I recall my first attempt in becoming a certified professional when I was desperately trying to pass the Windows 95 exam back in 1997. I had the toughest time as it took me three tries before I passed it. I was a PC Technician by trade, and I practically knew everything there was to know about O/S 2, Windows 95, DOS, WIN 3.x and even some Netware. I was stumped as to why I was not successful on my first two attempts.
Though I had a lot of knowledge about Windows 95 and how to install it and sell it to my customers, the issue seemed to be that I was not studying EFFECTIVELY. Microsoft didn’t cater this exam towards people who merely knew A LOT about Windows 95, but the test was geared more to Systems Integrators. You had to know A LOT about how to make Windows 95 work with other systems like Novell and Windows Server and other areas of networking.
How this relates to success for the CISSP is that all of the resources one may purchase has all of these technical areas and questions that one should know as a CISSP, but it’s MOST IMPORTANT that one knows how these technical areas tie into an organization’s business strategy, and auditing is also a key concept to have experience in. You should also fortify academically. Even if you do not take a formal class, you should join a CISSP study group led by an experienced and knowledgeable group leader.
The one thing you shouldn’t do is complain and pout about not being successful on the test like I initially did back in 1997 for the Windows 95 test; because it was only when I stopped pouting, did I really dig in to analyze what I was doing wrong.
I agree, you need to analyze what is holding you back.
I've found that the hardest thing is to come at the study with fresh eyes. I try to push everything "I Know" to the background and actually learn the underpinnings of the topic.
Firm foundational knowledge is the key to a comfortable testing experience.
At the same time, I will state that I truly believed I had failed the CISSP exam half way through and I was already trying to figure out how I would adapt my studying. I'm happy to say that I passed the first time, but that exam definitely tested my overall knowledge.
What was most difficult to overcome with the exam for me was understanding the correlation of the domains and associating concepts with one another. This is definitely different from any other exam I've ever taken and it required a very different mindset to pass. It's not the same as a technical certification.