GIAC Exam Update Frequency?

iDShaDoWiDShaDoW Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□

-Attended SEC504 Hakfest 2015 in Alexandria, VA on Nov. 2015
-Purchased discounted exam voucher (deadline for exam is tomorrow)
-Unsure if I'm quite ready for the test and considering purchasing a 45-day extension

Any idea how often they update the exam? I'd hate to purchase the extension and find out there's new material on the exam that wouldn't be covered in my 6 course books and I end up failing anyway and be out $1k instead of $650.

I e-mailed them to find out but will probably call to get a quicker answer (assuming they can give one) considering the time crunch I'm in.

Was hoping someone might have an idea as my instructor had mentioned in passing they update the exams fairly often and suggested that everyone take the exams ASAP.

Thanks for any info.


  • 5ekurity5ekurity Member Posts: 346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I took SEC504 in Florida last November and took the exam about a week and a half ago. All of the material you need to pass is covered by the books, and a good index will help you out a lot.

    That being said, with regards to the update frequency - my experience has been that they make smaller updates more frequently as opposed to complete overhauls of the curriculum. A friend of mine has GCIH books from 2008 that still covers some of the same material in 2015.
  • iDShaDoWiDShaDoW Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I see, I think that'd be fine then if there's only a couple questions here and there that might be new content (or better even just re-written) vs some large overhaul of new material not covered in my books causing me to fail horribly.

    Appreciate the response and your actual post on the GCIH and course review which I had read through earlier.

    Hopefully a few more respond so I can get a good consensus on this. Chances are, I'll purchase the extension anyway and really get going on the studying and take it before the 45 days.
  • 5ekurity5ekurity Member Posts: 346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    No problem, I hope it was beneficial for you.

    I would recommend purchasing the extension for the simple facts that you (or your organization) has spent the money to send you to the event, you've invested (or are committing to invest) a significant amount of time studying and building and index, and that you haven't come this far to not pass the exam.

    I'd rather drop a couple hundred dollars to get a good understanding of the information and pass the exam than to try and rush something. The key is, of course, to understand the material - the cert and the letters are secondary to the knowledge gained. Good luck to you!
  • 636-555-3226636-555-3226 Member Posts: 975 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I don't think materials from November 2015 will be that out-of-date. I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe if you do your 4-year renewal (if you do, after you pass) you'll see some new material. Worry about that then.
  • TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't think materials from November 2015 will be that out-of-date.

    I agree, it's not like they are completely redesigning the test every few months. Most likely they are adding (and subtracting) a few questions for each revision. Taking the test 6 months after the course, your proably looking at a 10 to 15 question delta at worse case between the tests, even if you get all of them all wrong, (-5%) chances are if you know the material, you still going to pass. Now if you took the course in 2014, after two years I estimate your looking at a 40 to 60 questions difference, at -20% that's significant.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • iDShaDoWiDShaDoW Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    All the input is much appreciated. I had actually e-mailed GIAC as well (on 03/29/16) and here is the official response I was given:
    Thanks for your message. Since your Sec504 course and GCIH certification attempt were purchased together, you can rest assured that the versions are the same and will remain the same, regardless of the number of extensions and/or retakes purchased.

    The exam updates only apply to brand new certification attempts purchased and activated in candidates' accounts after the updates have been released.

    You may purchase a 45-day GCIH extension for $349 by logging into your SANS/GIAC account and clicking on "Certification Attempts" and then "Purchase Extension." The extension option will be available in your SANS/GIAC account 15 days before your March 30th deadline through 30 days after and will add 45 days to your current deadline, regardless of when you purchase it.
    Feel free to let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you. Otherwise, best wishes on your upcoming exam!

    Definitely going to purchase the extension. Hopefully I can get my company to reimburse the extension fee as well once I pass since they cover exam fees (if I didn't purchase it ahead of time it would've been the full price anyway and not the $650 + $350).
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