I am an Info Security professional with 11 years of experience. I took the CISSP CAT 2018 exam day before yesterday after 4 months of tremendous hard work. Studied 8 hours per day for the last one week. I failed after getting 150 questions. It was a nightmare and I was really disappointed. I am trying to figure out where I could have gone wrong. I had known from people that the exam ends at 100 questions if it can determine with certainty that the candidate is above or below the passing standard. I do know of people who had their tests ended at 120ish questions and passed and the others failed at 120 odd questions too. When I crossed the 100th question, I knew I was not doing good enough for the computer to determine that I was above the passing standard. I decided not to lose my cool and answered every question patiently expecting that the exam would end at some point of time. After 125 questions, I seriously lost hope. It was like a roller coaster ride. It kept giving me questions that invariably had key words like "BEST", "MOST", "LEAST" and so on.. While I was able to eliminate 2 choices, it was really hard to narrow down on one. And I also feel like it kept hitting me on areas where I did not fare well. After attempting 150 questions, the test report said that I failed and provided me with a report that said I was above proficiency level in 4 domains and was near or below proficiency in the remaining 4 domains. One thing, I can say for sure was that the exam clearly determined the areas that I personally felt I was weak at. But there are certain confusing aspects that I need clarity on...… My questioning is merely in pursuit of understanding. Please enlighten me on the below
1. If the CAT could fail a person at 120ish and pass another candidate at 120ish, why does it throw 150 questions for a few?. Does that mean that I could have got the last 5 questions and still passed ?? Was my answering so unpredictive that the algorithm was not efficient enough to determine my capability until the 150th question ? If yes, it contradicts with my testing report where it says I was near or below proficiency in 4 domains. Why does an algorithm have to wait till the1 50th question to finally determine I did not reach the proficiency in 4 domains ?
2. Can a candidate be below proficiency in 1-2 domains and still pass at the 150'th question ? I see people posting that they had 150 questions and came out thinking that they surely failed but passed to their surprise. Quite a gray area
3. If a candidate has cleared the exam at 100 questions, is it mandatory that he should have received all 25 unscored questions ? If yes, does it mean that of the 75 that were scored, he/she could have answered merely 70 percentage of them correctly(close to 50+ questions) and still passed ? If yes, this seems not ok.
4. The difficulty level of a question is relative. What is difficult to one could be easier to another. How does ISC2 determine that a question is difficult or easy.
5. If ISC2 had a way to determine the set of difficult questions, the exam could throw only questions from the difficult pool to all candidates and determine if the candidate scores 70% of ISC2's difficult questions correct? That would be a much fair way. Why even give the easier ones ?
I can read the Sybex 2018 edition twice before my next attempt, but I don't want this scaring experience again 🙂 Can someone enlighten me on the above questions asked and the test taking strategy
Here are a few suggestions that come to mind - what helped me and some of my thinking:
Good luck and keep learning.
> Careychin (Viewer) posted a new reply in Certifications on 02-17-2019
> 2. Get
> practice questions, 100 questions, per domain.
> 4. Be careful too many books
You can't read too many books
I passed on the first try. But i know a lot of the frustration comes from people thinking too hard about the answers and being too technical with the answers. Something to think about.