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Newcomer I

Failed - 2020

First time at the exam today - I have to say I put it down to bad prep and some of the ambiguous questions.


I have worked in network, server, app and web support for 25 years +....


Studied the Sybex ISC2 exam questions  - to the point that I could get a 100% on 500 questions. Attended a boot camp with New Horizons 2 weeks prior and took a bunch of Google findings for online tests.


My BIGGEST failure.... beside stressing too much for tests.... my homework was too focused on absolutes..  


My new homework -  focus my studies into situational and scenario type questions that, not only need logical thought as a manager, but need to know when to apply what and where from a non-tech perspective....


I also made the mistake of reviewing other people's experience that if you get too pass the 100 mark, or spend too much of your time you have probably failed.... I got to 100 and pretty much gave up the chase....bad mistake!!  Roll on round 2....!!

5 Replies
Newcomer II

Hi - I failed the first time... it really stung because I paid for the test out-of-pocket.


I know it is frustrating... this wasn't an easy exam... and that is what makes it all the more valuable.  Lots of curve balls, too...


Don't be too hard on yourself; you have years of tech experience. You are already extremely marketable in the career space.  Maybe during the test you answered like a tech and not like a manager?


Sybex was useful, I also used the official CISSP study guide app, the most recent official ISC2 book, and i purchased question banks from Udemy (around $12).  I also listened to hours and hours of Youtube presentations during my commutes to/from work.  I also attended a 2 month boot camp through my local ISSA chapter (sorry, ISC2).


My recommendation... take a breather for a few days/week... but not too long.   Commit to a study plan, drill down on the CISSP app until you are scoring in the 90s, and then schedule your next exam.


You can do this!

Newcomer I

The benefit i have is that I now know what to expect.  Just need to track down some scenario based tests to get my brain thinking that way....tired of hitting Pass4sure sites and the like on Google - I don't want the answers just best ways to decipher the questions...



Advocate II

Get plenty of sleep surprisingly as your memory will work better.  I had my notes and books with me just in case I had one of those wee small hours panics that I couldn't remember the material.  I slept soundly, reread my 10 of so pages of hand written notes before the exam and set off on the 2 mile walk to the exam centre.  Ensure you're properly awake and alert.  Don't make the mistake of relying on artificial stimulants like coffee, you'll need to pee and your alertness will slump a couple of hours into the exam.  Theses things are all part of proper exam prep.  


Contributor I



There are many who failed in the first attempt and also the subsequent attempts. I came across a post where someone had been trying to get CISSP and they failed for 6 times.


I was a bit nervous before the exam as I had only spent around 1 month for the exam and the rest was my confidence and experience of working in security for around 7 years.


I know that many seasoned information security professionals failed in their first attempt. You have to pick the most appropriate solution as per the given scenarios in the question. Often we come across a point where what we think as the best solution may not be mentioned in the options.


I took the exam in 2014 Jan, where you had to attempt all questions. I was so focussed on the exam that I didn't read any update pertaining to changes in exam format and just a day before I came to know the changes that were made to the exam such as more interactive questions and some topic change. I couldn't sleep well before the exam day because of what the change and I thought I won't be able to make it in the exam. But still, I went and tried to keep a cool head. I won't hide that I was very nervous because none of the practice exams were near 3% of the questions that I faced in the exam. 


I just went with my confidence and picked the response that I felt was the right solution.

Read the book by Shon H (AIO), now i think someone else must be updating the book but i felt that it was the right study guide at that time.


Good luck for the next attempt.


Nagarajan (Raj)

Nagarajan Viswanathan (Raj)
Influencer II

> DurhamFly (Viewer II) moved a topic in Exam Preparation on 05-21-2020 09:59 PM

> First time at the exam today - I have to say I put it down to bad prep and some
> of the ambiguous questions.

Read "Security Engineering"
and try

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by
striking. - W.B. Yeats


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