I just failed the test this morning. I went in cautiously confident since I passed all the practice tests in the back of the ISC2 Office Practice Tests book on my first try after studying for 4 months. I took over 30 pages of typed notes from the Cybrary boot camp by Kelly Handerhan, and reviewed them many times. I read the entire 1000 page book and answered and re-answered the practice questions several times until i understood all the correct answer and incorrect answers. In total I believe i reviewed over 1700 practice questions and spent an average of one and a half hours a day over the past 4 months studying for this exam. I've been in IT for 15 years and in a IT security environment for 8. My current job is specifically IT security. I felt the exam covered lots of content that did not exist in the ISC2 books. What was most surprising was how different the format of the questions were on the actual test vs the practice questions from the book. The practice questions from the book seemed to cover a decent amount of technical content which has actually helped me in my job. The questions in the practice book had specific answers. Unfortunately the test was nothing like the practice questions from the book and about 10 questions into the exam I had that horrible feeling that I was going to fail since the content and test question format was very different from the study material. I'm going to call the hotline and try to figure out why the ISC2 official study materials and questions are so different from the actual exam. Why am I learning about the inner workings of Kerberos, types of network attacks, mathematical equations, port numbers, encryption types, database components, physical security and fire safety mechanisms, legal frameworks, network technologies, types of security and authentication software, etc... if the actual exam is not going to cover those specifics!!!! I literally felt like I signed up for the wrong exam. I can't reiterate how significantly different the exam was from the ISC2 books and the Cybrary boot camp. I actually really liked the books and the boot camp but I am completely disgusted with the format of the exam. How can I be below proficiency level's in domains in which I'm scoring 80% and higher on the practice questions on my first attempt??? If ISC2 is going to change the exam then they better come out with study material that matches that exam. I used the Eighth Edition CISSP Official study guide copyright 2018 along with the official practice test book. Again, the books were great, Cybrary's boot-camp is great, but apparently no longer a good resources for preparing for this newer CISSP Cat exam.... I'm not even sure now where to turn in order to prepare for this exam if I choose to retake it. If I get any kind of reasonable guidance form the ISC2 hotline I will be sure to provide it.
I am sorry to hear about your experience but don't fret, as your score may help further fine-tune where you may need to brush up on some material. I am in complete agreement, as the end of chapter questions in ANY cissp book is deceiving regarding exam readiness. I can say that some questions that were presented during my exam, I had zero clue of and but I approached them from a management perspective in regards to an infosec perspective. Here is another example, I took an HCISPP boot camp a few years ago which covered the entire CBK and I aced just about every question in the book. The last day before the exam, we took a vendor prepared sample exam test.... I felt like I was sucker-punched as none of the questions were anywhere near the type of softball questions that were in the CBK. I was disheartened by my score and did not feel good about my exam in less than 12 hours....
I reviewed some material and I passed the exam, but that practice exam prepared me for what otherwise I would have most likely failed if I had blindly gone into the exam without the preparation. Take it as a growth and learning experience and fuel for you to better prepare for next time. Don't give up and don' let it frustrate you... I too have failed another cert on my first attempt, as I sulked for a few days but then was determined to beat it next time around, which I did. I wrote up my journey that helped me pass the exam, if you PM me I can share with you..
Trust me, I feel we both had similar studying paths towards the exam, but I notice there are a few key differences that I think pushed me over the edge to pass, which I may have not passed on my first attempt without it.
I am sorry to hear about your experience with the exam and I have to agree with you on the test book exam questions.
I have passed the exam last week and I prepared for 06 months for it but, once I completed my first 10 questions, I felt like I'm going to fail and I had to challenge my thinking few times before hit "next".
R-R was spot-on on this point and I did the exact same thing.
"I can say that some questions that were presented during my exam, I had zero clues of and but I approached them from a management perspective "
I used below material for prep:
I personally felt Mike's series follows a more strategic/management approach and Kelly's a more hands-on/operational approach and I think you will require both to tackle this exam.