Passed 12-19-15 first try - a method recap

sevenate910sevenate910 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello All,<br>
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Long time listener, first time caller (the older folks will get it). Well today was the day I passed the infamous CISSP exam ... 7 years after I went to my boot camp. To be honest the boot camp freaked me out initially and life got in the way so it has taken me some time to finally get this done. My background is 20 plus years in telecommunications and IT, mostly in management positions. I wouldn't say I'm strong or deep in the technical disciplines but I do understand the "way things work". Here is a recap of what worked for me and what materials I used to prepare.<br>
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- cccure practice tests: Highly recommend just for the ability to buzz through volumes of practice quizzes and identify what areas/domains you need to focus on. The explanations accompanying the questions were exceptional in most cases. <br>
- Shon Harris mp3s: (downloaded from cccure site and listened in the car to/from work, about 45mins each way). These were an excellent resource to get an in depth explanation of the material/concepts. I learn better listening than reading.<br>
- Shon Harris CISSP Practice Exams (2nd Ed): This was an OK resource; I found the questions to be a little too technical and "deeper" than what I was seeing on cccure and in my other materials. Explanations of the answers were great though. <br>
- Shon Harris CISSP AIO (6th Ed): Used as my secondary reading resource. Excellent content, you will get more than you need from this book in my opinion, I found it was easy to get lost in the material. It’s a great book to use in the real IT world though. The practice chapter tests are an excellent resource. The book also came with Total Tester software which I used to take full 250 question practice exams (as a break/change from cccure).<br>
- ISC2 Sybex Official Study Guide (7th Ed). This was my primary reading reference and the only study material I used that had reorganized the domain material into the 2015 domain format. I used this and the CISSP Exam Outline to ensure I was staying on track with my studies. (https://www.isc2.org/uploadedfiles/%28isc%292_public_content/exam_outlines/cissp-exam-outline-april-2015.pdf). <br>
- Cybrary (free) CISSP videos (https://www.cybrary.it/course/cissp/). I found out about these on this forum and I have to tell you they were AWESOME! Kelly does an amazing job going over the material. This is absolutely a supplemental resource but it does provide a very, very good review of all the pertinent info (I think the videos are about 15 hrs all together). HIGHLY RECOMMEND!<br>
- ISC2 CISSP CBK (4th Ed): Didn’t use at all, not a very good book in my opinion, I think you will get much more out of the Shon Harris and Sybex book. <br>
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Here are some lessons learned/tips I'd offer as well:<br>
- Pay attention to the concepts the questions and instructors reinforce, this conceptual understanding should form the basis for your rationale on answering the questions. Especially if you see multiple “right” answers. I asked myself what concept they were trying to reinforce and it seemed to help. <br>
- Apply the question to a real world example if you can, this helped me navigate my way to what I believed was the right answer. When I checked the answer the logic checked out in most cases. <br>
- Be familiar with the ISC2 Exam Outline and know HOW what you are studying maps back to the Exam Outline <br>
- Keep doing the practice quizzes until you can score over 80% consistently, this worked well for me. Take a bunch of practice quizzes, you can't do enough.<br>
- Since not all of the published study material have caught up to the 2015 domain change I think it's important to understand how the old domains map to the current domain structure. This helped me focus and align my study with the older material and the Sybex book. (http://www.studynotesandtheory.com/cissp-exam-domains-old-vs-new/)<br&gt;
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Last but not least, don't rush your prep but when you are ready - JUST DO IT! If you put in the time and prepare accordingly you will be just fine. Best of luck!! Thanks to all who contribute to this forum as well, it definitely helped me achieve my goal. <br>

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