Failed - 1/6/2015 695.

ericrrrericrrr Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
I hope the following helps some of you, cause failing after putting this much work into something really stings.

The first time i took this in AUG 2015, i got admit i half ass'd it. Only studied for two weeks. After I failed that test with 672. I decided to take a one week long boot camp. Ever since then, Ive been studying, going on 6 months, and HARD. (At least 3 hours every day, not exaggerating). I didn't want to leave anything to chance. I am still warping my brain around why I failed this morning, obviously I didn't do something right.

What I studied:
Did 5k+ CCCure Questions. Flash card for every wrong answer.
I pretty much memorized everything, SDLC, CMMI, OSI, ports, attacks, you name it, it turns out the memorization was only the first step, having applied these concept in the real world really helps, but at the very least you need to know the application.

Used the following books as references (and to gain different perspectives)
I did ALL of the end-of chapter questions (400-500 questions per book)

CBK 4th (I'd avoid)
CISSP dummies
AIO 6th
McGraw Hill
Sybex Guide 2015

Other resources:
Transcender 2015 2000+questions

Exam Experience:

90% Experience knowledge
10% What is the definition, where in the osi is x, etc.
  • Questions and Answers were really tricky. Forget just knowing definitions you need to know second, and/or third order effects.
  • I was constantly trying to figure out what the questions was asking. Reading some of the questions 5-6 times for any hints/clues i could use to determine which of the 4 very vague answers to select.
  • Test was heavy in Software development, BCP, SDLC, Security Assessment.


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    danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear, are you going to try again? You should. When you say you used the Sybex book as a reference, meaning you didn't read the whole thing? Did you do the Sybex questions? What is your background and do you have any certs prior to this one? I see a lot of overlap with the CEH, Sec+, CASP, CCNA and CISSP. Thanks for the write up, you'll get it next time around I'm sure.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
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    gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Awesome score, you almost did it.

    Did you have drag and drop questions?
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    NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You are so close, don't give up! Did you try the Sybex questions and did you read through the entire book, taking notes?
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
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    djasonslickdjasonslick Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh man, so close! I totally understand. I'm gearing up for my 3rd attempt now.
    I have to say I underestimated the first time and then the second time I thought I had it. I really did. I about fell over in lobby when I saw the print out.
    Nothing anybody says makes you feel much better, but I do know the feeling. Let's knock this thing out next time!
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    RobicusRobicus Member Posts: 144 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great attitude djasonslick! I'm sure the third attempt will be money and it will feel awesome!
    What's Next? eLearnSecurity's eCIR

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    cbkihongcbkihong Member Posts: 52 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awesome score, you almost did it.

    Did you have drag and drop questions?

    Not the OP, but I guess everybody should get a small number of drag-n-drop questions, including those that requests you to mark a location with mouse on a diagram. That's in line with what ISC2 has mentioned with respect to the "innovative questions". I also saw a few myself.

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    havoc64havoc64 Member Posts: 213 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sorry bout the fail, hang in there, it sounds like you are close. What was your score on the second attempt?

    When I took the exam, it took me 4 Hours and 44 minutes to complete. For each question I read the answers first. Then read the question. Then read the question again and used my finger to point out the Adverbs and Adjectives. Then looked at the answers again. I first eliminated the obvious answers that did not match the Adverbs or Adjectives. Then made an educated Selection of the remaining answers. If I wasn't 75% sure of my selection, I flagged the question.

    After my first pass, I took a break, went to the restroom, drank a bottle of water and ate a granola bar. Then I reviewed my flagged questions, about 50 of them. I actually changed 11 of the answers, but only changed them if I was 100%. Those that I changed I either selected wrong the first time or the answers were identified by other questions in the exam.

    When I read the answers without reading the question, it forces me to look at all four answers. Sometime when we test we read the question and then start looking at the answers. When our mind sees an answer that is close to correct, it picks it and we "Sometimes" pick that answer without looking at the remaining choices. With some exams, there are two or more right answers, and one has to choose the BEST of those. The Air Force enlisted promotion testing was like this and that is where I picked up the habit of reading the answers first and then identifying the description / defining words in the question.

    Also it seems to me that we can read the questions too fast and miss those defining and/or descriptive words. The adverb and adjectives are those type of words. It's like back in middle school when we had to diagram sentences. Diagram the Noun, Verb, Adverb, Adjectives and Pronouns.

    For me, I read the answers, and then read the question...my mind screams out the Adjectives and/or Adverbs that apply to one or two of the answers. I put my Finger on that word and leave it there. I finish reading the question again and look at the answers. I get rid of the answers that do not work for that adjective and that narrows down the possible answers.

    It really helped me with several of the questions. It also helps me slow down and not speed trough them. Normally I am the first or second person finished with exams. I was the second person out of 20 or so this time. Did I feel I passed the exam after I submitted it? I can't say for sure as I was light headed and exhausted.

    For me, the test was a bear, the first several questions I thought were pretty easy them BAM! The questions became a lot harder and I had to actually think and use my process explained above.


    I cannot stress this enough. If you take the test with a Technician or Engineer mindset...it's not going to work. CISSP is a Management Certification, not a SSCP or Security +.

    Below is what I utilized for my study material, items with the ** I felt were the most benefit.

    Books and study Material in order of my purchase and reading.
    (ISC)2 Official CBK - Hardest book I have ever read, so much fluff..
    CISSP Study Guide, 2E by Eric Conrad
    CISSP Study Guide 11th Hour by Eric Conrad
    **CCCure Practice Exam
    CCCure Review Notes
    **Transcender Practice Exams
    Sunflower Review Notes
    **(ISC)2 Official Study Guide 7th Edition - Sybex
    **Cybrary CISSP videos and MP3s.
    **Combined Notes from here
    **Quizlet (ISC)2 Official Flash Cards (These are free and are the exact same flash cards they gave us at the class)
    **Official (ISC)2 Traning Guide CISSP CBK - Official Training Guide from the class.
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    hilldhilld Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    havoc64 wrote: »

    I cannot stress this enough. If you take the test with a Technician or Engineer mindset...it's not going to work. CISSP is a Management Certification, not a SSCP or Security +.

    This right here is the best advice given. Memorizing questions won't do you any good as they will be different, maybe not the content, but the wording. Having memorized questions will work against you.

    I passed the first time around in just over 3 hours. Here is how I approached it and I have 20 years technical IT experience with about 10 of those both technical and managerial.

    Don't read into the question too far, pick the BEST answer given even if none of them are technically correct. Think Dilbert, not Einstein.

    The test, as has been pointed out so may times, is geared at the management level, make manager decisions, which are often a compromise. Take all the information into consideration and apply critical thinking to come up with a conclusion and go with that one.

    As far as other test taking tips, read the answers from the bottom up (ie start with D, then C, etc until you get to A). Then pick an answer and stick with it. I find that if I second guess myself a lot, I get the questions wrong.

    Good luck with your next attempt.
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    bpennbpenn Member Posts: 499
    hilld wrote: »
    Think Dilbert, not Einstein.

    Excellent way to put that. That is exactly how I felt when I took the exam!
    "If your dreams dont scare you - they ain't big enough" - Life of Dillon
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    E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,232 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Oh man, so close! I totally understand. I'm gearing up for my 3rd attempt now!

    I passed on my 3rd attempt. Good luck to you guys going for it again.
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
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