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Newcomer I

Passed CISSP exam today (2018/03/02)

Hi buddies, 


I have just passed the CISSP exam ( provisionally passed ) today. 


I would like to share my experience for someone who are interested to take the exam. 


First, my background, I have worked in IT infrastructure area ( from system support to IT director ) for 18 years. 

Therefore,  I have touched or worked with different types of technology before. 


At the end of last year, I started to look into the way how to prepare for the exam. After getting advises from current CISSPs, they told me that if I can get over 70% of correct from sample questions, I can study it myself. Otherwise, I better take some courses so as to speed up my learning path. 


From the sample test, I only got 50% correct and so I have taken a short course ( 30 hours ) from a local training center ( in Hong Kong ). Apart from the course, I also read some books. They are list as following


1. EXAM CRAM CISSP Fourth Edition ( PEARSON Education,  IT Certification ) 
2. CISSP Guide to Security Essentials ( Course Technology GENAGE Learning ) 

3. CISSP Practice Exams Fourth Edition ( McGraw Hill Education ) 


I actually borrowed the books from public library and so it if free of charge but the edition may be a bit older. 


After readying those 3 books ( actually, i may only remember 40-50% of the content only ) , I start to work on sample questions. It is really painful as the most I work on the sample questions, the less confidence I have for the exam. Questions are really different from books as they mostly need you to have deep understand of the concept and asking you what is the BEST description of a particular technology or ask you what is the BEST way to handle the risk. There are a lot of wordings which I need to look into the dictionary ( as I am not English native ).  Luckily, after I come across about 1000 questions, I start to get used to the  format and the correct answer rate started to increase. 


Until the exam, I just got about 70% correct for all questions. 


Today, I enter the exam center and sit there for 180 minutes and I have finished 150 questions at the last minute. It is really tried  and I really worry about the result until I got the exam result from TA. 

I see "Congratulations! ..... you have provisionally passed the ....... " 

I still don't 100% sure that it is pass or not but after research from internet. People say that it is normal procedures to get such result even I have passed. 


For whom may be interested to take the exam, I would suggest you to do more sample questions. But it is not intended for you to remember the anwsers. It is just a way for you to know what you dont' know and then you can look into the particular technology area in deep. The more area you can look into , the higher chance you can pass. ( I believe so ) . 

Hope this can help. 

^_^ ..

35 Replies
Reader I

Newcomer I


Community Champion


Community Champion

Congratulations ultra1394!


You give excellent advice. I have heard that it can be very tricky (obscure and distracting wording) and that one needs to be able to sift through the murk.


Other non-native speakers of English have also mentioned this, so it is important to have mastery of the concepts, and to take one's time to decipher meanings and to choose the "best answer."


Do you have any other suggestions for those who are intending to write the exam?


Best regards and continued success.

Community Champion

Everyone gets provisional pass.  Don't let the word scare you.  It says provisional even if you were to score 100%.  It is just the way that they do it.   I'm guessing it has something to do with detecting cheating or dealing with the test computers messing up.

Reader I


Newcomer I

Great New! Congratulations! Very helpful post. 

Viewer III

Congratulations. You just did a good job.

Newcomer III

Congrats!!! It is no small feat to beat that beast.  I hear the new test is intuitive.  Starting with simple questions and getting harder resulting in a much shorter exam without giving up quality of knowledge.  Is that what you found? Also, I'm not a long test taker person.  I hate it.  Somewhere along the line someone recommended to me to bring aspirin and take it 30 minutes into the test.  That advice helped as it took about 30 mins to start working and after an hour of testing and reading a monitor, it helped keep me steady.  I still recommend that to others reading, call it preventive medicine.