First Time Pass 5/3/17! (Long)

wootwoot!wootwoot! Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,
I passed today and am really pumped up as I had read about the failure rate for first time test takers and how much time people put into the test. I was a first time test taker and have about 4 weeks into studying. So I am so glad to have passed!
I wanted to give feedback as to what I used to pass and what materials I used since I lurked here and read everyone's posts. I used rootlo0p post on this forum as a template for my prepping for this test.
I have been in the IT industry for 20 years. I have worked with most of the tech domains 4&5, know a little programming and have a broad range of skills over the years. I do not have any management experience per se but make some managerial type decisions for the company I work for regarding BCP, DRP, and touching on things like HIPPA and other compliances. My tough areas going into this test I figured would be Manager experience and SDLC.
Sybex CISSP Official Study Guide latest edition
Sybex CISSP Official Practice Tests
11th Hour CISSP Guide
I did not use any other material or practice test though I did watch Kelly's first domain on cybrary she is great but I am more of a book learner so the Sybex book really helped me learn the material.
4 Weeks from start to finish ~ 120 Hours
I read though the Study Guide a chapter at a time and took the domain tests. I went back and learned what I was missing or why I did not know the answer to a question. I would then take the chapter test a second time to verify I knew most of the material in that domain. I did all 8 domains in this fashion. This took me 3 weeks.
I then took the Official practice tests and scored ~ 75-80% on both of them. I then used all the questions I missed from the domains and practice questions to create a quiz to test over these areas. I kept taking practice questions and looking up info on the web or the Sybex Guide every day. I also browsed through the 11th hour Guide 3x and scheduled my test. The last few days I kept taking practice questions on tough areas for me SDLC was a big one as well as DB terms, SSO Federations, and I read up on a few other smaller topics.
I figured getting 80% on the practice exams was good enough and I felt I had learned the material as well as I could without trying to memorize every little protocol and ISO. My biggest worry going in was I would get ISOed or ITILed to death but I did not have the time or inclination to memorize all those at this point. So I took the test!
The Exam
I started the exam and it was on par or probably a little easier than the Sybex tests in most ways. They were a little more difficult in some ways as they asked more managerial type questions or big picture questions and had answers that looked the same. About 100 questions in I started feeling as though I was doing a good job. The questions had the descriptors in bold for you so they stood out like BEST, FIRST, etc. Also I did not get any trick questions that I can recall, everything was pretty straight forward. I took a quick break at the 125 question mark and started the test again. MAKE SURE YOU TAKE A BREAK! The next 100 questions seemed to get harder and I got pounded on SDLC, Federations, BCP, and DR along with CIA were the largest pool of questions for me. I had about 10 drag and drops. Once I hit the 250 question mark I went back and reviewed the questions I had marked (I only marked 5 and change 1 of them). The last bit of the test is tough as I was having to reread the question because I was getting test fatigue. I was pretty sure I had passed the test because I felt I did really well on the first 100 questions and that the last 50 weren't enough to fail me. I clicked finished ran up to check my print out to see I passed!

The only way to pass this test is to learn the material either by having a ton of experience in the domains previously. I have a ton of experience in 2-3 domains so I had to study all the domains as the domains tie into one another.
You may be able to do this faster but 3-4 weeks was pushing it for me and I felt prepared once I started the test. Good luck to you all!


  • averageguy72averageguy72 Senior Member Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    CISSP / CCSP / CCSK / CRISC / CISM / CISA / CASP / Security+ / Network+ / A+ / CEH / eNDP / AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty / AWS Certified Security - Specialty / AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional / AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional / AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate / AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate / AWS Certified Developer - Associate / AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • shimasenseishimasensei BSc IT, CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F Member Posts: 241 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations! That's a good blueprint to follow, especially if you have the relevant experience.
    Current: BSc IT + CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F, MCSA:Win10
    Future Plans: MSc + PMP, CCIE/NPx, GIAC...
  • KyrakKyrak CISSP, PMP, MCSE CP&I, VCP5/6, CCNA R&S/Sec/Cyber Ops, ITIL, A+/N+/Sec+ Member Posts: 143 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great post! My background is similar to yours and I'm trying to squeeze mine in before a planned vacation in a month. Hopefully I can pull it off!
    Up next: On Break, but then maybe CCNA DC, CCNP DC, CISM, AWS SysOps Administrator
  • pinksjpinksj Member Posts: 89 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on the success!!!
  • sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats for this success. Great post
  • D113D113 Member Posts: 19 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the feedback. I finished the Sybex book a couple of weeks ago and just finished the 11th Hour guide today. I was debating purchasing practice tests online, but I will probably go with the Sybex practice tests only.
  • dangl1122dangl1122 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • fasi999fasi999 Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    congrats I failed few days ago also very close scored 686 icon_sad.gif
  • Deadly-DosageDeadly-Dosage Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
  • CryptoQueCryptoQue PMP, CISSP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA, CCDA, CCENT, NET+, SEC+, ITILv3 VirginiaMember Posts: 205 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • nnethinnethi Registered Users Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for sharing your views
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