CISSP: Picking the Date

I’ve written before about the CISSP training I’ve been doing. We’re now under pressure to actually sign up for an exam date, on the theory that if you actually have a date, you won’t put off studying. Makes sense. Two problems. The first is the fee ($549): we get to personally pay it up front; we may get reimbursed depending on our organization… if we pass. I’ve got the funds–it’s just me dealing with a head that hates to spend money. The second problem is choosing the date. First, there are a limited number of examinations offered in reasonable driving distance (i.e., Los Angeles or Santa Ana). Each of the dates have different problems (note that the exam is a 6 hour, 250 question, multiple-choice exam):

  • Saturday, September 27, 2008 in Los Angeles. This date is only a few weeks away, and I’m really busy with various tasks so there won’t be a lot of study time. It’s also the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, and we have tickets to see “9 to 5” the next day. One plus is that I could spend the afternoon before the test studying at CSUN (I have a morning IAB meeting there).
  • Sunday, October 19, 2008 in Santa Ana. I’ve got an event at camp that day, plus it seems to be associated with some form of training camp.
  • Sunday, November 16, 2008 in Santa Ana. We have theatre tickets to the Pasadena Playhouse the night before (so I’ll be home around midnight — a recipe for a migraine the next day). It is also the weekend before my daughter’s birthday. This also seems to be associated with the training camp.
  • Sunday, December 14, 2008 in Santa Ana. I will have lost all of the immediately prior week to ACSAC, and thus will have had no study time (although the conference, which is in Anaheim, wouldn’t be far away… I could spend Saturday studying… but have to pay for two hotel nights (over $200)). This is also associated with a training camp.
  • Saturday, December 20, 2008 in Los Angeles. This is a week after ACSAC, so I could take some days off before the test for last minute studying. On the minus side, it is far away from now, so I might forget what I’m studying now.

Now, if you are trying to figure out why I’m putting myself through this… let’s just say that I need it for work.

So, although I have my leanings, I’d like your opinion. When should I take my CISSP exam:

If you have rationale for your choice, please feel free to leave it in the comments.