GCIH Passed - This is my terrible (or maybe not so terrible?) approach

cynicbeardcynicbeard Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
Passed the GCIH exam yesterday! Figured I would post to give a little insight and sound off my thoughts.

After souring web and reading a ton of post on TE, I felt that the GCIH would be the best starting point for me on my SANS cert path. I wanted to take an exam where I was knowledgeable in all domains based on my work experience, so the GCIH seemed to be a good fit.

I challenged the exam. SANS training looks awesome, but I am a consultant, which means the bill is on me. I decided that I would roll the dice and see how things went.

Originally, I scheduled the exam for the end of July after getting my attempt approved on Monday of this week. After taking the practice tests and scoring in the 80's without cracking a book, I decided to jump the gun and change the date (to yesterday). Not to mention my hectic schedule always changes, so scheduling it far out was a stretch for me anyway.

This is what I took away:
  • The actual exam IS HARDER than the practice tests. Here is why... the exam questions are scenario driven and more experience based ("What are you looking at...", "How would your respond...", "What is the next step...") etc. I am not going to lie... it was tough.
  • I was comfortable with the challenge based on my experience. I think many people invest time in the index, because the content is very fresh to them? I don't know, but I didnt have an index for the exam. I know my test taking habits, and I burn up time and second-guess everything if an exam is open book. However, I brought three things with me just in case:
    • The Blue Team Handbook: IR Edition (IR Lifecycle)
    • Red Team Field Manual (To supplement the SANS **** sheets)
    • ALL Tool Related SANS **** sheets and the IR **** sheets from Lenny Zelster.
  • The fact that the exam was facilitated in the way that it was... very impressive. The content was realistic and I felt that it was a true-test of one's understanding of IR and the accompanying technical skills. I truly see the value in SANS and why they are so respected after this experience.
All in all, I scored a 76 and I am very happy with my score. I went in completely cold-turkey, with minimal reference, and nothing but years of working knowledge. Onto GPEN!


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