Passing CISSP

madunixExecutive Information Technology Director
Executive IT Director. My primary purpose in life is that of learning, creating, and sharing.
What: The CISSP exam is a big undertaking. It is designed to test your presence of mind, knowledge, experience, concept, and hard work. You cannot learn everything in one day/week/month. You are going to be exposed to a lot of stuff.  As of December 18, 2017, the CISSP exam has adopted CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) exam format.  The CAT exam format aims to provide a more precise evaluation of the candidate‚Äôs ability. The CISSP Exam has 100-150 multiple-choice questions. The passing grade is 700 out of 1000 points.  You have 3 hours to complete the exam.

Why: Why do you want the CISSP certification? It is essential to know why because when you are faced with a difficult situation or difficult topic like BCP/SDLC/Crypto, instead of giving up, it allows you to persevere and move on. An example of why you want to get CISSP certified is to get a better job.

Limits: Write down how you are going to overcome your limitations. If you are not a good test-taker, write that down and then write down how you can overcome this matter.  An example, I am not a good test-taker, so my strategy to overcome that is: I am going to take many practice tests until I become a good test-taker.

Strategy: You need to pass the exam. The CISSP is not meant to make you an expert in any specific topic as it is comprehensive, not very deep. So you are not going to walk away like an expert in secure software development or BCP. If your job requires you to learn more about a specific topic, such as physical security, you can indeed become an expert on that topic.  I recommend you sign up for the Test because if it is on the calendar, it will be a commitment. Please put it on the calendar and then work backward; this strategy does determine what you need to do to be ready for that exam. Again plan a strategy and stick to it.

Study: If you study by yourself, you will always see your material from the same perspective; I recommend choosing a study group telegram, FB, WhatsApp, and Discord. These groups are active 24x7, discussing questions and concepts. Use SYBEX CISSP Official Study as a baseline for your study.  Review the notes from Sunflower, Process Guide, and Memory Places.  Review NIST publication.
In the case of misconception, keep referring to the CBK CISSP book and index.

Practice: I recommend reading one book cover to cover, but most people fail. So undertake many practice exams as you can. The way I passed my exams is by doing many practice questions. Review any questions you missed. Go through the practice exams; if you missed a question, go look up why you missed a question. Keep taking exam questions until you gradually get better and better. The other thing practice exams can give you the experience of the context that certain materials will be presented to you in the real exam. It also gives you experience eliminating distractors and figures out the correct answer. Measure your progress through quizzes, be aware do not go by the score; try to fill your gaps. Try getting your mindset in the MOST, LEAST, BEST type of questions you will see on the real exam.

Manager: Always think like a manager unless the question asks a technical issue explicitly.

Ready: The real way to measure if you are ready is if you are taking many practice exams and consistently scoring over 80%, then you are probably prepared. If you score below 70% or even below 80%, you should not consider yourself ready. You might still be able to pass, but the probability is less.

Exam: Go and take the Test. Re-read the question carefully; you should be able to narrow down the options. Some of the answers should be incorrect, and hopefully, you are choosing the correct one. Do not overthink. If,  for some reason, you do not pass the exam. Do not give up learning from your experience; know where you did not follow the plan and determine what areas you were weak in to strengthen those areas. I wish you the best of luck on the CISSP exam.

Check CISSP references:

madunixExecutive Information Technology Director
Executive IT Director. My primary purpose in life is that of learning, creating, and sharing.

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