The Final Stretch -- Sitting Exam April 14th (3 Weeks Out!)

RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPTPosts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi TE Community,

I was just sitting here studying and I glanced at the calendar and thought, "Wow! I am officially 3 weeks out." I just experienced my first real wave of CISSP nerves!

I began studying end of July 2014 with the Shon Harris AIO book. Honestly, though, I started out extremely slow... 30 min here... 30 min there... I'd say I really kicked into a more regimented study groove around the first week of December. To date, I have 130+ hours of study time.

* I've almost read the AIO front to back... read all chapters with the exception of the final Security Operations one.
* I've read Eric Conrad's guide front to back twice now.
* Currently reading the Dummies Guide and Darril Gibson's CISSP Rapid Review.
* Paid subscription to CCC and Transcender.

Is it natural to feel these nerves after such preparation? Is it true that one will ever truly feel prepared? With the exception of the 11th Hour, is there any other last minute guides/tips?

I'm starting to average 79% on CCC (I'm honestly not a huge fan), only 70% on Transcender; but, I am starting to get 80%+ on the MH quiz site-- one user reported passing without getting 80+ on MH.

Thanks TE Crew!
What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT

Comments

  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Posts: 366Member
    I take mines on April 11th and strangely, I'm not nervous at all. I really just want to get it over with. I study a couple hours a day, but I'm over it. In my car I listen to Shon Harris audio, I've finished the Conrad book, i'm reading the Shon Harris 6th edition, and just taking different practice test. I'm sure practice ( Practice? Practice? we talking about practice.) test don't compare to the real thing, but I also thought SSCP and all my other certs were fairly easy and I only have a few years of Infosec experience. I'm ready to kick this test in the nads. How do you really know when you're ready? other than the run of the mill "score 80+ on Shon Harris practice test and reciting concepts like they are lyrics to your favorite song" answers we constantly read.
  • GForce75GForce75 Posts: 222Member
    Sounds like your on the right path. Consider the quiz scores, but ignore it. As the guy above me said that studying is key. The audio files were great! Good luck on test day!
    Doctoral Candidate - BA (33/60hrs) ~ MBA/Project Management ~ BA/Business-IT
  • mjsinhsvmjsinhsv Posts: 167Member
    I think it's good to build up your stamina. The test is long...for most people. The folks who are uber prepared breeze through it though.
    You can build up your testing stamina by taking the MH tests .. McGraw-Hill Education | CISSP Practice Exams .
    I would recommend you don't study the day before the test. If you don't have it by now, you don't have it.
    Go see a movie or whatever you do to relax. Take your mind off security.
    Get a good night of sleep. This will be easier if you relax the day before.
    Do a quick review of the high level concepts the morning of the test.
    Give yourself plenty of time to get to the testing center.
    While taking the test, if you don't know the answer, mark it for review. The answer may come to you later.
    Don't be a quick draw with your engineering skills. Sometimes the questions are technical...sometimes they aren't.
    Take breaks if you need them and clear your head.

    Make that test your biatch. ;)

    Good luck .
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all of the wonderful information, everyone! I really appreciate the nuggets. I'll keep marching on and hope to be fresh as possible for the big day!
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
  • ChuzpahChuzpah Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm sitting for the exam the exact same day you are! I use the same study resources except for the rapid review, is it worth picking up?
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi Chuzpah,

    I think the Rapid Review is pretty good-- but honestly, if you already have the 11th hour then the Rapid Review would probably be redundant. What I do like about the Rapid Review is that each chapter (domain) is structured to align directly with the CIB: so each section is clearly labeled and ties directly to the exam objectives. For example, each section is labeled as an objective such as, "Objective 3.7: Understand and apply risk management concepts." This helps me visualize and organize all the data as it maps to the core concepts.

    April 14th, eh? We're battle buddies!

    March on,
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
  • zme783zme783 Posts: 43Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Taking the exam on April 10th.

    Vast domains and difficult to remember what was studied in past. Lots of practice is needed and is the Key.
  • kc8ucakc8uca Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I had success with ITPro.tv on my CISSP exam. First shot, no problems. The guy taking notes on the screen is kinda doofy, but hey... It obviously worked.
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Awesome! I've never hear of IT PRO TV before-- I just signed up for a free membership to watch the overview video. So the 57 bucks a month is worth it, eh?
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
  • ChuzpahChuzpah Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Robicus wrote: »
    Hi Chuzpah,

    I think the Rapid Review is pretty good-- but honestly, if you already have the 11th hour then the Rapid Review would probably be redundant. What I do like about the Rapid Review is that each chapter (domain) is structured to align directly with the CIB: so each section is clearly labeled and ties directly to the exam objectives. For example, each section is labeled as an objective such as, "Objective 3.7: Understand and apply risk management concepts." This helps me visualize and organize all the data as it maps to the core concepts.

    April 14th, eh? We're battle buddies!

    March on,

    Indeed, I'm taking the exam at 8AM PST so there probably is some overlap when we are in battle together! icon_lol.gif
  • ChuzpahChuzpah Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Robicus wrote: »
    Awesome! I've never hear of IT PRO TV before-- I just signed up for a free membership to watch the overview video. So the 57 bucks a month is worth it, eh?

    I have an annual account for ITProTV and if you watch or listen to the Security Now (Steve Gibson) podcast you can get 30% off for the lifetime of your account. I don't recall the offer code but check out the podcast and it should be there toward the starting of it.
  • justjenjustjen Posts: 77Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I wonder how many of us are taking the exam on April 14th. When I scheduled mine, there was one day open in mid-to-late March, and the first two available days in April were the 14th and the 17th. I am also scheduled for an early morning start on the 14th (Pacific time).

    Tired of notes, tired of reading, tired of listening - switching it up now with practice quizzes and exams, as those are at least interactive.

    I hope to pass it on the 14th, because I don't think I could face a second try.
    Good luck to us all!
  • mjsinhsvmjsinhsv Posts: 167Member
    You can move the date up.... if you can find a seat.
    Trick may be finding a seat.

    I was tired of studying and felt like I was as ready as I would ever be so I moved my date up two weeks when I took it in December.
    Pearson Vue charged $50 to make the schedule change.
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    April 14th battle buddies! I'm also sitting the morning exam Pacific time.

    I also found a discount for ITTVPro--w00t!

    Cheers,
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
  • ChuzpahChuzpah Posts: 68Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    justjen wrote: »
    I wonder how many of us are taking the exam on April 14th. When I scheduled mine, there was one day open in mid-to-late March, and the first two available days in April were the 14th and the 17th. I am also scheduled for an early morning start on the 14th (Pacific time).

    Tired of notes, tired of reading, tired of listening - switching it up now with practice quizzes and exams, as those are at least interactive.

    I hope to pass it on the 14th, because I don't think I could face a second try.
    Good luck to us all!

    Indeed, I wish everyone the best of luck as well.
  • dinhtqdinhtq Posts: 23Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Chuzpah wrote: »
    I'm sitting for the exam the exact same day you are! I use the same study resources except for the rapid review, is it worth picking up?

    The Same Me :D. We will Passsssssssssssssssssss!
  • dinhtqdinhtq Posts: 23Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Robicus wrote: »
    Hi TE Community,

    I was just sitting here studying and I glanced at the calendar and thought, "Wow! I am officially 3 weeks out." I just experienced my first real wave of CISSP nerves!

    I began studying end of July 2014 with the Shon Harris AIO book. Honestly, though, I started out extremely slow... 30 min here... 30 min there... I'd say I really kicked into a more regimented study groove around the first week of December. To date, I have 130+ hours of study time.

    * I've almost read the AIO front to back... read all chapters with the exception of the final Security Operations one.
    * I've read Eric Conrad's guide front to back twice now.
    * Currently reading the Dummies Guide and Darril Gibson's CISSP Rapid Review.
    * Paid subscription to CCC and Transcender.

    Is it natural to feel these nerves after such preparation? Is it true that one will ever truly feel prepared? With the exception of the 11th Hour, is there any other last minute guides/tips?

    I'm starting to average 79% on CCC (I'm honestly not a huge fan), only 70% on Transcender; but, I am starting to get 80%+ on the MH quiz site-- one user reported passing without getting 80+ on MH.

    Thanks TE Crew!

    Hiii, The same me .....and We will Passssssssssss!
  • voodoo26voodoo26 Posts: 56Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi,

    Actually it is not important how many times you read the book(s) it is important to solid understanding the concept of all domains and the big picture. During exam you will need to link multiple domains to answer a single question maybe. I think having 80% from MH is good sign. You can find more realistic exam questions on MH. Also check practice questions from Shon Harris's web site also realistic ones there.

    To feel these nerves is good and normal i think. It will keep you motivated until end of the exam. During exam and also phase of preparation i never felt that i am fully prepared. I also strongly recommend you to download audio lessons from MH site. For continuity my study, i listened them every single till exam. Everybody has different way of learning maybe study plan should be organized based on this. Anyways, nothing is impossible if you really want it you will get it icon_thumright.gif

    Good luck to everyone.
    Cheers,
    2014 Goals CISSP COLOR=#008000]Passed[/COLOR, 2015 Goals CISM COLOR=#ff0000]June[/COLOR
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the encouragement, voodoo!

    Can you link me to the Shon Harris site for the test questions? The Logical Security site is pretty much deprecated now. Are the practice exam test question books good?

    Thanks again,
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
  • voodoo26voodoo26 Posts: 56Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi,

    Shon Harris's web site is on maintenance and will be closing soon. Here is what they say http://logicalsecurity.com
    2014 Goals CISSP COLOR=#008000]Passed[/COLOR, 2015 Goals CISM COLOR=#ff0000]June[/COLOR
  • justjenjustjen Posts: 77Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    The MH practice exams were also developed in partnership with Shon Harris and her company, Logicsl Security. They should give you the same run for the money as any of the Shon Harris-based practice sets. :)

    They are a struggle for me. I do well on the GISP practices and the Eric Conrad ones, so I don't know...

    Keeping a positive attitude as well as I can, and still reading, practicing, etc.
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good point, justjen. The MH ones do seem pretty solid.

    I just spent the last 2 hours doing my first 250 practice test (woo endurance!), and scored a 73%. I was using the Elsevier Conrad practice site. Are these the same Conrad ones you were referring to?

    Look like I definitely have more work to do!
    Cheers,
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
  • justjenjustjen Posts: 77Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Robicus, the Elsevier Conrad practices are the same ones I meant. I did well on those, and got a 94.8% on a GISP practice today - maybe I just have a mental block on the whole idea of Shon Harris books/questions.

    I always do 250 question practices at a time, so that I am getting used to coping with the numbing length. I do need the ongoing practice of stopping and refocusing when I want to rush through it.

    Good of luck with your studying and practices!
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks, justjen!

    I'm the same way: I'm learning that I have a tendency to rush through practice quizzes as I take them here at home (especially on a weekend morning :)).

    I took the second Conrad 250 one this morning and got a 74% icon_sad.gif -- some of the questions are vendor specific and technical, so I don't think that is realistic to the exam. I deliberately tried slowing down (which worked for the first 125 questions), but ultimately finished in about 2 hours again (rushed the second half).

    I jotted down areas I need to work on:
    * Business Continuity
    - RPO, RTO, MTBF, MTTR, etc...

    * Information and Risk Management
    - ISO:2700 series' various sections

    * Cryptography
    - TDES keys
    - Tunnel mode vs. Transport

    * Law
    - Different regulatory laws and the ISC2 canons

    * Software Security
    - 2 phase commit

    Security Architecture
    - Paging vs. swapping
    - TSCEC ratings

    Access Control
    - RADIUS status codes

    The journey continues!
    What's Next? Sans Cyber Security Master's Degree (MSISE) [Currently Enrolled]
    ... Progress { | | | | | | | | | . } // 95%

    CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT
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