Officially a CISSP ... woot!

After a lot of intense studying on each of the 8 CISSP domains and the related test anxiety ...

10 months ago   •   3 min read

By Carl Ballenger, CISSP
Table of contents


After a lot of intense studying on each of the 8 CISSP domains and the related test anxiety ... I can finally confirm after endorsements that I am an official CISSP as of 4/24/23!

The Reddit /cissp was an immense help in my journey and many thanks to all those who contributed extremely useful study resources and methods.  Definitely would not have been able to do it otherwise.

Endorsement timeline - Officially a CISSP:)
by u/g00gleg00n in cissp
Endorsement timelines - CISSP

For CISSP study resources used and ranked and my overall CISSP exam experience for those interested.

CISSP Certification Exam and Outline


The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is the most globally recognized certification in the information security market. CISSP validates an information security professional’s deep technical and managerial knowledge and experience to effectively design, engineer, and manage the overall security posture of an organization.

The broad spectrum of topics included in the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK®) ensure its relevancy across all disciplines in the field of information security.

Successful candidates are competent in the following:

8 CISSP Domains and Exam Weighting

  • Security and Risk Management - 15%
  • Asset Security - 10%
  • Security Architecture and Engineering - 13%
  • Communication and Network Security - 13%
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) - 13%
  • Security Assessment and Testing - 12%
  • Security Operations - 13%
  • Software Development Security - 11%

Experience Requirements

Candidates must have a minimum of five years cumulative paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP CBK. Earning a four year college degree or regional equivalent or an additional credential from the (ISC)² approved list will satisfy one year of the required experience. Education credit will only satisfy one year of experience.

A candidate that doesn’t have the required experience to become a CISSP may become an Associate of (ISC)² by successfully passing the CISSP examination. The Associate of (ISC)² will then have six years to earn the five years required experience. You can learn more about CISSP experience requirements and how to account for part-time work and internships.


CISSP was the first credential in the field of information security to meet the stringent requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024.

Job Task Analysis (JTA)

(ISC)² has an obligation to its membership to maintain the relevancy of the CISSP. Conducted at regular intervals, the Job Task Analysis (JTA) is a methodical and critical process of determining the tasks that are performed by security professionals who are engaged in the profession defined by the CISSP. The results of the JTA are used to update the examination. This process ensures that candidates are tested on the topic areas relevant to the roles and responsibilities of today’s practicing information security professionals.

CISSP CAT Examination Information

The CISSP exam uses Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) for all English exams. CISSP exams in all other languages are administered as linear, fixed-form exams. You can learn more about CISSP CAT.

Length of exam4 hours
Number of items125 - 175
Item formatMultiple choice and advanced innovative items
Passing grade700 out of 1000 points
Exam language availabilityEnglish
Testing center(ISC)² Authorized PPC and PVTC Select Pearson VUE Testing Centers

CISSP CAT Examination Weights

DomainsAverage Weight
1. Security and Risk Management15%
2. Asset Security10%
3. Security Architecture and Engineering13%
4. Communication and Network Security13%
5. Identity and Access Management (IAM)13%
6. Security Assessment and Testing12%
7. Security Operations13%
8. Software Development Security11%

Additional Examination Information

Supplementary References

Candidates are encouraged to supplement their education and experience by reviewing relevant resources that pertain to the CBK and identifying areas of study that may need additional attention.

View the full list of supplementary references

Examination Policies and Procedures

(ISC)² recommends that CISSP candidates review exam policies and procedures prior to registering for the examination.

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