The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification given by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 is considered to be the most widely recognized certification in the information security industry worldwide. It has become a standard baseline for showing knowledge and proving expertise in this field.
Most candidates fail the CISSP exam because they have not been basically aware of how to correctly start in the first place. Most of them try hard to study, yet they eventually do not pass the CISSP exam because they have just crammed and studied aimlessly. They fall for the exam maker’s traps even though they have spent over 200 hours preparing for the CISSP exam, have taken practice exams, and have memorized key terms.
While in the exam, they hit a question like “You are designing a server room. What is the ideal percentage of humidity required to prevent damage to electronic equipment?” Of course, they are not IBM’s Watson, so they don’t know how to answer. The CISSP exam contains materials that such candidates are completely unfamiliar with, despite all the hundreds of hours of preparation.
Another trap that a CISSP candidate is guaranteed to encounter is the honeypots questions. Exam makers attempt to lure candidates into picking a wrong answer with misleading answer choices. These choices may appeal to the candidate’s technical background or prey upon their fatigue on the exam day. Familiarizing yourself with common honeypots can help you avoid them.
Before we dig into more details about the CISSP exam, it is important to mention that the CISSP exam is available in eight languages at 882 locations in 114 countries. The exam can come in either of two forms: Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) or Linear Fixed-Form exam. The core difference is that while traditional Linear Fixed-Form exams present candidates with an ordered series of questions, CAT exams adapt the difficulty of questions presented to candidates depending on their responses to previous questions. The English version of the exam uses Computer Adaptive Testing, yet non-English CISSP exams are administered as a Linear Fixed-Form exam. Throughout this post, we will limit our discussion to merely the CAT version.
Now that we understand the importance of CISSP exam and the necessity of having an effective preparation for such an exam to guarantee acing it, we need to move on to discuss quick facts about CISSP exam, then briefly explain the main domains that CISSP covers and how InfoSecAddict’s CISSP course targets them, and finally discuss in detail seven important tips for efficiently passing the exam.
- Number of Questions: 100 – 150
- Test Duration: 3 Hours
- Test Format: Multiple Choice and Advanced Innovative Questions
- Test Delivery: ECC EXAM, VUE
- Testing Center: (ISC)2 Authorized PPC and PVTC Select Pearson VUE Testing Centers
- Passing Score: 700 out of 1000 (70%)
CISSP Core Domains:
CISSP exam requires that successful candidates are competent in the following eight domains from the (ISC)2 Common Body of Knowledge (CBK):
- Security and Risk Management
- Asset Security
- Security Architecture and Engineering
- Communication and Network Security
- Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Security Assessment and Testing
- Security Operations
- Software Development Security
InfoSecAddict’s CISSP Prep-Course:
We in InfoSecAddicts, offer an interesting course to assist you in preparing for the CISSP exam. Our CISSP training course is solely based on the exam and is designed to address common mistakes that candidates fall into such that you can perform at your best. Our course structure helps you avoid cramming. Also, our diagnostic test creates an efficient and personalized study plan, and our focus on exam-taking strategies will give you an edge on exam day.
7 CISSP Exam Tips:
In this section, we will summarize seven important tips to follow in order to pass the exam successfully.
In order to qualify to take the exam, you must meet certain prerequisites. First, it is necessary to provide evidence of full-time work experience for five years in at least two of the aforementioned domains. Alternatively, you can instead provide evidence of four years of experience along with having either a four-year college degree or an accepted credential or certification. Second, you have to accept the (ISC)2 Code of Ethics and explain on your application if you have any felony conviction and any identification with hackers. Kindly note that the exam content is updated regularly every three years.
Don’t be overconfident about your knowledge of cyber-security and the CISSP domains. Having solid knowledge about cybersecurity is really beneficial, yet it cannot compensate for understanding all the types of questions you will face on the exam. Therefore, it is highly recommended first to go through each domain in the study guides and make sure you grasp the language of the exam, the types of the questions, and the concepts CISSP aims to teach.
It’s advisable to start preparing with an official CISSP study guide. These guides point to all the materials in each domain. In addition, go through the CISSP practice exams online. It is really advisable to do as many sample exams as possible while training for the exam.
Try to enroll at CISSP training courses and/or attend boot camps; they are rather expensive, but they are totally worth it. In such environments, you can experience group discussions in which you can review the domains with other mates and talk about the things you do not understand. This type of exam preparation is beneficial because you can take advice and guidance from other people who are going to take the exam.
You should decide –based on your past experiences and level of knowledge– on how much time you need to prepare for CISSP. You also better estimate how quickly you can memorize what you need to know. One good practice to follow is to to go through the study guides and mark out both the areas you understand and those you are not familiar with. This can greatly help you predict when you will be ready to take the CISSP exam. In order to wisely split the preparation time, you can spend almost 50% of your time reviewing study guides and 50% taking practice exams. If you can work with peer groups, we’d recommend 40% guides, 40% tests, and 20% peer group discussions.
The 3-hour CISSP exam is horrendous and quite long indeed. Getting a good night rest a day before the exam is a must because you will need plenty of energy for the exam.