I agree. Even the exam is designed to have 100 to 150 questions, it threw me out at question 100 with failed result. (ISC)2 should offer a second chance to take the exam for free. $699:00 is a lot of money for this new CISSP CAT to lose for 100 questions.
I recently took the CAT and passed, but I agree, it was a difficult test and I felt like a lot of the questions were not directly covered from the study material. I believe that this is, however, on purpose. The CISSP is more than just a memorization game, otherwise the certification wouldn't hold as much credibility. You must know the material, yes, but in addition you must also know how to analyze and apply it - which is why you see a lot of questions framed in the "which is the BEST of the following..." format.
For me, the best piece of advice I received while studying was "Think of everything in terms of capability and risk - what capability does this technology provide, and what risks does it introduce and/or mitigate."
(ISC)2 should offer a second chance to take the exam for free. $699:00 is a lot of money...
I too paid for my exam myself and stressed about "wasting" the fee if I were to fail. If anything, it encouraged me to better prepare.
Realizing that (ISC)² needs to pay for your second use of PersonVue's facilities, you might get more traction recommending a discount (e.g. 25%), but I would not hold my breath.
There is an unpleasant reason for (ISC)² to disincentivize retakes. Free retakes encourage candidates to take tests before they are ready, just to learn the questions and then study to the test, completely devaluing the test (and certification). There was a good blog entry on this a few years ago that explains how some shady test-prep organizations exploit this.
As it is, other candidates might already perceive you to have an unfair advantage because you have seen actual questions. You probably saw the effects of this in your own preparation in that your 98% scores probably occurred on the third time you took the practice test, not the first time.
Sorry to hear that, I know how nervous I was in the build up to taking the exam. A couple of people have mentioned Shon Harris' All In One book. Shon's book has lots of extra resources like audio and video.