How To Pass The CISSP Exam – Study Tips From CISSP-Certified Pros

If you’re considering taking the CISSP exam, the chances are that you’re at least a bit worried about the results. CISSP certification is recommended for anyone looking to up their game in the cyber security industry. The CISSP candidates all wonder the same thing.

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How To Pass The Cissp Exam, And What’s The Best Way To Prepare For It?

We’ve talked about CISSP-certified experts, and they all agree that the following three tips are vital for preparing for the CISSP exam – and passing it with flying colors!

1. Set A Test Date & Create A Realistic Study Plan

The study materials for the CISSP exam are massive – there’s no other way to put it. The extent of the topics covered in the CISSP syllabus amounts to roughly 1400 pages! Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’s going to be an easy feat – or that you won’t need a study plan.

You have to read through the entirety of the CBK – all eight domains – study each section with care, take practice tests, revisit chapters and topics that seem to be your “weakest links,” and go to online forums for group discussions and all-rounded insight. It’s a whole lot of things to accomplish here.

If you don’t plan and account for everything – and make sure that it all fits your schedule – you might find yourself overwhelmed and frustrated.

The best way to avoid this is by setting a realistic study plan, one that takes into account the date of the exam, and sets aside time for daily test preparations. Ideally, you should have enough time to go through one CBK domain per week.

2. Self-Study vs. Boot Camp

One might argue that you can achieve much higher levels of concentration when studying alone than when you’re a part of a study group. Plus, there are other benefits of self-study worth noting here, too.

It’s much cheaper than paying for boot camp. Also, you don’t have to bother with arranging meet-ups, and you can study – and take breaks – whenever you feel like it.

However, going down the self-study route means that you’ll miss out on a more in-depth understanding of specific topics, as well as technically intricate details and insights that only coaches can provide. We’re not advising you to ditch your go-to learning style – it got you this far in your career, after all.

However, it would be best if you still considered joining a boot camp to prepare for the CISSP exam, too.

The training is much more fast-paced and rigorous, but you get a chance to learn from experts in the field. Plus, there’s an element of discipline and punctuality that typically isn’t seen in the self-study approach. The downside is that boot camps cost a lot of money.

The best way to go about this would be to join a boot camp, and do self-study along with it.

3. Use Multiple Study Sources & Take Practice Tests

The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK is, of course, the best starting point, as an authoritative source publishes it. However, don’t limit yourself to one study source only, especially when there are highly-rated resources for CISSP training online available online.

Make sure that you purchase the latest versions of these books, though, as they’re regularly updated; studying outdated material won’t get you anywhere.

Also, keep in mind that the six-hour-long CISSP exam includes a total of 250 questions. That gives you less than two minutes for each of them. Flawless theoretical knowledge and understanding of all eight domains won’t be enough; you’ll need great stress and time management skills, too.

And that’s where taking online practice tests can help. There are plenty of online resources where you can take these simulated versions of the exam, which will be beneficial for two reasons:

First, you’ll get a chance to see how well you understood the topics and what areas need revisiting. And second, learn how to manage your time during the exam properly.


There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to preparing for the CISSP exam. It’s all about finding a study plan that works best for you. Still, it would help if you listened to the advice on how to pass the CISSP exam listed above – it’s coming from CISSP-certified experts who already took the test and aced it. Good luck on your journey to earning the CISSP certification!

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