Passed CISSP Today

jawinnjawinn Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone,

Long time lurker here, I passed my CISSP today. Here's my after action report. And yes, I got the new drag and drop questions. Don't worry, they're not that bad.

Full disclosure - I've consumed copious amounts of celebratory alcohol, so please excuse any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  1. Attack the test on all fronts, personal notes, videos, practice tests, cram books.
  2. Forget the Shon Harris book. Good Lord this tome is overrated. This Goliath was the number one thing that slowed me down. I could have passed this test in four weeks, as opposed to four moths if I had known this before I started to study. It is way too in depth for the test. I would not recommend this book to anyone who needs to get this thing in a reasonable amount of time.
  3. Crush CBT Nuggets videos. These are by no means conclusive, but they're a fantastic way to digest the material. Plus, the visual aspect helped me to better digest the material. I ended up watching several videos over and over to grasp core concepts like Access Control. Fire them up when you have to fold laundry or something else mundane.
    1. Pro tip - watch these at 130%. Your brain will quickly adjust and you'll be able to get through material faster.
  4. Practice tests, get Actual Exams and Trancenders. This is a solid combo to measure which domains you need to focus on. Also, these two software programs, have great ways of explaining answers - correct and incorrect.
  5. Live with the sunflower and CISSP Combined notes files. Take them everywhere. You can find them on the forums here. I read them whenever I could. These are solid resources to memorize concepts like Orange Book and TCB.
  6. Know where you're weak. The only way to access this is though practice tests. Focus on your weak domains twice as much as your strong ones.
  7. Write out definitions and processes where you're weak. This helps to absorb the material.
  8. Don't think for a minute you're going to memorize questions and answers, you're got to know the material.
  9. BOOK THE TEST DATE. You'll never scare yourself into learning the material until you're faced with a deadline.
  10. The test is loaded with "select the MOST" appropriate answer and "you're the security specialist and you need to deal with this situation or that situation." These serve to confuse when you are faced with very similar answers, but there is only one "best" or "most" questions. It sucks after you've gone though a ton of black and white questions in test software, and now, during the test, you're faced with two or three answers that might be the "best." More evidence that you need to know and understand the material.
Materials used:
  1. Shon Harris book - worthless. I only read this thing because that's how I always stud for a cert exam. My buddy skipped this thing, studied for three weeks and passed today as well. Make your own decision, but I say skip this thing.
  2. CISSP Practice Exams, by Shon Harris - good stuff, this is a bunch of retired exam questions. It's a solid resource for understanding how the material is presented in the exam
  3. CBT Nuggets - nuff said
  4. Transender Tests - I've never failed a test, and I attribute this to Transenders. They're a great testing software. They have great explanations for incorrect answers.
  5. Actual Tests - Don't let the name fool you, these ARE NOT like the "actual test" I just took, but I've always felt you should have a second testing software.
  6. CISSP Eleventh hour - didn't spend too much time with this one, because I bought it too close to my test date; but there is some good stuff in here.
  7. CISSP Combined Notes and the Sun Flower notes.
Please note that I understand that all people study and retain knowledge differently. The notes above are what worked for me. I hope anyone studying for the test, can take these notes and succeed. Best of luck to anyone taking this monster.



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    TheFORCETheFORCE Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congratulations man, well done! You put in a lot of studying!
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    smotensmoten Member Posts: 33 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations, have you experienced with cccure testing test.
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    H3||scr3amH3||scr3am Member Posts: 564 ■■■■□□□□□□
    congrats on passing the exam, welcome to the club :D
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    Sscp1986Sscp1986 Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    jawinn i am happy for you.
    Thank you for sharing your study method.
    2015: CISSP[Working on it]
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    dustervoicedustervoice Member Posts: 877 ■■■■□□□□□□
    congrats well done.
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    bryanthetechiebryanthetechie Member Posts: 172
    Congrats on your pass and thanks for the info!
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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
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    chickenlicken09chickenlicken09 Member Posts: 537 ■■■■□□□□□□
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    dannamitedannamite Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats. This is encouraging. I'm currently preparing for the CISSP and the Shon Harris book is too wordy for me. I've been using the CISSP Training Kit by David Miller, and I find it to be a much easier read than the Shon Harris book.
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    Spin LockSpin Lock Member Posts: 142
    Congratulations on passing and thank you for the write-up. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be a growing list of forum members who have recently advised against AIO - not that's it's bad,but rather it's overkill. Use it as a reference book, not as test prep.
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    RobicusRobicus Member Posts: 144 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on the pass, and thanks for the awesome summary. I've finally reaching the end of the AIO book and it is a constant love-hate relationship, haha.
    What's Next? eLearnSecurity's eCIR

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    j.petrovj.petrov Member Posts: 282
    Congrats on passing. That was a tough one for sure.
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    jawinnjawinn Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    smoten wrote: »
    Congratulations, have you experienced with cccure testing test.

    I was told about this one, but didn't use it. My buddy, who was racing me to pass the test (we passed on the same day BTW), used CCCure. He liked it, as did some other people I know who passed on the first try. Based on that feedback, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid resource.
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    papadocpapadoc Member Posts: 154
    jawinn wrote: »
    I was told about this one, but didn't use it. My buddy, who was racing me to pass the test (we passed on the same day BTW), used CCCure. He liked it, as did some other people I know who passed on the first try. Based on that feedback, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid resource.

    Thank you and congrats on your passing.

    I changed my studies to focus more on videos and audio (SANS audio training).

    Someone also recommended ITPRo.tv as well which has a full CISSP video. Also Clement has a solid CISSP video training guide as well.

    Been using Transcender and scoring in the low to mid 70s. Need to get it up a bit, because I am lacking in the Orange/Red books and some software stuff. The Biba/Bell La Padula stuff (simple star/axiom always kills me).

    Would you mind telling us how many years you've been in InfoSec?

    I also read 200 pages of Shon Harris after a week of falling asleep with it so many times and put it away. I finished the Eric Conrad Study Book and also started on his 11th. Hour.
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    fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats! I'm looking to take it pretty soon as well. I will definitely try to attack, conquer and command on all fronts!
    timku.com(puter) | ProHacker.Co(nsultant) | ITaaS.Co(nstultant) | ThePenTester.net | @fuz1on
    Transmosis | http://transmosis.com | LinkedIn | https://linkedin.com/in/t1mku
    If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it. - Epictetus
    The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. - Buddha
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. - Unknown
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    DAVIS NGUYENDAVIS NGUYEN Member Posts: 1,472 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on passing icon_thumright.gif
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    jawinnjawinn Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just a quick followup - I got the official notification yesterday from ISC. The final accreditation took about 5 weeks.

    Best of luck to everyone studying for this beast.
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    mjsinhsvmjsinhsv Member Posts: 167
    Congrats on the pass.
    What are you going to do next?
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    ccnpninjaccnpninja Member Posts: 1,010 ■■■□□□□□□□
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