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Frequently Asked Questions about Computer-Based Testing

A Faster, More Efficient Way to Get Certified

Q. Why did (ISC)² change from paper-and-pencil exams to computer-based testing (CBT)?

A. (ISC)²’s transition to CBT was an important investment in the future of its certification programs. The implementation of CBT strengthens (ISC)²’s commitment to meet the critical demand for information security professionals worldwide by providing a valid and reliable exam process. It also provides numerous benefits to candidates, members and others in the information security community, including:

  • Fair and precise evaluation of a candidate’s competency
  • Rapid turnaround of exam results
  • Choices as to when and where to take the exam
  • Easier registration
  • Fortified exam security 

Q. Which (ISC)² credential exams are available via CBT?

A. All (ISC)2 credential exams are available via CBT at all approved Pearson VUE® testing centers worldwide.  After September 1, 2012, all (ISC)2 credential exams will be offered via CBT only, with the exception of a very limited amount of remote areas.


Q. Are the (ISC)² credential exams delivered via CBT different from paper-and-pencil exams?

A. No. The only thing that is different is the delivery system for the exam.  Questions on the computer-based exam cover the same subject matter as those on the paper-and-pencil exam.


Q. Does the passing standard change for any of the (ISC)² credential exams with CBT? 

A. No. Each (ISC)² credential exam continues to measure the knowledge, skills and abilities in its applicable area as it does with paper-and-pencil delivery. 


Q. Does it take more time to complete the computerized test compared to the paper version? 

A. Experience with computerized testing reveals that it usually takes less time to complete the test; however, candidates are given exactly the same amount of time to complete the exam via CBT or paper-and-pencil. 


Q. When do candidates receive their results if they take their test via CBT?

A. Most candidates will receive their results immediately after they have completed the exam. In some cases, candidates may have to wait longer to receive official results. 


Q. What is (ISC)²’s policy for retaking the exam via CBT after an unsuccessful attempt?

A: After the first unsuccessful exam attempt, candidates have 3 more attempts to take the exam under the following guidelines:

Exam Attempt 

 # of Days Before a Candidate Must Wait Before Next Exam Attempt 



30 days

90 days


90 days

90 days


180 days

180 days

Q. Where are the computerized tests administered?

A. All (ISC)² credential exams are offered globally through Pearson VUE’s extensive testing network, which includes more than 275 Pearson VUE-owned and -operated Pearson Professional Centers, the Pearson VUE Authorized Test Center Select network, and Pearson VUE Authorized Test Centers located on U.S. military installations around the world. 


Q. Is the CBT from Pearson VUE secure?

A. Yes. Pearson VUE’s Secure Testing Framework™ offers a comprehensive approach to test security. This framework is comprised of four key elements:

  • Controlled Testing Environment
  • Global Identity Management
  • Information Protection
  • Forensic Services

To see a simulation of the Pearson VUE testing experience, please visit:


Q. Who is Pearson VUE, and why are they a good choice for CBT delivery of (ISC)² exams?

A.  Pearson VUE is a global leader in providing CBT delivery solutions for the professional licensure and certification market. Pearson VUE’s technology investments ensure leading-edge security, as well as providing new services to test takers and the information security community. Other prestigious organizations that depend on them include the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (nurse licensing), Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAT® exam), Cisco, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA formerly NASD, for security licensing and continuing education exams), and The American College (CLU, ChFC). 


Q. If the closest Pearson VUE test center is in another state/province/country, can candidates test outside their state/province/country border?

A. Yes. Candidates can test at any approved Pearson VUE test center around the world.


Q. When and how can candidates schedule (ISC)² credential exam appointments at a Pearson VUE test center?

A. Candidates can register anytime for any (ISC)² credential exam that is offered via computer-based testing.  In order to schedule an exam, candidates must register online at: or via phone by calling Pearson VUE (select the appropriate phone number according to your region).


Q. Can candidates change or cancel their exam appointments after they’ve scheduled them?

A. If a candidate wishes to reschedule or cancel an exam, they must contact Pearson VUE at least 48 hours before the exam date by contacting Pearson VUE online at OR at least 24 hours in advance of their appointment by contacting Pearson VUE by phone.  If canceling or rescheduling via telephone, please refer to to locate the appropriate regional customer service phone number. Canceling or rescheduling an exam less than 24 hours in advance of an appointment is subject to a same-day exam forfeit fee. Exam fees are also forfeited for no-shows. Please note that Pearson VUE charges a US$20 fee for reschedules or cancellations.  


Q. What languages are (ISC)² credential exams offered in via CBT?

A. (ISC)² exams offered via CBT are available in the following languages:




Brazilian Portuguese






Korean (available December 1st)








Brazilian Portuguese









Q: When is the last day candidates can take a regularly scheduled (ISC)² credential exam via paper-based testing (PBT)?

A: August 31, 2012


Q: When is the last day candidates can register for a regularly scheduled (ISC)² credential exam via PBT?

A: August 24, 2012, for exams occurring through August 31, 2012.