cissp study guide

CISSP Study Guide: All You Need To Know in 2024

If you want to work in information security, the CISSP certification is an absolute necessity. Planning study preparation for a challenging test like the CISSP can be tricky, which is why IT Exams has compiled a useful list of the finest CISSP books to read at each level of the procedure. Not only that but […]

April 3, 2023

If you want to work in information security, the CISSP certification is an absolute necessity. Planning study preparation for a challenging test like the CISSP can be tricky, which is why IT Exams has compiled a useful list of the finest CISSP books to read at each level of the procedure. Not only that but in this post, you will learn about the greatest CISSP study guide that will assist you in passing the CISSP 2023 exam.

What Is The CISSP Exam?

cissp study guide

CISSP is an acronym that stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional. It is a globally recognized cybersecurity certification that indicates information security knowledge. (ISC)², a non-profit organization that focuses on cybersecurity certifications and training, provides the certification. The CISSP is intended for experienced information security professionals who are in charge of creating, executing, and managing cybersecurity initiatives.

The CISSP examination lasts three hours and has 150 multiple-choice questions. To pass, the applicant must score 70% or above. In addition, before taking the exam, the candidate must pay a $699 CISSP exam cost.

English, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, French, Spanish, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and German are all accessible for the CISSP test. However, the number of questions and time of the CISSP exam change slightly between languages when compared to the English edition.

The CISSP exam features a unique scoring system. A student attempts 100 questions, only 75 of which are marked and count toward their overall grade. The 25 non-graded questions are used to assess future test questions.

The CISSP certification exam is divided into eight domains:

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

These domains are frequently updated to stay up with improvements in security standards and technology. Their most recent upgrade was in 2021, and their prior one was in 2018.

The sole noteworthy change in the new 2021 edition is that questions in Domain 4 have been lowered by 1%, while subjects in Domain 8 have been expanded by 1%.

Who Should Study For The CISSP?

cissp study guide

The CISSP is intended for experienced information security professionals who are in charge of creating, executing, and managing cybersecurity initiatives.

Individuals who want to work in information security or who are currently in the area might benefit from studying for the CISSP certification. The certification is also appropriate for professionals who wish to improve their information security knowledge and abilities and exhibit their competence to employers and colleagues.

Individuals who work in professions such as security consultants, security managers, IT managers, security auditors, network architects, and systems engineers can benefit from the CISSP certification. Professionals working in areas that value information security, such as healthcare, banking, and government, can also benefit from the certification.
Additionally, working with CISSP certification is a perk because CISSP Certification Salary is SICK.

cissp study guide

How Much Time Should I Devote To CISSP Exam Prep?

An important feature of the CISSP test is the hazy relationship between the nature of the course material and the candidate’s professional background:

  • Risk management specialists find that 60-70 hours of preparation time is more than enough to pass the CISSP test.
  • IT workers would require less time – 40-50 hours of study should be enough to pass the exam.
  • (ISC)² material is required for professionals of all levels.

And now, for your CISSP certification, here are the top-recommended CISSP study guide and resources.

Getting The CISSP Mindset

Whether you are taking a test or coping with real-life issues, having the right mindset is first and foremost. To do this effectively under pressure, it is critical to approach tests with the proper mentality. Here is the most efficient method for developing the CISSP mentality in order to ace the exam:

1. Confidence in your skills

Believe in yourself and your ability as a determining factor in your success. Even if you have enough information to ace that exam, self-doubt frequently gets in the way. Consider how much time and effort you put into covering your curriculum for a full year. Instead of focusing on what you don’t know, consider what you do know.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others

Comparisons with others might cause a loss of self-esteem. When you compare and participate in a needless competition, you feel nervous about failing. Furthermore, you tend to overestimate your score rather than concentrate on your personal development.

You can stay focused on accomplishing your best if you believe in your own ability. Every person is unique, with their own set of talents and shortcomings. You don’t need to compare yourself to others since everyone has a chance to achieve.

3. Think of it as a new challenge

The CISSP test is a stepping stone to the next stage of your life. Instead of viewing it as a danger, consider it a new task to overcome. A milestone is frequently viewed by athletes as a challenge to enhance performance and lessen failure fear. Think about ‘what can I do right’ rather than ‘what if I go wrong.’ Consider all the excellent things that will come your way if you pass the CISSP exam.

How To Prepare For The CISSP Exam?

cissp study guide

You should plan a sound study approach for the CISSP test ahead of time. You must do a lot of research. As a result, it is required. Your study plan should contain a list of your chosen study materials, a study approach, and a practice technique.

In addition, you must stick to a timetable. It will assist you in staying on track and working toward your objective in a systematic manner.

Look at CISSP preparation tips and prepare to crack this exam in 2023.

1. Set A Study Plan

You must first decide on a plan for passing the CISSP exam. Because they have a 100% accuracy record, the questions you are positive about responding must be filled. Then, focus on the problems that have you stumped, give them some consideration, and come up with a decent solution.

Finally, you must answer any questions that you are unsure about. You have more time to think about and reply to these questions because you have already finished answering others. As a result, take your time and ponder as much as you need to. When it comes to CISSP test prep 2023, this is the first step.

2. Avoid Rote Learning

Because the majority of students who use this method fail the CISSP test, you should never use memory learning for the exam. Many test questions, it has been observed, encourage the use of knowledge rather than extraneous facts.

Questions based on cybersecurity knowledge may be found in practice examinations. Candidates who are involved in this disagreement will fail the test. Check your ability to apply information rather than rote memorization.

3. Concentrate on All Domains

To have a comprehensive preparation for the exam, make sure you have studied content for all 8 domains before taking the CISSP test. Some candidates select the top five domains they feel are the most important and focus on those, but this leaves them unprepared for questions from domains they have chosen to overlook. It is critical that you study all eight topics, become proficient in them, and build the stamina to sit for the six-hour exam.

4. Prefer Mock Examinations

No CISSP applicant should try the exam without first practicing with practice questions. Mock examinations are nearly as important for identifying strengths and shortcomings and directing study efforts accordingly. They must also acquire acclimated to the quick speed necessary to finish all questions in the allotted time.

When selecting your question database source, any of the official (ISC)² top CISSP study guides is a fantastic place to start, but be sure to also examine extra options from reputable firms.

5. Connect with an Online Community

Because the CISSP is one of the most sought-after qualifications, it has spawned a thriving and supportive online community with forums and personal blogs where candidates can find answers to their questions and certified professionals can share their experiences.

These are excellent tools for knowing what to expect on exam day, but as with any source, double-check its authenticity. If you’re looking for general advice, posting your question on an internet forum like Reddit or TechExams might be quite helpful. This extra effort to study alongside like-minded people will be more than beneficial when you appear for the CISSP certification exam.

6. Select an Exam Preparation Course

Even if using a self-study strategy may appear brave, it may not be the smartest plan of action. It is critical to understand that, even for entry-level certifications, passing tests demands in-depth knowledge of many disciplines. Candidates can spend time learning from an instructor who has passed the test by enrolling in a certification preparation course.

Many schools provide Cyber Security training online, which aids in CISSP exam preparation. If the training is in-person, it’s a terrific chance to network, exchange experiences, and get all of your questions answered. As a result, you have a better probability of passing any certification test.

Study Resources For The CISSP Exam

CISSP Book Resources

cissp study guide

1. Eleventh Hour CISSP: Study Guide 3rd Edition by Eric Conrad, Seth Misenar and Joshua Feldman 

This book is prepared for the simplicity of last-minute learning and contains just crucial certification topics. It has been updated to reflect the most recent CISSP exam version. The extensive and succinct covering of all CISSP domains provides the best chance for users to pass the exam.


  • Important themes are given simply while key ideas are stressed for last-minute study.
  • Some of the most challenging test questions are answered.
  • There is no filler here: only substance!
  • Reviewing the week before the exam is good.


  • This review is not intended to replace the complete textbook.
  • Although publication dates have yet to be determined, the authors claim that the title will be updated when the Study Guide is out.

2. The CISSP Study Guide By Eric Conrad, Seth Misenar, and Joshua Feldman 

The CISSP Study Guide is a popular and reliable resource for CISSP applicants.


  • This study guide is 600 pages long, which makes it easier to complete.
  • Authors with previous experience: This book draws on the expertise of three of the most accomplished and certified CISSP specialists, with all three writers offering their extensive experience in the IT Security area.
  • Comprehensive without being intimidating: Unlike the CBK, this book gives a good overview of all subject matter for the CISSP exam and beyond without being too technical.


  • Length: Because the book is shortened, many applicants believe they would need to reference other materials to complete the whole CISSP course.

3. CISSP Cert Guide by Troy McMillan and Robin Abernathy 

The Kaplan CISSP Cert Guide, prepared by Troy McMillan and Robin Abernathy, is a straightforward, easy-to-follow test guide.


  • Written in a simple and comprehensible style.
  • There are detailed explanations of operational, cryptographic, and individual security.
  • Exams are being prepared for.


  • Because the manual is almost exclusively aimed toward applicants seeking to pass the CISSP test, its utility as a reference for CISSP experts working in the field is, at best, mixed.

4. CISSP Exam Cram, 3rd edition by Michael Gregg 

CISSP Exam Cram, Third Edition is the ideal study guide to assist you in passing the difficult new electronic edition of the CISSP exam. The cutting-edge test engine on the CD provides real-time practice and feedback, and the book has a complete array of study tools such as quizzes, Exam Alerts, and two mock tests.


  • Includes a study guide to help students memorize the important ideas for the test.
  • Includes many quizzes.
  • The length is moderate at 640 pages.


  • One of the book’s numerous detractors bemoans the number of inaccuracies that made it into the final, published form, including incorrectly marked replies to several questions.
  • The electronic information on the CDROM is ineffective.

5. CISSP For Dummies By Lawrence C. Miller 

CISSP For Dummies, one of the best CISSP manuals 2023, provides a welcome and simple foundation for preparing for this highly sought-after certification, making it the ideal place to start your journey.


  • A style that is simple, accessible, and easy to read.
  • It includes access to the test engine and web portal for Dummies.


  • The book has not been updated since 2012.

6. The CISSP All In One Exam Guide, By Shon Harris 

This latest self-study guidebook covers all eight exam topics in detail and fully prepares applicants for the challenging CISSP exam. This version has been extensively revised to match the 2021 CISSP Common Body of Knowledge and has been re-engineered to better accommodate self-directed learning.


  • A digital eBook and a video training instruction are also included with the paperback edition. A Windows-based test engine with over 1400 practice exam questions is included in the bundle. The layout and content have been meticulously developed.


  • The book is 1486 pages long, and some applicants consider the writing overly verbose and comprehensive for those studying for the CISSP exam.
  • The exam’s scope does not cover all of the subjects in the book.
  • Not everyone will like the book’s humor.

cissp study guide

CISSP Online Study Materials  

If you loathe reading books or simply need extra study techniques, you should check out these other wonderful sites.

1. Bootcamp

Although various companies provide in-person CISSP training, IT Exam’s CISSP practice exam boot camps are widely regarded as the best accessible approach for preparing for your CISSP. This boot camp provides everything you need to prepare for your exam and achieve your certification.

2. On-Demand CISSP Training

You may also obtain your CISSP by completing self-paced, on-demand training. Because it is less expensive, this is an excellent option to live teaching for people with hectic schedules. However, because of the lack of tight rules, following the workout schedule may be more difficult for some people.

How To Choose The Best CISSP Certification Study Guide?

To select the best CISSP study guide, take into account its content, materials, designs, professional evaluations, and user comments.

1. Customer Feedback

When deciding which product to buy, you may get a decent idea of how other people felt about their experiences by reading customer reviews.

2. Specifications

The specs explain the product’s capabilities. Choose a CISSP study guide that has been specifically matched to your requirements. When comparing specs, three primary criteria should be considered: performance, features, and pricing.

3. Branding

Items of high quality are meticulously crafted. They are constantly there to answer your questions, resolve product issues, and reimburse your money if any damage is detected.

However, when selecting the finest CISSP certification guide, the three most significant variables are price, quality, and popularity.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Besides the most important things that you need to determine the right CISSP Certification Path for yourself in the first place before learning in studying to get a certification, there are some other things you should bear in mind and not do such as what you should not do when studying for it. When studying for the CISSP test, it is critical to be aware of the most common mistakes that candidates make in order to prevent them and improve your chances of success. Here are a few frequent blunders to avoid:

1. Not studying all the domains equally

One typical mistake is failing to research various domains equally. The CISSP test covers a wide range of subjects and domains, and it is critical to study them all equally to prevent losing out on crucial information. As said before, neglecting any domain may result in poorer scores because of a lack of preparation, so make sure you dedicate enough time to properly study each topic.

2. Cramming

Another common blunder is cramming. Waiting until the last minute to begin studying might result in tension, anxiety, and poor content retention. Allow yourself enough time to adequately prepare so that you feel secure and well-prepared before you sit for the exam.

3. Relying on practice exams alone

While practice examinations might be beneficial, depending only on them is another typical error to avoid. Practice examinations should be utilized in conjunction with your study resources, not as your sole source of information. Instead, use mock examinations to indicate areas where your study efforts should be concentrated and additional study tools to reinforce your knowledge.

4. Neglecting the importance of the exam environment

Another error that might hurt your success is failing to acquaint yourself with the exam setting. The CISSP test is administered in a safe, proctored setting, therefore it is critical to be at ease and familiar with the exam structure and standards. Familiarize yourself with the exam environment, including the location of the testing center, the check-in procedure, and the exam norms and regulations. This will put you at rest and make you feel more confident during the exam.


cissp study guide

Can I self-study for CISSP?

The CISSP exam is quite theoretical. If you come from a technical background, you will need to ease into it; it’s not something you can just leap into and get right away. It is similar to reading a novel. Yes, you are correct; you must pay attention to understanding and language.

Is CISSP the hardest?

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam is often regarded as a demanding and challenging test for various reasons: Prior Learning and Experience: Candidates with prior knowledge and expertise in information security may find the test less difficult.

Read more >  > CEH vs CISSP: Knowing The Differences & Making The Right Choice

How many hours of study for CISSP?

The precise quantity cannot be determined; however, each applicant must study for at least 40 hours in order to pass the CISSP exam.

Is CISSP entry-level?

No, the CISSP is not an entry-level certification. It needs a minimum of 5 years of professional information security expertise, as well as endorsement from another CISSP-certified individual.

Can you pass CISSP without experience?

A candidate who lacks the necessary experience to become a CISSP may become an Associate of (ISC)² by passing the CISSP test. The Associate of (ISC)² will thereafter have six years to gain the requisite five years of experience.

Final Words

The CISSP is a high-level certification that needs thorough preparation and attention. However, with a good approach, reputable materials, and a dedication to CISSP test preparation, any candidate has a good chance of success. Following the CISSP study guide provided above is one of the finest strategies to study for CISSP.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the CISSP promotes lifelong learning; passing the test is merely the first step. If you want to preserve your CISSP certification, you must renew it every three years and continue your professional education. I hope you found this post useful.