I do remember my exam day all too well. I was one of those who took the paper based exam back in 2002. There were three people per table and each person at each table was given a different paper exam I think to make sure we're not looking over anyone's shoulder. We were informed by the proctors that we couldn't talk to fellow test takers at all, could only go to the bathroom one at a time and we couldn't speak about the questions in the exam at all with anyone.
It was a difficult exam. Initially I answered what I could and I found answers to a few questions later on in the exam questions. When I finished the test I wasn't as much looking forward to whether I passed or not. I was just greatly relieved that I survived. 🙂
I made my exam on 2013, 250 questions and 10 domains, only because company mandate all have some certification.
I had been working on securityland over 15 years at this point, so just taking one week prep class and then do actual exam was way to go.
As my normal luck, I got most of questions from domains I know least, but I still passed. I had been working security, project manager, technical architect, code writer, army and all kind of roles, so I knew something already from all those domains, even I was raised to code assembler code to microchips in first place.
Actual test was just a test, what I got most was that one week course with others and ofcourse our amazing teacher on that course, Oren.
For me, as head of security, certification is one part, BUT one need to understand and know how to work everydays situations. Mere certification doesn't fullfit second part.
I was fortunate to attend a CISSP boot camp, which included a voucher for the exam. I wrapped up training late Friday afternoon and was scheduled to take the exam the following Monday. I showed up and signed in, then was shown to a workstation. This was in May of 2014 and the exam system was all on computer. I made it through all the questions I immediately knew, then went back through the ones I had not answered and either knew the answer this time due to other questions I'd already answered. Finally, I reviewed the exam once more, then finished the exam. I'll admit I didn't think I'd passed. It just didn't "feel right". So, I'd always been told when the proctor hands you the results, you would either see a score and areas requiring more study, or it would simply say "Congratulations" or something similar followed by instructions to complete registration. The proctor handed me the paper and I scanned for my score twice before slowing down and see that magical word "Congratulations". I said, "Holy crap, I passed!" The proctor said, "You're the third person today who said exactly the same thing." So, I guess that's most people's first thought when realizing they passed the exam. That was literally the hardest written test I've ever taken in my life and I have never been so thankful to put it behind me.