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A Beginner’s Guide to Earning a CISSP Certification: Preparing for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional Exam

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a highly sought-after certification for professionals in the field of information security. It is considered the gold standard in the industry and is recognized worldwide as a benchmark for excellence in the field of information security. This guide will provide an overview of the CISSP certification and offer tips on how to prepare for the exam.


What is the CISSP certification?

The CISSP certification is an advanced-level certification that validates a candidate’s expertise in information security. It is awarded by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², which is a non-profit organization that specializes in information security education and certification.

To earn the CISSP certification , candidates must pass an exam that covers eight domains of information security. These domains include security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security.

Why earn a CISSP certification?

There are many reasons why professionals in the field of information security may choose to earn a CISSP certification. For one, it demonstrates a high level of expertise in the field and can help to increase credibility and marketability to potential employers. Additionally, many organizations require their information security professionals to hold a CISSP certification as a condition of employment.

How to prepare for the CISSP exam

Preparing for the CISSP exam can be a daunting task, but there are several things that candidates can do to help ensure success.

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirements

Before beginning the preparation process, it is important to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the CISSP certification. Candidates must have a minimum of five years of cumulative, paid, full-time work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).

Alternatively, candidates can meet the eligibility requirements with four years of work experience and an applicable college degree or other approved credential.

Step 2: Understand the exam format

The CISSP exam is a computer-based exam that consists of 250 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have six hours to complete the exam, and a passing score is 700 out of 1,000 points.

It is important to understand the format of the exam and become familiar with the types of questions that may be asked. (ISC)² offers study resources and practice exams to help candidates prepare.

Step 3: Develop a study plan

Developing a study plan is an important part of preparing for the CISSP exam. Candidates should allocate sufficient time to cover all the exam domains and review their areas of weakness.

There are various study materials available to candidates, such as textbooks, online courses, and study groups. It is important to choose study materials that are relevant to the exam and cover all the domains.

  • YouTube
  • PluralSight (Preferred)
  • Official Study Guide and Practice Tests
  • More Learning Resources
  • SimeonOnSecurity’s CISSP Practice Test

Step 4: Practice with practice exams

Practice exams are a great way to gauge your knowledge and identify areas where you need to focus your study efforts. (ISC)² offers practice exams to help candidates prepare.

It is important to take multiple practice exams to become familiar with the types of questions that may be asked and develop time management skills.

Step 5: Register for the exam

Once you have met the eligibility requirements and prepared for the exam, it is time to register. The CISSP exam can be scheduled through (ISC)² or Pearson VUE.

Candidates should ensure they have all the necessary documentation and identification before scheduling the exam.


Earning a CISSP certification is a significant accomplishment and can open doors to new career opportunities in the field of information security. It requires dedication, commitment, and hard work to prepare for and pass the exam. By following the steps outlined in this guide, candidates can increase their chances of success and become certified CISSP professionals.

Remember to meet the eligibility requirements, understand the exam format, develop a study plan, practice with practice exams, and register for the exam. Good luck on your journey to becoming a CISSP certified professional!