Personal challenge - CISSP within one month

ArnoFrankenArnoFranken Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi guys,

Through this post I want to share my study plan of my personal challenge: getting CISSP within one month!

Why in one month?
Currently, I am almost 7 years in the field of financial audit & IT-audit. With both a BSc as MSc degree in Auditing, I am now following the part-time post-master course to become a qualified financial controller (in The Netherlands: RC). Besides that I am married and have two lovely kids. For me, it is just not working combining this life with a CISSP study plan for several months. So, then I started thinking about it and talking to people. Can it be done in just a month besides working? Yes, I think it's possible and that drives me forward to it.
So, how did you start?
The first thing I did was creating an account on Pearson Vue ICS^2 and booking the exam: April 11th, 2016. So, no arguments to become lazy, go!

And then?
I looked at different study materials. The official CISSP book is really not working for me. Way too heavy (both physically and mentally) and it meant that I had to read and understand 50 pages a day, where day is defined as: '20.00PM-0:00AM'. So, I bought the ' CISSP Study Guide 3rd Edition' of Eric Conrad and started reading from chapter 1. Everything that seems important to me, I write down. Besides that, I downloaded the Audio Course of Shon Harris (be warned: it needs to be updated to the CBK 2015) and listens every day 2 hours to it when travelling to my work (1 hour to and 1 hour from my work). See: McGraw-Hill Education | CISSP Practice Exams

Where are you now?
Yesterday, I finalized reading (and writing down my notes) the CISSP Study Guide. Besides that, I started with making practice questions of CCC (, every day a minimum of 50 questions. Although I read posts on the internet telling these questions are not really representative to the real exam, it helps me to remember key things.

Today I got a new idea and already started with it: all Acronyms (and their meaning) of CISSP can be questioned on the exam. So I created an account on a online word-tester (some old-school platform I regular used on high school for learning French/German words icon_wink.gif) and started typing in each CISSP acronym and its meaning. By this platform, I can test myself. The platform will show the acronym, then I can try to think about the meaning for a couple of seconds and then the answer will be showed automatically. That platform has also an iPhone app, so I can test myself everywhere (waiting in the supermarket, in the traffic, while waiting on the dentist etc.). And don't think of this to be stupid, I mean, consider that you need to know about 900-1000 acronyms (look at the Glossary of the CISSP Study Guide of Eric Conrad). Of course, it is important that you understand the concepts for the long-term, but on the short-term, you really just need to know that XP means Extreme Programming, that TOCTOU means Time of Check/Time of Use etc. Knowing the meaning of an acronym can really help during the exam I think.

What will you do next this?
From now on, I will only make practice questions, looking up my false answers, learning the acronyms, reading the Code of Ethics and finalizing the Audio Course of Shon Harris.

How do you think about your exam on the 11th of April?
I really don't know what I have to expect. I mean, the practice questions are going well and recently I found some other practice resources as well (I will share them asap). But all is just an approximation of the real exam. I think I need not to understimate the 6 hours length of the exam and the impact this will have on my concentration. But we will see.

I will keep you informed of how things are going and will share the practice websites asap.




  • ClmClm CISSP | CISM | CCSP | CCSK | AWS Architect Professional | Terraform Associate | PSM Member Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
    can you do it in one month yes but you definitely have to put hours of study a day in it. If I was going to do it again an do it in one month it would be like this

    Week 1: Kelly Handerhan Cybrary IT
    Week 2: Eric Conrad 3rd Edition
    Week 3: Transcenders test All of them
    Week 4:Skim Eric Conrad on weak points from Transcender/ Kelly H again and Sunflower notes on the day of the test
    Also book your exam in the evening
    I find your lack of Cloud Security Disturbing!!!!!!!!!
    Connect with me on LinkedIn

  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Best of luck!
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • mistabrumley89mistabrumley89 Member Posts: 356 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Personal experience.
    2012: 2 week bootcamp
    2015: 2 weeks of reading the AIO and watching CBT Nuggets. (12 hrs a day)
    Result: Pass icon_cheers.gif

    Definitely possible.
    Goals: WGU BS: IT-Sec (DONE) | CCIE Written: In Progress
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    2 weeks of reading the AIO and watching CBT Nuggets. (12 hrs a day)

    12 hours a day... I think someone could pass it in 2 weeks easily with just that! icon_study.gif
  • mistabrumley89mistabrumley89 Member Posts: 356 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It was pretty tedious. It's hard to stay focused for that long. I'd say about 3 of the 12 hours each day was spent thinking and dreading how many pages I had left to finish each chapter lol.
    Goals: WGU BS: IT-Sec (DONE) | CCIE Written: In Progress
  • ArnoFrankenArnoFranken Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah!! Passed my CISSP exam yesterday. So happy!

    It was really a tough period these 4-weeks, but I got it. So I immediately started preparing all docs for the endorsement. Since I do not know a CISSP in my direct environment, I have to go through the assisted endorsement process, which requires a lot of documentation icon_smile.gif
  • IaHawkIaHawk Member Posts: 188 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Very well done!

    I'm about 33 days out and close to pulling the trigger on a 30 day access of CCC practice questions, did you stick to your 50 questions a day? Any other tips for someone a month away from the exam?

    Congrats again!
  • ArnoFrankenArnoFranken Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi IaHawk.

    Thanks! I advice the CCC practice questions, I also had a 30 day access. It helps you to better understand and remember the concepts. Read the explanations to the answers, also from the ones you had right.

    And, having still a month available, I would suggest to listen the free Audio Course of Shon Harris if you haven't done already.

    Good luck!
  • titsmcgeetitsmcgee Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've been studying for 2.5-3 weeks. I already scheduled my exam for the 28th, although, I really want to take it earlier but nothing was available. I think i'm ready. I just read sybex 7th but all of this stuff already makes sense to me. I'm finishing Sybex tonight (last chapter) and i'm gonna read the eleventh hour, then go over the test questions till exam date and i'll be good.
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