CISSP Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) Confirmed Info and Q&A

asaffariniasaffarini Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
We were asked in the other test change speculation thread to comment on the change of the CISSP to the computer adaptive format, so we've started a new thread with definitive information and Questions/Answers. In the next post here, we'll be happy to answer your questions about this change as well as Computer-Adaptive Tests in general, but first a bit of a proper intro and our bona fides.


Who is CyberVista?


CyberVista is a cybersecurity education and workforce development company. We spun-off from Kaplan - our much larger sister company that's been around for 75+ years - to focus 100% of our efforts on the cyber workforce problem. We're both owned by Graham Holdings (formerly the Washington Post Company).


Our programs today include certification preparation for the major cyber certs. We also spend quite a bit of time in boardrooms of large companies educating boards and executives on cyber risk management. You can read more about our mission and what we do here: https://www.cybervista.net/about-us/


Our CISSP program is the only (ISC)2-Approved live-online program, a designation we acquired after a rigorous review by (ISC)2 of every bit of our curriculum. You can read more about our partnership with (ISC)2 here: https://www.cybervista.net/cissp/


A little about folks you've been hearing from and you'll hear from:


Amjed Saffarini (that's me) - I spent the last 20 years in education and test preparation at Kaplan, the large education / test prep company. I now run the CyberVista team with other awesome folks. CyberVista is a sister company to Kaplan, so we've taken all that Kaplan knows about education and prep and brought it to cybersecurity.


Jung Lee - You'll see Jung on the various videos (including the CAT videos in the links below), in your class orientation, and hounding you to study smarter, not harder. Jung has also spent 15+ years in education and test preparation, including running the GRE program for Kaplan (which was a computer adaptive test long before this change). Jung is known to have passed the CISSP as well as every other exam we prepare students for (and many others we don't like the MCAT and CFA).

Sam Meisenberg
- Sam is our CISSP certification program manager known to our students as the Lincoln look-alike (it helps that he's also a historian in his spare time). Sam knows all the ins and outs of the content covered on the CISSP and makes sure that our programs are always matched to the exam blueprint and any changes that come from it. If you're studying content with us, chances are Sam had something to do with the it.


You can read more about the cybervista team here: https://www.cybervista.net/about-us/#


In the next post we'll get into the test change itself.

Comments

  • asaffariniasaffarini Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    With that out of the way let's delve into the CAT test change.

    Helpful resources:
  • asaffariniasaffarini Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Select questions about the CISSP CAT change (Full FAQs here)

    What is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)?

    CAT stands for a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). It’s a form of a standardized test. The ultimate goal of a CAT exam, like any test, is to evaluate a test-taker’s ability and knowledge.

    A CAT exam evaluates a test taker by “adapting” to the test-taker. That means it analyzes your answers and uses that data to decide what question to feed you next, all in real-time. For example, if you start off the exam answering a question correctly, your next question will be a bit more difficult. If you answer that first question incorrectly, your next question will be easier. This process repeats after every question, and all of this zig-zagging allows the computer to precisely evaluate your skills and knowledge.


    How does computer adaptive testing work?

    The computer decides if you pass or fail by using a rating called a competence level, which is basically your score range. The competence level gets more and more specific as the test goes along. As a test-taker, the goal is to keep this competence level above the passing threshold. The more difficult questions you answer correctly, the higher your competence level grows.


    See all CISSP CAT videos here
    When is the CISSP test changing to a CAT?

    Effective on December 18, 2017, the English-version of the CISSP exam will be a CAT. As of December 18, 2017, if you take the CISSP exam in English, you will be taking a CAT.

    Will I still be able to flag or review my answers to previously answered questions?

    No. Since a CAT exam is adaptive and uses previous responses to generate the next question, you cannot change an answer once you’ve selected it.

    What are the minimum and maximum number of questions to be answered before the exam ends?

    On exam day you will see a minimum of 100 questions and a maximum of 150 items.

    Can I still take breaks within the total testing period?

    You can take as many breaks as you’d like. But keep in mind that you want the exam to be able to evaluate your competence level. So, at a minimum, you need to get through at least 100 questions in three hours. But the exam may need up to 50 more questions to evaluate your competence so you should plan to answer 150 questions in three hours.

    How will the length of the exam change?

    The CAT exam can last up to three (3) hours. If you need more time due to medical conditions, you will need to get pre-approval from (ISC)2. There is no minimum exam time limit.

    What is the shortest and longest time I can expect to sit for the exam?

    You can prepare and expect to sit for the exam for three hours. There is no minimum exam time, but you do know the minimum number of questions: 100.

    I’ve heard CAT exams feel harder. Will I experience a more difficult exam?

    Let’s go back to how a CAT works to answer this question. The computer analyzes your answers and uses that data to decide what question to feed you next. The science of a CAT exam works out in a way that the test taker is supposed to get every other question wrong. This means the exam will certainly feel harder than the traditional exam. But if the exam feels difficult, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Will my chances of passing the exam change?

    The exam pass rate won’t change. However, who ( the type of test taker) passes likely will change slightly. Test takers who may get flustered by the exam format will end up failing those test takers with endurance and who are comfortable with the CAT format might do better.

    F
    ull/updated FAQs here
    We're happy to update this post with more FAQs and videos, as well as answer your prep questions here, so fire away!
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    If you really only need to take at most 150 questions, us 250er’s are gonna be sad!
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 801 ■■■■■■□□□□
    So, you're the CEO and you're posting here and on reddit? That's cool. :)

    Thanks for those resources and the insight into the new announcement and how the new CAT will work with the CISSP.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You lost me in your first post where you are just advertising your company on here. You can't fool me trying to cram your company down our throats by following it up with some information about the CISSP... I'm on to you!
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    You lost me in your first post where you are just advertising your company on here. You can't fool me trying to cram your company down our throats by following it up with some information about the CISSP... I'm on to you!
    I’m blind to spam.
  • asaffariniasaffarini Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yep,

    I am the CEO and I'm posting on this forum (less great about reddit and twitter, to be honest). I love getting to know our customers and it's a good example for all our employees- all the stuff they say about leading by example, and so on...

    Back in the day I used to run a vbulletin car racer forum of close to 100K members (former autocrosser) and know the power of the network. We're paying it forward with this information in the hands of the community.

    We would also love to support the techexams community. If you're a moderator or know one, have them reach out to us, because frankly, we haven't been able to get in touch with anyone.

    Cheers,
    Amjed
  • dizzy_kittydizzy_kitty Member Posts: 95 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Could you previously go back to flagged questions on the CISSP?
  • asaffariniasaffarini Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You lost me in your first post where you are just advertising your company on here. You can't fool me trying to cram your company down our throats by following it up with some information about the CISSP... I'm on to you!

    :) Totally fair - but you all (in security) are paid to be a suspicious bunch. For us it's better to be transparent even at the risk of seeming a bit too forward. We're also not some rando company coming out of the woodwork, so it is important to establish a bit of cred before dishing advice about something important and complicated like this topic.

    Bottom line, you can get all the information here and on our site from us without sharing anything with us!

    In the meantime, we'll keep updating the FAQs and adding human readable answers and videos to the collection.

    Cheers!
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do you have your CISSP? Maybe you'd get more reputation points if you actually lead by example and pass the exam. :)
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 801 ■■■■■■□□□□
    TheFORCE wrote: »
    Do you have your CISSP? Maybe you'd get more reputation points if you actually lead by example and pass the exam. :)

    Oh jeez. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_burn_centers_in_the_United_States

    :) It's good information and I enjoyed it. Sure, it's a bit of a promotion of the company, but the information given is solid and for free.
  • Sam@CyberVista[email protected] Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Could you previously go back to flagged questions on the CISSP?

    Good question. The answer is no, you can't. Since a CAT exam is "adaptive" and uses previous responses to generate the next question, you cannot change an answer once you’ve selected it. So that's why it's important to really be sure about an answer choice before you select.
  • dizzy_kittydizzy_kitty Member Posts: 95 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good question. The answer is no, you can't. Since a CAT exam is "adaptive" and uses previous responses to generate the next question, you cannot change an answer once you’ve selected it. So that's why it's important to really be sure about an answer choice before you select.

    So I understand that once CAT is enforced you can't go back to any questions you flagged to review later but since it's not implemented yet can you do so if you're taking the exam before December 18?
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 901 ■■■■■■■■□□
    So dizzy_kitty, if you feel near to be ready... try before Dec 18th. Anyway, if you know your material, the exam format won't matter. It is only a mental barrier with the change.
  • Sam@CyberVista[email protected] Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So dizzy_kitty, if you feel near to be ready... try before Dec 18th. Anyway, if you know your material, the exam format won't matter. It is only a mental barrier with the change.

    Steve is exactly right. The content won't change so if you feel ready you should try to schedule it before 12/18.

    And, to be clear, from now through 12/17, the CISSP exam will be the traditional, linear, 250-question exam.
  • cbkihongcbkihong Member Posts: 52 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So today is the day. Anybody took the CAT exam and have anything to share (within the confines of what are allowed to share)?
  • bjpeterbjpeter Member Posts: 198 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Any word on whether the format of other ISC2 exams have also changed, e.g. the CSSLP?
    2021 Goals: SSCP, eJPT
    Achieved: PenTest+, Project+, CySA+, Flutter Certified Application Developer, OCP Java EE 7 Application Developer, CCSP, OCP Java SE 11 Developer, CISSP, Linux+/LPIC-1, CCSKv4, OCE Java EE 6 JPA Developer, CSSLP, Server+, Cloud+, Arcitura Certified Cloud Professional, CASP+, Mobility+, Storage+, Android Certified Application Developer, OCP Java SE 8 Programmer, Security+, OCM Java SE 6 Developer, B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science
  • kaijukaiju Member Posts: 422 ■■■■■■□□□□
    $3995 for the Cybervista training course! Holy crazy balls!

    I will be taking the new test next month because the testing center near me is closed for the remainder of the year.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • PC509PC509 CISSP, CEH, CCNA: Security/CyberOps, Sec+, CHFI, A+, Proj+, Server+, MCITP Win7, Vista, MCP Server 2 Oregon, USMember Posts: 801 ■■■■■■□□□□
    $3995 is about right compared to other training courses (Global Knowledge, etc.).
  • kaijukaiju Member Posts: 422 ■■■■■■□□□□
    That is probably why I just study on my own. I have been to company paid (forced is a better word) course and I think most are just a waste of money since the instructors pretty much read from a book or powerpoint presentation that is based off the book.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 901 ■■■■■■■■□□
    kaiju wrote: »
    That is probably why I just study on my own. I have been to company paid (forced is a better word) course and I think most are just a waste of money since the instructors pretty much read from a book or powerpoint presentation that is based off the book.

    I have mixed-experience regarding paid training. I went to excellent one (vSphere Design Workshop) to horrible one (Exchange 2010 with a local trainer), he was reading the Microsoft MOC in front of us, he was a good teacher but not a lot of on the job experience. Now, with all those available CBT, I only go to training when there is no self-study material available. I went to Veeam VMCE for this reason, but otherwise I use CBT / books
  • Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Senior Member Member Posts: 400 ■■■■□□□□□□
    kaiju wrote: »
    That is probably why I just study on my own.

    Echoing kaiju. Given the training cost, I would probably risk taking it after doing self study, learn my weak points or areas and then try to sit for the exam again. icon_wink.gif
    Three year plan: (2018) CISSP [X] and eJPT [ ]; (2019) eCPPT [ ]; (2020) OSCP [ ]
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 901 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Echoing kaiju. Given the training cost, I would probably risk taking it after doing self study, learn my weak points or areas and then try to sit for the exam again. icon_wink.gif

    That was my plan for CISSP, there is so much good material and this is a concept exam, so I dont think that bootcamp or training can really help given the cost. I made an agreement with my boss, I selfstudy for the CISSP but he accepted to pay for a failed exam attempt (knowing that I rarely fail). It was a good deal, I wrote it the the first time, and it relieved me of the pression of losing 699$ USD (almost 1000$ CAD)
    That was my plan
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