Eh....it wasn't hard, per se. The content I thought was reasonably easy. But understanding what the question, and the answers, meant was the hardest part. Here was my study program:
- Bought this book (https://www.amazon.com/CISSP-Study-Guide-Third-Conrad/dp/0128024372/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=152536952...) last November, read 2 chapters and didn't touch it again until 4/28. Read through the whole thing from 4/28 - 4/30, and took all practice tests and the full test twice.
- Watched https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arkIFPbK3lo 2 or 3 times for a basic primer on what to expect (arguable value)
- Watched every CISSP practice question video here - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwUkAunxT1BNbmKVOSEoqYA - which I found very valuable - shout out to IT Dojo.
- purchased the ISC2 app for $10 on my phone, and took multiple exams. Good value.
- purchased the SkillSet (https://www.skillset.com/) Pro , which I thought was way too basic (turns out it was closer than I thought, but IT Dojo was still better)
- Download the free version of the pocketpro CISSP app on my phone. Took a bunch of quizzes/exams. Worth it.
I studied for about 5 days.
The most frustrating part for me was how poorly the questions were worded. It seemed like whatever panel came up with the questions was SO concerned about generalizing the questions that they completely obfuscated the meaning of not only the questions, but also the answers. You'd questions that basically says "Your IT Director tells you to secure the thing against various things. What do you do?" A - Do a thing to the thing B - Do something to a thing....and so forth. They use words to refer to industry standard concepts and technology that are so vague that you won't really know what they are talking about, and will think MAYBE you know what they mean....but not really. I went through the last half of the exam convinced I failed, not because I don't know the subject matter, but because I really couldn't understand what half the questions were talking about, for sure.
My exam ended after 100 questions on the nose...took me about an hour and 15 minutes.
I just passed on 10/2/2018. I used the practice questions from the Sybex 8th edition official study guide and used skillset.com practice questions. I did not read book at all since I never seem to retain any information that way.
My experience was very much like your own in that I could only glean a vague understanding of what was actually being asked in each question. I suppose I guessed enough correct answers since I passed! My test finished for me at 122.