Cheat Sheet

CISSP For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From CISSP For Dummies, 5th Edition

By Lawrence C. Miller, Peter H. Gregory

CISSP is based upon a Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) determined by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. (ISC)² and defined through eight tested domains: 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. Put these CISSP test prep tips to good use and prove that you have mastered these domains.

The Best Ways to Prepare for Your Upcoming CISSP Exam

Not only does “chance favor the prepared mind” — the CISSP exam does too! So make sure that you’ve prepared yourself well for your upcoming CISSP exam. Your task may seem a bit overwhelming, but take things one step at a time and be sure to heed the following tips for CISSP exam success:

  • Register NOW! Go online and register for the CISSP exam NOW! Committing yourself to a test date is the best cure for procrastination and setting your date can help you plan and focus your study efforts. If, after scheduling your exam, you realize there’s absolutely no way you’ll be ready by your test date — or you’re otherwise unable to make your test date, you can simply re-schedule your date with destiny. Just be sure to reschedule — no-shows forfeit their exam fee!

  • Make a 60-Day Study Plan. After you register for the CISSP exam, commit yourself to a 60-day study plan. Of course, your work experience and professional reading should span a much greater period, but for your final preparations leading up to the CISSP exam, plan on a 60-day period of intense study.

  • Get Organized and READ! A wealth of security information is available for the CISSP candidate. However, studying everything is impractical. Instead, get organized, determine your strengths and weaknesses, and then READ! Begin by downloading the free, official CISSP Candidate Information Bulletin from the (ISC)2 website.

  • Join a Study Group. Joining a study group or creating your own can help you stay focused and provide a wealth of information from the broad perspectives and experiences of other security professionals. You can find a study group, discussion forums, and many other helpful resources at Also, your local chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) may be sponsoring CISSP study groups. You can find their contact information at the ISSA website.

CISSP Exam Test Day Tips

The CISSP exam is demanding, but if you’ve worked your way through the Common Body of Knowledge and know your stuff when it comes to areas such as network security and disaster recovery, you should do fine — as long as you’ve also read CISSP For Dummies and take the following CISSP exam test day tips to heart:

  • Get a Good Night’s Rest. The night before the exam isn’t the time to do any last-minute cramming. Getting a good night’s rest is essential.

  • Dress Comfortably. You should dress in attire that’s comfortable — remember, this is a six-hour exam.

  • Eat a Good Meal. No matter how anxious you may be feeling, try to get something down before the exam. You have up to 6 hours to complete the CISSP exam — that’s a long time to go on an empty stomach.

  • Bring Your Photo ID. You need to bring your driver’s license, government-issued ID, or passport — these are the only forms of ID that are accepted.

  • Bring Snacks and Drinks. Bring a small bag that holds enough food and drink to get you through the entire exam and be sure you know the testing center’s rules and procedures for taking breaks and eating/drinking during the exam.

  • Bring Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medications. If you’re taking any prescription medication, bring it with you. Also, consider bringing some basic over-the-counter meds, such as acetaminophen or antacids, to eliminate any annoying inconveniences such as a headache or heartburn.

  • Leave Your Mobile Phone Behind. Turn off your mobile phones and anything else that goes beep or buzz.

  • Take Frequent Breaks. Six hours is a long time. Be sure to get up and walk around during the exam. Take a short, five-minute break every hour during the exam. Eat a snack, go to the restroom, walk around, stretch, or whatever . . . then get back to the task at hand.