Information discussed within this post is to provide guidance on how to pass CISSP Exam in two weeks of studying. My methods take lot of discipline and dedication. I know you might be thinking is this possible and I can guarantee that it is possible and I have done it. Just to give you a little back ground, I am currently working in the Cybersecurity industry as information security analyst. Obtaining CISSP has raised me to the next level.
CISSP is a must have certification for anyone who is pursuing Cybersecurity career. CISSP is considered the “gold standard” of information security certifications and one of the most important certifications that cybersecurity professionals must have on their resume.
What is CISSP
CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an independent information security certification granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, also known as (ISC)². CISSP exam covers the following domains.
- Security and Risk Management
- Asset Security
- Security Architecture and Engineering
- Communication and Network Security
- Identity and Access Management
- Security Assessment and Testing
- Security Operations
- Software Development Security
Another thing that I want to point out is that, as of December 18, 2017 ISC2 is utilizing Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) for CISSP exams.
Per ISC2 each candidate taking the CISSP CAT exam will start with an item that is well below the passing standard. Following a candidate’s response to an item, the scoring algorithm re-estimates the candidate’s ability based on the difficulty of all items presented and answers provided. With each additional item answered, the computer’s estimate of the candidate’s ability becomes more precise – gathering as much information as possible about a candidate’s true ability level more efficiently than traditional, linear exams.
Prior to CAT, CISSP used to contain 250 questions with 6 hours to finish the exam. The CAT exam evaluation allows ISC2 to accurately assess a candidate’s ability from 100-150 questions with 3 hours to finish the exam. More information regarding Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) for CISSP can be found under https://www.isc2.org/Certifications/CISSP/CISSP-CAT#.
Requirements you need to become CISSP
According to ISC2, You need to have at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the (ISC)² CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).
If you don’t have the required work experience then you can become an Associate of (ISC)² by successfully passing the CISSP exam where candidate will have six years to earn the five years required experience.
- Cybrary for Training Videos – https://www.cybrary.it/course/cissp/
- (ISC)2 CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional Official Study Guide 8th Edition by Mike Chapple, James Michael Stewart and Darril Gibson
- CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests 2nd Edition by authors Mike Chapple and David Seidl
- Eleventh Hour CISSP: Study Guide 2nd Edition by Eric Conrad
It is understandable that everyone has different methods of studying, however the method that I am providing is based on my experience and might not work for everyone. I studied while I was doing my full time job.
This method only takes two weeks, but you need to be very dedicated and need to give your 110%. Its only for two weeks and after that you can go back to your normal routine. This way you don’t have to study for like 6 months like lot of people do.
So first thing you need is to do is sign up with cybrary. This is a free training website and provide training on CISSP concepts. I used this on my phone and listen to the training videos using headphones while I was at work.
After I get home from work, I would study for about 5 more hours, I would spend two to three hours reading the chapters from the book. Soon as I am done with reading chapters I would take the chapter questions from end of each chapter. After you are done reading the book each day rest of the time I would spend on taking practice exams. In the beginning you might get lot of questions wrong, but don’t worry about it at this time. You just need to take a screenshot of the questions that you get wrong and save it on a word document.
When you read the book, don’t try to memorize anything, the whole point of reading the book is to understand the concepts and figure out how each concept inter operate within each other.
Every chance you get free time just review the questions you got wrong from the practice exams and questions. Any of the concepts or answers to questions you don’t understand, go back and read the book regarding those concepts. Book can be registered online and you get access to the whole book online and search for keywords and concepts. This makes it easier to study.
Rinse and repeat until you are done with Offical Study Guide book and Official Practice Tests.
After you are done with reading (ISC)2 CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional Official Study Guide 8th Edition book you can start reading the Eleventh Hour CISSP: Study Guide 2nd Edition by Eric Conrad. This book is a very easy read and all CISSP concepts are summarized.
If you run out of practice questions then you can start using exam questions from Boson. You will have to pay and it is about $99 for the ExSim-Max.
The day before the exam you should get a good night sleep. Don’t try to study late since at this point your brain will not retain any information because you are thinking about your exam the next day. So call it quits around 8.00PM or so and relax and go to sleep early.
The day of the exam wake about two hours early, Get ready and have a good breakfast and be at the center at least a one-hour early prior to your exam time.
Make sure you have access to practice exams from the books or any other source. You are going to do some practice exams until you go to the test center. Don’t worry if you get them wrong, just make sure you read and understand the question. also, if you did get the question wrong read the answer and figure out why.
Don’t spend too much time on the questions you got wrong. I would spend about minute per question bu not more than that. This is to get your brain started and those wheel turning so when you get to the exam you are good to go.
Make sure you take required documents and forms of ID’s.
When you are answering questions make sure that you think like a manager. Unless the question is clear cut, which 90% of the time it is not you need to read the question thoroughly and figure out the answer where what would a manager do.
During the exam make sure that you answer the question since there is no marking and going back to review questions. Once you selected the answer and submit that’s final, there is no reviewing questions option on CISSP exam anymore.
With the new CAT exam you might be stopped at after answering 100 questions or 150 questions. After you click the submission button at the end of the exam, you will feel like you didn’t pass the exam, but if you have followed the above steps you should be getting the print out that says congratulations!
After you pass the exam you can start the online endorsement process to attests that your assertions regarding professional experience are true and that you are in good standing within the cybersecurity industry. Online Endorsement can be found under https://www.isc2.org/endorsement.aspx.
If you have any questions regarding CISSP and need any guidance or assistance for passing CISSP please comments below.