Passed GSEC today

WilliamK99WilliamK99 Posts: 278Member
Passed GSEC today with a 95%. I have already taken and achieved the GSLC, GCIH and GCIA and this was still a challenge. I used classroom based training, On Demand and Self Study. I can't emphasize enough the importance of a good quality Index written by yourself in order to maximize your score. Despite being an intro course, it is still a challenge and I highly recommend both the course (SANS 401) and the exam (GIAC GSEC) for those wanting to delve deeper into security. I learned quite a bit and was amazed at how much information they were able to cram into both the course and the exam. Working on SANS 501 next....Wish me luck!

Comments

  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Posts: 366Member
    Congrats! I'm currently studying for GCIA, I'd love to hear your thoughts on your GCIA experience.
  • WilliamK99WilliamK99 Posts: 278Member
    Khaos1911 wrote: »
    Congrats! I'm currently studying for GCIA, I'd love to hear your thoughts on your GCIA experience.

    Out of all the SANS courses I have taken GIAC-GCIA is the hardest exam. I don't remember looking at my Index much as quite a bit of it is packet analysis and understanding how the packets in every major protocol work and how to read the packets in Hexadecimal format. I had the hardest time understanding this concept and on test day spent half the test wrapping my head around this. I also had trouble with Snort rules as I understood it, but some of the questions about rules through me off. Luckily I escaped with a 79 my lowest score I have ever achieved on a GIAC test. I think the key is going through on demand multiple times if available, creating a good Index, and then spend hours upon hours with Snort/Bro/Wireshark and the other tools and get some hands on analysis of real life packets...

    It's a challenging test which I am taking again in a few months to try and improve upon my 79... Let me know if you have any more specific questions...Of course , nothing about the actual test, but generalities would be fine.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,636Mod Mod
    Congrats on the pass.
  • ByronicbluezByronicbluez Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass.

    It always amazes me how people manage to get such high scores. I usually start off well on GIAC, but by the half way point my mind is just shot. It is more of an endurance test for me rather than material.
  • colemiccolemic Posts: 1,559Member
    Congrats on the pass!
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • chanakyajupudichanakyajupudi Posts: 712Member
    Congratulations on the pass ! GSNA preparation going for me right now !
    Work In Progress - RHCA [ ] Certified Cloud Security Professional [ ] GMON/GWAPT if Work Study is accepted [ ]
    http://adarsh.amazonwebservices.ninja


  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member
    The GSEC is a tough one because of its diversity. It's technical (although not super-in-depth technical), but also broad. A 95% is a solid score indeed.

    In regards to creating an index, my take on it is that it's not about how making a set of reference notes for use during the exam, but the creation process itself which allows you to transcribe what you don't know onto paper ... and in the process bake more information into your head as reinforcement. This alone allows you to gain more clarity and depth to your personal knowledgebase so you actually learn the material better and instill it into your core set of operating principles as a professional.

    I almost never use my indexes anymore and go straight to the courseware for exam-time lookups.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,735Mod Mod
    Congrats on the pass William! Impressive set of certs you have. Being relatively close to Atlanta, with your skills and certs do you find that you draw a lot of attention from recruiters and companies over there? My wife has tried to talk me into looking in Atlanta.

    docrice wrote: »
    In regards to creating an index, my take on it is that it's not about how making a set of reference notes for use during the exam, but the creation process itself which allows you to transcribe what you don't know onto paper ... and in the process bake more information into your head as reinforcement. This alone allows you to gain more clarity and depth to your personal knowledgebase so you actually learn the material better and instill it into your core set of operating principles as a professional.

    I almost never use my indexes anymore and go straight to the courseware for exam-time lookups.

    I've read here before (and I think elsewhere) that instead of just an index, people also make it into a concise set of notes, so they don't have to even reference the actual books. Kind of like you say, condensing the info and putting it into the index helps retain it. Do you think that is a good approach to take?
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member
    To me an index is both the notes as well as pointers to the relative sections in the courseware. The notes ends up being a summarized sets of text which helps solidify the concepts in my mind, but I don't make them overly-detailed in order to keep the overall length of the paper index short (preferably 15 pages).

    Everyone has a different approach to learning and their method of creating an index should be tailored appropriately.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • WilliamK99WilliamK99 Posts: 278Member
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    Congrats on the pass William! Impressive set of certs you have. Being relatively close to Atlanta, with your skills and certs do you find that you draw a lot of attention from recruiters and companies over there? My wife has tried to talk me into looking in Atlanta.

    I have had some "hits" in my LinkedIn profile but I am currently not looking for a job, I have had a "diverse" career thus far and have needed every one of my certifications based on the positions I have held. This is only going to help me in the long-term. i have heard from many of my colleagues that Atlanta, Columbia, and other major southern cities are hotbeds for Infosec jobs right now.
  • laughing_manlaughing_man Posts: 84Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    Congrats on the pass William! Impressive set of certs you have. Being relatively close to Atlanta, with your skills and certs do you find that you draw a lot of attention from recruiters and companies over there? My wife has tried to talk me into looking in Atlanta.




    I've read here before (and I think elsewhere) that instead of just an index, people also make it into a concise set of notes, so they don't have to even reference the actual books. Kind of like you say, condensing the info and putting it into the index helps retain it. Do you think that is a good approach to take?

    For the GSEC I made notes for each section of the books. Basically rewording concepts in my own words. Good tool to help reinforce concepts as well as provides a handy quick reference for study. But I did not use them for the test (just the books and my index). Also when reviewing the material, I still would re-read the books as SANS tests tend to word in much the same as their texts and the common phrasing can help when testing.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,636Mod Mod
    Docrice hits the nail on the head. An index is created according to your needs. Some people need to cover more, others less. I've seen people do separate indexes by topic or technology, even per book. Some end up with 50 pages, other end up with just a few. You have to find what works for you. The value of soaking in all that material while you create it is extremely high. For this reason I've never believed in sharing indexes.

    In my case for the GCIH I left out a ton of stuff that is second nature to me and ended up with 12 pages. I went with term, book, page and notes columns. I also created a separate sheet with bullets summing up the incident handling process. All of this proved perfect as I was able to solve most issues by just looking at the index instead of flipping through the book.

    pyu7QZBl.jpg
  • coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior Member NCPosts: 731Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Congratulations!!!
    "Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"
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