Education

7 Expert Tips to Pass the CISSP Exam

CISSP or Certified Information Systems Security Professional is among the highest accreditations in the information security industry today. Much has been said about the CISSP but none of it can be refuted. The certification was introduced in 1991 by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ISCa non-profit making organization.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional


The CISSP is a complex accreditation and requires a lot of preparations to enable you to pass the exam. According to the ISC2,this accreditation is aimed to showcase your know-how, further your careerand obtain a membership of a community of cybersecurity leaders. If you become a CISSP accredited, you get an opportunity to be a designer, equipped to implement and execute an information security program.

In this post, we have shared some important tips to enable you to study and pass the CISSP exam.

1. Be knowledgeable about CISSP and ensure you have what it takes for the exam

As already explained above, you must know what CISSP is and make sure you have all the requirements that will enable you to take the exam.

The CISSP exam is an assessment of the 8 Areas from the ISC2.

1. Security and Risk Management
2. Asset Security
3. Security Engineering
4. Communications and Network Security
5. Identity and Access Management
6. Security and Assessment Testing
7. Security Operations
8. Software Development Security

The CISSP Prerequisites

To obtain a CISSP certification, it takes some time since you must meet certain requirements. In fact, this makes only those who are determined to apply for it. To obtain the qualifications to apply for this accreditation, you must have been working full-time for at least 5 yearsin at least two of the topics of the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) domain.

Another way to qualify is if you have obtained a four-year college degree or an advanced credential or accreditation. This is an alternative way to bypass the five-year full-time working experience. The other way you can qualify to take the CISSP exam is to come to an agreement to the code of ethics of the (ISC)2 and ascertain that you have never involved yourself with hackers and that you never been convicted crime felony.

Secondly, you need to take the CISSP exam. Here, you can retake the exam if you fail in your first attempt but you will be required to pay some fee for each exam you retake. The exam takes 6 hours where you will take 250 questions from the 8 domains and you are required to get a minimum grade of 70%.

Ensure you are fluent in CISSP language

Here, you must not think that you know all about security and the CISSP domains. You may be knowledgeable about security, but you don’t understand what type of questions will be tested in the exam. It is advisable to start preparing yourself by researching one domain after another and ensure the language of the exam is at your fingertips, you understand the content and ideas that the CISSP will be tested on. Try to associate the ideas with real-world examples that you are aware of from your profession and this could help to ensure what you read sticks in your brain.

The study resources

The best thing to do here is to make use of many if not all study resources. It is good to do a thorough review of the main topics in all the domains. An official CISSP study guide can come in handy in this step. The good thing about the guides is that it touches all the areas in each domain. Another option is to go online and take a ExamSnap CISSP practice test. Do the practice tests several times at least.

Form a group with others who will take the exam also.

Enroll for CISSP training courses and participate in boot camps. Although they are costly, they can be helpful. You may ask or your employer to pay for your boot camp classes. In these boot camps, you will get an opportunity to review the domains together with others taking the exam and you are more likely to understand things you had not understand when studying alone. You will realize that after these preparations you will have gotten advice and guides from other colleagues who are to pass the exam.

Have an estimate of your time and ensure to use it wisely

Ensure to allocate some time for everything. You can take about two months in your preparations. Review CISSP books for at least two or three hours every weekend. Whenever you have some free time, you can take the online tests. Ensure to take these exams repeatedly until you are sure to get a minimum pass of 70%.
Split your time accordingly. Set time for everything. You can take 60% of your time to go through study guides and 40% doing online practice tests.

Ensure to get a good sleep before the exam

6 hours of an exam with 250 questions is not easy. It’s tedious. Note that you will leave the exam exhausted. Sleep comfortably a day before the exam is healthy as the exam needs more energy.
Come up with a strategy you will use when taking the exam

Here, you need to have adequate exam strategy. Go through all the questions to ensure your brain can grasp what the examiners have tested. Tackle all the questions you are sure you know first then finish with those that you are not quite certain about but you have an idea. This will help you to know what questions you don’t have answers to. Note that the CISSP is a multiple-choice exam.

Summary of CISSP certification

CISSP certification is aimed at recognizing that you are knowledgeable about the industry well. The knowledge you acquire will give you the courage to handle what comes your way with much confidence. You will have a clear understanding of cybersecurity.

It is worth noting that CISSP is not a onetime thing, if you pass the exam, you have completed the first step. To ensure you retain you CISSP accreditation you are required to get recertified after every three years and obtain Continuous Professional Education (CPE)

Good luck on your exam!