LEMA21LEMA21 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
icon_redface.gifI know this is old news, there are so many threads on here and elsewhere about this exam, well my story is I failed recently, 8 months of continuous study, at least 2 hours a day +, I used all the official books for CISSP including the CBK for reference (it was hard reading) , CBT nuggets, Kelly Hanrahan on Cybrary and a company sponsored boot Camp (worthless) and as many questions form different resources as I could find.

I did not pass a single domain, even my own core area, Domain 1. I was Near to standard on 5 domains and well below on 3. it was awful, the questions were not easy to understand and not many of the prep ones that I did were close in comparison. I came across items that I had never covered. The one thing I considered doing but did not, was the CCCure questions, perhaps I should've subscribed to that? It was as if the machine had seen right through me and decided I was a useless chancer, hankering after a CISSP when I don't warrant holding it.

I think I would feel better about it if I had at least passed some of the domains. I do not know what to do next, If I continue as I have done and go through everything again, what am I doing that is different? next time I will be paying for the exam myself and £700 + is a lot of money. i can hear my other half now complaining (silently to herself) about the cost.

Does anyone have any ideas what I can do as a next step/plan 2 approach? As a last thought I have looked at the 7Safe intensive prep, but would need to rob a bank to pay for that, or I have considered going for CISM (my original choice, but went with workmates on the CISSP bandwagon)


  • Falcon56Falcon56 Member Posts: 94 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Can you give us your score please?

    I feel awful for you, that is a LOT of time and effort and we all know how you feel. Just throwing a guess here but I think you got into the test and went into panic mode. If you didn't pass a single domain, I seriously wouldn't attempt the exam again for at least 120 days.

    You don't need a boot camp and you can get by without CCCure. You can usually find a coupon and get the Boson practice exam for around $85. I would strongly recommend you re-read the Official Book and take the end of chapter questions. If you are missing those, go back and re-read and really understand what you are missing. Then, take the practice exams that come with the official book thru their Web site to assess how you are doing. After that, start taking the Boson and Official Practice Tests exams and really hammer your weak areas. If you have access to Safari Books Online, I would watch the six hour Sari Greene video series too. She goes thru how to break down test questions and how to eliminate answers. It was a huge help in my preparation.

    If you were near proficient in 5 areas, I really feel like you got into the exam got overwhelmed. It happens....just read all the "failed" threads. Hammer your weak domains and also be diligent with your stronger domains.

    I think I am going to be the first one replying to your thread. You're going to get some great ideas from other folks. Take them, think about them and lay out a plan that works best for you and your learning style. You can do this....yes, it stings and it busts your confidence....but now, you know what to expect!!!!
  • LEMA21LEMA21 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Falcon56,

    No scores are given on the Cat exam, just a print out of each domain and whether you were Near, above, below or well below standard, a bit poor considering the cost, to not even have a better understanding of how I did, I mean near to standard could be 1 to 3 points, below may be 4 or more, who knows. Thanks for the tips.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    I say this in every CISSP thread I make recommendations, but if you're studying over the course of many months (especially 8!) then you're doing yourself a disservice. How are you going to remember in month 8, what you've studied in month 1? Even 6 months is just too long. 3 months is the absolute max I recommend and even then I feel if you've studied over that length of time, you should then do a 1-2 week session where you study the material in a compressed timeframe so the material is nice and fresh.
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  • mattster79mattster79 Member Posts: 135 ■■□□□□□□□□
    How many books did you use when studying? If you used a lot of resources perhaps that’s what is muddying the waters for you???

    I read All in One Shon Harris cover to cover.
    Read the summary of each domain in the green book.
    Transcender practice exams.
    All in One practice exams.

    Worked well for me.
  • PersianImmortalPersianImmortal Senior Member Member Posts: 124 ■■□□□□□□□□
    My guess is that you might be using too many different resources. I started to do the same when I was preparing and I realized that I was overwhelming myself with information.

    What I used while prepping: CISSP videos (Invaluable)
    CISSP 7th Ed. Sybex Study Guide (Invaluable)

    11th Hour CISSP (A good overview, but not really necessary)
    Pluralsight CISSP videos (Good beginner videos for someone with no infosec experience... not necessary)

    I feel I really only benefited from the Sybex Guide and the Cybrary videos. Also, I would suggest not to delve too much into the practice questions and spend your time focusing on knowing the material. I did end up taking all of the chapter exams in the Sybex book, but I didn't do much more practice questions than that.

    Good luck if you decide to re-attempt! And don't be discouraged, this was a really tough exam... But if I can pass it, you can too!
  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Did you waste all 6 hours? How many questions did you get?
  • LEMA21LEMA21 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi, it was the CAT exam so I went through the entire 150 questions that is the maximum possible, I took around 2 hrs 30 of the 3hrs allocated.
  • LEMA21LEMA21 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi, I used the official CISSP study guide and the official questions book. I watched the CBT nuggets (29 of them twice) and did Cybrary. A few other items such as the sunflower guide. I used the Official CBK for in depth knowledge of areas I was unsure of, to be honest found that quite heavy going and did a 1 week boot camp 4 weeks before the exam. I also had some other questions samples and the Sybex flashcards and questions. I used the mindmaps to capture key areas and the weekend before the exam was scheduled I spent going over the key points to be sure I had them and was happy with key aspects. (obviously not).
  • LEMA21LEMA21 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    mattster79 wrote: »
    How many books did you use when studying? If you used a lot of resources perhaps that’s what is muddying the waters for you???

    I read All in One Shon Harris cover to cover.
    Read the summary of each domain in the green book.
    Transcender practice exams.
    All in One practice exams.

    Worked well for me.
    Hi Mattster79, maybe I need to get better questions from other exam engines, A few people telling me about CCCure but others say don't bother. decisions, decisions. Need to decide on what is next.
  • clconrad1clconrad1 Member Posts: 26 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I failed not once but twice. I haven't even picked up a book since. i feel totally defeated. I went to a class, did the Sybex and questions, Also had the Sybex official study guide questions, and did Cybrary vids. Epic fail. I got 1 more than proficient, several almost proficient, and like 2 below proficient and it differed the 2nd time I took it. I feel like I did everything I could and still could not pass. I am leery to do the same things I did before because it clearly did not work for me.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    LEMA21 wrote: »
    Hi Mattster79, maybe I need to get better questions from other exam engines, A few people telling me about CCCure but others say don't bother. decisions, decisions. Need to decide on what is next.

    The Boson practice tests in study mode (you can show answer and see if you got it and read a description of the answers and why one is correct) is decent. It helped me some in my studies having just passed last Monday. But ultimately I think putting in a lot of study a week or so leading up to the exam would be a big help. My last week of study covered going over the Sybex book once more time in full followed by a reread through certain areas I was showing weak in (per the Boson practice exams). I also went through the 11th hour book once the weekend prior to my exam. The morning of my exam I had a good breakfast and found a quiet place to read through the Sunflower PDF once before the exam. Got the pass at question 102 and was starting to doubt myself towards the end.
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    I know 4 people who have used. CISSP videos
    CISSP 7th Ed. Sybex Study Guide
    11th hour
    CISSP official practice tests

    2 of them are Managers in infosec. 2 are architects. The managers failed 2x already.
    The architects failed first attempts.

    So something is missing here.
  • roxerroxer Member Posts: 130 ■■■□□□□□□□
    When I took the test a couple of weeks ago, the one thing I noticed was how the questions were asked. So, it wasn't so much that I did not have the knowledge and more like I did not know how to interpret the question. I did feel a good portion of my passing was from personal experience. In the end though, it was knowing the process and understanding the definitions that helped me the most. For instance, questions were asked that did not have a clear, in-your-face answer, but the concepts of the real answer were there. Unless you knew the concept, you would never be able to answer the question. This test is not as managerial as the CISM, but close--it still has technical questions. Knowing the processes behind things like the BCP, DRP, and other components (and their order), is really a must. Waking in with a fully technical mindset is not going to help you.
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc Senior Member King City, CAMember Posts: 646 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I'm going to go with roxer here. I passed on my first try Thursday, and I was used to everyone saying "The exam is a mile wide and an inch deep." I didn't feel that way. I felt that the questions were VERY specific about IT supporting Business functions, but the ANSWERS were all over the place. It required a great deal of understanding of exactly what the question was asking, and completely understanding why each answer was right or wrong. I'll be honest... the test was a bear, and halfway through I thought I was going to bomb it. I used Sybex, All in One, and 11th Hour as reading materials, and Boson, Total Tester, Sybex Online, and CCCURE practice tests. I also listened to Kelly Handerhan's Cybrary course on repeat in my car as MP3 on a daily basis (just over an hour commute each way). In my humble opinion, I would say that the Sybex Online and Total Tester exams were the closest in difficulty, but the difficulty on the exam just can't be compared.

    Don't give up! You will get there.
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    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
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  • bjpeterbjpeter Member Posts: 198 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hey OP, did you retake the exam and pass? :)
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