Pass ISC2 CISSP Exam in First Attempt with These 8 Expert Tips


Do you want to get fully prepared to pass the CISSP exam in just one attempt? Are you looking for the ways of preparation to score excellent marks? The CISSP exam has high demand among the information security credentials. You have to attempt 250 questions that span eight domains of CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) in the duration of six hours. Sounds tough? Don’t worry. Though CISSP exam seems a headache but it is not that difficult to pass if you are well prepared. Prepare smartly and get your CISSP certification in shortest possible time to get your dream job in the well-known IT companies of the world. Having CISSP certification along with your five-year job experience will add the value to your profile and it can also be a silver bullet for your successful professional life.

Read further to get eight expert tips to prepare thoroughly for your CISSP certification.

CISSP exam

  1. Know the CISSP Exam Well

This is simple yet the most important part of your preparation for the CISSP exam. It is the first step to your success in the challenge you decided to face for a successful career. So, get a complete information about your exam before preparing for it. You can get the basic information from the internet. You can visit (ISC)2 website that provides basic information for the CISSP exam with other links providing the useful information for the CISSP exam topics, official training sources, practice test, and exam learning material.

If you want to get a detailed overview of the CISSP certification exam you can go to (ISC)2 exam guide. You will be provided the information that includes the requirements for the exam, number and type of questions you will face, the time limit and the passing marks for the exam.

You will also be able to know the details of exam topics and the proportion of questions distributed to each subject from this site. Moreover, it will also help you to construct your study strategy.

Study Timetable

  1. Construct an Effective Study Timetable

You must make a strategic timetable for the preparation of exam since the CISSP CBK span eight different areas of the subject. So, to get well prepared you must use your time wisely. Make sure that you have enough time to go through the entire syllabus at least one time. In addition to that, remember that only learning for the exam is not enough, you should know the actual questions and the method to attempt them. For this, you will have to complete the mock exams that are available online. Spend your time to review the areas that require advancements.

Having inadequate preparation plans will not let you get the desired marks in the CISSP exam. Forgetting outstanding marks it is crucial to make the study routine according to your personal needs. You can customize a good study plan by observing the following factors:

  • When you are going to take your certification exam? For this purpose, create your account on the Pearson VUE website and look for a suitable time and location.
  • The second factor you should consider is “how much time you can give to your preparation?” If you are a busy professional or have other commitments then plan properly to give enough time to the preparation and try to prepare all the topics at least once and don’t neglect practice tests. Also, spend some time in revising the exam simulations.
  • How much time do you have to spend on the preparation material and training courses? To prepare thoroughly for the exam you should prepare with the valid preparation material. It would the best choice if you use an official pre-study book for the preparation before your exam because it will help you to develop your skills in the subject.
  • What is the best learning method for you? Ask this question to yourself considering the previous experiences and choose the most suitable way of preparation. Think about it and decide whether you will prepare on your own or you will take classes for the study or you will prefer online learning to make the best use of your time. It’s an important factor for the efficient preparation of the exam.
  • How well you know about the CISSP exam already? You know that the exam is all about knowledge and skills, the more you understand the exam the more likely you will get success without trouble. So, prepare well according to the exam questions, their reasoning, exam length and exam time. Your experience can help you to save some time but totally depending on it can cause failure. Even the CISSP experts can have a hard time if they sit in the exam. Thus, save yourself from appearing on the exam again and prepare once to pass with exceptional grades.

Certification Preparation Training

  1. Consider a Certification Preparation Training

Self-study is a bold decision but may not be the best one. You should understand that as an entry-level cert it is essential for you to have a thorough preparation of the subject. Though the definitions and concepts may vary for the topics according to the certification body from which the exam was developed. So, even though you have firsthand knowledge about the subject, it may not be enough for the success in the exam because you are not sure whether the certification body’s view is the same as the tasks that professionals are doing.

From the certification preparation course, you will be able to prepare under an expert instructor which will enable you to pass the exam in the first attempt. You can get the answers to your questions immediately and share the experiences and strategies. In this way, you will get success in a short time.

Solve Practice Questions

  1. Solve Practice Questions

If you want to get fully prepared before the CISSP exam then you should not ignore the importance of practice tests. The CISSP exam tests the skills of candidates by asking 250 questions that must be attempted in the six hours. Thinking about this, you can say that must have the ability to attempt each question in only 1.44 minutes. Now we can analyze that only by having the best time management skills and sufficient knowledge for the CBK, you can pass the exam with good grades.

There are many online sources helping the candidates to prepare for the CISSP exam by providing the questions that are exactly the same as the actual exam. But you can memorize these questions only if you have a photographic memory, otherwise memorizing them is not possible because there is a huge information covered in these questions. Moreover, there are updates that add new questions to the exam every year so it is not sure that the questions database contains all the questions. Seeing this, the best way to prepare for the CISSP exam is to use practice tests to analyze your abilities. Along with the practice tests, you should solve a full-length exam before the day of the exam. This will help you to manage the six hours of the exam to solve 250 exam questions, so your preparation will be effective to pass the CISSP exam.

You may have a problem in selecting the valid question database so start with the official learning material provided by (ISC)2 to study for the CISSP exam. InfoSec Institute’s practice test service, SkillSet, is another valid source for the preparation of your CISSP exam.

These tests will help to know your weak points so that you can improve them. If you could not get your desired results then do not be disappointed and prepare hard as it was not the actual exam by the way. Take your time and prepare wisely and solve more practice tests until you get fully prepared for the actual exam. You will see that the more you prepare and solve these exams the more you will become confident and this is what you need to pass the exam.

Be a Part of Online Community

  1. Be a Part of Online Community

As you know that CISSP is one of the highly demanded information security credentials and has a great importance in the world of IT so it has produced a very strong online community. You can be the part of this community by a simple Google search that will provide you different forums, wikis and personal sites. In this online community, you will get to know the experiences of candidates and professionals.

The important thing to be kept in mind while using any source is to make sure that you are using a reliable source including the online CISSP community. Use the sources sensibly such as if are looking for a definition related to your subject then use official material such as books or guidelines but if you want an advice then go to the online mediums such as Reddit or TechExams for this purpose.

The candidates preparing for the CISSP exam often visit the online forums and search for CISSP success to get to know the methods of preparation and some motivation to pass the exam. Here, we would like to mention that you can also search for the CISSP failure. It will help you to avoid the mistakes that are common for creating the trouble of failure in the exam.

Most importantly, if you feel that you do not have enough time for others during the preparation, then keep yourself away from the time-wasting social activities.

Construct a Strategy for your Big Day Preparation

  1. Construct a Strategy for your Big Day Preparation

Get your things ready as the big day is about to come. Now is the time to make preparations for the exam day so remember to check the following things to be at your best in the exam:

  • The exam kit

Make sure that you have everything required for the CISSP exam. For this check the Pearson VUE website. You may feel that it is silly but to confirm your success the first thing is to confirm your preparation. You might have seen that there are some students who even cannot attempt the exam due to lack of exam requirements such as their identification. For details, you can see the guide and confirm it from your test center.

  • Make yourself Calm and Active

Do not ignore this point. It is as important as your whole exam preparation strategy. When you are well rested then your ability to perform best in the exam is increased. Staying up late for the preparation will cause both physical and mental exhaustion and you would not be able to perform well in the exam. Late night study is not a good a strategy if you want to pass the exam with good marks and it can also leave you nervous. Many candidates feel tired during the exam because of their lack of sleep and rest which eventually leads them to failure by wasting their efforts.

If you think that it is important to study on the night before exam day, then do only the selective study for your revision, do not prepare a whole topic or a new thing. If there is something left undone then in spite of focusing on that weak area you should revise the topics that you have done. Learning a whole new thing right before the exam may cause trouble during the exam. So, just prepare the summaries or glossaries for your exam on the night before the exam. The summaries contain the important points that you might have left during your preparation. Seeing them will help you to prepare those points. After that make sure to take a good sleep. Moreover, to stay active you should avoid alcoholic beverages, even if you want to consume a very little amount leave this idea for the time when you will be free. Have a good breakfast if your exam is in the morning and drink water. If your exam is during the daytime then take a light lunch. This will help you to stay calm and active during your exam.

  • Confirm the Necessary Arrangements

Before your exam day check if you make the required arrangements for the exam or not. Do not get late for the exam as some certifications follow a strict timetable and if you get late then it is more likely that you may not attempt the exam or admitted to the site. If you use public transport then you should know all the best routes to your exam center. If you are going to the exam site yourself then you should know about the parking details beforehand to avoid trouble at that time.

Make yourself Calm and Active

  1. Make your Mind Calm and Clear

Finally, the time to show your skills and lead yourself to the better future has come. Stop for a while, take a deep breath and remember that you make efforts for this grand day.

Now consider some last-minute tips:

  • Keep Track of your Time

The exam, no doubt is very challenging and the questions require focus and concentration, but while solving the exam you should keep track of the time. Every second during the time will seem to pass so quickly so don’t forget to use your time wisely and try to attempt all the questions and if required complete the forms of answer key.

  • Carefully Read the Questions

Though there is limited time and you have to attempt the exam carefully but you do not need to rush for this. Carefully read the questions and understand what you are being asked. Then check which options are clearly wrong for your question in the multiple-choice questions to reach the correct answer soon. You will see the terms such as not, least, all, most, always and never. Solve the questions with such terms more carefully as these words can change the meaning of the whole sentence.

There would be questions that will ask you to choose the best answers, remember, these questions may contain more than one right answers, but you have to choose the most suitable one. Read the question attentively, think about it according to your concepts and then choose your answer. This was the reason due to which we stressed upon using the official questions database.

  • Don’t Panic and Relax before the Exam

Relax yourself before going for your CISSP exam. Stretch your muscles and relax your mind. Being mentally and physically relaxed will help you in solving the exam efficiently. There is no need to panic. This will ruin your efforts so of you want to pass the exam with good marks then stay calm. The peaceful mind will help you to focus on the exam questions and you will be able to pass the exam with good marks.

Complete your Endorsement Procedure and Stay Determined

  1. Complete your Endorsement Procedure and Stay Determined

After taking your CISSP exam you will immediately get the result of your exam. If you pass (hopefully you will) the exam then you will have to submit your endorsement. You will have to complete the Endorsement process of the (ISC)2 within next nine months of your exam.

And if you could not pass the exam then there is no need to be discouraged. You know it is important to understand that even if you fail this time, your efforts did not go waste. You have more skills and knowledge about your subject and you can prepare further to reach your goal for sure. Failure is also a learning so take it as a motivation and prepare hard to get success. It is worth it to have a bright future with a good job in a good IT firm.  Then you will also be able to share your success story in the community you joined during your preparation.

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