Why are only a few people able to successfully clear the CISSP exam?

Posted by Abhi G

Aug 2, 2017 7:40:28 AM

An interesting question and one that has arisen a number of times over the past couple of years, yet is hard to answer. If the CISSP exam is so popular, as we are led to believe, then where are all the CISSPs? If there are few CISSPs, is the training and exam for this qualification too complex?

Take a big investment bank in London, which shall remain nameless. To my knowledge, there are only two CISSPs within the Cyber Assurance team. A global IT services company, no CISSP; and corporations like Deloitte, again, no CISSPs. We know there are certified CISSPs out there, but why aren’t we seeing them within global offices?

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What makes studying for a CISSP so difficult?

Well, firstly, there aren’t many CISSPs available due to the fact that the exam can be complex and hard to follow. But there are other reasons, too. Whilst many people start the preparation towards a CISSP, juggling their time between studying, work, family and/or personal commitments can often prove difficult, particularly when it comes to prioritising what comes first.

Another good reason is that although people, again, start preparing for CISSP, if they move jobs then there can be some confusion, which may lead to a loss of focus on the CISSP. The problem is, when studying for CISSP, the time committed to studying needs to be consistent. Miss a few weeks of study time and you may well find that you will have to start the preparation, the reading, all over again; and this is where the nature of the CISSP exam can be complex and hard to follow because it’s quite easy to become disconnected with a CISSP training course.

As with a lot of cyber security courses, it’s important to understand just how much time and commitment you have to make to the course, and a CISSP is no exception. If you don’t go into the course with a clear idea of how much time you need to allocate to your training, how wide the spectrum of study that is required, it is possible that you will lose interest and become bored with the course. And a CISSP is much more than just reading a training institute’s slide presentation; be warned, studying for a CISSP is hard work and will require the reading of the full CISSP (ISC)2 official book!

Any studying for a qualification is hard but working towards a CISSP qualification will be much harder if you don’t have a mentor working with you. A mentor is there to not only guide you through the course, they are also there to motivate you, sync with you, reward you for study wins and milestones achieved. As we all know, a lack of enthusiasm, motivation and rewards will often lead to a loss of interest in studying.

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So, should I study for CISSP?

Well, that depends on whether you are prepared to dedicate some of your valuable time to studying, ready to put in the hard work and are fully committed.

The factors above lead to only 30% of the world’s population who actually start studying for CISSP and go forward to completing the exam. Of those that do complete the exam, approximately half of them pass, amounting to 10-15% of those that sit the exam. To date, there are around 42,000 CISSPs worldwide; 30-40% of the first time exam takers fail the exam. Not pretty reading really so, should you worry?

At Cyber Management Alliance, we don’t think so. Our CISSP Training and Mentorship program has been designed to ensure that you have enough resources to help you pass the exam. From successful CISSP exam tips, our ‘Creating a CISSP Study Plan’ video, a CISSP Content Mind Map and CISSP Success Mantra to study and revision material, exam type questions, study groups and one-to-one mentoring, we are proud that our course has a 97% success rate.

If you’re still not sure if a CISSP qualification is for you, why not attend a Free session on our Live Online CISSP Training & Mentorship program? This will give you an idea if you are prepared and committed to studying for CISSP before you pay for a CISSP course.. Also, read our CISSP Training FAQs to help answer any questions you may have about studying for a CISSP.

For more information on Cyber Management Alliance, their Live Online CISSP Training & Mentorship program and other courses, webinars, the Wisdom of Crowds live and virtual events, and their Insights with Cyber Leaders series of executive interviews, contact us today.

Written by Abhi G

(Please note that figures cited in the blog are based on the author’s judgement only).

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