I've been following the ISACA forum for a while as I studied for the CISA and haven't seen an experience thread in a while, so here you go.
I took the exam this morning and received the provisional pass with the final score expected within 10 days. For background, I have about 10 years IT experience, about 7 in various IS functions, the last few in full-time security, and plenty of informal auditing, but not much in the way of a formal audit so this test was a bit of a stretch for me. As far as study material:
- I bought the AIO a while back and made it through about 3 chapters. Remembered zero. It's about as dry as other technical books, but it did include some good information when I needed to fill in gaps, so I'll keep it as a reference.
- Cybrary: I am a huge proponent for these guys and the Handerhan CISSP videos were instrumental in passing the CISSP. The CISA videos unfortunately were as dry as the reading material. I listened to a few where I knew I needed reinforcement, but I couldn't stay focused long enough to make it through all of them.
- The QAE database: Truly the only resource you need if you have the experience. I took quizzes of questions I hadn't seen to make sure I had seen all 999 at least once, then tackled the ones I missed the first time, then adaptive quizzes ad nauseum. In all, I spent about 23 hours taking quizzes and answered nearly 3000 questions. I caught myself remembering answers (knew the answer before I finished reading the question) so for those I would explain to myself why the others were wrong before submitting the answer to make sure I actually understood why the answer I remembered was correct.
As for the actual exam, it was nothing spectacular. I actually thought the QAE database questions were more convoluted. Most questions were cut and dry, close to what was seen in the QAE, and a handful of "where did this come from?" questions.
For others considering the CISA or preparing: if you have the experience, hammer the mess out of the QAE, and if you don't, consider extra reading material in addition to the QAE. I didn't use the ISACA review manual so I can't speak to its usefulness but others have said it was helpful.
Good luck, everyone.