Gearing up for 2nd attempt

GeneCGeneC Posts: 51Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Well everything has settled in and just trying to refocus and prepare for my second attempt in roughly 4 – 6 weeks. I am still pretty deflated with a 692. I felt sick to my stomach when I got my results.

At no point did I feel stressed but as everyone else always mentions you never feel confident. I used just over 5 hours of my allocated 6. Went back for a second pass for flagged questions and then went back a 3rd time for all my questions. I made several changes which may have made things worse or better, who knows.

So I am not far off here and I think it’s a matter of not picking the best answer of the two remaining. I feel like I also suffered when being asked what is first step, last step, next step….

As for my plan this is the only thing I can think of as mentioned by another poster.
Go through my weakest domains as listed in the printout, chapter by chapter (using sybex book as I felt I may have underutilized it) and check off all topics from the CBK checklist on those domains.

As for continued quizzing not sure what I should use as I used a majority of them but perhaps will go back to McGraw-Hill online questions and Trancenders (corporate account)

I am also strongly considering Shon Harris video series; I would appreciate anyone’s feedback on the video series.
As always anyone that has any advice on a 2nd pass would be greatly appreciated.

Gene

Comments

  • mokazmokaz Posts: 172Member
    Admirable move!!! Uncertainty & doubts shall have no place =)

    Maybe have a check on these pod-casts; CyberSecStudy
    To me (still quizzing for fun for now..) I've found myself answering a few questions directly out of these audio pod-cast information, and things i probably wouldn't had committed and acknowledged while reading.

    Just an hint but all in all i think you're acting very courageously and you can be proud of that !!
    May the force be with you!!!

    Cheers,
    m.
  • LionelHutz32LionelHutz32 Posts: 11Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear you got so close Gene, you are doing the correct thing by retaking the test asap.

    In terms of practice exams, have you tried the end of chapter questions in the Official ISC2 book? There are only 20 or so per chapter but they seem to be in the style of the actual exam. I will go through these in the run up to my exam just to get used to the type of questions expected ...

    Which sources of study/practice exams did you find the most helpful for the exam?
  • jvrlopezjvrlopez Posts: 911Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd recommend the CISSP Sybex book as well Conrad's 11th Hour.

    How's your studying? What's your IT experience like?
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
  • GeneCGeneC Posts: 51Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    @LionelHutz32 I do not own the official ISC guide so I have not taken the end of chapter questions. Questions that I did use were trancender, cccure (but still have alot of unattempted questions) mcgrawhill, GISP, and total testers.

    Moving forward I was thinking about the McGrawhill and trancender questions as they are most recommended. I also have the shon harris practice exam book that I have not used.

    This may seem like a funny answer nor am I trying to doge anything but it is really hard for me to explain which quizzes helped out the most, perhaps because after 6 hours your mind is tired, but hopefully those that have gone through the exam can relate to what I am trying to explain.

    @jvrlopez I have over 10 years of IT experince, the last 5 in IT security. I do hold comp tia certs such as A+, N+, Security+

    I asked about the shon harris video series as I believe I obtained the most / gained the most from CBT nuggets training (still have corproate access to that)

    Gene
  • EasyPeezyEasyPeezy Posts: 111Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    GeneC you were so close it saddens me to look at your results... it could easily have been just one question.

    Having been through the exams you do have an idea what to expect... and you should have an idea what type questions you were not sure of your answer. So in addition to the various processes that you identified as needing to memorize, you might want to look at the way you tackle the questions too. Perhaps a little break every 100 - 125 questions. The break gives the impression that you started a new exam and you are usually refocused again. Have a quick read about the type of questions on my CISSP post.

    EasyPeezy
  • bigdummybigdummy Posts: 30Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    You should congratulate yourself for the decision to get right back on this horse and continue on so soon. It would be easy to say "screw it" and take a break from the studying, but I think you'll be much better off tackling the second attempt while everything is still fresh in your brain. It takes balls and serious determination to jump right back in the game like this, so good on you!
  • GeneCGeneC Posts: 51Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks gang. Really wish I could get my hands on that SANS webcast that everyone keeps talking about. It seems that they have archived it and its not available on their website anymore.
  • dustervoicedustervoice Posts: 877Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    anyone has a copy of sans webcast?
  • bigdummybigdummy Posts: 30Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    GeneC wrote: »
    Thanks gang. Really wish I could get my hands on that SANS webcast that everyone keeps talking about. It seems that they have archived it and its not available on their website anymore.

    I actually listened to this a year or so ago, and made notes as I listened to the podcast. Attached is a PDF of my notes. Hope this helps!
  • exspiravitexspiravit Member Posts: 44Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    What's your domain breakdown? That's where I'd look as to help with your next exam. If you were equal across the board then I'd say switching those answer last minute could have been the culprit. But, if you have some deficiencies then that is more than likely the reason. For me, took a sample exam about seven times to establish a trend for each domain and focused on the ones that needed work.

    As for the questions, I also studied the syntax of each in relation the correct answer. You have to pick out key words to choose the correct answer.

    The questions are basically broken down like this (never in this order):

    A) Obviously Wrong Answer
    B) Obviously Wrong Answer
    C) Distraction Wrong Answer
    D) Correct Answer

    So, you have to immediately drop A and B. You'll have to then look at the syntax of the answer and in conjunction with your KB, choose the correct answer. Even if you don't know the answer, your chance is now 50% versus 25%. When you take the test, if you can't answer in short order, flag the question and then come back to answer. You really want to keep your stress levels down so fretting over one is not worth it. Plus, once your memory has been jogged it will be easier to answer them later.

    That is what I did, I did not change any answers, I was finished in 4:15 and I passed first time.
  • ash.murash.mur Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hello Gene

    First of all, i am very sorry to hear that. But i would like appreciate your courage to give it again and nail on it. I was in the same position as you are in currently with a score of 696 in my first attempt (Prepared close to 10 months, Started on Jan 27 and Ended on November 17th). After preparing for 3 more months, i managed to clear CISSP. I had shared my experience with forum , below is the link which might help you. I wish you all the best for your second attempt and i am sure you'll succeed in your second attempt. Do keep your Success story posted on this thread so that budding CISSP's will be benefitted

    Link -
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/isc-sscp-cissp/97545-transformation-score-696-into-congratulations-you-have-passed.html#post822571
  • kalkan999kalkan999 Posts: 269Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    AS I have joked about before, and likely incurred the wrath of Shon Harris...Should you choose to watch her video series, make a commitment to watch the videos for such an extended period of time, that you eventually find her an attractive woman, THEN you'll know you're ready! :)
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Posts: 613Member
    kalkan999 wrote: »
    ...that you eventually find her an attractive woman, THEN you'll know you're ready! :)

    /cosign
  • kalkan999kalkan999 Posts: 269Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    /cosign

    /Cotangent. :)
  • GeneCGeneC Posts: 51Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I actually set myself up with a safari account and found her videos there. Although a little dated I find then to be extremly helpful. Still no date set for 2nd attempt but have brushed up on my 3 weakest domains so far.

    Gene
  • AlanjenAlanjen Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I watched her videos and read her book. I found the book much more helpful and didn't feel the videos went in to any kind of depth needed to help me. Not a fan of her videos but loved her book. I passed exam ON June 30th.
  • Spin LockSpin Lock Posts: 142Member
    GeneC wrote: »
    As for my plan this is the only thing I can think of as mentioned by another poster.
    Go through my weakest domains as listed in the printout, chapter by chapter (using sybex book as I felt I may have underutilized it) and check off all topics from the CBK checklist on those domains.

    One piece of advice I read in a presentation that discussed CISSP exam strategy is to remember that you only need to score 70% (scaled) across all domains. You do not need to achieve 70% on each individual domain. This means there is more than one way to skin a cat (or pass the exam): You can raise the score in the domains your are weakest in or you can score even higher in the domains you are strongest in, or some combo of the two. The point is, if you needed 10 more correct answers to pass, those 10 correct answers can come from any domain. If there was a domain you were clueless about, then it makes a lot of sense focus your studying on it because that's likely the easiest path tr more correct answers. But if you have a domain that you've studied till you're blue in the face and still frustrated with, then perhaps improving your score in easier domains is a more viable option. Just something to think about.

    Secondly, I've read several comments made by Clement on the cccure forum where he states all domains are not weighted equally on the exam. He believes some domains, especially BCP, is featured more prominently (more questions) and thus you are likely to be more successful by focussing more of time on these key domains. I can't comment on this one way or the other, but Clement is a respected and experienced CISSP trainer and I think his advice is worth considering.
    GeneC wrote: »
    As for continued quizzing not sure what I should use as I used a majority of them but perhaps will go back to McGraw-Hill online questions and Trancenders (corporate account)

    Since you were so close to passing, perhaps it's not the technical concepts that you need as much help with, it could be you'd get more bang for your buck by studying test taking strategy? Dean Bushmiller, another highly respected CISSP instructor has a video presentation called CISSP Least Crappy Answer: Test Taking Strategy. You might want to watching this. It's not free, but at $69, it's pretty cheap, especially if it gets you over the hump. Here's the link:

    CISSP Least Crappy Answer: Test Taking Strategy | Expanding Security – Certification & NICCS training


    Hope this helps. Best of luck!
  • tshunter7814tshunter7814 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi all,

    I've been reading the forums for a while prepping for my CISSP exam that I had taken yesterday, 31 July. I too, came up little short, scoring 593 outta 700. I had different thoughts on the exam in total. I wasn't rushed (I actually cotinued to take the exam througout the full 6 hours, with only one break). I think my failures, were second-guessing myself, breaktime-management (even though there were unschedeuled). The first time around, I reviewed all of the questions and mostly marked all of them and left some unanswered. When I was done with reviewing all the questions, I had roughly about 100 minutes left on the clock I then reviewed the some of the marked questions with full emphesis on completing the unanswered questions and then going through the marked questoins and rushed through the rest of the questions that were left over marked.

    Was there a reason why there duplicate questoins on the exam, that maybe I need to pay little more attention to? The answers were different but had the exact questions. I also noticed that were more BCP/DRP & BIA questions than anything else.

    I'm going to persevere on and attempting to retake the exam within 30 days or maybe a little bit longer. I think I'm going to study from Shon Harris AIO book (even though my first impression, was like "this book is way too long for me to study from"), (maybe her videos as well), CISSP Study Guide 6th Edition by Sybex, finally going towards the final weeks, CBT Nugget videos and studying from the 11th Hour.

    Study Plan:
    Started off with Shon Harris AIO Book (was too long, lost interest), then tried the Orginal ISC2 Book for the CISSP (and thought that the wording on the material was poor and also lost interest). My co-workers mentioned to me Eric Conrad's 11th Hour CISSP book (thought that the Domains in the book didn't match up with Common Book Knowledge didn't match listed by ISC2) (hi-lighted the important concepts through the book and then typed out the concepts onto a Word Doc -thinking that might would help me out, didn't think it did) as well as pounding the CBT Nugget videos into my brain over and over and over and over again (writing down key concepts, thought that instructor was talking too fast for me to actually remember the concepts as well as to write them down), as the days got closer to the exam date, I reviewed my notes that I had written down, which were kinda scattered.
  • ExpectExpect Posts: 251Member
    Shon Harris is a verbose book but it covers everything you need.
    take a look at the CISSP prep guide book as well, I am using it and very satisfied with it (also comes with about 30-32 questions each chapter)
    Eric Conrad's 11th hour is a very good book, I will be taking my first exam attempt in 1 month from now, which will probably overlap with your exam date

    I was thinking of setting up a study group (Skype/Linkedin), PM me if that interests you, sometimes it's better to learn with someone.
  • pizzahutpizzahut Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    There are so much tips for CISSP exam preparation...Hope to see such activities for SANS exam prep as well...:D
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