Passed GSEC today, just made 90%

SuperpeonSuperpeon Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Took the GSEC exam today and passed with exactly 90% :) The whole exam I hovered around 85-88% and then once I hit question 150, my score jumped up to 90% so I decided I'd go for it. At question 165, I dropped to 89% so for the last 15 questions I took about an hour and carefully researched each one. The final question was something insanely obscure.. I still don't think it was in the book lol, I took about 20 mins and combed through my materials, but I couldn't find it and ended up guessing. Guessed wrong, but I still ended up with a 90% so I'm pretty satisfied with that. What exactly is the advisory board anyways?

Here was my experience:

1. I took both practice exams in about 2.5 hours each, scoring 80% both times, mostly because I'm impatient and it was just a practice exam, I just plowed through a lot of the questions.

2. Real exam took me a little over 4 hours - I decided I should carefully research each question, no matter how "easy" it seemed. It was good that I did so because some of the answers I would have selected turned out to be the wrong one.

3. Took a break after question 75, mostly because I had to go to the bathroom

4. I did take the live simulcast SANS401 with Eric Cole almost 4 months ago so I had the book material. My index is 35 pages and I also tagged major key points throughout the book with post it stickies and highlighted

5. There were a handful of questions on the exam that I had absolutely no idea how to answer and my index wasn't complete enough so I could look up the material. In these cases, I just systematically removed answers that were absolutely wrong and then would guess from there.

6. There was 1 question that re-appeared from the practice exam. I didn't think that would happen, it is possible that they worded it differently, but I remember the topic clearly because I got it wrong on the practice exam and made sure I put the right information into my index :)

7. Like I mentioned, I consulted my books/index for about 90% of the test. This might not be advisable for others, but I'm pretty quick with reference materials and I found everything in a timely fashion.

8. Even though I scored better, I found the real test to be more difficult than the practice exams. My opinion is, the practice exams were more straightforward.. you could flip to a page number and find the answer right there. The real exam, there were a lot more scenario questions - you could flip to the page they were referencing but then you needed to use that information to make a decision or solve the problem, the answer wasn't written in.

Not going to lie, studying for this exam was a pain in the butt since I'm also taking part time MBA classes and had several different projects to work on. I think for next year I may start doing some self study for my CISSP. Probably won't take another SANS/GIAC until 2017/2018 unless my company decides they want to give me another course for next year.

Comments

  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,919Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Superpeon wrote: »
    5. There were a handful of questions on the exam that I had absolutely no idea how to answer and my index wasn't complete enough so I could look up the material. In these cases, I just systematically removed answers that were absolutely wrong and then would guess from there.

    Congratulations on passing and your score. Not all the answers are in the books, no matter how good your index is. When I took the test, there were at least three questions that were definitely not in the books. I spent considerable amount of time trying to puzzle out the answer on one, but ended up just guessing. I didn't take a break on my test, finished with almost 30 minutes to spare. The fist half of the test I look up a lot of the questions, used up more than 2 1/2 hours by question 90, but I found a lot of conceptional question on the second half, that I didn't need to look up, made up time.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,844Mod Mod
  • SegoviaSegovia Posts: 119Member
    Congrats!! icon_cheers.gif

    Thanks for your exam review.. I hope to take this someday soon.
    WGU BS - IT Security ... Enrollment Date 10/15 ... Progress 45/124 CU {36%}
  • wolf9081wolf9081 Posts: 61Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass and the high score. Welcome to the SANS / GIAC Advisory Board!
  • gncsmithgncsmith Posts: 459Member ■■■□□□□□□□
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,919Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Superpeon wrote: »
    What exactly is the advisory board anyways?

    I think it has to do with helping to develop future test questions.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,844Mod Mod
    Excerpt from Security: What is the GIAC Advisory Board, (and why does it matter)


    The short answer: the GIAC Advisory Board is a mailing list. The price of admission is to score 90 or higher on a GIAC exam. In other words, it is a meritocracy.

    It was created 15 years ago because the founder of the Global Incident Analysis Center, (er, uh, that too), but actually the Global Information Assurance Certification, realized that certification is hard and that GIAC would need a lot of help and advice to succeed and grow.

    The mailing list is private, to join members sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. They help each other in a number of ways. In addition to commentary about SANS and GIAC processes, they share exam practice tests, help with insights to hard problems and even discuss security vendor products.

    The list can get quite chatty when an interesting thread comes up, so many of the members use the digest mode, (which has its own issues). However, the members that remain on the list feel that the value is worth the trillions of electrons that laid down their life for the cause.
  • KoreKore Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Pardon my ignorance. Is the exam open book?
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,844Mod Mod
    Yes. All GIAC exams allow books and printed notes.
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropePosts: 1,008Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats!
    من طلب عزائم الأمور ، هان عليه بذل النفس فيها - محمد إبن ابي عامر
    www.keyboardbanger.com
  • rudegeekrudegeek Posts: 69Member ■■□□□□□□□□
  • RobicusRobicus CISSP, GSE #202, GSEC, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GMON, GCFE, GCCC, eJPT Posts: 140Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on passing with such a good score! It sounds like you managed your time well and performed your lookups efficiently.

    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
  • tau2014tau2014 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! I'm currently preparing for the exam and I've scheduled it for January 18. I got the chance to attend the live training in November with Bryan Simon and that was a great experience since it was my first SANS training. I have other industry certifications (CISA, PCI QSA) but this is the first technical cert I've done in a while (since CompTIA Net+ and Security+ back in 2007/09!).

    I'm also just done with listening to Eric Cole's audio of the training and I'm going through my **** sheet and all the labs again. Hoping to pass on the first attempt and then on to 501 in March!
  • DAVIS NGUYENDAVIS NGUYEN Posts: 1,472Member ■■■□□□□□□□
  • Infosec LadyInfosec Lady Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations!

    Can you please advise me on how to look up for answers very quickly?
  • quogue66quogue66 GREM GPEN GCIA GSEC GCFE GCFA GCIH GASF GSE (multiple choice) Posts: 165Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats...I'm planning on taking this next
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