CISSP - Passed

storm8582storm8582 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All

I have been studying for the CISSP for the last few months, as I used this site to help me prepare I thought it would be best to "do the right thing" and share my experience. My background is about 8 years in IT, 6 ish of those were security/admin/engineer/support focused. I also have a fair few certs behind me as well (CEH, CCNP, CCNA Sec, VCP, MCSA)

The good news is that I passed, the bad news is (for pre-test takers wanting re assurance) that this exam is “believe the hype” Hard, but for what I felt – all the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I have done hard certs before (the CCNP route nearly killed me!) but I always had the feeling in the exam that if I failed, it would be because I had not worked hard enough/was not intelligent enough for the exam, not through confusing questions. I cannot really say anything here that is not in loads of other posts, I always thought people were exaggerating TBH but indeed no, I felt it hard as well. Most of the “BEST, MOST, WORST” style questions of which there really are a lot of really were hard to understand. Often being reasonably strong technically went against you as I often had further questions to ask. This obviously was not possible so a crazy percentage was just a “best guess” – I never ever got in to a rhythm of things going well, seemed to be 2-3 okay one’s then a string of confusing one’s which really knocked my confidence. You really do have to take the exam to understand it, there should be some kind of CISSP support group for people who have done the exam. :)

The good news is that it really is not super technical. If I had to give one piece of advice it would be to not over study. Most questions didn’t seem to be anything to do with the book, I am confident some people could just walk in and pass it without any studying if they understood the questions, it really is not a technical as the official and Shon Harris books make out.

The Eric Conrad would probably be my suggestion, I have read elsewhere it alone can get you through the exam and I would be inclined to agree, the Shon/Isc2 books may be a great resource for the office, but I found trying to remember 1400 pages just pointless, by the time I had finished one chapter I had forgotten the last one, for me it was a waste of time.
Cybrary as many people have said – it amazing. The fact you can see Kelly narrate seems to help with you drifting off, she is also great ay describing the concepts and the level of depth is good, I cannot recommend these enough.

I also used the CCCure questions for the month before, these are good to be honest, the mode where it tells you the answer after every question was very useful, and really helped drill in key concepts. I looked through various other resources whilst studying, but I really would say that Eric Conrad, CCCUre questions and cybrary would have been good enough. I used the 2012 material btw and googled the differences, I think cccure has a “what’s new” section on the site somewhere (for free) – this helped with the new stuff.

Anyway – after an emotional exam (I literally nearly started crying at one point) – the stress of many questions, married with me being confident going in and kicked to the curb after about 20 questions really took its toll. I really did think I was not passing about 30 questions in, and the fact I had spent so much time and spent so much money on the exam really started to get to me. Looking back TBH I do think I was a bit lucky, I would love to know my score, I can’t have been much off a fail, there were just so many 50/50 questions that were that was due to obscurity or (what I felt) not enough info provided.

Anyway, was only in there 2 hours (I am quite a fast test taker, stand me in good stead for Cisco certs!) checked about 10 flagged questions. Upset and frustrated I pressed finish and took the long walk to reception. I took about 10 minutes for the results to come out (IT problems!) but when they did it said congratulations, euphoria was not the word, it was a great moment.

Anyway, I do seem to have rambled somewhat, I hopes this helps people who are still studying. As a last point can I just say my heart goes out to those who have failed the test, I (personally) don’t think it’s a very valid way to measure the exam knowledge, as such I am sure there are people who are miles brighter/tried harder than me who failed unjustly. All I can say is the obvious pick yourself back up and have another go, although with the comical amount of money/another day off work/more studying involved – this is easier said than done.

Good luck all!



Sign In or Register to comment.