Why most of them fail CISSP exam?

nothing007nothing007 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
After I red most of the forum and finally hit this question in my mind…. “Why most of the student fail CISSP exam..” After the spending most of the time for study and followed different study material, understand the concept, taking more test question, flash card and memorizing trick and tip etc…
  1. Student missing major concept and points.. ?
  2. CISSP passed candidate are not guide properly..?
  3. Or whoever posting the forum they don’t want to share reality of this exam?
If you feel this question legitimate please post your HONEST answer for failed student … instead of posting “congrats…” for passing student.

NOTE: My intention is NOT hurt anyone feeling and hard works… I am writing this post behalf of whoever fail this exam.


  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I read that 70% of the exam takers pass the CISSP, I don't know how accurate that is though. If it's correct it's nowhere near "most failing". If you search a forum of IT people posting results looking for failures, you're going to find a lot of them, but consider that most exam takers aren't here posting.

    As for why people fail, there could be any number of reasons. Maybe they aren't very good test takers? Maybe their nerves got to them and they changed too many answers? Maybe they don't know the material well enough? Maybe they tried to answer in the most technical way possible and that's not really what the exam is asking for?

    I passed the exam a few weeks ago. A coworker told me a friend has been in security for 10+ years, studied for over a year and failed repeatedly. After reading so many people saying the questions were mind bending and super confusing I was prepared but stressed. When I actually read the questions I found them fairly direct and logical. With that said, I'm a pretty logical test taker, I pick out this like MOST, EXCEPT, ALL BUT, very quickly. There were a lot of questions on the exam where 3 out of the 4 answers were possible, but then you look at it more deeply knowing the material and realize that only one is correct. If you just looked and said, "oh yeah shut the port down and block that server now!" you missed the entire point of the exam and training.
  • havoc64havoc64 Member Posts: 213 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think you misunderstood him Danielm7, I think what the OP is asking is what was the underlying reason takers fail the test?

    IMHO I think it's a combination of things.
    1. I see some who fail the CISSP who have other certifications. The CISSP exam is more than a Factual exam, it's an Understanding the concept exam. Seen it time and time again in these forums....it's a Managerial exam.
    2. Reading the questions in the wrong frame of mind, don't argue wit the question. Determine what the question wants and then give it the best answer of what it provided.
    3. READ THE QUESTION! What I do and I preach this over and over...Read the answers first, then read the question. In the question look at the Adverbs and Adjectives and descriptive words, i.e. Physical, Administrative, Best, Most Likely, Least, Worst. Defining these will eliminate one or more of the possible answers leaving you with fewer possible answers.
    4. And most importantly, There is no single place to read or garner all the knowledge you need for this test. You will need experience in the field of Information Assurance (Information Security) and you will have to study many different sources.

    There are a great many people who think they can read the Shon Harris book and pass the test. Maybe they can, but I don't recommend it. The majority of people who pass the test use several different resources and have years of experience.

    Hope this helps,
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,107 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I passed the exam on my first attempt last year. Like Danielm7, I found the questions fairly direct and test understanding of concepts. If any, the ISACA CISA and CISM exam questions are vaguer.

    CISSP is an advanced level exam and requires 5 years of relevant experience for endorsement.
    Reading through some of the "I failed" postings, I noticed that some of those who failed have limited infosec experience.
    I was able to draw upon my working experience when answering some of the CISSP questions.

    A couple of those who failed were doing tons of questions; they probably ended up memorising facts and answers to the questions without understanding the how and why.

    At 6 hours duration with 250 questions, the CISSP is a long exam. It is necessary to rest properly and eat well. Some of those who failed mentioned being tired and hungry while taking the exam. I took my exam at 11 am and had heavy breakfast and coffee before starting.

    Another reason could be the choice of study resource. Some of those who failed are using pre-2015 CISSP books, i.e. Shon Harris AIO and/or Eric Conrad 2nd edition, and are at a disadvantage when attempting new 2015 domain questions. Yes, some have passed using these books but most of them have a wealth of experience to draw upon when doing the exam.

    Hope this helps those who failed.
  • nothing007nothing007 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I appreciate whoever post this forum.. i expect more idea and thoughts...
  • bpennbpenn Member Posts: 499
    I passed on the first attempt also and I credit it to these two concepts:

    -Understanding the material comprehensively. Ensuring you not only know the concept, but also why each answer is correct or incorrect. I went through practice questions telling myself why this answer was correct and why these answers were incorrect.
    -Really reading what the questions is asking for. havoc64 hit the nail on the head. If a question asks for the BEST answer, then every answer could be correct and you need to choose which one applies the best. This is where understanding the concepts fully really allows you to shine.
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    . There were a lot of questions on the exam where 3 out of the 4 answers were possible, but then you look at it more deeply knowing the material and realize that only one is correct. If you just looked and said, "oh yeah shut the port down and block that server now!" you missed the entire point of the exam and training.

    A good point here. Blocking that port and taking that server down will secure your environment but you need to balance security with availability. Choose the BEST answer!

    I also agree with work experience, for sure. Working with multiple domains of the CISSP already allowed me to spend less time on areas I was weaker in and granted me more confidence on the actual exam.
    "If your dreams dont scare you - they ain't big enough" - Life of Dillon
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I failed the first time I took it but I took it a while back. Looking back on my type of work experience back then and comparing it to where I am now I bet I would have had a much easier time passing if I were to take it these past couple of years.

    I am in a more advisory, self management role now a days so I have an easier time relating to the types of questions asked especially management type questions. It's not just the experience required, it's the type of experience that helps.
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