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Newcomer II

CISSP STUDY TIME

Hey Guys, 

I'm studying to take the CISSP. How much time, conservatively, should I budget? I want to go ahead and schedule the exam in advance for a time I anticipate being 'ready' as a motivator. 

 

I passed the CISA exam, which I studied for about 2.5 months at 2 hours a night/5 days a week. I expect that this exam will be more intensive and as such, I'll probably need to dedicate more time to it. 

 

Any help and advice is super appreciated! 

Thanks!

13 Replies
Newcomer II

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Hi there,

 

you did not provide enough Information about your background, so it's hard to estimate how much YOU would need to prepare for the CISSP exam.

 

Therefore I'll just take myself as an example: I had 5 years full time experience in the security field by the time I took the exam (and passed on the first attempt). I invested approximately 150-160 hours in learning and practicing - at the beginning less (maybe somewhere around 5-8 hours a week), in the last 3-4 weeks up to 25 hours a week (and I was still working full time). I registered the exam 3,5 months in advance, which helped me keep the focus.

 

No matter how much you invest in learning: do not underestimate the CISSP exam. Expect at least some tricky questions.

 

Hope this helps.

Newcomer II

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Thanks Darie17. That is helpful!

Highlighted
Newcomer I

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Hi, I took the same route - passed CISA on the December (paper-based) exam and then passed CISSP around May the next year. After the CISA review/pass, I studied for CISSP by reading the 11th Hour by Eric Conrad. As tips go, the amount of study will depend on the years and field of experience. So try to gauge how much study is needed based on how well you did on the CISA exam and how well you understand the CISSP domains. There are a lot of new materials now. I suggest you pick one that is not boring for you. And study daily until the planned exam date. :-) Best of luck.
Newcomer II

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Thanks Sneakers!! I really appreciate the advice and recommendations! I have 5 years experience in IT Audit, so I anticipate having a harder time with some of the more technical topics. I miss having an online study bank like I did with CISA, but I have purchased the Sybex books as that brand carried me way better than the official guide from ISACA. The Sybex CISSP book is comically large, which makes me nervous, but I'm going to start dedicating as much time to that and the practice question guide as I can.

Newcomer II

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Parthenon,

 

I have a similar background and just know that the CISSP is considerably harder than the CISA. I have 5 years experience in a highly technical IT audit shop and the CISSP still challenged me technically. I scheduled my exam 8 months out so I would have enough time to study. I started studying almost right after I scheduled my exam by reading a chapter a week in the Sybex book and working through the associated practice questions. I built a study plan an stuck to it. Then, one week before my exam I attended a classroom based boot camp with InfoSec Institute (which for me was very helpful). I passed my CISSP exam on my first attempt but it was by no means an easy task. In total, I estimate I studied between 160 - 200 hours before taking my exam. My recommendation: Create a study plan and stick to it. Also, study more than you think you need because when it comes to test time you need to show you have a certain level of mastery over the core material. You got this.....stick to it and its totally worth it in the end!

Community Champion

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

I’d favour a looser plan for study but I’d milestone out the 8 domains, and try to hit these.  Try not to worry about assigning a time, but go the rough the books and make sure you can accurately describe everything in each domain. Right size time spent for each domain, for example in the old ten domain CBK I spent no time on encryption as it was forming such a large part of my day to day( only do this if you are very sure on something if you avoid it,  but it it can speed up the process).

 

I do find little and often is the approach I like, 40mins reading, ten minutes resting, ten minutes sumarising after the rest without the text book. Keep doing it until you understand and can describe everything contained in a domain with minimal/ no prompting and I’d say you’d be on the right track.

 

 

Community Champion

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

I’d favour a looser plan for study but I’d milestone out the 8 domains, and try to hit these.  Try not to worry about assigning a time, but go the rough the books and make sure you can accurately describe everything in each domain. Right size time spent for each domain, for example in the old ten domain CBK I spent no time on encryption as it was forming such a large part of my day to day( only do this if you are very sure on something if you avoid it,  but it it can speed up the process).

 

I do find little and often is the approach I like, 40mins reading, ten minutes resting, ten minutes sumarising after the rest without the text book. Keep doing it until you understand and can describe everything contained in a domain with minimal to no prompting and I’d say you’d be on the right track.

 

 

Newcomer II

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Thanks Cousy! That's super helpful! I am working with a mentor to strategize a study plan. I'm afraid I do not have a highly technical background. When I studied the CISA I was able to hone in on the IT chapters and kinda skim the more audit practice sections, but I realize I'm more handicapped on this exam. I've been seeing more of my coworkers go after it, so I'm hoping within an attempt or two I can get there. I appreciate the advice on time allotment - I am taking that to heart, and will try to see if I can schedule it out further than I initially planned on to allow myself enough time to grasp the material.

Newcomer II

Re: CISSP STUDY TIME

Thank you! Yeah - I think I have 'some' background for about half the material, but for the other 4 domains I am definitely already struggling. I'm trying to study in 40 minute increments and split between reading, flashcards, and questions.