Exam-Volunteer-3To ensure the CISSP exam remains up-to-date and relevant to the industry, we are constantly working on the exam items (aka “questions”), and that process is 100% member-driven! 

(ISC)² spoke with Lisa Vaughan, CISSP, about her experience in a recent Item Writing Workshop. Lisa is the Chief Information Officer for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and it was her first-time volunteering as an item writer. She was a participant in a CISSP Item Writing Workshop that took place in Tampa, Florida. The workshop spans three days, taking these dedicated member volunteers away from their jobs and family for a short time.

Lisa didn’t know what to expect going in, as it was her first time, but felt more at ease when she arrived at the workshop to find that most of her group of 19 were also first-timers. “It made it less intimidating,” she said, “since we were all in the same boat and all learning together.” Overall, Lisa enjoyed the whole process, referring to it as a “very enriching, professional development experience.”

Not only did Lisa learn about the steps involved in creating an exam item, but also believed the workshop served as a great refresher for the topics within the CISSP domains. “Some topics may not be in your specific area of expertise, so you need to do some digging to come up with questions and answers,” she said. 

“I appreciated that we’re not putting ‘trick’ items into the exam,” Lisa said. “Because what we’re trying to get to with the items is, do you know the material that is required to become a certified information systems security professional?”

The 19 (ISC)² members from around the world who participated in the workshop with Lisa were all strangers to her upon arrival, but she feels like she has made some new friends and has already made many connections on LinkedIn. “It’s a good networking experience,” Lisa said, “as well as rewarding for the mission that you’re there for.”

If you’re an (ISC)² member and want to participate in exam development, please email examdevelopment@isc2.org with your (ISC)² ID #. If you are selected and complete a workshop, you’ll earn up to 21 CPEs, plus you will have travel expenses paid.