How Long Does it take to Prepare for CISSP Exam
Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) is a certification that can give a boost to the careers of aspiring IT-security professionals. A CISSP-certified professional is responsible for enterprise security which may encompass aspects like security for assets, access, data, among many others.
The CISSP certification requires a candidate to appear for a computer-based exam and answer multiple-choice questions in a fixed duration. CISSP is an internationally recognized certification so the content can be challenging.
Aspiring candidates, often working professionals, are advised to opt for CISSP Online Training. Training helps the candidates offload the burden of course structure, learning plan, tips, and tricks to the trainers. Online training is a boon for aspirants because they juggle between their jobs and test preparation.
Examination Preparation Time
Availability is often the most significant challenge candidates face in preparing for the exam. Hectic work schedule, deliverables, meetings, and other engagements leave little time for preparation.
Preparing for the CISSP certification requires around three to six months. Following is our advice to aspiring candidates
- Avoid preparing without training or a professional course unless you have a lot of free time
- Choose an online course instead of a physical classroom course
Time is a rare commodity for working professionals and spending it on figuring out the syllabus, content, course structure, and answers to doubts is hardly the right way to use it.
When subscribing to an online course, candidates get professionally developed content and can focus on preparation rather than searching for the latest syllabus. It also permits the flexibility of learning when they have free time.
Choice of a good-quality content provider is necessary to improve preparation quality and required time. You may visit the YouTube video below that highlights what you should be looking in a good content provider.
After all, your preparation is only as good as the content you’re reading.
Tips to Aspirants
- Explore CISSP: Before planning to appear for the exam, check the latest eligibility requirements the institute mandates.
Visit the website of (ISC)2 to learn about eligibility requirements and other relevant information.
(ISC)2 is the Institute – International Information System Security Certification Consortium, which issues the CISSP certification.
- Exam Date: Choose the exam date carefully. Working professionals have work deadlines every now and then. Select a date around which your work schedule may be light. A relaxed mind makes a lot of difference in an examination.
- Preparation: The training institute takes care of the course structure and contents. It is better if you watch the videos without interruption. Losing context requires a rewind which consumes time. The CISSP has questions that’ll require good recollection and logical thinking. Watch the video, preferably in one sitting.
- Set your own pace: Every individual is different, and so is his/her learning style and speed. If your friends or colleagues have done it in two months, it does not necessarily mean you should complete it similarly. Set a comfortable pace for yourself and absorb content at a rate which can help you recollect.
- Notes: Take notes. You may feel that what you just watched is intuitive and obvious. It appears that way. Without taking notes and revising, you may fail to recollect the correct answer during the exam.
- Mock Tests: CISSP is an online examination and will test your speed, time management, and memory. Prepare yourself for the test by appearing for mock tests. They simulate the actual test, have the same number of questions, and you are required to finish the test within the set timeline. This is also one of the benefits you get when you register for an online training course. They offer such mock tests regularly.
- Strength and Weakness: Assess yourself. Know where your strength lies and identify areas of improvement. Exam analysis will help you plan your preparation time and help set your preparation priorities.
Spend more time addressing your weak areas rather than trying to be faster at solving questions you’re already good at. There are hundreds of questions in the test. It is much more important to get two more questions correct than answering a question ten seconds faster.
- Watch the Clock and know your target: Know how much time you have spent in the exam. Let’s say you have to answer 100 questions in 100 minutes; set milestones. For example, you may set five milestones of 20 questions each. If you’re at Q12 in the 18th minute, go faster. That’s what your mock test will prepare you for.
Know the pass percentage. Your clock and your pass percentage should be in your mind, else you won’t make it.
- Keep Moving: This is the blunder that most aspirants commit in a time-bound objective test. If you know you can answer a question but may require more time to solve, don’t get stuck with it, even if it is from one of your favourite domains. There is no scope for time wastage in the CISSP exam.
Who can appear for the CISSP Exam?
CISSP is the benchmark when it comes to knowledge of enterprise security. Professionals who have had previous experience in Information Security are eligible for the certification.
At present, the requirements are –
- Five or more years of full-time experience directly in the Information Security domain, or,
- Four years of experience (equivalent to a college degree).
- 30 hours of CPE credits. CPE is an acronym for Continuing Professional Education and is a refresher content to keep professionals apprised of the recent developments in their field.
For detailed eligibility and requirements, use the Digital Handbook.
Career Prospects after obtaining the CISSP Certification
A CISSP certified individual joins an elite pool of practitioners who are the crème-de-la-crème in enterprise security. This certification adheres to the strictest standards of security and it’s even approved by the United States Department of Defense.
CISSP opens a lot of avenues for the practitioners. Basis of their previous experience and future aspirations, individuals, can serve many roles.
Some of them are Information Security Officer, Information Technology Director, Security Engineer, Security Architect, IT security analyst among many more. You can just browse through a few of the job openings posted on LinkedIn at the time of writing this article to understand the roles and responsibilities.
(ISC)2 is the body of knowledge and maintains this pool. You may appear for future courses and better certifications as you grow up the ladder and have additional responsibilities to shoulder.