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Community Champion

Love Negative People at a Distance...

The one advice I would give test-takers is to drop the self-defeating attitude. Some of the people who have failed this test, and I can tell, went to sit for the CISSP and defeated themselves. You get a few frustrating questions, then become mentally wrecked based on some questions that very well could be experimental questions. But this initial experience causes some people to get down on themselves through the test. Such individuals go to thinking negative throughout the exam process; they cease using their critical thinking skills; and they start hoping for a miracle.

Remember, if the question seems so far out in ‘left field’ to you as an experienced professional who has studied adequately enough, that question is MOST LIKELY experimental and won’t be counted for or against you – so keep your head up and keep going. Don’t spend too much time on questions that you don’t know… it’s not likely that you are going to magically become any smarter than you came in the door for the exam in the first place. KEEP IT MOVING!

For those who say that the CAT test is ‘easier now,’ remember, the 250-question linear test allows one to GO BACK and revisit a question, unlike the CAT format. I saw questions that led me to the correct answer or solidified my confidence in a previous question. The difference is that on the CAT test, you cannot go back and correct a question.

Stop trying to water down the success of others while trying to validate your own failure. I have a lot more patience and respect for a person who may have failed the test but went right back to work on it. I am dying to offer my help and guidance to these candidates. Those of you who have had success on the CISSP, then I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to you all! Those who are still blazing the trail, I am here for you.

However, those who seem to have come here to rain on the parades of others – please go away! I am looking forward to the challenge of the ISSEP myself. I am not looking for shortcuts, but if there are certified ISSEP professionals out there who may have some guidance for me, then I’d love to hear about it.

The best advice I can offer to anyone on this forum though is to stay away from negative people. You don’t have to hate them, but you’d definitely have to learn how to ‘love them from a distance’ of perhaps greater than 10 miles!



Lamont Robertson
18 Replies
Community Champion

Hi Suraya,

It's like taking a walk somewhere. You start going down the road, but you need to know where you're going, or you'll never make it. (You may wish to consider other certifications before trying to tackle this one. For instance, SSCP seems like a great first step!

CISSP is not at all an entry-level IT certification. It requires a great deal of knowledge, which cannot simply be gleaned from a book. I have many years of IT experience, and I know that CISSP is meant for a more seasoned InfoSec professional. CISSP is meant to be a hands-on leader, to take responsibility, to lead the defense, to scope out the strategy, tactics and operations.

This is not meant to dissuade you at all. I encourage you to keep learning and practicing. In fact, this is a requirement of the certification.

Two of your comments stand out for me:
"About myself, I don't have work experience in INFOSEC but I postgraduate from network and system security analyst. " CISSP is meant to have experience in several information security domains. You need to develop those skills. You need to be the guy that says "give it to me" and get it done. You need to provide assurance that you live by the tenets of information security. You need to have the humility (as we all do, by the way!) to realize you're on a road to learning - and that it is a "voyage of learning" and not a mere destination called CISSP.

The second comment:
" I need to pass this exam. please give me steps to success. "
Why do you need to pass the exam? You will eventually pass it I am sure; but why? What's your reason? If it's merely to get a piece of paper, then it will be a shallow accomplishment. It will have less importance. It may even jeopardize your future success, because CISSPs are held to a strict stanard of probity and ethics.

As for steps to success, it's like teaching someone how to ride a bicycle. You can't. You can show them the moves, but if they don't pedal and balance and (sadly, yes) fall and repeat the process: they can't do it. Until, one splendid day, they CAN do it.

You CAN do it. One day, I hope in fact, you WILL do it. And you'll realize that it's more than merely passing an exam; you'll realize it's meant to be an attitude and a way of life.

Best regards for success!
Community Champion


Hello Lemont29


I stopped at your post. Frankly, I get impressed by it.

 I have failed on my CISSP 4 days ago and am so down but I have the challenge to do the exam soon again, I need the recommendation.


About myself, I don't have work experience in INFOSEC but I postgraduate from network and system security analyst. 



I can offer this to you as my recommendation... you may be shooting too high at the CISSP. This exam ask questions that requires critical thought of people with the requisite experience in INFOSEC occupations. It's tough because it requires for one to have dealt with the situation on several questions, and for those test takers to have applied the recommended ISC2 solutions. The test can offer 4/4 correct answers, and your job is to select the most appropriate answer. This is the reason why it's tough for even experienced professionals. If your degree is in INFOSEC from a very reputable school, then it's possible that you can pass this test. You'd need to find a job then where you can apply what you have learned.




Lamont Robertson
Newcomer II

Hi Lamont29


Thanks you for your note, frankly my professors recommended  CISSP for security or  Cisco for operation.  I love to work in IT security field so, I studied CISSP and it wasn't that hard, however the exam as you said need work experience addition to education.  


Now I am thinking to go for SSCP , may be it is suited to me.

I am searching which materials/ book to study.


I do appreciate and I hope to get your CCSP soon.





Newcomer II



Thank you J_M007, Actually your recommendations are perfect and I am going to change my mind and think about SSCP. As I mentioned I don't have IT security work experience but I studied very well which not enough to pass CISSP. In my place,,, to graduate with high score  and  high rank school still is not enough to get job.

 The most important is the Certification, Resume and cover letter.

Now, I am looking for which materials to study, I appreciated if you have the answer.


Thank you again,







Community Champion

You're most welcome Suraya.


I think you have an excellent attitude. and I am sure you will go far. Cert, resume and cover letter are very important it's true. What's maybe most important, however, is teamwork, willingness and desire to keep plugging.


As Lamont says, sometimes 4 out of 4 options are correct; but the differentiator is the context, and experience sees you through.


"Right" can sometimes be the adversary of "best," and "right" will sometimes put you in a bad spot. But this is precisely why there are canons and ethics to assist you. (I am talking real world here, not exams or simulations.)


So "Keep on Truckin'"; keep learning; and keep accumulating your experience and learning good practices.


Best regards!

Newcomer II

Hi J_M007


I appreciates your advices, Thanks for your time to help me with these useful words. 



Newcomer I

Would love to chime in here. When you take practice exams it will indicate areas where you are competent in the material and there will be other areas you have less competency. I would re-read the areas in each domain where the practice exam has indicated you are not as versed in the material. It may surprise you to find that you may actually know the answer but are thinking too technically instead of from a manager's perspective. I am not sure what book you are studying from. I used

And I passed the exam in 2016. This publisher had great exam prepping tools and practice exams.

Exam Resoruces:

McGraw Hill

Good luck to you on your next exam!
John Gates, CISSP
Advocate II

It's probably worth thinking how you learn best.  Is it from reading the textbooks and study guides?  Or maybe from video tutorials?  Or maybe from comparing a few different descriptions of the same topics.  I found it useful to set aside the official advice and look at the self tests to identify the areas in which there where gaps in my knowledge and then studied those more thoroughly.  


I also made a handwritten precis of each of the CBKs using a couple of sources, put the books aside and used that as my main reference.  Where my notes didn’t make complete sense I’d probably not fully understood so I went back and annotated them with clarifications, rather than panic.  


Finally make sure you have your travel to the exam centre, start time, being well rested etc all in hand.  And should you pass, then great, but if you don’t it’s just a temporary set-back; figure it out, fix those things and give it another go.



Community Champion

Thanks Dimante. The more experience and learning you bring to the exam the better your chances will be, I suppose. I have been reading what I can in Security Engineering, Network and Telecomms security, etc. I have the modern books, but I have found some of the older stuff good, too. (CISSP Gold was one that looks good.)


I always look for FAQ and Q&A style stuff, and I make questions for the people I'm studying with. Because these guys are more hardcore security folk, I&A, crypto, etc. they can figure out the numbers in a flash; but when it comes to governance, risk assessment, business continuity, disaster recovery, and more of the so-called "softer skills" I tend to have the "truthiest" answer quicker.


That means little though in exam mode, I realize, because when you are in exam mode, there is nothing but you, your wits, your knowledge and experience, and basic kismet.Hopefully, if you can leverage the former, the latter will smile at you. 😉


I am taking a boot camp in June and will write the exam later that month (postponement owing to circumstances beyond my control.)


But this has been so much fun that I certainly will continue to sharpen the saw; and I hope I will be able to encourage a lot more of my colleagues to keep on the learning trail


Finally I wish to share with all of you the words of one of my favorite "Roads" scholars, who sums up nicely our travels:


The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference


To those who wish to learn more about this fine American man of letters, I direct you to this link: