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Newcomer II

Failed CISSP exam April 11,2018

I am disappointed because I did not pass CISSP exam two days ago. I prepared myself very good to pass the CISSP exam. I don't have Infosec background but recently I have graduated from Network and system security analyst with high score but it did not help. The questions I had received focus on management, procedures, I mean as all the questions from one or two domains.

But what I knew I studied hard at (ISC)2 official book and practice test. I reviewed also in Shon Harris book, I bought exam from Pass4sure, in addition, any materials free online.  I spent almost 6-month to prepare my self well.


I receive only 101 exam questions and the exam closed after 2.25 hours, I expected there are extra questions especially the question comes only one time and no chance to review your work later, definitely, this is not fair. 

The curriculum will change soon, and I have only one month to do the current version exam.


I need recommendation because I want to do it again with success.


Thank you    

8 Replies
Viewer II

Generally you'll want to study up on the areas that you did not do well in.  For example, if you didn't get a lot of points on "management" you'll want to focus your studying on that section.


Taking the exam once, as you have, gives you a good idea of what is on the exam, how the questions are phrased, and what to expect.  The test won't "surprise" you next time - just concentrate on the areas you were deficient in and retry.


Work experience is also a great teacher.

Newcomer II

Thank you  Marinm for the reply, Generally you are right, however, I need to know why the exam was ended before the time designed for?

and,,, do you know any other materials are more help? 


I appreciated


Hi Suraya,


Maybe the exam ended because you had attempted all of the questions before the 3 hours. Or maybe the time/exam ended because with your score at that moment, it may have been impossible (with the remaining questions) for you to have reached the passing score. Those could have been just two possibilities. Again, this is just my opinion and not (ISC)2's.


Like Marinm said, experience would have played a big part on your exam. The exam is not like most exams because it is heavily based on real world experience. However, it is still possible to successful pass the exam.


As you prepare, do your best to understand the materials. Spend time on a topic until you fully understand what's going on. Don't try to memorize the materials because memorizing may not help. 


In my opinion (this is my personal opinion), the CISSP (ISC)2 Official Study Guide & the Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests are really good materials. You can also take a look at Eric Conrad's Eleventh Hour CISSP Study Guide.


Good luck.


Newcomer II

Hello Jale01



Thank you for your advice, I am going to check the materials you have recommended.







Community Champion

For insight into how CAT (Computerized Adaptive Testing) works, I suggest reading (ISC)²'s web site, searching this forum, reading the Wikipedia page and perhaps doing some general Google searches.  A CAT test ends when it has accurately assessed your ability.  The 100-question floor and the 3-hour ceiling are not a critical part of the measurement -- they are just there to keep things from running amok.  The frustrations you, me and others feel regarding CAT (inability to review/update answers; unpredictable number of questions; time-management concerns; stress regarding progress) are common.   


Without question, CISSP is a difficult test that relies on experience as much as book knowledge. However, none of the above makes it "unfair".  (ISC)² openly states they have un-graded "beta" questions and that they perform psychometric analysis on the test itself.  These activities are designed to improve the fairness of the test to make it even better at determining who should pass and who is not quite there yet.



The one thing I wish (and this would fall on PersonVue) is that there was a sample CAT exam that we could use to gain comfort with the format itself, perhaps on a topic such as world history.


Searching this forum will yield plenty of advise on testing materials.  Members of this forum all  have our favorite resources and we have never been shy about sharing them.

Newcomer II

Hello Denbesten


Thank you for these resources. Honestly, I am not feeling comfortable with CAT exam, feeling it is unfair, because reviewing the questions is important, If I know it will be only 100 questions, I might stay longer to think more about the question. 

However, what I know, I prepared myself good and I was confident that I will make it.


Now, the time is so tight do the exam with the current version, and the new version is in the corner.


I appreciated and thank you for your time to write to me.





Viewer II

Hello Suraya.


I was passed my exam at 12th April 2018.

Compare to other exam that was strange that no chance to go back to questions the only direction was forward.

I also finished after 100 question, but I was preparing to at least 250.

I finally passed the exam, but I did not get the detailed scores yet.

A prepared from the famous exam preparation guides (all-in-one guide, official training guide) but at least 75% of total questions was completely different or new compared to any collection of exam questions what I overviewed in the preparati, In this cases was not so complicated to exclude at least 2 wrong questions, but find the right one was serious.

The biggest help was my working experience and read the question very very carefully, becuase in lot of cases a single word determined the right answer.

Good luck for next exam.





Viewer II

For my 2 cents. I don't care about reviewing the questions. I've done the ISACA exams recently. They allow you to go back over the answers. I went through my questions and then went back to question 1. You start to second guess yourself. 

Is the answer I chose correct or is one of the other answers "more" correct. So are you changing a wrong answer to a right answer or vice versa?

So I don't bother any more. For my last exam it was a 4 hour exam and I did it in 66 mins. I could have sat there for the 3 hours reviewing the answers but I'd have gotten the same result (hopefully).


The big advantage of being able to go back is that one question you get later on might trigger a memory that helps with an earlier question.