Took CISSP Exam last Saturday in FL - I am sure I flunked!

SuzeSuze Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
Random observations:

Even tho I knew there were going to be 250 questions, I was still amazed by the sheer volume of material in the test booklet. It was 63 pages of 8/12X11 paper. I wasn't expecting that, for sure.

There were a lot of subjective questions. Only about a third of the questions were cut and dried with straightforward answers. And I was suprised by how many good answers there were to the questions. I had expected to be able to eliminate one or two right off the bat for some questions. No such luck.

I used the entire six hours to take the exam. At the end, there were still at least 5 questions I had not one single clue about. So - I took a guess.

I got only one or two questions with language like which one of these is NOT correct. There were a lot of questions that began ..which is the primary reason to do XYZ and which step in disaster recovery should you do FIRST.

About one hour in, a woman taking the test started crying very quietly. She went out and composed herself and came back in to finish the test. It wasn't me, but I sure wanted to cry when I saw that test booklet.

I have been reading the posts about how long till results arrive. I was surprised to learn that they come by email and that they come within a couple of weeks. I will be watching my inbox.

I attended the free DISA / Cert.org on demand online classes. I studied using their recommended text ... Krutz & Vines CISSP and CAP Prep Guide (2007). I also bought Exam Cram 2nd Edition. I thought I was prepared for the exam, but I now feel quite certain I flunked it.. I just boggled.

But ..I will keep you posted. Suze, Palm Bay, FL
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Comments

  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The not knowing is by far the worst part of those exams. My co worker thought for sure that he bombed it and it turns out he passed with a very good score. I have heard from several people that it causes you to think you did way worse than you actually did.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
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  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Suze wrote: »
    I thought I was prepared for the exam, but I now feel quite certain I flunked it..
    Until you get the official result there is still a possibility that you passed......

    You should spend all your time until you get the official result reviewing the CISSP study material so that you can confidently represent CISSPs worldwide on the chance that you did pass.

    And if you didn't pass this time, you now know what to expect and you'll be well on your way with your preparation to CRUSH IT LIKE A BUG next time.

    Welcome to the TechExams.net Forums! :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • laidbackfreaklaidbackfreak Member Posts: 991
    Hi Suze, welcome to TE icon_smile.gif

    Thanks for the feedback I've only just seriously started to put the time in for this exam and am slowly realsing what a mountain it is, (or should that be great plains given its breadth)
    Some areas are sinking in relatively easily and while the areas I'm weaker on make sense when I look at some of the practice exams I'm still left wondering on some of the answers.
    I'm hoping as it get's nearer to the exam some of this fuzziness will clear sounds like it wont for the actual exam lol

    How much time did you dedicate towards this if you dont mind me asking?
    good luck for next time
    if I say something that can be taken one of two ways and one of them offends, I usually mean the other one :-)
  • SuzeSuze Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    First, let me say that I deliberated long and hard over which certification to pursue. DoD 8570.1-M applies to me currently and of course I hope to move up in the future. I considered the Security+ cert. And I have HEARD rumors that the ISC(2) CAP exam will be accepted as an IAM II or possibly even IAM III next revision. So starting with a Security+ and then getting the CAP was something I seriously considered.

    The SANS / GIAC certs were interesting (open book tests) but (again) I would have had to do two (one for IAT and a separate one for IAM) because I really need / want both technical and management.

    But for the here and now, I decided that the CISSP was the best option for me. So last December I decided to go for it. I got some support from my employer and some from my Colonel. Support, but no money! Except for the exam cost, I spent NO money on prepraration. Someone gave me the two books I have.

    I started studying SERIOUSLY in February. I spent a lot of time on the OSI model and TCP/IP stacks. And a lot of time on cryptography. Those were my two weakest domains. Nearly all of the straightforward questions on the CISSP exam were from those two domains.

    By the way ... I did not go to a boot camp - but I did take the free CERT.org classes and I HIGHLY recommend them. Military or gov't and contractors - request an account and you will get access free. You can play them ANY time and take as long as you want to finish them. I have also heard of other folks on the sorta DISA "fringe" being given accounts, so it wouldn't hurt to ask. https://www.vte.cert.org/vteweb/

    The CISSP (2nd edition one) is pretty darn good. I also did the networking and the hybrid IAM / IAT class. All together, those classes amounted to almost 200 hours of class work. Every evening for at least 2 hours and every weekend at least 4 hours for nearly 5 months. It follows the Krutz and Vines CISSP and CAP Prep Guide VERY closly. There are tests, lab manuals and the Open Study Guide for CISSP.

    By the way, the Open Study Guide for CISSP is pretty good and I saw quite a bit correlation on the CISSP exam. If any one needs a copy, I can send it or point you to it online.

    I do DIACAP (previously DITSCAP) process executions and some Common Criteria work for a company called SAIC.

    All told, I would say I spend about 450 hours over 5 months studying or watching the CERT classes - starting out slowly and increasing as the exam got closer. OH .. and did I ever take practice tests. The free practice test questions from CCURE - by the week before the test, I concluded that I had seen every single question in their bank at least twice! No kidding.

    If, as I fear, I have not passed the CISSP exam, I WILL immedediately register for the retake in October or November and buy the Shon Harris AIO series and take that. I DO think that an additional text and series might just be the edge I need. AND I will order Transcender practice tests and probably an official practice test from ISC(2). So, yES, I will have to spend MONEY. Oh well.

    Oh .. and I have watched a lot of the fellas in my shop try and fail the Security+ and CISSP exams on numerous ocassions. One guy has failed the Security+ exam 3 times, and he is the best firewall guy I know.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,671 Admin
    Most people initially feel as though they have flunked the CISSP because it is such a long and difficult exam to take. There are hundreds of posts at www.cccure.org from people emoting over the exam and the pain of waiting for their results, so these feelings are common and natural. Many are suprised there there is some aspect of the exam they didn't expect (like the wording of the questions), or one or more areas of InfoSec that they didn't study for. For those people that do fail, the majority of them do pass the exam on the second try.

    And if you haven't already read them, here are my blog articles on the (ISC)2 exams:

    The CISSP Certification Experience TechExams.net Blogs
    The CISSP Certification Experience: My Study Plan TechExams.net Blogs
    The SSCP Certification Experience TechExams.net Blogs
  • outsider73outsider73 CISSP, CISM, and other M$ XP/2K3 old certs Member Posts: 12 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    My co worker thought for sure that he bombed it and it turns out he passed with a very good score.

    Just wondering: how did he get the score as ISC2 won't give it if you pass but will do it if you fail...
  • mog27mog27 Member Posts: 302
    Suze,

    Does that cert site only verify that you have a .mil address and if so you will automatically get an account? Or does someone else have to approve it?
    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Ben Franklin

    "The internet is a great way to get on the net." --Bob Dole
  • SuzeSuze Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    As far as I know, no one from my office or site had to approve my account. I recall I put in a note about 8570 applying to me and - it seemed fast and pretty automatic for me. https://www.vte.cert.org/vteweb/
  • tarcizotarcizo Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Suze, dont be to hard with yourself. I took the test last 17 of july, and I also sure that i flunkend, and i really have a great knowledge on all 10 domains. I have others certifications like cwsp,ceh,security+ and some others... The CISSP exam is really full of tricks, like my natural language isnt english, I also had more difficulties that a english natural can have. The exam is really subjective, there are too many good answers and its too extensive, I dont really think that a 6 hour exam is really needed. Because when u are really exaust of reading, sometimes u do some mistakes and skip a comma or a collon, and this can make u loose lots of questions.
    But we want the certification, we need to support this terrible exam. But everyone that i know that took the exam, also think that flunked, lets hope we can pass. If not i will take again in December, because here in brazil, the exam happens only twice a year icon_sad.gif. So i will also study for the CISA and take the both exams at the end of the year..... U can do the same, so u fell like u are studyng for a new thing and not to the exam that u failed.
    Good luck for all of us that are waiting for the results.
  • svt cobrasvt cobra Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    When I took the exam, I was sure I did not pass too. But I did, so hang in there and if you didnt pass dont give up.

    :D
  • j_a_s_o_nj_a_s_o_n Member Posts: 75 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I was pretty sure that I had failed as well when I took it. Happily for me, that was not the case.
  • LarryDaManLarryDaMan Member Posts: 797
    Suze wrote: »
    About one hour in, a woman taking the test started crying very quietly. She went out and composed herself and came back in to finish the test.

    That is the most awesome thing I have ever heard. :)

    Seriously though, it is not uncommon to feel that you may have failed. If you studied hard and carefully read the questions and answers, you might be pleasantly surprised.
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    My co worker thought for sure that he bombed it and it turns out he passed with a very good score.

    You only get a score when you fail. A pass just reads PASS.
  • unsupportedunsupported Member Posts: 192
    LarryDaMan wrote: »
    That is the most awesome thing I have ever heard. :)

    That is one of the best stories about a CISSP test I have heard too. It should be ISC2's motto "The CISSP, it will make you cry!"

    During my CISSP I wanted to make a woman cry. Everyone was told to turn off their cell phones, she said she just got her phone and has no idea how to turn it off. It should be ok because only her husband has the number. Guess what? In the middle of the test it went off!

    Another eventful thing, during my test was one of my co-workers slipped and fell on a candy wrapper which was laying on the ground in front of cell phone lady. My co-worker was ok, just shaken up.

    One last story, my boot camp trainer, "Hack" said when he was finished with the test he stood up, slammed down his pencil, and yelled "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!!?". I was confident I passed the test, but was not about to disturb everyone else. Especially since half the room were my co-workers.
    -un

    “We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins” - Ellen Ullman
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    This thread has officially gotten awesome icon_cool.gif
  • j_a_s_o_nj_a_s_o_n Member Posts: 75 ■■□□□□□□□□
    At mine, right before the test, one of the proctors was telling us about how she had taken it five times before passing, which I really didn't need to hear. During the test, another of the proctors was sitting in the back and kept rebooting his windows laptop, so we were continually serenaded by the windows startup music. He also had a crinkly bag of chips that he kept fidgeting with. I would strongly advise any test takers to have earplugs handy in case you need them.
  • SuzeSuze Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Update: I PASSED!

    I got my congratulatory email this morning. I waited 18 long days for my results and I alternate between being THRILLED SURPRISED RELIEVED and then back to THRILLED again.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,671 Admin
    Congratulations!! icon_cheers.gificon_thumright.gif

    Now is the time to celebrate and do some serious patting-your-self-on-the-back!


    On average, 18 days is actually a bit soon to receive your results. I'm glad the (ISC)2 seems to be expeditiously processing exam results these days.
  • CyanicCyanic Member Posts: 289
  • CyanicCyanic Member Posts: 289
    My coworker had gotten really ill right before the exam. He had no choice but to take the exam in his condition. He finished the exam as fast as he could, 1.5 hours. It took me 5.75 hours. I was sure there was no way he passed, but when our results came back he had done it. I am still scratching my head wondering how.
  • laidbackfreaklaidbackfreak Member Posts: 991
    Nice one, congrats on that gotta be well pleased icon_smile.gif

    Jd if 18 days is soon, whats typical ??
    if I say something that can be taken one of two ways and one of them offends, I usually mean the other one :-)
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Suze wrote: »
    Update: I PASSED!
    Congratulations!! icon_cheers.gif

    See -- you were worried for nothing!! icon_lol.gif

    Now go CELEBRATE!! drunken_smilie.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,150 Mod
    that's awesome !! congrats !!! :D
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • TeeDarling77TeeDarling77 CISSP, CASP+, CEH, VCP-DCA 6.5, MCSE, MCSA,ITIL, Security+ Member Posts: 16 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Suze, Congrats!
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,172 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Awesome - congratulations!
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congratulations! icon_cheers.gif
  • SuzeSuze Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    As of today, I got the official CISSP credential. I had the endorsement and rez all ready to go and sent them right off to ISC(2) within an hour or two. And now, I got the official bestowing of the CISSP!

    So, 19 or 20 days after sitting for the exam, I am a CISSP!

    It felt pretty good to drag my ole noodle out of moth balls and use it one last time!

    Thanks for all the kind words from this forum.!
  • j_a_s_o_nj_a_s_o_n Member Posts: 75 ■■□□□□□□□□
  • w33tw33t Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • AD200AD200 Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
  • abefromanabefroman Banned Posts: 278
    Suze wrote: »
    Random observations:

    Even tho I knew there were going to be 250 questions, I was still amazed by the sheer volume of material in the test booklet. It was 63 pages of 8/12X11 paper. I wasn't expecting that, for sure.

    There were a lot of subjective questions. Only about a third of the questions were cut and dried with straightforward answers. And I was suprised by how many good answers there were to the questions. I had expected to be able to eliminate one or two right off the bat for some questions. No such luck.

    I used the entire six hours to take the exam. At the end, there were still at least 5 questions I had not one single clue about. So - I took a guess.

    I got only one or two questions with language like which one of these is NOT correct. There were a lot of questions that began ..which is the primary reason to do XYZ and which step in disaster recovery should you do FIRST.

    About one hour in, a woman taking the test started crying very quietly. She went out and composed herself and came back in to finish the test. It wasn't me, but I sure wanted to cry when I saw that test booklet.

    I have been reading the posts about how long till results arrive. I was surprised to learn that they come by email and that they come within a couple of weeks. I will be watching my inbox.

    I attended the free DISA / Cert.org on demand online classes. I studied using their recommended text ... Krutz & Vines CISSP and CAP Prep Guide (2007). I also bought Exam Cram 2nd Edition. I thought I was prepared for the exam, but I now feel quite certain I flunked it.. I just boggled.

    But ..I will keep you posted. Suze, Palm Bay, FL

    Were all of the questions multiple choice?
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