How Hard is the CISSP Exam and How to Pass It?

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Last updated on
07th Jun, 2022
07th Jun, 2022
How Hard is the CISSP Exam and How to Pass It?

In this highly competitive world, you must stay updated and find ways to help you take your career forward. If you are working in the field of cyber security, then there are certain certification courses that you should pursue that help you acquire a certain skill set, which, in turn, can boost your career prospects. One such certification is Certified Information Systems Security Professional or CISSP in short. This certificate has turned into one of the most recognized and accepted across the globe. 

This certification course can certainly open new doors for you. However, it must be remembered that this is a complex course and is hard to qualify for. If you ask someone how hard the CISSP is, then the answer you will get is very. However, you can pass this certification course by putting in the proper effort. 

What Makes CISSP Stand Out? 

Launched by The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², CISSP is considered a benchmark credential. As a professional, owing this credential is proof of having the skills to design, implement, and manage a robust enterprise cyber security system

According to a recent survey, there are nearly 150,000 CISSP Certification holders worldwide. The ones holding this certificate are highly sought after. 

Why do you Need CISSP Certification?

CISSP Certification helps you gain credibility in the professional world. This is a certification course that is based on the latest practices followed in the domain of IT security. Hence, this certification can be considered as an identifier for a candidate who is a good fit for this industry. In other words, if you are looking for career opportunities and are keen on helping it grow, then this is a certification course you should opt for. Once you pass CISSP, your career will fast-track. 

How Hard is the CISSP Exam? 

There is no debating the fact that CISSP certification can help your career. However, before you appear for the examination, you should know the difficulty in passing the exam. To answer the question- how hard is the CISSP exam? It is considerably tough. The course is designed in such a way that it makes sure that the people who crack it are well-suited for this industry. Having said that, there are also ways in which you can easily pass this examination to get your certificate and take your career to new heights. 

This certification exam has a high entry barrier. It can only be given by those who have a mandatory 5 years of experience in two or more domains of cyber security. 

Now let us take a quick look at the domains that are covered in the certification examination: 

  1. Security and Risk Management 
  2. Security Operations 
  3. Security Architecture and Engineering 
  4. Asset Security 
  5. Software Development Security 
  6. Communication and Network Security 
  7. Security Assessment and Testing 
  8. Identity and Access Management 

The weightage given to each domain during the examination is different. For example, security and risk management are considered the most important among all the domains. Thus, you can ace the exam with the best CISSP prep

In terms of the examination, you also need to remember that you will have about 250 questions. The time you will get to answer all the questions is 6 hours. This clearly shows that the exam is based on the in-depth knowledge of the candidates. Hence, it is always advisable to go through the course material properly to make sure that you crack the examination on the first try. 

What Makes Studying for a CISSP so Difficult? 

Wondering how hard is CISSP to pass? The answer is very, but why? We will answer that in this section. There are reasons which contribute to this course being considered tough. In this section, we will look at the factors that make this certification course harder than others: 

  1. The exam can be complex and daunting. 
  2. Many prepare for the exam while juggling time between family, work, study, and other commitments. Hence, that too adds to the stress of this examination. 
  3. The time given to study for this examination should be consistent. Hence, any inconsistency on the part of the candidate automatically makes the exam tougher. 
  4. The candidates should know in-depth about eight domains. And, they need to study each one in a thorough way to crack the examination. 
  5. Though difficult, once you crack the examination, it will help your career to move forward at a fast pace. 

Route to a CISSP 

Here are some important points you need to remember about the CISSP certification. It is true that when asked how hard is CISSP certification, the answer will be very. But this is a course that is worth clearing. 

  1. Obtain five years of experience in your professional life while working in two or more domains. There are waivers in some cases, like having a four-year degree or some special credential approved by The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)². 
  2. The next step is to pay the fee and schedule the examination. 
  3. To pass the examination, you need to score 700 or above. 
  4. You need to get certified within nine months of taking the exam. Once you pass your exam, complete your endorsement process at (ISC)². 
  5. Pay the annual fee to maintain your CISSP certificate. Also, attend required activities. 

Tips To Pass the CISSP Exam 

Hard work with the determination to pass the examination can certainly help you ace the certification course. However, there are also certain points that you should know about which can make your path to success easier. Here are some CISSP exam tips: 

  1. Make sure you know the rules and prerequisites that are involved in this examination. 
  2. Understanding CISSP domains and obtaining the knowledge of security is extremely important if you want to crack the examination. 
  3. Pick multiple study sources 
  4. Join the CISSP training courses along with boot camps. They are worth it and can help you pass the examination with flying colors. 
  5. Distribute your time likewise between your study, work, family, job, and other activities. 
  6. Do not stay awake before the exam and get a good night’s sleep. 
  7. Stay prepared. Also, formulate a strategy to implement during the examination. 

Besides the points mentioned, you should also look for the best website to learn cyber security


If you are serious about passing the CISSP certification course, then there are two things that you need to show. The first one is your commitment to your career and the second is your determination to pass the exam. There is no denying that this is a hard course to pass. However, your efforts will certainly determine how well you will perform in the examination and whether you pass it on the first try. Getting this certificate puts you with those who are considered the best in the industry. It also opens new career opportunities. Besides, once you get the certificate, you also need to engage in various activities related to the industry to keep yourself updated. These were some important aspects of how to crack the CISSP exam. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. How hard is CISSP with no experience? 

If you go through the course material properly and include your work knowledge in your preparation for the examination, it is possible to clear CISSP examination without any prior experience. 

2. Can I pass CISSP in 30 days? 

Yes, you can pass CISSP in 30 days. However, it is only possible if you study systematically. Therefore, the CISSP certification preparation time plays a very important role in helping you pass the examination. Also, you can opt for KnowledgeHut best CISSP prep

3. Is CISSP harder than CISA? 

The examination of CISA is quite tough. However, when compared to the CISSP, it is less demanding. In other words, CISSP is harder than CISA. So, the answer to the question of how hard is CISSP compared to security is very. 


Mounika Narang


Mounika Narang is a project manager having a specialisation in IT project management and Instructional Design. She has an experience of 10 years 
working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important development challenges. She lives in Bangalore with her family.