I Took My CISSP Exam Today

Reading time ~2 minutes

I never thought in my life I would spend almost the entire allowed 6 hour time on the CISSP exam, but I did. And I was oddly zen about the whole experience. Sure, I was a little nervous when I first walked into the testing room as I had no idea what to expect. One of the proctors, whom I met in a CISSP class nearly 6 years ago, checked my ID and paperwork and another proctor led me to a seat, which was to be mine for the course of the exam.

The usual electronic gadgets and gizmos were not allowed at your desk, and if they were present, they were to be switched off or set to vibrate mode and preferably up with the desk where you were permitted to put your snacks and the like (it was a 6 hour test with no lunch break). I left all my gear in the car, though I brought food and water in.

At 8:30, one of the proctors began reading the instructions, which involved filling out a scantron form with specific information. Once that was done and all the other instructions and the like were done, we broke the seal on our test and began. Nothing like filling out over 250 little bubbles.

Bathroom breaks, which I took at least 3 of, involved signing out, one of the proctors escorting you to the restroom (he didn't come inside), and him escorting you back and you signing back in. I guess they want to make sure you don't "cheat" in the bathroom. Fair enough.

And while the confidentiality agreement I signed as part of the CISSP exam process forbids me from getting into specifics about what was on the exam, I can say that I felt oddly zen about the experience. Once the test was underway, I stopped stressing about it. I took frequent breaks. I used earplugs. I was methodical and deliberate. I only made one "transcription" mistake (from book to scantron).

I took two passes through the material. The first pass was to answer the questions I was pretty sure about. On the second pass, I double-checked my answers both making sure I transcribed the write answer but that I actually chose the right answer. The ones I didn't know, and there were a few, I was able to make a semi-educated guess on most of them, the rest I just threw out a guess. It's not like the SAT's where you lose points for a wrong answer.

I walked out of the test feeling pretty comfortable with my performance. I'm sure I answered a few questions wrong, but that's life. Now I just need to wait for ISC2 to come back with my certification results so I can jump through the remaining hoops to be certified.

Meanwhile, I am exhausted after all that. Early bedtime for me.

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