at Delhi/ New Delhi.

Refund:Please note that the course fee once paid is non refundable.

Fees Payable on ISA Registration:

With Form from Prospectus: Rs.10,000/-.

Online form or photocopied form: Rs.10,150/-

ISA Assessment Test (AT) Fees:Payable when you apply for the ISA AT in the prescribed form of Rs.25/-.
ISA Course Modules & % of Questions in ISA AT: The ISA course is divided into 7 modules, each module carrying a specific weight age in the AT, as given in the following table.
Module % Qs in AT
Module 1: Information Technology Infrastructure 10
Module 2: Communication & Networking Technologies 22
Module 3: Protection of Information Assets 22
Module 4: Systems Development Life Cycle & Application Systems 20
Module 5: Business Continuity Planning 8
Module 6: Information Systems Organization & Management 8
Module 7: IS Audit Process 10
Important Reference Material for Questions:
  Information Systems Control and Audit Gliem Publications

The Micromash Way
Why does a CA professional need the ISA course?
  Today, the business scenario is vastly different from what Chartered Accountants were trained to handle. With IT impacting practically every aspect of work, system interconnections in complex and diverse transactions have made profound changes in the functioning of organizations.

In the new environment, IT has become an integral part of the Strategic business scenario. As a result, professional in the field are expected to acquire the required level of Competence to perform their work. And also to possess the knowledge and skill to demonstrate the competence and credibility of the accountancy profession. They also should ensure that they keep abreast o developments through continuous professional education.
In what areas does the ISA course offer specialization?
  The ISA course will develop competencies in:

General systems concepts: IT strategy; System acquisition/development process; Hardware and facilities; Networks and electronic data transfer; Software; Data organization and access methods; and transaction processing in typical business and accounting applications.
It will also provide an understanding of the nature of work of IT professional and the career paths in IT organizations.
Should I have any practical and / or theoretical exposure to computers before joining the ISA Course? If so, what is the level of knowledge required?
  An understanding of basic PC operations, MS Word and MS Excel will help to understand various concepts contained in the ISA course. Anything beyond this will certainly be an advantage.

The registration fee includes fee for PT, study material, the first ET, an internationally acclaimed textbook on Information Systems Control, smart cards among others.
Can I pay the fee in installments?
  No. Full fees are payable on course registration.
How do I know whether my application has reached the Institute & status thereof?
  Available at ISA Portal of the ISA Course.
What all do I have to attach with my ISA Registration Application?
  Duly completed and signed ISA Registration Form
DD/ Pay Order payable to Secretary, ICAI payable at New Delhi.
Two Copies of Passport Size Photograph.
Copy of Membership Certificate
I had registered for the ISA course long back ago so can I join now?
  Definitely yes, you are just required to show your confirmation letter or your status on the site
Back to questions

ISA Professional Training (PT)
What is ISA PT? Does it involve practical training for the ISA participants?
  ISA Professional Training consists of one or more of the following interactive sessions by experienced faculties - Presentations/ Demonstrations/ Case Studies/ Question Anser Sessions/ Discussions.

ISA PT refers to professional Training and not Practical Training, as is construed by some. During the 100 hour PT, which is mandatory, the faculties provide plenty of practical inputs.

For skill and practice orientation, the IT Committee is also launching a separate course viz., CAAT (Computer Accounting and Audit Techniques). Details thereof are available at the Institute website at under Courses and CAAT.
Break Even Batch Size for conducting ISA Professional Training Batches:
  The breakeven size for conducting ISA PT batches is currently at 40 considering costs of Faculty/ Venue/ Logistics/ Mofussil Areas/ Background Materials/ Book/ Stationary/ Refreshments etc. costs.

For small cities/ moffusil areas, PT Batches can be organized on SPECIAL approval basis, considering the facts and figures on case to case basis. A request thereof can be made to ISA Administrative office.
Minimum Participation in the ISA Professional Training Batch:
  Participants to the ISA PT classes are expected to maintain 100% attendance from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on the ISA PT days to gain good understanding/ experience/ exposure in this emerging practice area.

As per regulations, a minimum attendance of 90% is a must. That is, out of the 12 days of training, a candidate is expected to attend a minimum of 10 sessions.
Where & How will how will I know about the ISA PT Venue?
  The information about forthcoming ISA PT Sessions and their venue is displayed on the ISA Portal at from time to time.

Candidates are requested to visit the above portal regularly, particularly ONE or TWO days before every event like PT/ ET/ AT for last minute changes/ announcements/ notifications.
Can I be adjusted in the other batch in the event I miss a class?
  No. There are practical difficulties due to which it is not possible.
I had registered for a batch and I am not able to turn up for the classes and I was not able to inform so can I change my batch?
  No you should be sure before registering, and if some unavoidable circumstance arises then you should inform before beginning of the batch. Candidates are expected to complete their ISA PT classes in the batch they register.
What all do I have to bring with me when I come to attend the ISA PT batch on the first day?
  You should carry with yourself a copy of your a visiting card and photocopy of the ISA registration letter. In addition, you must have

An identity proof like Institute Id Card/ Driving License/ Passport.

Writing pad and pens are generally provided at the start of every ISA PT batch. Nevertheless, you may like to bring your favorite notebook/ pen.
Can a candidate change the PT center mid course?
  The organization of ISA PT Course is outsourced through vendors. Payment/ Accounting/ Provisioning for refreshments etc is course wise.

Accounting for the ISA PT course is batch wise.

Arrangements and funds allocation is also on the basis of ISA candidates attending the ISA PT batch. This includes refreshments.

Number of candidates attending the ISA PT batch is an essential course control implemented.

Issue of ISA PT Certificate is also based upon the attendance position.

Considering the above, ISA Participants are requested to kindly ensure that they complete the ISA PT with 90% attendance.

In case of extreme circumstances, a special request can be made to the Committee on Information Technology, in advance for a special relaxation. Post facto requests would not be entertained.
What arrangements does the Institute make during ISA PT?
  Course Venue with suitable seating arrangements

Course Venue with suitable seating arrangements

Faculty arrangements.

Refreshments - Forenoon/ Afternoon tea with biscuits/ snacks.

Writing pad/ pen.
Back to questions

Background Materials/ Books for the ISA Course
What Background materials are provided by the Institute for the IS A Course:
  Background Material Volume I & II.

Book on Information System Audit & Control by Ron Weber.
When will the study material be provided?
  The study materials are now dispatched to the candidates on their registering for the ISA Course.

For candidates registered for the course earlier or have not received the materials, the study materials are provided at the Course Venue.
What attempts are made to update the study material?
  Updating is the need of the hour. The Institute strives to keep abreast of the changes that take place, and to ensure that the study material is contemporary from time to time. Existing materials are revised and new/ better materials are introduced from time to time.
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ISA Eligibility Test (ET)
When can I take the ISA Eligibility Test
  ISA ET is conducted on half yearly basis currently in the months of May and November. Candidates who complete ISA PT classes by March 31 can appear in ISA ET in May attempt and those who complete ISA PT by September 30 can appear in ISA ET in November.
How do I know about the forthcoming ISA ET?
  From the ISA Portal at
Do I have to register for ISA ET?
  Yes. This is essential for the Institute to know how many candidates are going to appear for the ISA ET and make suitable arrangements thereof.
How do I register for ISA ET? Should I send written request?
  You have to register for the ISA ET at the ISA Portal at It is suggested that you register at the PORTAL ONLY to save time/ effort/ cost to yourself and the Institute. You have to fill up the appropriate form - Form A, B or C as applicable to you considering the guidelines hosted along with the forms.
Is ET mandatory for all candidates?
  Yes. There is no exemption from ISA ET whatsoever. All candidates have to appear and clear ISA ET before being eligible to appear for the ISA Assessment Test.
Is there any exemption from passing the ISA ET examination?
  ALL ISA Candidates are required to appear and qualify the ISA Eligibility Test (ET). There are NO exemptions whatsoever. No exemption will be made from the ET for any candidate, irrespective of any other qualification.
Is there any time table for holding the ET?
  ET is organized on a half yearly basis in the months of May and November on the second Saturday of the month, generally.
What is the modular concept of the ISA course? What is the significance of Modular ET's?
  Modular categorization of courses signifies that every module is divided not only in terms of concepts and contents, but also in terms of weight age for the purpose of content coverage in the forthcoming ET/ AT.
Is there any minimum cut off mark for passing the ETs?
Are there any conditions to be satisfied to be eligible to appear in ET?
  You must have completed the ISA PT with 90% attendance (Ten classes out of twelve).

You must have completed the ISA PT with 90% attendance (Ten classes out of twelve).

You must be a member of the ICAI
How many days does it usually take for the results of the ET to be published?
  The ISA ET Results are generally declared within 10 days of holding the ISA ET and are hosted on the ISA Portal and ICAI Website at
Is there any certificate of eligibility being issued?
  Eligibility Certificates are hosted on the ISA Portal at Participants are expected to download from there, after providing their Username and Password. Candidates are requested to send two copies of their passport sized photo, if not submitted already. The eligibility status for each ET also hosted at the said portal and also communicated through e-mail.
Are there any fees for taking the ET?
  There are NIL charges for appearing in the ET for the FIRST time. Candidates have to fill the FORM A at the ISA Portal at

For appearing in the ISA ET for subsequent attempt, for practice/ knowledge/ repetition/ expiration, the Fees is Rs.500/- payable by DD/ Pay Order in favor of "Secretary, ICAI" payable at New Delhi. For this, candidates have to fill in the appropriate form B/ C at the said portal and send the fees along with a copy thereof.
What were the Eligibility Test centers?
  The ET Centres List is hosted on the ISA Portal at about one month before considering the backlog of candidates awaiting ET based upon the ISA PT conducted in respective centers. Candidates are SPECIFICALLY advised to CHECK the ISA Portal one day before the ISA ET for any changes in ET Venue etc.
What do I have to carry with me to take the ISA ET?
  You are expected to carry (a) ISA ET Admit Cart (Printed from the ISA Portal) (Provide Photograph), (b) Pen/ Pencils/ Rubber/ Sharpener, (c) Identity Proof - Institute I-card/ Driving License/ Passport/ Voter ID Card.
What are the ISA ET Timings?
  The ISA ET is scheduled from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Can I know about the marks secured in the ISA ET?
  The list of candidates who have qualified the ISA ET is hosted on the ISA Portal at Marks are NOT informed.
Back to questions

Refresher Courses/ Seminars/ Conferences
What are refresher classes
  Refresher classes are special classes that are often organized by Regional/Branch offices a little before the ISA examinations to enable members to review the major areas, review typical questions and answers, have an overall picture to score better in the examinations. The refresher classes are not an integral part of the ISA Course but a value added service that branches often provide to the candidates by collecting a nominal fees (Rs.500-1000) to cover the cost of faculty support, venue, refreshments etc.
Is the Refresher Course compulsory for ISA candidates
  Refresher courses are organized for candidates who have passed the ET and are preparing to appear for the ensuing AT. It is advised that all candidates take up the refresher coursed in their own interest.
Can candidates attend the Refresher Course even if they have failed the AT?
Must candidates pay an extra fee for the refresher course?
  Presently cost of one day Refresher Course works out to Rs.500/-to Rs.1000/-. Per person for a batch size of about 25 candidates.Members have to register separately for attending ISA Refresher classes and pay the requisite fees, as fixed from time to time .
Who organizes ISA Refresher Courses/ Seminars/ Conferences?
  ISA Refresher Courses/ Seminars/ Conferences are organized by the Branch/ Regional Office on self supporting basis.
Back to questions

ISA Assessment Test (AT)
What is the time gap between the ET and the AT?
  There is a Time Gap of about FIVE Weeks between the ISA ET and AT.
What is the fee for the AT?
What is the venue of ISA AT?
  It is informed in the admit card issued by the Examination Department for the ISA AT.
How long does it take to declare the ISA AT results?
  The ISA AT results are declared in about FIVE weeks. The AT Results consists of the candidates who have qualified and the Merit List. Mark sheets are posted.
How do I get my Eligibility Certificate for submission along with ISA AT Form?
  Candidates can sit for the ISA Eligibility Test only after completing the ISA Professional Training. Candidates completing PT in one quarter can take the ET in the next Quarter. On qualifying ISA ET, the ET Certificate is hosted on the ISA Portal at . A copy thereof has to be attached with the ISA AT Application form by the due date.
ISA AT application has to be sent to Delhi or Chennai?
  The ISA AT application form has to be sent to the Examination Department at New Delhi. The address thereof is available at the back cover of the ISA Prospectus and hosted on the Website of the Institute/ ISA Portal.
Can I submit ISA AT form after the LAST DATE?
  As per Exam Procedure, ISA AT forms are NOT entertained after the last date under any circumstances whatsoever. Hence, candidates are requested to ensure that the Assessment Test Forms are submitted by the LAST DATE announced by Speed Post/ Registered Post only.
When are the ISA Assessment Tests held?
  ISA AT is held two times a year in the months of June and December generally in the last week.
What is the approximate last date for submission of ISA AT form?
  The ISA AT notification is generally hosted on the website of the Institute at around first week of May and Nov. The candidates are expected to fill up the form by 1st of Jun and Dec.
How can I submit ISA AT Form?
  Candidates are advised to use the Rs.25/- ISA AT form for the concerned forthcoming examination available at all decentralized and branch offices of the Institute in the country. A softcopy of the form is hosted on the website of the Institute for the convenience of candidates .
Do I have to pay the Rs.1,000/- ISA AT fees when I appear for the ISA AT?
  Yes. The Exam Fees are payable separately, as in the case of all CA Examinations. AT Fees are NOT included in the ISA Course Fees. For the first AT also fees are payable.
Can I submit the ISA AT Form personally at Delhi?
  Yes. You can submit the ISA AT form personally at the Reception, Main Building of the Institute at Indraprastha Marg, New Delhi. A receipt thereof is also issued.
Can I submit ISA AT Form personally at Regional/ Branch Offices?
  No. Candidates can ONLY submit by Speed Post/ Registered Post or personally only at New Delhi.
Can I submit my ISA AT form even if I have not received the Eligibility Certificate?
  Yes, provided you have completed the ISA Professional Training (PT) and have appeared in the requisite eligibility test and are awaiting result/ issue of Eligibility Certificate. You may submit your ISA AT form, pending receipt of Eligibility Certificate. You may note, however, that you will be admitted to the ISA AT only if you have been issued the Eligibility Certificate.
How do I receive my Admit Card?
  Admit Card/ Hall Ticket/ Roll No. indicating name and address of examination center is sent by Speed Post at least 10-14 days before the day of ISA AT to all candidates found to be eligible. Al non-eligible candidates are informed suitably.
When are the ISA AT results declared?
  The ISA AT results are declared within FIVE weeks of the ISA AT Examination and the result giving marks obtained by each candidate is hosted on the website of the Institute at
Can I collect the ISA AT Result personally and not pay the high postage charges?
  No. As per procedure, result of all candidates is mailed to candidates.
Do I get a Mark Sheet for ISA AT?
  Yes, a Mark Sheet detailing the TOTAL marks received is sent to candidates within three weeks of ISA AT results declaration. Marks in individual modules are NOT provided.
The ISA AT DD is made payable at Delhi or Chennai?
  The ISA AT DD has to be made payable in favor of "Secretary, ICAI" payable at Delhi/ New Delhi.
Can I request for verification of ISA AT Result?
  Yes. You have to apply within one month of declaration of results along with fees of Rs.500/- payable by Demand Draft to "Secretary, ICAI" at New Delhi.
When will the pass certificate of ISA AT qualified candidates will be sent?
  The ISA AT pass certificate duly signed by the Secretary and President of the Institute is normally sent to the qualified ISA AT Candidates within SIX weeks from the date of declaration of result by Speed/ Registered Post at the address given in the isa AT Form by the candidate.
Is the merit list of ISA AT Prepared?
  Yes. The Merit List up to THREE ranks is prepared and hosted on the website of the Institute at . Merit Certificates are issued to the first three rank holders.