CISM exam in 1 week!

adlinuxadlinux Member Posts: 19 ■■■□□□□□□□
I sit for the CISM exam in 7 more days, and I must say I am extremely nervous. My practice exam scores are less than desirable - more honestly, the practice exam questions frustrate me icon_sad.gif . Is it just me, or are the majority of the questions trick questions? At least that's the way it seems.

Can anyone provide any CISM test-taking tips as I begin my countdown to Saturday?


  • FalasiFalasi Member Posts: 115
    Always think like a manager .. most of the time the right answer will cover all other answers. most of the times it will be something to do with Risk or Business requirements. most of the time anyway. Im still not done reading the manual. hopefully will be by tomorrow. then another read until thursday then friday for exam engine. GL!
  • htebazilehtebazile Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i'm taking the cism on saturday as well - good luck to you both!

    i agree with falasi.... that's what i'm seeing, too. senior management, risk / business objectives, etc. is usually the right answer.

    just keep on the practice questions. i went through ALL of the questions, and i carefully read the explanations on every question whether i got it wrong or right. that is how i learn the most, from those explanations - and we know the questions will not be exactly the same on the real exam, but if you understand and remember the explanations for the answers, they will serve you well on the actual exam.

    and then this past week i made myself go through the ones i got wrong until i got them ALL right. i kept customizing my test questions, to "missed last time seen" questions, until in my progress report showed zero on the "not answered correctly" column.

    it took a looong time, i kept missing the same questions over and over, i felt like i must be really hardheaded. but hopefully i did it enough and finally drilled it into my head (hopefully it sticks). i'm doing pretty well on all of the questions now, but i am about to do a practice exam with 200 questions.

    i'm actually procrastinating on studying right now, which is why i am posting here right now. (this is where i've been coming while procrastinating, terrible!).

    i really should go kick off that 200 question practice exam now....
    ~ elizabeth
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @htebazile and @adlinux - good luck on your upcoming exam. If you have the requisite infosec management experience, I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the questions. I would definitely encourage you to take the manual paper-based practice exam. I found that to be invaluable and a good facimile of the actual exam. If you have taken the CISSP before, this is similar but more geared towards infosec managers. As I recall, there are really no technical questions. It's a fairly long exam, but if you pace yourself, its not too bad.

    Good luck.
  • htebazilehtebazile Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    paul78 - thanks for the advice. i am already burned out on studying this topic and ready to be done.

    where can i find this practice exam you mentioned? thanks.
    ~ elizabeth
  • badrottiebadrottie Member Posts: 116
    @htebazile : I found the material in the CISM to be no more challenging than the CISSP, to be honest (In reality, it is just a subset of the CISSP CBK domains).

    Stay positive, you should be fine.
  • contentproscontentpros Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would grab the CISM glossary pdf fround here --> these are terms and items that will be referenced on the test.

    Remember that this test is an academic exercise. Forget get how you do things at your job. This is ISACAworld where the only right answer is the one that is in the book.

    IT & InfoSec are there to support the business and align IT with the business. Always remember these 2 items, if you are down to two answers and you are not sure which answer is correct and one has to do with either of these items it is probably a correct answer.

    Take the night off before the test have a good meal and get some sleep. During the test don't be afraid to take a break use the restroom and stay hydrated and snack.

    Enjoy the experience it will be done before you know it.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @htebazile - the paper practice exam is a booklet that can be purchased from the ISACA web site. It' at - look for the book called CISM Review Questions, Answers & Explanations Manual.

    That was the only question/answer resource that I used and I thought that it covered everything.
  • htebazilehtebazile Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    paul78- ok i thought you might be referring to some other practice exam not from isaca. i have the isaca test engine (pool of 800 questions), i would imagine it includes all the questions on the paper practice exam you used.

    contentpros- thanks i'll check that out.
    ~ elizabeth
  • adlinuxadlinux Member Posts: 19 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck all!
  • FalasiFalasi Member Posts: 115
    Just done and my head hurt. general tip for everyone who still didn't take the exam (due to time zone): if you start to loose focus; wash your face... it will do you wanders!
  • htebazilehtebazile Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    falasi - wish i had read your post this morning!

    i am glad it's over. during the exam i kept thinking i don't want to take any more certification exams..... i just didn't have the focus and stamina i felt like i needed to get through it this time. it's mentally exhausting.

    i finished in just under 3 hours.

    when i finish an exam, i usually spend time going through each question, reviewing my answers, etc. but i just didn't have it in me today. i finished, looked over a few again that i had marked, and turned it in.

    i hope i passed, b/c i don't want to take it again.

    now i am just going to try to forget about it and hope for the best, until the results come in 8 weeks........
    ~ elizabeth
  • FalasiFalasi Member Posts: 115
    Try to get busy with something else , I'm having multiple plans at the same time to keep me busy, in 2 months I should be done by CEH self-study.
    They had the speaker like 1 meter away from my head and I almost had a heart attack every time the proctor says anything. but was all good.

    I didn't revise any question: for me unless I know the answer or try a logical answer; I'll leave it for 2nd round of answering. did like 130 on my 1st round , marked them , took a break and washed my face. went back in for the rest of questions except "2" , marked and W.C then finally spent 20 min on last 2 questions. done by 3:20 mark.

    spent the rest of the day just trying to clear my head. I have a good feeling that we all ganna pass :) GL all.

    beside... @Elizabeth: you can't resist the need for another certification! I'm planning for CRISC or CGEIT in case I passed this one. can't resist ISACA awesome turnout time for grades >.>; (rrrrrrrrrrrrright).
  • adlinuxadlinux Member Posts: 19 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Going into the exam, I told myself "If I fail, I will retake it in December, and just accept the $ for this exam will be wasted". Leaving the testing center, I told myself "There is no way I can go through THIS again". I gave up, oops, I mean, I completed the exam in about 3 hours too.

    I made 3 passes through the questions, saving the hardest questions for last. It was exhausting.

    We're all going to pass; my next step is to prepare for CISSP while I wait for the test results.
  • FalasiFalasi Member Posts: 115
    its already feels like weeks passed since the exam and not just 3-4 days... I'm preparing for ISSMP (round 2) next monday and I already know where I went wrong last time. the concepts are almost the same however as far as official books : CISM was a fun read , ISSMP is dry.

    Last time I failed by 4-7 questions , hope this time I can clear it.

    general advise to everyone doing ISACA exams: get busy while waiting for results and hopefully it will pass fast and get your "PASS" result :D!
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