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Newcomer II

Passed the CCSP exam - my recommendations

Dear community,


I joined this forum a couple of weeks ago, while I was preparing for my CCSP exam - which I had today and passed 🙂 I would like to sum up my personal recommendations for having good chances of passing the exam. Please do not take these notes as a general "recipe", it's just how it worked out for me.


Reading this post very thoroughly detailed by Radioteacher (who also recently passed the CCSP exam) - btw, congratulations from my side also! - I got a bit scared that maybe I am not doing enough for my preparation. The thing is: it very much depends on your previous experience and if you already have other credentials, like CISSP (or aquivalent). And more training is never bad, it's just a matter of perspective. In the end, what matters is if you go with a "clean mind" to the exam, meaning you feel you have done enough to prepare.


Long story short: I used the following materials to LEARN:


  1. The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP CBK (2nd Edition)
  2. CCSP (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional Official Study Guide (1st Edition)

And to PRACTICE I used:


  • the review questions at the end of each chapter in the CBK and Official Study Guide
  • the online practice exams provided by Sybex to those who buy the Official Study Guide

I did not participate in any classroom training and did not use any other resources for learning or practicing. But I must mention that I earned my CISSP credential last year in december, which helped a lot during learning and in the end at the exam. And I have approximately 6 years of experience in the IT Security field.


My recommendation: do NOT rely solely on the Official Study Guide, it simply does not cover all topics as thoroughly as the CBK does. Read the CBK at least 2 times to make sure you did not miss any important concepts.


Both books are, in my opinion, well written (like a story), with enough examples from the real world, so I would definitely recommend them both.


How much time I invested? Hard to say (I lost track...), but I started at the beginning of September 2017 and learned every week approximately 6-8 hours, starting with November a lot more (maybe 20 hours a week?) + a bit more in the last week prior to the exam. So I would assume I spent somewhere around 150 hours of study to pass the CCSP exam.


Is the exam time of 4 hours enough? Yes, in my opinion it is more than enough to cover the exam, 1-2 short breaks and a bit of buffer in the end.


I hope this information helps you in getting prepared for your CCSP exam. Wish you all the luck! Let me know if you have questions which you think I might be able to answer (except of those related to the real exam questions, which I will not disclose...).




65 Replies
Community Champion





Thank you for your kind words.  Like you, I found the CCSP a challenging but manageable test.  


I did not use "The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP CBK (2nd Edition)" but I am sure it would have helped.  I did use the CCSP-Exam-Outline.pdf from the website.  At only fifteen pages I am sure this was like a Table of Contents for the CBK book. 


My supervisor asked for a synopsis of my cloud studying this year and I was not surprised that it added up to over 80 hours of training.



Community Champion

Below is a summary of my cloud training and cloud certifications achieved in 2017.  


Even if one does not take a single cloud test I feel the information below will help build a foundation in cloud computing that can be built upon for years to come.


CCSK is the Cloud Security Alliance - Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge
CCSP is the (ISC)2 - Certified Cloud Security Professional


Formal and Self Study training
6 hours - Watched the CCSP video course by Kelly Handerhand
6 hours - Read and study the Kindle edition of The Fast Track CCSK Certification by Rachid Echouah
6 hours – Read and study The Fast Track CCSK Certification - Supplements by Rachid Echouah
7 hours – Reviewed the CCSK material with co-worker in office on a Sunday
4 hours – Studied the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) “Cloud Controls Matrix v3.0.1”
12 hours – Studied the CSA’s Guide v3.0
8 hours – Studied the ENSIA Cloud Computing Risk Assessment
16 hours – CCSP Crash Course at (ISC)2 Congress – Live Instructor – Dr. Lyron Andrews
4 hours – Studied the OWASP Top 10
6 hours – Studied the NIST SP 800-146 Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations with emphasis on Chapter 4
4 hours – Studied the NIST SP 800-144 Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud Computing
1 hour – Studied the NIST SP 800-125 Guide to Security for Full Virtualization Technologies
3 hours – Referenced All In One CCSP book by Daniel Carter
10 hours – Reviewed the (ISC)2 CCSP Crash Course Textbook and class notes
2 hours – Studied available Mind Maps for CCSP
4 hours – Used Quizlet to drill new terms and definitions
6 hours – Taking, Grading and reviewing various practice tests


Test Times
1.5 hours - On October 10, 2017, I took and passed the Cloud Security Alliance - Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing V3, (CSA CCSKv3).
2.1 hours - On November 13, 2017, I took and passed the (ISC)2 - Certified Cloud Security Professional test (Provisional, I am waiting on endorsement approval from (ISC)2.


I regularly listen to podcasts on Cloud Computing.
8 hours in 2017 – The Cloud Cast by Aaron Delp and Brian Gracely
9 hours in 2017 – Cloud Computing Weekly Podcast by David Linthicum


Keep learning my friends,




Newcomer I

Hi, do you have any cloud experiences prior CCSP exam preparation? I think someone with experience as cloud administrator or cloud architect will pass the CCSP exam without much trouble.


Congrats !!!!!!
Newcomer II

@xt0fer: I did not have practical cloud experience prior to the exam. Remember that this exam is not about making a great cloud architect out of you, but rather provide a great oversight on all the cloud aspects: infrastructure, operations, legal & compliance, Application and data security and so on. So: if you have prior experience and invest time in studying the materials, you should have very good chances to pass the exam. Be confident, but don't underestimate the exam 😉
Newcomer III

Congrats! CCSP is next for me 🙂

Newcomer II

Thanks! Wish you all the luck for your exam!

Newcomer I

Failed mine one already and looking to do it in jan/feb thanks for the tips

I have both those books and will strart again

I only failed by  2 questions or so so i am nearly there

Newcomer II

@switzer: don't worry about failing the exam, sometimes it's just the language and/or the time pressure which can be the deciding factor in failing the exam. My recommendation is to carefully read the CBK and maybe use the online flash cards.


Since you were so close in passing the exam, you will surely succeed in your next attempt! Good luck!


Best regards,