A Guide to Acing Your CISSP Exam

What is the CISSP?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a comprehensive exam, yet somewhat balanced in its coverage of security topics. If you are accountable for managing IT security in your organization, this is an outstanding certification exam to enhance and develop your understanding of various aspects of security. This certification is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2.

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1. Must own at least five years of professional experience in the information security field, or three years plus a college degree.

2. Take and Pass the CISSP exam (approx 250 questions/ 6 hours) with a scaled score of 700 points or greater.

3. Adhere to the ISC2 code of ethics

4. Fulfill continuing education/re-certification requirements

Preparation Tips to Pass the CISSP Certification Exam

Being prepared is the key to passing the exam. Tests like CISSP include many different domains. In all likelihood, you’re not a master in all 10 CISSP domains. Depending on your level of expertise and experience, first, concentrate on those areas which you think you are weak in, followed by the stronger areas. The CISSP exam focuses on eight domains from the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). These domains are:

  • Security and Risk Management 15%
  • Asset Security 10%
  • Security Architecture and Engineering 13%
  • Communication and Network Security 14%
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) 13%
  • Security Assessment and Testing 12%
  • Security Operations 13%
  • Software Development Security 10%

Applicants must master all domains and address specific matters, topics, keywords, and concepts from all domains.

It is necessary to understand the way the CISSP exam takes, inevitably demanding a comprehensive understanding of information security concepts. When you are taking the exam, consider which of the eight domains each question falls into. Often, if you can prepare the domain the question is emphasizing on, you can promptly point out the correct answer. Applicants must be informed of the connection between the security topic, concept, issue, control, etc., within each domain to answer questions efficiently.

Read: Upgrade Your Cybersecurity Skills with CISSP

The point here is that you should take your time and be sure you understand the question. In the CISSP exam, you’re asked for the “best” answer. However, do not lose time — if you cannot answer a question after examining it twice, move forward. You will use your time properly by answering the easy questions first. Once you have reached the end of the exam, return to those questions you skipped. Always remember to point out questions you are unsure about or want to ignore. Also, to get better at explaining the questions, you should answer as many CISSP practice questions as possible. Many websites and books provide practice tests.

The best approach to study and prepare for a CISSP exam relies on an individual’s studying method and ability. Many applicants require a combination of several approaches. Get the opinions of your colleagues and other professionals by checking out the book reviews and by actively participating and browsing the prevailing CISSP group study sites. Also, read at least 3–4 different books and study guides to get complete coverage of all topics and domains within CISSP certification along with to acquire different perspectives on the same topic.

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