Quick Tips for SSCP Exam

Let me say “All the best” to you, before I start giving you tips for the SSCP exam. These tips are not mandatory to follow, but will surely help you to manage and crack the exam.

Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) is a three-hour long exam which contains 125 questions. You can call this as the younger brother of CISSP. I gave this exam in July 2014 and passed in the first attempt.

You have to schedule an exam through (ISC)website which further takes you to booking the exam at a Pearson Vue center.
  1. Reach the exam center approximately 45 minutes in advance before your scheduled time. This will help you to settle down. Start early so as to reach early rather than waiting on the way thinking whether you will reach on time or not.
  2. When you will reach the Pearson Vue center, you will be given a set of instructions to read. These instructions are different from the NDA to be signed for the SSCP exam. In case you have any queries regarding the instructions, feel free to ask the proctors. They are friendly and helpful.
  3. Your photograph and palm scans will be taken before beginning the exam.
  4. Do not forget to carry two identification cards having signatures on both the proofs.
      Now, when your exam starts, do keep the following in mind. These tips will surely help you.

  1. You will be greeted with an NDA before you begin the exam. Read the NDA – you have 5 minutes to do so. 
  2. Failure to accept this will forfeit your exam money and you will not be allowed to further move ahead in the exam.Post the successful acceptance of the NDA, your exam begins.
  3. You have a timer which shows 180 minutes you have for the examination and a “Flag for review” option whereby you can  flag the questions which you are unsure of at the moment for further review.
  4. Try to make a strategy to solve the 125 questions. 25 questions are reserved for research purposes. Hence you need to answer 100 questions in order to get a 70% score.
  5. I followed the following strategy. It is always better to follow your own plan basis your strengths and weaknesses.
  6. It is extremely important that you go through all the 125 questions at least once in around 1.5 hours. I glanced through all the questions and answered 90 questions in one go and took around 1.5 hours. I used the “Flag for review” option whole heartedly. 
  7. Although the three-hour long exam is not as strenuous as the CISSP exam, you still need to maintain your focus for three hours. 
  8. Remain calm, if you do not know the answer to a lot of questions in the first go, then flag them. This is perfectly normal. Don’t stress yourself.
  9. I used the next 1 hour to solve those questions which I had flagged for review or had left unanswered. The remaining 1/2 hour was focused on reviewing those questions which I was extremely unsure of or confused between two options as they both seemed likely.
  10. There is no negative marking in the exam. So it is recommended that you answer all the questions.
  11. As soon as the time is over, the exam automatically finishes and you are greeted with a message that the time has finished. You may call the proctor in case there is any issue which you face during the exam.
  12. You can collect the exam result from the main desk. Remember, you are never confident when you walk out from the exam hall to the main desk. 
  13. Most people I have met either discount the importance of the SSCP credential or don’t know about it. It is important to remember the fact that SSCP is no small feat in itself. You need to have a minimum of 1 year of experience in information security field. 
  14. SSCP does tell the world that you are interested in learning and having a basic knowledge of the concepts of information security. As a practitioner, this exam allows you to gain a holistic understanding of a lot of security concepts.

     If you reached here, let me thank you for reading this article. If you are preparing to give the exam; all the very best. If you have passed the exam and would like to share your tips with everyone, feel free to comment below. 
     Share this article across on your favourite social media platforms.


  1. Informative Post. These tips definitely will help QandA readers at https://qanda.typicalstudent.org/ who are preparing for exams. Thanks for sharing useful information with readers.

  2. Taking it tomorrow. I think they changed the policy regarding flagging and returning to items. Per the email sent to me by Pearson Vue: (ISC)² offers two types of computer-based exams – linear and adaptive – however neither exam type allows for candidates to skip an item, nor can items be returned to later during administration. Once an answer is confirmed it cannot be changed, reviewed, or revisited

    1. The new method of evaluation is the Computer Adaptive Test , CAT method. In the earlier exam format , you could change or review your answers till you submit. This was initially rolled out for CISSP and is now being extended to other exams. If you could share your experience of the exam , I will be happy to update the post. This will help other students also.


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