By: Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP
Have you taken the next step to being competitive in the security arena? If not, this article will provide information and tips based on a proven method of studying for and passing the exam.
Out of the 2,000 NCMS members only 6% hold the ISP certification. In July 2005 there were only 75 ISPs and as of October 2006 the number has increased to 117. The test is challenging and the pass rate is 80%. However, this pass rate is expected to improve.
Why certify? The ISP holder demonstrates a high level of knowledge. The certification is based on the NISPOM but also covers electives such as: COMSEC, OPSEC, and other topics.
This certified professional communicates to upper management that they are committed to the business, the industry and the protection of national interests. It puts the company in a stronger position while bidding on contracts and lends credibility to relationships with the oversight agency the Defense Security Services (DSS). Most of all, it gives the bearer confidence in their ability to apply their knowledge. As this certification program evolves, more and more employers will require the certification.
According to the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths! s, the difference between mediocrity and excellence is a small margin. For example, a horse wins a race by fractions of a second and employees excel faster by completing only one more small action a day. In my case, I studied for a few minutes every day for five months. The few minutes made a big difference.
There are many excuses not to take the exam: the cost, time involved, or fear of failure. NCMS is doing a lot to train, mitigate the expense and studies show that salaries do increase with the certification.
I hope this tip will build your confidence. Take the online test! If you can perform a search in a PDF file, you can pass the test. The exam gives 110 multiple choice questions and takes up to 120 minutes. There is a clock that keeps track of the time and the test times out automatically. How convenient.
I recommend using two monitors. Open the test in one monitor and the PDF version of the NISPOM in the other. Open the search function in the NISPOM and type key words from the test question to find the reference. It’s that simple, but takes some practice.
The following are websites that offer reference for the ISP test study. The first website offers 20 free practice questions and PDF files of the NISPOM.
The next two websites offers the NISPOM, test taking tips, study materials and conference calls.
You can pass this test! Use the study references and you will succeed.
For those security professionals and FSOs who have earned your certification, you know what feeling of accomplishment that is. For those who haven't started, what are you waiting for?
I studied for six months, before I had the courage to take the test. Once I passed, I took notes and began writing a book. I have a database of 400 questions that will definitely help guarantee your success.
Whether you’re employed in the security field as a government employee, contractor, loss prevention or IT, you need the competitive edge.
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