I passed the CISSP exam on the first try at the 125th question, Thanks to GOD. I’m relieved as I don’t have take this exam again.

This is the most significant experience in my career, acquiring new knowledge in information security while studying for the exam, was a wonderful journey.


This is indeed the most satisfactory personal achievement in my career, as matter of fact I’m more keen then ever before, to springboard my career to new roles in cybersecurity.

Study resources I used

  • The CISSP community on Reddit is a gold mine for CISSP exam takers.
  • Used the official study guide OSG (8th edition) as reference, but never read it cover to cover.

  • Multiple videos form “Thor”, “Certification destination”, “Inside cloud and security” and many others.
  • Boson CISSP, this practice exams goes deeper in details (more technical), which may help to reinforce some knowledge. My scores for the 4 exams were between 59% to 70%.
  • (ISC)2 Official CISSP Exam Prep App, this one reflects the same questions published in the OSG and the two official practice tests books. My score were always above 71%.

  • Pocket prep, this app has a nice interface, it shows you how you compare your proficiency with the community average scores.

“A mile wide and inch deep” butunderstanding the question is half the answer

CISSP is a management certificate, that is portrayed as “a mile wide and inch deep” in terms of knowledge, but this is not the only element of this exam’s hardness. As far as I can tell, there are three factors that shape the hardness of this exam :

– The amount of knowledge you need to understand and sometimes to retain, experience however can be leveraged to focus on the parts you are not familiar with;

– The way the questions are phrased, except for technical questions;

– The non-linear CAT exam where the questions engine stresses on the topics where candidate fails to show his proficiency.

“Your mileage may vary” 

Some call this internationally renown vendor-neutral certification “a beast”, this is fortunately not true for everyone. That’s why when you read feedback from successful (or unsuccessful) exam taker, make sure you are aware of his background and how his professional experience relates to the CISSP CBK.

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