How Long Does It Take to Get CISSP Certification: Best Explanation


Career Consultant and Blog Writer.

On average, candidates should expect to dedicate approximately 4-6 months of focused study and preparation to complete the CISSP certification process successfully. The duration to obtain CISSP certification depends on several factors, including your existing knowledge, experience, study approach, and the time available for studying.

In this article, we will explain “How long does it take to get CISSP certification?” and the factors that can influence the duration of your CISSP journey and provide insights into the typical timeline involved.

The Significance of CISSP Certification

The CISSP certification is globally recognized as a benchmark for information security professionals. It demonstrates your expertise in various domains of information security, including risk management, cryptography, security operations, and more. CISSP-certified professionals are highly sought after by organizations looking to protect their valuable assets and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their information systems.

Understanding the CISSP Exam

To obtain CISSP certification, you need to pass the CISSP exam. The exam consists of 250 multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge and understanding of the eight CISSP domains. These domains cover a wide range of topics, including security and risk management, asset security, security architecture and engineering, communications and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security.

Assessing Your Current Knowledge and Experience

Before embarking on your CISSP journey, it’s essential to evaluate your existing knowledge and experience in the field of information security. The CISSP exam requires a solid understanding of the domains mentioned earlier. If you already have experience in the industry and possess knowledge in these areas, it can significantly reduce the time needed for preparation. However, if you are relatively new to information security, you may need to allocate more time to study and familiarize yourself with the required concepts.

Preparing for the CISSP Exam: Self-Study or Training Courses

When preparing for the CISSP exam, you have the option to choose between self-study and training courses. Self-study allows you to tailor your study schedule according to your availability and learning style. It provides flexibility but requires discipline and self-motivation. On the other hand, training courses offer structured learning with experienced instructors and interaction with fellow participants. They can provide valuable insights, real-world examples, and hands-on practice.

The Study Process: Creating a Study Plan

To effectively prepare for the CISSP exam, it is crucial to create a well-structured study plan. Start by identifying the topics within each domain that require more attention based on your self-assessment. Allocate specific time slots for studying each topic and consider incorporating practice exams and quizzes to evaluate your progress. Remember to balance your study time with other commitments to maintain a healthy and sustainable approach.

Dedicated Study Time and Exam Readiness

The amount of time required for dedicated study varies depending on individual factors such as prior knowledge, experience, and the time available for studying. On average, candidates spend several weeks to a few months preparing for the CISSP exam. However, this can vary significantly. It is essential to maintain consistency, focus, and dedication throughout the study process to ensure you are adequately prepared for the exam.

Registering and Scheduling the CISSP Exam

Once you feel confident in your preparation, it’s time to register for the CISSP exam. Visit the official (ISC)² website to complete the registration process and pay the required fees. After registering, you can schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE testing center. Select a date that aligns with your study timeline and allows you sufficient time for any final review or practice exams.

Taking the CISSP Exam: What to Expect

On the day of the exam, arrive at the testing center early to complete the necessary check-in procedures. The CISSP exam is a computer-based test administered over six hours. Pace yourself throughout the exam, as time management is crucial. It is essential to read each question carefully, analyze the options, and select the most appropriate answer. Remember to stay calm and focused, drawing upon the knowledge and skills you have developed during your preparation.

Post-Exam: Waiting for Results and Beyond

After completing the CISSP exam, you will need to wait for the official results. The exam is scored using a scaled passing score of 700 out of 1000. If you achieve a passing score, congratulations! You will receive the CISSP certification and become part of an esteemed community of information security professionals. If you do not pass, don’t be discouraged. Analyze your performance, identify areas for improvement, and consider retaking the exam after further preparation.

Tips for Efficient CISSP Certification Preparation

Preparing for the CISSP certification exam requires careful planning and dedication. Here are some valuable tips to help you make the most of your study time and increase your chances of success:

Tips #1. Create a Study Plan

Develop a study plan that outlines your daily or weekly study goals. Break down the content into manageable sections and allocate specific time slots for studying each domain.

Tips #2. Use Reliable Study Resources

Invest in reputable study materials such as official CISSP textbooks, online courses, practice exams, and flashcards. These resources will provide you with comprehensive coverage of the exam topics and help you familiarize yourself with the question format.

Tips #3. Join Study Groups or Forums

Engage with fellow CISSP candidates through study groups or online forums. Collaborating with others can provide different perspectives, clarify concepts, and create a supportive learning community.

Tips #4. Take Practice Exams

Regularly assess your progress and identify areas that require further improvement by taking practice exams. Practice exams simulate the actual exam environment and help you become familiar with the question style and time constraints.

Tips #5. Review Domain-Specific Material

Devote ample time to study each domain in-depth. Understand the key concepts, best practices, and real-world applications related to each domain to ensure a strong foundation of knowledge.

Tips #6. Stay Updated with the CISSP CBK

The CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive guide that outlines the domains, topics, and subtopics covered in the exam. Regularly review the CBK to stay up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends.

Remember, consistency and dedication are vital when preparing for the CISSP certification. Set aside dedicated study time, minimize distractions, and maintain a positive mindset throughout the process.


In conclusion, obtaining CISSP certification is a worthwhile investment for professionals aiming to excel in the field of information security. While the time required to get certified may vary, dedicating 4-6 months of focused study and preparation is a common timeframe. By understanding the CISSP exam structure, following effective study strategies, and leveraging reliable resources, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to stay motivated, persevere through challenges, and maintain a growth mindset. Good luck on your CISSP certification journey!

FAQs With Answers about How Long Does It Take to Get CISSP Certification

Can a beginner get a CISSP certification?

Yes, a beginner can pursue CISSP certification. However, it’s important to note that CISSP is a comprehensive and advanced certification that requires a solid understanding of various information security domains. Beginners should be prepared to invest significant time and effort into studying and gaining the necessary knowledge and experience before attempting the exam.

How hard is the CISSP certification?

The CISSP certification is widely regarded as a challenging certification due to its broad coverage of information security domains. The exam tests not only your theoretical knowledge but also your ability to apply concepts in real-world scenarios. It requires critical thinking, analysis, and a deep understanding of security principles. However, with thorough preparation, dedication, and a structured study plan, it is definitely achievable.

Can I pass CISSP in a month?

Passing the CISSP exam in a month is highly unlikely for most candidates. The CISSP certification covers a vast amount of material across eight domains. Adequate time should be allocated for studying, reviewing, and practicing exam questions. While the duration may vary depending on the individual’s prior knowledge and experience, it is generally recommended to allow several weeks to a few months for thorough preparation.

Can you take CISSP before 5 years?

The requirement to take the CISSP exam is not based on a specific time frame. Aspiring candidates can take the CISSP exam whenever they feel adequately prepared, regardless of the number of years of experience they have. However, it’s important to note that to become fully certified, candidates need to meet the experience requirement of at least five years in two or more CISSP domains or four years with a relevant college degree.