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Frequently Asked Questions about the CISSP Exam

Updated on October 30, 2011

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is one of the most highly regarded IT certifications because of its demanding requirements.

What are the prerequisites for the CISSP exam?

All CISSP candidates must have five years of information security experience. The candidate must also complete the required application and sign the candidate agreement prior to taking the exam.

What are the CISSP requirements?

A candidate must:

  • Have five years of information security experience.
  • Pass the CISSP exam with a score of 700 or greater.
  • Submit the completed endorsement form.
  • Answer four questions about criminal history.

How does the endorsement process work?

Someone with a current CISSP certification will need to send in a form that verifies the candidate’s required professional experience in the information security field.

If I do not know a person with a current CISSP certification, can someone else provide the endorsement?

Yes, the candidate’s current or former employer can provide the endorsement.

What topics does the exam cover?

There are ten domains covered on the exam:

1. Access Control Systems & Methodology

2. Applications & Systems Development

3. Business Continuity Planning

4. Cryptography

5. Law, Investigation & Ethics

6. Operations Security

7. Physical Security

8. Security Architecture & Models

9. Security Management Practices

10. Telecommunications, Network & Internet Security

How much does the CISSP exam cost?

The exam costs $549 if registration is submitted 16 days or more in advance of the exam. The cost is $599 if registering less than 16 days in advance.

How many questions are on the CISSP exam?

There are 250 questions on the exam that must be completed within six hours.

What is the passing score?

The passing score is 700, which is 70%.

What types of questions are on the exam?

All of the questions are multiple choice. Each question has four possible answers to choose from.

Are there any requirements to keep the certification?

The certification exam must be retaken every three years. Continuing education credits may be substituted for retaking the exam. There are many ways to earn continuing education credits, such as attending a security conference or taking an educational course. There is also an annual maintenance fee.


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    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 5 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Thank you Ms. Info for reading my hub and leaving your comment.

    • Ms._Info profile image

      Ms._Info 6 years ago from New Jersey

      You've provided a great overview of the CISSP exam. The information you have provided here will surely be helpful for those who are seeking info on this exam.