Exam Tips

Although studying hard and understanding the content is important, there are a number of tips and tricks to give you an edge when taking the exam. 


  1. Know the content. This seems obvious, but read it again. KNOW the content means understanding the concepts not memorizing acronyms or processes. If in doubt, ask yourself "why" a concept or process exists in the manner it does, and see if you can answer it.
  2. As they say, the CISSP is a mile long and an inch deep and you may not need to know the most technical of details, however, this doesn't mean you won't get technical questions. There is a balance between knowing the inch of content versus going that extra mile to fully grasp the technical concept that may come in handy.
  3. Involve yourself in study groups or communities such as /r/cissp on Reddit. This can help keep you updated on others' experiences, changes in test policy, the best study resources, etc.
  4. Here are some great recommended resources to help prepare:
    1. Sunflower CISSP
    2. Destination Certification (YouTube)
  5. Take practice tests from a variety of sources. This will let you practice various types of questions as they are written by different authors. In addition, using one source for practice tests may not cover the entire CBK and there are also many different pricing models, subscription terms, and may be not be accessible on mobile (desktop-only). See our CISSP Practice Test page for a complete comparison of the most popular resources.

Test Day

  1. Read the question. Many times you will see the first part of the question and your mind will fill in the rest because of familiar terms. Ensure you actually read the question in full. Many parts of the CISSP are mind games that may throw in useless details or a "not" that you may miss.
  2. Remember that this test is intended for senior level security roles. YOU are not the one implementing anything; approach the questions with this in mind and act as an advisor.
  3. Questions that ask you to identify the best option can be tricky. Take a step back and look at the question holistically. A good trick for this is to ask yourself, "which of these answers encompasses all of the others"?
  4. Many people say that taking a test in the morning makes you more attentive. This is personal preference but something to think about when scheduling the exam.
  5. Eat and rest well before the test.