Passed CISSP on May 28

tuanp703tuanp703 Posts: 10Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I passed the CISSP exam yesterday (1st attempt).The exam was a beast. It tested both your knowledge, reason skill, and mental resiliency. Around question 180 or so, I felt like I was fending off a DDoS from an army of zombies. I took a short break and resumed my combats to complete the test with about 35 minutes remaining.

My preparation started in Mid March. I studied on my own using several resources:

1) CISSP 3rd edition, Eric Conrad, Seth Misenar and Joshua Feldman
2) CISSP Official Study Guide, 7th ed, James Stewart, Mike Chapple, Darril Gibson
3) 11th Hour CISSP, 2nd edition, Eric Conrad.
4) Cybrary video -

I started my reading from the item 3 below get the basis understanding. Eric Conrad is an excellent author as he summarized key points and cut through the noise. I then started with item #2. This resource is extremely too technical and difficult to understand. Alll 3 authors have conflicting ways of writing and it makes the reading difficult. I struggled through it but abandoned the book 3/4 of the way in. I picked up with Item #1 and cleared the book in late April. As I read these books, I extracted my own notes and created my flash cards using quizlet. Starting in May, I drilled through these flash card (there were around 1100 cards/concepts) about two weeks before the trainingcamp class. During all these times, I did not run through any practice exam other than those review questions at the end of the chapter of the Item #1 and #2

I attended a CISSP bootcamp prep from a Trainingcamp the week that led into the exam on Saturday. My instructor was able to drill the many topics of CISSP into terms/concepts that I understood clearly. I stayed focus throughout the bootcamp. I turned off my phone so that I don't track emails to be fully focus. I listened to the instructor, took notes (3 pads over 5 days, one side only) and converted those into flashcard nightly. I studied ONLY from the camp flashcard nightly for about 4 hours. Every morning, I asked the instructor questions I did not understand. Perhaps my previous self-training did help with the materials but the bootcamp clearly helped filter out the details that matter. My instructor also helped the class with test taking strategies, and for me, I am 100% confident that, for me, these matter to my passing the test. The boot camp gives an assessment on Friday. I reviewed to understand why I did not get the questions correct. I did not do well for the preparation I have taken into the exam. I scored only 75% on the assessment. I knew right then that the issue is how I see the question and answer.

Friday night, after the flash card review, I re-worked through all the assessment questions to practice how to picking out the keywords or terms that the answer must address for the question --- it is mental exercise of test taking. I found that If I cover up the answer choices while reading the question, I get a better understanding allowing me to eliminate the answers down to may be 1 or 2 close choices. I also noted that I need to read the question several times.

For the CISSP test I used the erasable book they gave you, to cover the answers for each of the questions. I do this for EACH question so that I can stay focus on understanding what does the answer have to be. It does work and I was able to see bad answers.

Hope all these details help you to better prepare for your CISSP exam.

Background - most of my recent experience is in information assurance directly in IT for the past 7 years but over 20+ years in risk and engineering management in FDA regulated industries (drug, devices). I did also studied and received a Security+ in February 2016 as well.



  • protacticusprotacticus Posts: 91Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations Tuan, your systematic way of learning pay off.
  • tuanp703tuanp703 Posts: 10Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    One important thing I did want to share is that you should know the terms and concepts on the flashcards provided from Quizlet for CISSP from ISC2Education. This is FREE and they are updated to the current domains. Make sure that you are using the ISC2Education flashcards.
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