Writing Exam Questions 


ISACA’s certification exams are developed using subject matter experts (SMEs) within our community. We welcome certified practitioners to submit high quality questions to be reviewed as potential exam items. Submitted items go through a rigorous review process by a panel of certified SMEs. Item writers have the opportunity to earn CPE hours and honorariums.

Learn more in the Item Writer Resources below.

To write an exam question…

  • you must be certified in the program for which you sign up to write items.
  • sign up to be an item writer, and receive email campaign invitations and updates.
  • review the Item Writing Resources to get started.


Item Writing Resources

Training Presentations:

This series of presentations will help new item writers get started and serve as a refresher for experienced writers. Each presentation averages 6-10 minutes in length.

Presentations may be paused at any time to review specific slides and item examples.

Item Development Guides:

These guides are comprehensive tools containing item writing information specific to each certification, including each certification’s job practice.

General FAQ’s

1. What is item writing?
A: Item writing is the process of developing questions for ISACA’s certification exams. It involves writing questions and answer choices aligned with each specific certification’s job practice.

2. Do I need to hold an ISACA certification to participate?
A: Yes, you must hold the certification for which you write exam questions. For example, you must be CISA certified to write for the CISA exam. If you are not yet certified, you can sign up as soon as you earn your certification!

3. How do I learn to write exam items?
A: New item writers must participate in a remote item writing training program before an invitation to an item writing campaign will be sent.

4. How much time does it take to write an exam item?
A: Plan on approximately 1 hour per item. Keep in mind, item writing should become easier with practice.

5. What happens after I submit an item?
A: ISACA staff reviews submissions for adherence to item writing guidelines & best practices. Items that meet the item writing criteria are then reviewed by a working group of subject matter experts for possible inclusion on future exams.

6. When can I submit items?
A: Once you have completed the training program, you may submit items during an item writing campaign. Campaigns are hosted twice per year and are typically open for 6-10 weeks. Please keep in mind that items submitted may not be reviewed by the working group for several months, depending on the meeting schedule.

7. What happens to items that do not get accepted by the working group?
A: Items that are not accepted are returned to the item writer with the group’s feedback.

8. Can I earn CPEs for writing items?
A: Yes! You will earn 2 CPEs and $50 USD for each item that is accepted by the working group for inclusion on a future exam.