CISSP - Dry Run Worth It?

CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
TE,

A quick question on the CISSP experience. Having recently switched to the digital testing model, they now offer their exam results same day. As I finalize my studying for my CISM, I'm ramping up on materials for my CISSP. As I purchase all the necessary materials (AIO, Nuggets, Dummies, etc...), I can't help but wonder just how ready I will be for the true environment.

My root question: Would it be worth it to take the test one time through without any CISSP specific studying just to get a real world understanding of where my base knowledge sits? I know the exam is expensive, but I'm not overly concerned with the cash aspect. If I can get a feel for the exam environment, get a read out of my weakest areas, and ditch some of that exam anxiety, it's totally worth it. Not to mention, who knows... maybe I get lucky and pass the test on the first try without any studying? People win the lottery all the time, right? Should I fail, I also get a very valuable analysis of where my weakest areas are, which will in turn allow me to focus on those areas throughout my 3 months of study time.

I'll be taking the exam about 3 months after I get my passing score for my CISM (note the air of confidence?) in February. Plenty of time to argue points on this thread!

What are your thoughts TE?

Comments

  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    So you have materials in hand, are taking a test with a few similar knowledge points, and will have about two months to twiddle your thumbs while you wait for the results? I think if money is no object, and you're confident that you'll pass the CISM, then those two months could be spent studying up on the CISSP and give you at least a good head start when taking the exam. So you wouldn't exactly go in cold. In fact, depending on your real world experience, that may be all you need to pass the exam. It took me about 6 months of study, 4 months off and on, followed by 2 months of extensive study to pass it on my first try. I do security policy and planning as well as network auditing and vulnerability remediation at work and have been doing that for about 2 years now so that helped to shorten the study time frame a bit. If you're sitting for the CISM, I'd have to assume you're in an IA type role as well so I think you could pull it off.
    Spicy :cool: Mentor the future! Be a CyberPatriot!
  • wes allenwes allen Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Maybe take a couple practice exams first and if you are scoring reasonably well, then go ahead and take the test. If you are scoring under 70% on those, then maybe save your $600?
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    wes allen wrote: »
    Maybe take a couple practice exams first and if you are scoring reasonably well, then go ahead and take the test. If you are scoring under 70% on those, then maybe save your $600?

    The reason for taking the actual test was to get the feedback from ISC on what my weakest areas are. Do you, or any other CISSP passer, know of any practice test that can provide VERY close to this same type of feedback? I've seen many practice tests out their, but I'm left to wonder just how accurate the results are in comparison to the actual exam.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,718 Admin
    Have you looked at the studISCope practice exams from the (ISC)2? From this product I believe you will get a very accurate evaluation of your current level of understanding of the ten domains of the CISSP CBK--and at half the price of the actual CISSP exam.
  • wes allenwes allen Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
    While the cccure.org test are not as hard, just knocking out a few 250 question tests over a couple days should give you a good idea where you are. The two tests that are associated with the Syngress book were also pretty good. Those are just up on their site, no code or anything required. I guess what I was saying was that if you are not at least getting in the 70% range on the practice tests, then you probably are not going to pass the real thing. As far as what to focus on - find the posts about the "top 5" domains, along with whatever you were weak on on the cccure.org tests. Plus, the cccure stuff is good for several months, so you can buy them and if you decide not to take the real test right away, you can study for a bit, then come back to them. Also, after studying for a bit, you should have an idea of what you know and what you don't, and that is probably a good driver of your study focus, weighting the top 5 domains proportionately.

    That said, if you have $600 burning a hole in your pocket, then nothing wrong with taking a dry run.
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    JDMurray wrote: »
    Have you looked at the studISCope practice exams from the (ISC)2? From this product I believe you will get a very accurate evaluation of your current level of understanding of the ten domains of the CISSP CBK--and at half the price of the actual CISSP exam.

    Exactly what I was looking for! While cash isn't really an object for these items, saving 400$ can warm anyone's heart. Thanks for the find JD. The fact they use the same algorithm, and generally would have the same level of difficulty and ambiguity, makes this a perfect find.

    Thanks again!
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