Passed CISSP : 19th May (1st Attempt)

Ultra256Ultra256 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
Passed the CISSP Exam Yesterday (19th May).

First of all I would like to thank the below people for all the assistance provided during this ride.

1.Shon Harris : Thanks to Shon Harris for introducing me to the world of CISSP. It is through the Shon Harris AIO book I got a kick start to the CISSP Adventure. I am wholeheartedly dedicating my CISSP to Shon Harris. You have been a wonderful teacher,pioneer and a Champion. # RIP

2.Clement Dupuis : Thanks for the wonderful Quiz engine. The was a wonderful confident booster and helped me to understand the technical stuffs more in depth. Although the real exam is completely different from the quiz engine, it will help you to gauge your preparedness level for the exam. Also thanks for that personal mail which he send as reply to my query on which resource I should go with while preparing the exam.

3.Authors of Sybex 7th Edition (James Michael Stewart, Mike Chapple, Darril Gibson) : This book was my primary and sole resource along with which helped me to pass the exam.

4.Last but not the least My Wife and Parents: Thanks to my wife for her support by managing our three year old son single handily for the past three months and keeping me motivated all along. Now it is payback time for me. :) Love You!

My Background
CISA certified with five years of industry experience.

My Resources for preparation

Text Book: Sybex 7th Edition
This is the only book which I referred for the exam. The beauty of this book it divided the eight domains into different chapters which is very helpful for planning and scheduling your studies. All the concepts are wonderfully explained with right examples and real world scenarios. This book is a must have resource for all the CISSP aspirants. I had refer to the Official CBK guide for more granular understanding of different categories of Orange Book (TCSEC) and ITSEC. I would give this book 9/10. I don’t mind even giving 10/10.

Sybex FLASH Cards
Very good resource to just run through the concepts and helps to memorize the stuffs.

Sybex Bonus Exams
I got the feel of the exam through Sybex Bonus Exams. These exams were more focused on the concepts rather than the technical stuffs. I did all the four bonus exams and was scoring around 80 %.
This quiz engine was more focused on the technical stuffs. The good thing about the quiz engine was I was able to identify my weak areas and focus more on those. There dashboard is really amazing and helps to identify which areas you are good at and the areas where you need to spend more time. The quiz engine also teaches some new and very important testable stuffs which are not part of the Sybex 7th Edition.

So for me it was Sybex 7th Edition and which did the trick.

The Real EXAM on May 19th
This exam was a reality check! Yes, it is a marathon. Once you start the exam you feel that it’s never going to end. By the way I reached half way mark around questions I was exhausted. I had some extremely bad experiences at the Test centre which I will explain in the end of the thread.

The reason I said the exam a reality check because, I was doing all my mock tests, bonus exams, Quizzes etc. I was doing all the exams by choosing the 250 Questions. I used to complete those within 2hrs. So I had a mind-set that, I would finish the real exam in 2 hrs. But once It started, it was going on and on and on. It took me 5 hrs. and 30 minutes to complete the exam with 4-5 breaks in between each not lasting more than 2-3 minutes.

The questions were tricky - I had to choose the best answer among the two most probable answers which were extremely close. That takes a toll on your mind, You will have to do lots and if’s and but’s in your mind and choose the right answer. You are not challenged on the technical stuffs, it is more focused on which technology will be best applicable in a particular scenario. And there were lots of management oriented questions which looked straight forward but once you go through the options (A,B,C,D) you will get confused and have to choose the best among the two.

Until you receive that Printed sheet from the proctor, you won’t have any idea whether you have passed or not. And finally the proctor will come up with a surprise.:) The important thing is just focus on one question at a time. The previous questions might have been tough, forget about it and only focus on the question which is on the screen and march on. If you get stuck in some question or are confused on the best answer just flag it and review at the end of the exam.

Weird experience at the Exam Centre

1.I was supposed to receive the result sheet right away at the end of the exam. But my proctor told me that I would receive it via e-mail or can check it through pearson online portal in 2 days’ time. I told him, that’s not true and I need the hard copy right away. The reason he was not able to give me the result sheet was strange, the centre printer was out of Toner Ink. How weird it can be, I had spent three months grilling over the books and 5 and half hours over the exam and Finally I can’t get the results because there is no Ink in the toner!!! I didn’t had the energy to argue with him as I was exhausted and I told him to send me the scancopy once he get the Ink. Three hours later I got a scan copy of my results mentioning that I had passed the exam. But those three hours were like Hell…..

2.There was a candidate next to me who was appearing for some test for immigration purpose. She was reading out the questions on the screen in a mild voice which I could overhear and it was extremely distracting.

3.There was one more candidate who was appearing for immigration test. He had a Typing test. He was going haywire on the keyboard to showcase his typing speed which generated really bad keyboard sound which was highly distracting. Luckily by the time this guy came in I had completed around 220 Questions. So I had to bear this guy only for 30 Questions.

4.There was a cleaning lady who came to the exam hall with all the cleaning stuff, which obviously was distracting.

Final Thought
It was highly rewarding to get the PASS result after going through all these experiences. My advice to all the aspirants is just spend more time on understanding the concepts and how you will apply it in a particular scenario. No need to memorize anything. You choose an exam date and start preparing by keeping the date as the target. Focus more on doing the Quizzes once you are done with the concepts.

So All the CISSP aspirants, Just march on…..Until you reach your CISSP Destination.

I might have missed out on sharing some stuff here. I am still feeling exhausted after all the preparation and exam grilling. Just pop in the questions if you need any more details.


  • webpriestesswebpriestess Member Posts: 82 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey Man! Congratulations! Thank you for the wonderful write up. That's so nice that you took time to shout out to those who you felt really helped you through your CISSP adventure :)

    Didn't they have sound muffling devices at your test center? The testing center that I went to does. I brought ear plugs with me just in case. I would need those and blinders around my eyes. The cleaning lady would have made me mad, which would have made me unfocused, etc. Good for you for getting through it!

    And the test center running out of toner??? I'd be like "We going to Staples!" Oh man, that was probably a very long three hours.

    You deserve to celebrate! Many congratulations to you :)
  • Ultra256Ultra256 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Test center had nothing there.... They didnt even bother to check their printer toner ink....forget abt the sound muffling devices.
  • harrym1harrym1 Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations Ultra. Thank you for the write up.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
  • Swimfan2516Swimfan2516 Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats dude! Good writeup.
  • coffeeisgoodcoffeeisgood Member Posts: 136 ■■■□□□□□□□

    I passed this week as well & forgot to mention the

    chapter Sybex 7th edition official CISSP Study guide Bonus Exams
    do those because they focus on the "concept"

    I also agree with you "time" difference of CCCure test's 250 questions & the actual exam is crazy.
    I would get done with CCCure's test 250 questions in approx 3 hours, the real exam I took over 5!

    not having toner would have really pissed me off but at the end your brain is so fried

    congrats again!
  • sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • DAVIS NGUYENDAVIS NGUYEN Member Posts: 1,472 ■■■□□□□□□□
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