Pass the CISSP Exam 2024: A Comprehensive Study Plan

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As cyber threats continue to evolve, organizations are increasingly reliant on skilled professionals to protect their valuable data. This is where the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification comes into play. Recognized globally as a standard for excellence in information security, this certification validates an individual’s expertise in designing, implementing, and managing security programs to safeguard organizations against cyber threats. This means CISSP-certified professionals are in high demand today. 

So, if you’ve decided to taste the lucrative potential of this certification, but are stumped on how to get started with its preparation, we’ve got the ideal CISSP study guide for you! From covering exam format to study resources and insights needed to prepare effectively for this certification, we’ll tell you how to pass the CISSP exam on the first try. Let’s dive in!

Insights Into The CISSP Exam

Administered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam is designed to assess your knowledge and skills across eight key domains of information security. These domains cover a wide range of topics, from security and risk management to software development security, ensuring that CISSP-certified professionals have a comprehensive understanding of information security principles and practices.

Exam Format:

Number Of Questions 150 questions
Exam Time 3 hours
Type Of Questions Multiple choice questions
Exam Language 3Chinese German Japanese Korean Spanish
Passing Score 700 out of 1000 points
Testing Center Pearson VUE Testing Centers
Exam Cost $749

CISSP Exam Domains:

The exam will test you on 8 major CISSP domains, each representing a specific area of information security. These domains are:

  • Security and Risk Management
  • Asset Security
  • Security Architecture and Engineering
  • Communication and Network Security
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Security Assessment and Testing
  • Security Operations
  • Software Development Security

Prerequisites For The Exam

  • Candidates are required to have a minimum of five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more of the eight CISSP CBK domains.
  • Candidates with a post-secondary degree in computer science, information technology (IT), or equivalent education can fulfill one year of the required experience. Part-time work as well as internships can count towards experience requirements.
  • Candidates who do not meet the full five years of experience can also obtain a one-year waiver by possessing an approved credential from the (ISC)² approved list.

Learn more about experience requirements: Click here…

Importance of CISSP Certification:

There are several compelling reasons to pursue the Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification in 2024:

  • Rising Demand: The demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to surge, with a projected growth of 33% from 2020 to 2030 according to the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics. In addition, CISSP certifications are the most sought-after currently in the pool of cybersecurity certifications available today, according to CyberSeek
  • Salary Increase: Holding a CISSP certification can significantly boost your earning potential. According to a (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, CISSP holders earn an average annual salary of $120,552 in the US, with an average premium of 23% over non-certified professionals. However, based on other resources such as Glassdoor, Payscale, and Zip Recruiter, we have deduced that the average salary for CISSP-certified professionals is somewhere from $112, 305 – $137,000
  • Improved Career Prospects: It has been established that this is considered to be an important certification in the field of cybersecurity. Not only does it validate and polish relevant cybersecurity skills but gives a slight competitive edge in the crowded job market of today. A CISSP credential on your resume will show prospective employers that you are serious about your professional growth which may work well in your favor. 

Read More: CISSP Salary 2024

Comprehensive Study Guide for CISSP Exam 2024

1. Understand the Exam Format:

Understanding the exam format is crucial for effective preparation. It helps you familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam, the types of questions you’ll encounter, and the time constraints you’ll face. This understanding allows you to approach the exam with confidence and ensures that you can manage your time effectively during the test.


We have provided the general outline of the CISSP exam format above. Familiarize yourself with the number of questions, exam duration, passing score, and any other relevant details. It will be useful to keep these details in mind as you move along your preparation.

Preparing for this certification exam requires a structured and comprehensive study plan. Here is a detailed CISSP 2024 study plan, containing nine effective CISSP exam tips to help you prepare better:

2. Review the Exam Objectives:

The exam objectives provide a roadmap for your study plan. They outline the key concepts and topics covered in the exam, ensuring that you cover all the necessary material. By aligning your study efforts with the exam objectives, you can focus on areas that are most likely to appear on the exam and avoid wasting time on irrelevant topics.

Access the official CISSP exam outline provided by ISC2. Review each domain and subdomain carefully, noting the specific topics and concepts that will be tested. Break down the objectives into manageable sections and prioritize them based on your current level of understanding and proficiency. 

Remember! Each domain is weighted differently in the exam, with some domains carrying more weight than others. It’s essential to allocate your study time accordingly, focusing more on the heavily weighted domains while still covering all the domains comprehensively to pass the CISSP exam

Overview of each domain
Domain Brief Description Weightage
Security and Risk Management This domain focuses on the principles of security, risk management, and governance. It covers topics such as security policies, risk assessment, and legal and regulatory issues 15%
Asset Security Asset security deals with the protection of assets, including physical and digital assets. It covers topics such as asset classification, ownership, and protection. 10%
Security Architecture and Engineering This domain covers the design and implementation of secure systems. It includes topics such as security models, system architecture, and secure design principles. 13%
Communication and Network Security This domain focuses on securing communication and network infrastructure. It covers topics such as network protocols, secure communication channels, and network security controls. 13%
Identity and Access Management (IAM) IAM deals with managing user identities and controlling access to resources. It covers topics such as authentication, authorization, and access control mechanisms. 13%
Security Assessment and Testing This domain covers the methods and techniques used to assess and test the security of systems. It includes topics such as vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, and security audits. 12%
Security Operations Security operations focus on the day-to-day tasks involved in managing security incidents and operations. It covers topics such as incident response, disaster recovery, and security monitoring. 13%
Software Development Security This domain covers the principles of secure software development. It includes topics such as secure coding practices, software security testing, and secure software deployment 11%

3. Create a Study Schedule:

A study schedule helps you stay organized and focused throughout your exam preparation journey. It ensures that you cover all the exam objectives and allocate sufficient time to each domain.

Use a calendar or study planner to create a detailed study schedule. Break down your study plan into manageable tasks, setting aside dedicated time each day or week for study sessions. Be realistic about your commitments and schedule regular breaks to avoid burnout. Adjust your study schedule as needed based on your progress and any changes in your availability.

Here’s a sample study schedule template you can adapt:

  • Week 1-2: Focus on the foundational domains (Security and Risk Management, Asset Security).
  • Week 3-4: Cover the communication and network security domains.
  • Week 5-6: Delve into Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment, and Testing.
  • Week 7-8: Explore Security Operations and Software Development Security.
  • Week 9-10: Revise all CISSP domains, focusing on weaker areas identified through practice questions and tests.

Week 11-12: Take full-length practice exams, analyze results, and address knowledge gaps.

4. Use Official Study Guides:

Official study guides are comprehensive resources that cover all the domains of this exam. They provide in-depth explanations of key concepts, along with practice questions to reinforce learning. By utilizing official study guides, you can ensure that you are studying from trusted and reliable sources that are directly aligned with the exam content.

Purchase the official CISSP study guide from ISC2 or access digital versions through their website. Read through each domain thoroughly, taking notes and completing practice questions as you go. Pay close attention to explanations and examples provided in the study guide, as they can help clarify complex concepts and reinforce your understanding. Additionally, consider using supplementary study materials, such as online tutorials or video lectures, to further enhance your comprehension of difficult topics.

5. Attend Training Courses:

Training courses provide structured learning experiences led by experienced instructors. They offer in-depth coverage of exam topics and provide practical guidance on exam preparation.

Enroll in official CISSP training courses offered by ISC2 or authorized training providers. Attend live or virtual classes, participate in discussions, and complete hands-on exercises to enhance your understanding. Take advantage of instructor-led training to ask questions and clarify any doubts you may have about exam topics.

6. Practice Makes Perfect:

Practice tests help you assess your knowledge and identify areas where you may need to focus your study efforts. They also familiarize you with the format and style of the exam questions, allowing you to develop effective test-taking strategies and build confidence in your abilities. By regularly taking practice tests, you can track your progress, gauge your readiness for the exam, and make informed adjustments to your study plan as needed.

It is best to first practice using sample questions. Dumpsgate offers premium CISSP exam dumps which are essentially a comprehensive set of practice questions that are accompanied by verified answers. They’re quite affordable, offering good value for money with over 1,000 questions

Additionally, you can also use the official CISSP Practice Test/ Quiz for effective practice. Consider taking practice or mock tests as well  under exam-like conditions, timing yourself and simulating the testing environment as closely as possible. After completing each practice test, analyze your results to identify weak areas and prioritize your study efforts accordingly.

7. Join Study Groups:

Study groups provide opportunities for collaboration and peer learning. They allow you to discuss exam topics with other candidates, gain new perspectives, and clarify your understanding of complex concepts.

Join the official CISSP study group or forums dedicated to exam preparation. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your knowledge and experiences with other group members. Consider forming a study group with colleagues or friends preparing for the exam to facilitate group study sessions and peer support.

8. Review Regularly:

Regular review is essential for retaining information and reinforcing learning. It helps solidify your understanding of key concepts and ensures that you’re prepared for the exam.

Schedule regular review sessions to revisit the material you’ve studied. Use Official CISSP  flashcards, quizzes, or other review tools to test your knowledge and identify areas where you may need additional study. Focus on areas where you struggle the most and review them more frequently to improve your understanding.

9. Stay Updated:

Information security is a rapidly evolving field, with new technologies and threats emerging constantly. Staying updated ensures that your knowledge remains current and relevant.

Follow industry news, blogs, and publications to stay informed about the latest developments in information security. Participate in webinars, conferences, and professional development events to expand your knowledge and skills. Incorporate this knowledge into your study plan to ensure that your knowledge is up-to-date and aligns with current industry practices.

Once you feel you’re well prepared, it is time to register for the CISSP exam.

Read more:- SSCP vs CISSP: 10 Major Differences to Clarify the Pathway

exam day preparration

Exam-Day Preparation

Preparing for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam doesn’t end with studying the material. It’s also important to prepare for the exam day itself. Here are five key tips to help you get ready:

1. Review Exam Policies and Procedures:

Familiarize yourself with the exam policies and procedures to avoid any surprises on exam day. Check the ISC2 website for detailed information on what to expect, including check-in procedures, breaks, and exam rules. Understanding these policies will help reduce anxiety and ensure a smooth testing experience.

2. Gather Required Materials:

Ensure you have all the required materials for the exam, such as identification documents and authorization emails. ISC2 has specified what you need for CISSP exam day for a list of acceptable identification documents and make sure you have them ready to present at the testing center.

3. Plan Your Journey:

If you’re taking the exam at a testing center, plan your journey in advance. Know the location of the testing center and how to get there. Consider factors such as traffic and parking to ensure you arrive on time. Arriving early will give you time to relax and mentally prepare for the exam.

It is important to note, however, that all other languages, except for English, candidates are required to give linear, fixed-form exams. The English version, on the other hand, uses Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT).

4. Get Plenty of Rest and Eat Well:

The night before the exam, get plenty of rest to ensure you’re well-rested and alert on exam day. Avoid studying late into the night, as this can lead to fatigue and reduced performance. On the morning of the exam, eat a healthy meal to fuel your body and brain. Avoid heavy or greasy foods, as these can make you feel sluggish. Instead, opt for light, nutritious foods that will keep you energized.

5. Stay Calm and Manage Your Time:

It’s normal to feel nervous before an exam, but try to stay calm and focused. Practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques to help calm your nerves. During the exam, manage your time wisely. Pace yourself to ensure you have enough time to answer all the questions. If you encounter a difficult question, don’t spend too much time on it. Mark it for review and move on to the next question. If time allows, review your answers before submitting the exam.

Read more:- CISSP vs. CISM: Which Certification is Preferable?

Conclusion

Preparing for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam requires dedication and focus. By following a structured study plan, utilizing official resources, and adopting effective study techniques, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to stay calm on exam day, manage your stress, and trust in your preparation. After completing the exam, be patient while waiting for your results and prepare for the endorsement process. By staying committed to your goals, you can achieve success on the CISSP exam and advance your career in information security.

Best of luck on your CISSP journey!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The CISSP exam is a certification exam for information security professionals. It is important because it demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge and expertise in the field of information security, which is crucial for advancing their career and gaining recognition in the industry.

To prepare for the CISSP exam, it is recommended to create a study plan, use official study guides and practice tests, attend training courses, join study groups, and stay updated with the latest developments in information security.

Absolutely! Becoming Certified Information Systems Security Professional certified can open up new career opportunities, increase earning potential, and demonstrate your commitment to the field of information security. It can also help you gain recognition and credibility among your peers and employers.

The passing score for the CISSP exam is 700 out of 1000 points. Candidates must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

The amount of time required to study for the CISSP exam can vary depending on the individual’s background and experience. However, most candidates spend several months preparing for the exam, dedicating a few hours of study time each day

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