I’ve been working for (ISC)2 for almost 5 years and over the years I’ve met many CISSPs at (ISC)2 and industry events. In our conversations I'll often ask them about their experience taking and passing the CISSP exam, as it’s a huge accomplishment and everyone I’ve heard from remembers the day they found out that they passed.
One story that has stuck with me is about a member who was taking the exam back when it was paper-based testing and about half way through his exam he realized that two pages were stuck to one another, so all of his answers from then on were off. He luckily was able to erase and adjust all of his answers in time and he later found out that he passed. Talk about a nerve-wrecking experience!
I’d love to hear your story…
"coloring circles in a paper test book with my #2 pencil"
Cue Quasimodo voice, and have your monitor sort of twist around like a hunchback: "The circles! The circles!"
(Only those who have had their certs for more than five years are going to get that ...)
For years, doing the seminars, I used to tell people to go through and answer every tenth question first. Not that the tenth questions were any easier or anything, it was just that answering in 250 lines of circles on a 400 line form, it was easy to get out of sync. (I also recall my hand cramping up several times shading in the circles during my test ...)
"Pick 1 book, and the test prep and follow it through. Choose a book that matches your level of knowledge. Too much information is bad thing for this test."
Can't agree with that. Too much knowledge is just fine. In fact, there is no such thing as too much knowledge in security.
Not if you are going to do it right ...
I remember clearly the day I passed my CISSP exam, mainly because I did't pass in my first attempt.
I my first attempt I got 782 points of 800 needed to pass! I remember I was about to give up and not present it again, but something told me that I should try one more time.
For this I was studying almost 4 hours per day, mainly at nights. I dedicated more time to make exercises and simulated exams. One week before the date I decided re-schedule the exam because I felt I wasn't ready yet to pass.
Finally the day of the exam I was very nervious, but I tried to keep me relaxed during the exam which. It tooked me almost the six hours!
Ath the end when the girl gave me the results with the "Congratulations" legend,I immediately gave her a big hug derived from the excitement I felt upon knowing that I had passed the exam!
I remembered I posted on my Facebook: "This moments... this litle moments is called "happiness". 🙂
This is an updated, edited message, an important correction to the earlier post.
Congratulations on passing the exam. That is a worthy accomplishment
My earlier comments were unkind, and inappropriately harsh. I regret having made them.
My sincere apologies to John and to the Community here.
Started preparing for the CISSP exam in ~1999 because clients kept saying to me, "I'm a CISSP. It is important. You should be a CISSP." (That is what we call a clue.)
Studied online sources and multiple books for about two years, saying I would sign up for an exam date once I "felt ready."
Realized I would never "feel ready" and needed a deadline, so paid for a specific exam date six months away. Now I had "final exam pressure."
Kept studying, primarily Shon Harris's All in One. Read Ross Anderson's Security Engineering cover to cover, and repeatedly and took practice exams, both from Shon's book and also online at CCCure.org.
Fall 2002 showed up to the exam location, a hotel in downtown Washington, DC, a few blocks from the White House. Tight oversight by the monitors; only one person could leave the room for the rest room at a time, and take nothing from the room. We could take a lunch break by leaving the exam on the table and going to the back of the room to stand and eat food we had brought.
Exam began at 9 a.m. We had 6 hours to complete the exam. Got concerned when folks started leaving as early as 90 minutes into the session.
Finished all the questions at noon; took my lunch break for 15 minutes to clear my mind.
Returned to the table and double checked all my answers ensuring the right bubbles were marked.
Turned in my exam at about 12:30. Learned that the early departures were SSCP examinees, who had only a three hour test period. Most of the room was still heads down working on their tests.
As I left, I was fairly comfortable I had done OK. All that intense study and test practice had been good.
Walked to the new Spy Museum and checked out the gift shop (cool shop), then caught the Metro home.
All that goes back 18 to 20 years, and still can remember so much of the detail.