Failed June 23rd, now what?

raxmanraxman Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello friends,

I have a degree in Computer Science and I've had a security job for over 5 years. I am a very technical individual as in my free time I program. This test is extra difficult for me as I do not have the mindset of a high-level manager. I have a certification in Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Both these tests were, you study for them, read the book and you're okay. For Security+, I studied for 3 months, read a book and I passed with a high %. For the CEH, I read 2 books and made a ton of notecards. I studied the notecards as I went for walks. It wasn't bad, just needed to know all the different kind of tools and how to read/use them.

For the CISSP, I did a lot of practice tests from place like: Certification Central - CISSP®, the sybex book, the shon harris book and various other places.

I learned the different ways to memorize the types of access and different levels of classification and so on. I thought I had it all down. However, when I got to the test, they asked a lot of questions about concepts more than anything technical. Since I am weak in these categories, I did not do well. I scored a 65.2%, missing the exam by 4.8%. icon_sad.gif

The below were my top 3 worst subjects:
Asset Security
Security and Risk Management
Software Development Security

Any suggestions on what I should do next? When I flip through the Sybex book or the Shon Harris book for these domains, the information isn't new to me. It's like the books only give you part of the information the test asks about. The test asked more in-depth questions than what the book had to offer. These domains talk about CIA or DLP. I managed a product for DLP for 5 years, so I know the area well. Not sure why I missed the domain.

I'm super upset I did not pass. Really bummed out. icon_sad.gif


  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 543 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Have you looked at the ISC2 CBK on the areas where you are weak?

    The Cybrary videos/MP3s are very helpful in my studying; they might help you as well.

    Don't get discouraged, dust yourself off and schedule your re-take! You've got this!

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • djcarterdjcarter Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    A lot of factors can go into not passing like that. The way the questions are worded was likely the culprit more than your understanding or experience. It doesn't take many answers to be the difference between passing and not.

    Definitely keep going and try again! Just study up some more on those areas and various information sources out there, but the gap is quite small for what you need to bridge. No doubt you can do it!

    It it's any consolation, I know people who have written some of the books used for the cert prep, major ones that are mentioned on this forum a lot, and some of those authors have failed the first time taking the exams early in the writing process. They are most definitely not easy exams and require a wealth of knowledge, but you will definitely get there! Just don't get discouraged!
  • jercxjercx Member Posts: 36 ■■■□□□□□□□
    what were your scores for the practice tests from sybex, aio, etc.?
  • OztexsOztexs Member Posts: 26 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i failed last week .i got 686 and i also have my sec+ and CE|H. i also studied the sybex book with prac questions although averaging 70%

    i booked the exam for 4 weeks later .. better to hit it while its fresh and also ive been working in the sec industry for 4yrs as a ISR manager.

    i was really bummed out too ..still am ! .. but the best thing to do is book it and study your weak areas.
  • raxmanraxman Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    What is your plan of attack for this time around? You booked it 4 weeks from your last attempt already?
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,881 Mod
    The score that you got does not equal 65.2%. That just not how it works since the questions are weighted. See this which applies is a similar way to ISC2.
  • CryptoQueCryptoQue PMP, CISSP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA, CCDA, CCENT, NET+, SEC+, ITILv3 VirginiaMember Posts: 205 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Keep your head up. It's all about how you use this feeling as motivation towards your 2nd attempt of the exam. You have to find a good study mechanism that helps you retain the concepts. Some people listen to MP3's on their way to and from work, some use repetition reading, etc. What worked for me were flash cards. Some I made myself and others I used with the online library included with the Sybex book. You have this under control. Good luck!
  • raxmanraxman Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks CryptoQue!

    I plan on using the Sybex book more. I'm taking all the practice tests in it to see where I'm weak. The CISSP Official exam did tell me where I'm weak and I will review those chapters, but since the test is different every time, I want to be sure I don't miss anything.

    If I don't do well in a chapter's practice test, then I will read the whole chapter and understand why I did so poorly. (also, why I got the question wrong)
  • raxmanraxman Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    jercx wrote: »
    what were your scores for the practice tests from sybex, aio, etc.?

    65% to 70%
  • jercxjercx Member Posts: 36 ■■■□□□□□□□
    although your scores for the practice tests is in no way a guarantee of your test outcome, it is somehow a gauge on how much you understand the underlying concepts - technical questions aside.

    i would suggest you keep studying until you are in the 80%+ range. although some practice tests are easier/more difficult than others, so it can also be subjective.
  • OztexsOztexs Member Posts: 26 ■■□□□□□□□□
    iam going to read the entire chapter from my weakest to my stongest areas for both the sybex and shon harris books .. to 6 practise questions banks of 50 questions and make sure iam 85% plus and also re-review the cybrary sections again and watch youtube vids just to make sure iam 100%.
  • gatorredsoxgatorredsox Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ITProTV Adam Gordon CISSP training videos were my best training combined Cybrary and the book Eric Conrad's CISSP Study Guide, Third Edition. Good luck.
  • raxmanraxman Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I retook the test and I scored a 691. icon_sad.gif

    Second time taking it, I paid for and got up to 98% complete on this website.

    I think I give up, I don't know what else to do. I read the Shon Harris book and the Sybex book. I went through the Sybex book 3 times.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    raxman wrote: »
    I retook the test and I scored a 691. icon_sad.gif

    Second time taking it, I paid for and got up to 98% complete on this website.

    I think I give up, I don't know what else to do. I read the Shon Harris book and the Sybex book. I went through the Sybex book 3 times.

    You cant pass the CISSP by memorizing rules and concepts. You actually need to understand the concept and apply them in the context of the question being asked. A question might have 1 really correct answer, however, that answer might not be one of the available options. The 2nd best answer might be available so you need to answer the question based on the context.

    You might have better luck on your third attempt. Try to change it up a little bit and study the topics you were not good at. Dont rely only on the books, look at youtube and wikipedia etc etc.
  • shoeyshoey Member Posts: 111 ■■■□□□□□□□
    raxman wrote: »
    I retook the test and I scored a 691. icon_sad.gif

    Second time taking it, I paid for and got up to 98% complete on this website.

    I think I give up, I don't know what else to do. I read the Shon Harris book and the Sybex book. I went through the Sybex book 3 times.

    Don't give up!! You've already dedicated so much time and effort into this, see it through!! It took me 3 times to pass this exam. I got a 668 and 695 before I finally passed. I found that I knew the material, but kept fighting the answers. I knew what they were trying to get me to answer, but kept trying to fix the problem. If you're getting mid to high 600's it's likely the mindset in which you are answering the questions.

    When taking the skillset or sybex practice exams, when you get a question wrong, figure out why it's wrong instead of memorizing the answer. The times I failed this exam I spent the entire time taking the exam/reviewing my answers. When I passed it only took me 2.5 hours; because I finally stopped fighting myself.

    You failed, it happens. There are plenty of Failed CISSP threads on this forum; but you only really fail when you give up...
    "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think you should book your next attempt for a few weeks out if possible. Watch Kelly Handerhan's Cybray videos and drill the Sybex practice tests. You'll nail it next time.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Senior Member Member Posts: 399 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Don't give up sir! :)

    It is the difficulty of this exam that makes it all the more worthwhile to overcome. I've read multiple posts here in TE about people having to try for this exam more than once so don't be too hard on yourself. I, too, have experienced failing a certification exam and I know how you feel right now, but don't let that stop you from reaching your goal.
    Three year plan: (2018) CISSP [X] and eJPT [ ]; (2019) eCPPT [ ]; (2020) OSCP [ ]
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