Recommended Pace for Taking the CISM Exam
You are given 4 hours to answer the 200 questions. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not. Sure, some people are out early, but this could be their second or third time. Let’s talk more about a smart pace.
Four hours is 240 minutes, or one minute and twelve seconds per question. Even the most studious candidate shouldn’t try to concentrate for 4 hours straight. Instead, a candidate should take a break or two to refresh and reenergize. If a candidate takes two short breaks of 5-10 minutes each, that now leaves 220-230 minutes for the exam. Also consider that in any exam, it’s wise to allot time at the end to briefly scan your answer sheet for obvious mistakes (skipped or doubled-answered questions). A safe allotment of time would be 10%, or 20 minutes in this case. That leaves 200 minutes for 200 questions. With a break or two and some buffer time at the end, this gives a plain “one question per minute” pace. This pace is especially helpful as you work through the exam, since you can confidently check your pace against the spent time and your current question.