10 Tips for Passing CISSP – A Madunix Note

Fadi Sodah (aka Madunix)

This article, 10 Tips for Passing CISSP, is authored by Fadi Sodah (aka Madunix).

10 Tips for Passing CISSP madunix notes


We know the pain and the struggle, you cannot learn everything in one day/week/month. You are going to be exposed to a lot of stuff. The CISSP exam is a big undertaking. It is designed to test your presence of mind, knowledge, experience, concept, and hard work. As of December 18, 2017, the CISSP exam has adopted CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) exam format. The CISSP Exam has 100-150 multiple-choice questions. The passing grade is 700 out of 1000 points. You have 3 hours to complete the exam.


Why do you want the CISSP certification? It is essential to know why because when you are faced with a difficult situation or difficult topic instead of giving up, you can persevere and move on. An example of why you want to get CISSP certified is to get a better job or maximize your earning potential.


Make sure to know your boundaries and where they are. They are crucial to passing the exam. Write down how you are going to overcome your limits. An example, I am not a good test-taker, so my goal to overcome that is: I am going to take many practice tests until I become a good test-taker.


The CISSP is not meant to make you an expert in any specific topic as it is very broad, not very deep. So you are not going to walk away like an expert in SDLC or BCP. If your job requires you to learn more about a specific topic, such as SDLC, you can indeed become an expert on that topic during your work experience.


I recommend you sign up for the test because if it is on the calendar, it will be a commitment. Please put it on the calendar and then work backward; this strategy does determine what you need to do to be ready for that exam. Again plan a strategy and stick to it.


You need to create a solid study plan. If you study by yourself, you will always see your material from the same perspective; I recommend choosing a study group telegram, fb, WhatsApp, and discord. These groups are active 24*7, discussing questions and concepts. Use SYBEX CISSP Official Study as a baseline for your study. Review the notes from Sunflower, Process Guide, and Memory Places. Review NIST publications. In the case of misconception, keep referring to the CBK CISSP book and index. Check CISSP references


I recommend reading one book cover to cover, but most people do not succeed. So undertake many practice exams as you can. The way I passed my exams is by doing many practice questions. Review any questions you missed. Go through the practice exams if you missed a question, go look up why you missed a question. Keep taking exam questions until you gradually get better and better.
The other thing practice exams can give you the experience of the context that certain materials will be presented to you in the real exam. It also gives you experience eliminating distractors out. Measure your progress through quizzes, be aware don’t go by the score; try to fill your gaps. Try getting your mindset in the MOST, LEAST, BEST type of questions you will see on the real exam.


Always think like a manager, and think about the concepts, processes and procedures unless the question asks a technical issue explicitly. Don’t overthink it.


You constantly have to review, evaluate, and improve your knowledge on all CISSP domains. The real way to measure if you’re ready is if you are taking many questions and consistently scoring over 80%, then you’re probably prepared. If you score below 80%, you should not consider yourself ready. You might still be able to pass, but the probability is less.


You need to pass the exam. Go and take the test. Re-read the question carefully, and you should be able to narrow down the options. Some of the answers should be incorrect, and hopefully, you’re choosing the correct one. If, for some reason, you don’t pass the exam, don’t give up learning from your experience. Deciding what to do next is hard, learn where you didn’t follow the plan and determine what areas you were weak in to strengthen those areas. There’s always a move. I wish you the best of luck on the CISSP exam and congratulations in advance on passing the exam.

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