Registering for the CISSP Exam

By Lawrence C. Miller, Peter H. Gregory

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam is administered via computer-based testing (CBT) at local Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. To register for the exam, go to the (ISC)2 website and click the “Register” link, or go directly to the Pearson VUE website.

On the Pearson VUE website, you first need to create an account for yourself; then you can register for the CISSP exam, schedule your test, and pay your testing fee. You can also locate a nearby test center, take a Pearson VUE testing tutorial, practice taking the exam (which you should definitely do if you’ve never taken a CBT), and then download and read the (ISC)2 non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

Download and read the (ISC)2 NDA when you register for the exam. Sure, it’s boring legalese, but it isn’t unusual for CISSPs to be called upon to read contracts, license agreements, and other “boring legalese” as part of their information security responsibilities — so get used to it (and also get used to not signing legal documents without actually reading them)!

You’re given five minutes to read and accept the agreement at the start of your exam, but why not read the NDA in advance so you can avoid the pressure and distraction on exam day, and simply accept the agreement. If you don’t accept the NDA in the allotted five minutes, your exam will end and you forfeit your exam fees!

When you register, you’re required to quantify your relevant work experience, answer a few questions regarding any criminal history and other potentially disqualifying background information, and agree to abide by the (ISC)2 Code of Ethics.

The current exam fee in the U.S. is $599. You can cancel or re-schedule your exam by contacting VUE by telephone at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled exam or online at least 48 hours in advance. The fee to re-schedule is $50. The fee to cancel your exam appointment is $100.

If you fail to show up for your exam or you’re more than 15 minutes late for your exam appointment, you’ll forfeit your entire exam fee!

Great news! If you’re a U.S. military veteran and are eligible for Montgomery GI Bill benefits, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) will reimburse you for the full cost of the exam, regardless of whether you pass or fail.