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Newcomer I

Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

I read many posts from people who failed the new CISSP adaptive exam. I myself failed it on 3/5/18.  I expected to do 250 questions but I was very shocked that I got knocked out after 99/100 questions.  I asked the proctor whether I was given the wrong exam. The proctor explained to me that because it is an adaptive exam the so it stopped because I didn't answer a certain number of questions correctly; I was absolutely horrified what I experienced.  I could not sleep all night after the exam day, I've been studying for it for over 3 months and I scored between 77% - 85% of dozens of practice tests of over 3,000 questions.  I went beyond by reading front to back cover of the Sybex - 7th Edition book and I completed all the chapter tests as well as all of the online practice tests that Sybex offered me and I did well. In addition I also went through all of Cybrary training videos, figuring that with all that studying I was well prepared to take the exam.  Not to mention that I have a master degree in IT and in Information Assurance field with the company for over 9 years.

 

I find the adaptive exam questions and answers are so abstract that I feel my English comprehension isn't good enough for it. I have reached out to ISC2 for their support and advice. I am so sad and disappointed that I am not sure if I ever want to take any test in the adaptive format. 

 

107 Replies
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Newcomer III

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

Don't give up, if it was easy it would be meaningless.  Someone told me that ISC2 has a study site with out dated questions.  You might want to look that one up and find out if it was correct information but regardless, don't quit.  Find out the concepts you were weakest on and focus, understand them inside out.  I heard the new test was painful but I've also read a lot of success stories so don't worry about the new format, just focus on the material.  Remember everyone loses games, but the best keep playing.

Newcomer I

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

My advice is exactly the same as Bertikus mentioned above - forget about the exam format, this is irrelevant. Just make sure that you, first, know, and second, understand all the material. Once you feel fully comfortable with the whole curriculum, I am sure you will smash it eventually!

Contributor II

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

Very sorry to see that you are disappointed. No doubth (ISC)² will carefully look into matters and in the exceptional event there was some kind of screw-up will certainly right the situation. 

 

A number of people I know have also sat the new CAT exam. The general feeling is that it is - as the old exam - quite hard. It is generally seen as a big advantage not to have to sit for the exam for up to 6 hours. If the new exam is as fair as the old one is hard to determine, of course. I have found nobody yet that sat both the CAT and the (older) linear exam, hence would have a way to compare the two from experience.

 

But (ISC)² certainly will not have taken the decision to change the exam format on a whim, they will have done research and field tests and I think we can safely assume they are sufficiently convinced the two tests yield the same results. Also, if he results would really have changed for the worst, no doubt (ISC)² would have noticed and would have remedied the situation.

 

Please note that though I am the President of a Chapter, I do NOT represent (ISC)², this is my personal opinion.

--
Heinrich W. Klöpping, MSc CISSP CCSP CIPP/E SCI
Moderator

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

@seaside I'm sorry to hear you did not pass the certification exam. To confirm, we did receive your email/voicemail. I will have someone reach out to you today to discuss.

 

Best Regards,

Amanda Vance

Contributor II

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

There's much to be said about getting comfortable with taking post-education exams in general. The whole thing feels unfamiliar and awkward until do have a number of them under your belt. This anxiety is actually quite common from your description if not outright normal.

 

I want you to keep one thing in mind here. The more certification exams you take the easier they become over time. Frankly, I've sat for so many at this point in my career I tend to be more bored than anxious. Which is difficult to imagine but true.

 

It's not the format but the experience and applied knowledge that makes the exam difficult not the format.

 

Brent Eads, CISSP-ISSAP, HCISPP, et. al.

Newcomer III

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

I 100% agree with this response. The exam format is irrelevant IF you know your material, think like a manager and (most of all) believe you can pass the exam. I am seeing an increasing number of posts by folks getting hung up on the new format, burning cycles on the what, where, how and why...rather than just preparing to be a competent and knowledgeable test candidate who can put on a Infosec managers hat for between 1 to 3hrs and aim to conquer the exam!

The hard truth is that you should not have been surprised about the exam format...this is part of exam preparation. This info is freely available at https://www.isc2.org/Certifications/CISSP/CISSP-CAT

I understand that you feel like throwing in the towel but should you choose to do so, at that point you have truly failed. I urge you to pick yourself back up , book your 2nd attempt and get prepared.

There are three requirements for this exam:
Know your stuff, think like a manager and (most of all) believe you can pass! That is all.

"Never, never, never give up" ~Churchill

All the best!
Viewer II

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

It's not about it being easy or hard. The fact is that this test has now become a reading comprehension test. I rather them make me understand the concept as opposed to deciphering what the heck they are asking. Broken English is just not the right approach.

Newcomer III

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

There has *always* been a reading comprehension aspect about it. This is how I summarized the old linear exam to folks: "The CISSP exam is *currently* [it changed to CAT format on 12/18/2017 as you know] a grueling 6-hour, 250 question, "1 mile wide and 1 inch deep", English-comprehension, *management* exam with over 1000 terms to learn...seriously!". The purpose of this is to test your comprehension of the material! Anybody can memorize facts; those folks get weeded out in a New York minute! Your misson...shoukd you choose to accept it, IS to decipher a problem statement and apply your knowledge of the principles and concepts to it. THAT is what they're looking for. You can burn cycles protesting or just accept the fact that you did not pass, regroup and go get it....and the sooner the better because as time passes there will be more you need to re-learn, thus lengthening your journey unecessarily. MINDSET is the principle thing. I humbly submit that your mindset is the only thing standing between you and your CISSP designation. #hardtruth
Viewer II

Re: Failed CISSP - big time disappointment

I agree. I had tough time with my ccnp and jncip, but their question formatting is clear. The original poster felt like he had to decrypt the English, then see what was being asked and then choose accordingly. Some precious time is wasted doing that, especially if English isn't ones first language. I've been studying and I love how the Study notes and Theory website breaks and presents questions. Very detailed and each involve different domains. I personally don't have to read those twice. @ original poster, try checking that website for some good insight. Some users here are very helpful, others not so much. If I can be of help, let me know.