Thursday, February 24, 2022

Thoughts on taking the CISSP exam - 2

Plan Your Dive, Dive By Your Plan

That is the motto of the Divers Alert Network, and I think it is very appropriate here... and on job interviews.

One thing I did not add to the original post on taking the CISSP exam is that on the day before the exam, I drove to it about the same time I expected to leave. Reason is that I wanted to know where the place was and how long it would take so I would be there 30min or so before it started. In other words, I wanted to eliminate a source of pre-test stress.

Without further ado, here are the real pictures I took that day:

  1. First, here is the building. After driving there on the day before, I decided to leave home 15 minutes earlier to account for the traffic I saw. Also, I am glad I did the dry run since on the exam day, when I drove into the road that leads to the parking lot the building is located, it was packed. I then realized by looking at the vehicles they were going to the construction site I noticed in the previous day, so I was able to go around them instead of sitting there and missing my appointment.

    If you are not driving there, it is even more important to figure out how to get to the test site well in advance. Imagine if you need to take a few trains and maybe a subway or a tram in the process? Are they schedule reliable? If you miss one of those public transports, how long will you have to wait until the next?

  2. Once inside, I was very happy to find out there was a nice sign pointing to where the Pearson VUE office was. Nice touch, Pearson VUE!
  3. The actually office where the exam took place was down the corridor. I also took the opportunity to find out where the bathroom is. Remember you can take bathroom breaks; it might be wise to find its location so you do not waste valuable exam time hunting for it when you really need to go.

    Incidentally, there was a water fountain across the corridor from the bathroom.

  4. During exam day, I had no problem getting there ahead of time. In fact, I was so ahead of time the suit was still locked. By then a few more candidates, for other exams it turned out, had showed up. We chatted a bit until they let us in. And it was smooth sailing until the exam started.

TL;DR: Make your life easier! Eliminate as many variables before the exam as you can.