Passed CISSP CAT exam on 3/14/2018

SebzzSebzz Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All, long time lurker here icon_lol.gif.

I am sharing some of the experience I gained from my CISSP journey and I hope that it can help others, especially when it is in the new CAT format.

The CAT exam was interesting, I have never taken any CAT typed exam before, and this is my first attempt in CISSP, so it was extra special to me.
The content is still based on the 2015 content, I believe the new content will begin in April's exam onward. As all the books I have are based on the 2015 content, I decided to take the exam before April.

For studying, I took around 1 hour each day during lunch to study and did that for 6 months. It was tough eating and studying at the same time. I am glad it paid out.
I also took a 1 week off from work to study intensely before the exam. Truthfully, that was when I did most of the studying as I absorb more information if it is linked together at one go. Any intermittent break between studying, breaks my train of thought.

Books I used:
Eleventh Hour CISSP Study Guide
This was the first book on CISSP that I read. I know this is opposite to the norm as it is usually reserved for the last, but by reading this thinner book, I got a feel of the content in various domains. As well as identifying which area that I am unfamiliar with, that I can put extra effort in.

Sybex 7th edition
After finishing the Eleventh Hour, I read through the Sybex book as it was recommended by the official CISSP website. It gives me more content to learn on, but does it feels long winded. I feel that it is way too wordy when covering on certain subjects. Maybe it was written that way to help teach students that are not experienced in the subjects, but this book took the most time of my study.

Sybex Online Practice Questions
This is the one I used for all my practice and getting familiarize on how the general questions will be structured. However do take note that the practice questions only contain multiple choice type of questions. It does not contain the drag and drop style and picture type of questions.

I tried getting other books, but I ran out of time, so I did not touch on those.

Exam format:
I did not get any "point the picture" type of questions. Maybe it is not included in the CAT exam. I am not sure.
During the exam, I was really surprised that I only got 100 questions during the exam. The exam paused and hanged for at least 5 seconds after I answered the 100th question. I was scared when it did that. So do not worry if it happens to you as well. I took around 1 hour in total for the exam. In retrospect, 3 hours is enough to answer all questions slowly and with care.

I went through the exam with speed only because I have a serious issue with patience, and I really hate examination. I just wanted to get it over and done with. In retrospect, it was risky of me to just rush through the questions.

I recommend taking care to look through the question with care and take your time. 3 hours should be enough.

I did not get to answer additional questions after the 100th one. Not sure why, but I think this is how the CAT exam works.

And that is my CISSP journey, I hope it helps someone.


  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    Congrats! Definitely not the norm from what I'm reading. You only used the official guide and passed in an hour? Impressive. How many years of experience do you have?
  • tedjamestedjames Member Posts: 1,179 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congratulations! Nice writeup, too!
  • PersianImmortalPersianImmortal Member Posts: 124 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations!!! You finished in an hour! That's amazing!
  • averageguy72averageguy72 Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    CISSP / CCSP / CCSK / CRISC / CISM / CISA / CASP / Security+ / Network+ / A+ / CEH / eNDP / AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty / AWS Certified Security - Specialty / AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional / AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional / AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate / AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate / AWS Certified Developer - Associate / AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • SebzzSebzz Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yes, I spend only 1 hour because of my issue with anxiety, so I needed to get it done quick.
    I only used the 2 books with the practice questions because I ran out of time for my study. I bought 2 other books as well, but I did not use them.

    I currently work as a "temporary stand in" ISO for a small company for 3+ years. So my experience is mostly from there.
  • TryHarder2018TryHarder2018 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi, I'm posting here because I have experience of both linear and CAT exam. I'm took the previous version last year and took the new exam in May. I'm not sure if it is down to the new content but the questions were more vague in the CAT. I was certainly left thinking that the CAT is tougher. You really do not get many clues. Sometimes a good answer sticks out. Also I noticed pauses through out, plus similar questions yet not quite repeats.

    I thought 3 hours was plenty but soon the minutes passed so don't take too much time which is what I did. I'd heard that the adaptive test have different scores depending on the first questions so really took time in reading the question, the answers and then back to the question. Sometimes I felt "what am I being asked I thought this was a management exam" FWIW I have a technical background. 8 years in security.

    I'm now thinking I need new content booksand that studying 2015 content is not enough. I'd be interested to hear book recommendations for those that have passed recently.

    Unfortunately I failed this time around and will have to retake or take up gardening for a living.
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