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Newcomer I

Failed my CC exam today.

I recently experienced disappointment as I did not perform well in my CC exam. It's disheartening to realize that the questions, although seemingly straightforward, were not adequately covered in the provided study guide. This situation has led me to question whether this is a deliberate strategy to encourage candidates to pay for the exam.

Despite approaching the exam with confidence and thoroughly understanding the chapters, I was taken aback by the unfamiliarity of the majority of the questions. This has left me feeling both sad and confused. In light of this, I am considering rescheduling the exam.

To better prepare for the future, I am seeking advice. Your guidance would be greatly appreciated in helping me navigate this challenging situation.

17 Replies
Community Champion

@shahid737 wrote:
one might argue ... However, the correct answer....

Think of it a bit differently.  When taking tests (ISC2 or otherwise), you job is not to select the correct answer; it is to select the best answer.  It is not that only one of egress and ingress is the correct answer; they are both correct answers. Since there is more than one correct answer,  the next step is to figure out which one is best.  It is this second step of ranking the choices where your points-to-ponder comes into play (thanks for the list!). 


This is also in large part why ISC2 exams have a reputation for difficulty.  People tend to be well trained in "correct", but are relatively inexperienced about thinking "best".   This is why it is important to study all the answers before making your choice.


As an aside, I once had a college prof who would restore points on exams if one was able to explain why their "incorrect" answer was another correct choice and how it compared vs the officially correct answer.  The idea being that being able to mount a defense demonstrated a level of knowledge.  Plus, it gave him feedback about how students interpreted his teachings so that he could continuously improve.



Newcomer II

I completely agree with you. I've also noticed that, in some cases, the situation may apply to more than one option, making it important to identify the best course of action. While it may seem easier said than done, choosing the best option is crucial in such situations.

Newcomer II

Referring to @denbesten  post, the terms "egress and ingress" might pose a challenge for non-native English speakers or those unfamiliar with American English when encountered for the first time. I personally came across these terms three weeks ago while preparing for the CCSP exam.
Initially, I found the language quite challenging and I struggled to understand questions.
Fortunately, in the actual exam, I observed that the language used wasn't as complex as it appeared in practice questions.

Newcomer I

Hi Stan,


        Yes, I saw many questions on the CC exam that were not straight-forward, or just not identified as being from the study material.

        I am older than most at this point in my IT career, and have taken many tests fromgrade school on up.  I have learned that studying topic material for any subject then tested on the exact answers is not teaching anything other than memorization.  To truly know the material being studied, you have to be tested on the ideas of the material, not the words.

        I have found that reading the question, then eliminating the unnecessary words in the question will help you most in deciphering the answer.  Also, when selecting from multiple answers, you have to eliminate the most incorrect choices first.  Then identify the definitions and applications of the remaining answers to decide on the single, most correct answer.

        This is a good lesson, to me, anyway, that the real world of cybersecurity is not, nor ever will be, an exercise in fill-in-the-blank solutions.  Cybercriminals will snake their way through your peripherals and IP addresses to find your valued data and steal it little by little, or as a mass exodus.  You have to be watching.  This is why there is much burnout in the IT industry.

Newcomer I

Extremly sorry to here that.I can feel your dissapointment since I know how demoralising it will be to face a faliure right  at the first step with all the positive energy and enthusiasm you had when you started to learn the concepts of Cyber Security.Take it like this .That might be the best thing happenned to you in the Journey you have now started and you might learn some key pointers fromm this forum and also on your own when you are tackling this type oof examination in the future.Here are the key things what I think you can take out of that minor setback you had and I insist you not give up.Keep going forward.


1)Dont rely on the Study guides given by the certification body alone.Those guides  usually giving you the definitions of the concepts.Reading a definition of a concept on its face value and try to understand it is very very dificult.You need extra reading,videos,lectures etc. to get more clarity on it and grasp the entire scope covers by that.I suggest you the Udemy course for CC by Thor Pederson.Which have like 12 hours of material which explains all the concepts more clearly.

2)Dont ever try to sit for an exam again without doing a single simulated question.Big No NO this.No matter how many times you went through the course material,you cannot get the experiance you gain from finding a solution to a question.Dont memorise the answer. try to work out the answer your self.Sometimes it might take whole two hours for you to work out the answer by your self.I suggest yet you do it.That two hours you spend on finding the answer will train your brain in analysing and breaking down a question to find the best solution for it.

3)Think of real time examples for the concepts and if possible do some hands on implimentation of them again to understand the method behind the concept.

4)Dont expect surprises in a exam.All the surprises need to come before the exam.If you found one during the exam dont waste your time just skip it and move forward.


Good luck.

Newcomer I

Hello Stan,


I sympathize with you and understand what you are feeling at this time.  However, it is not impossible to achieve. First and foremost, the ISC2 exams are not based on root memorization of answers from a test bank.  Instead, the questions are testing your overall understanding of events and how you choose to respond.  Nevertheless, to properly prepare for the exam, there are some memorization requirements.  Specifically, you must build a vocabulary of terms and some facts about their meaning and performance.  What do I mean by that?  Well, You must know the steps of addressing RISK, for example.  Here is a recommendation that you can follow to pass the exam:


1.  Purchase the official Exam Prep: CC Study Tools and Resources (

2.  The Official training and Exam are Free right now.  Use them.

3.  Memorize terms and steps of events and RISK Management.  Repeat, Repeat, and Repeat the chapter questions as many times as it takes.

4.  Memorize the Flash Cards, all of them.

5.  Go over the whole book more than once.  I read the book three times.

6.  Most important:  Take notes during your reading of new terms and steps that you do not know.  Take new notes each time you read the book to reinforce your learning. This is valuable and must be done.  Reading for reading does not help everyone unless you have a photographic memory, which I do not have.


Once you are done with the book three times or more, repeating all the questions and reviewing all the answers that you missed, take the online Video training from ISC2.  you can speed up the video, if necessary.  In my case, I read the transcript instead of watching the Video.  that worked for me.


The book has an online test feature of the Book's questions.  Use it.  It is valuable to reinforce your learning.

Reader I

My condolences. This may be unrelated to your situation, but I'd like to share my experiences. I have a friend who is brilliant, but he doesn't know how to write multiple choice exams and the anxiety of the test always makes him choose the lesser of the two best options so he fails. If there was another method for assessing his skills he would surpass most of us; the guy's a genius. Anyway, Macleans has a resource called "How to ace multiple choice tests" written in 2022 that you may find helpful. 

I have generalized anxiety disorder and so medications and therapy help me with stressful situations like job interviews and exams.

I too was taken aback at the questions on the CC exam when they weren't covered AT ALL in the practice tests, study materials, or course. In that situation I was thankful I knew how to write a multiple choice exam. It wasn't a test on if I had knowledge of the material, but rather if I could guess the best choice when presented with a new problem.

Viewer II

For anyone who may find it helpful, I just used the study guide from ISC2 with the test practices. I took the initial and final assessment quizzes twice. I also looked on YouTube for "Master the ISC2 CC Exam 2024: In-Depth Analysis of 25 Key Questions". It's free by Prabah Nair. The latest was a big eye-opener and helped me set my mind on how the exam is written. I don't have a background in IT, so my content knowledge was pretty much basic. However, this didn't stop me from passing on the first try. I also battle with ADHD and PTSD. Best of luck!