Passed CISSP 5-8-2017

aspiringsoulaspiringsoul Member Posts: 314
I will keep this initial post short for the sake of brevity. I passed the exam yesterday on my first attempt. It was difficult, but I felt very prepared for the exam, and I was rather confident when I submitted my answers after four hours.

My strategy was simple, pick an answer for every question, even if I'm not sure if it's correct, and flag for review if unsure.

After answering all 250 questions, I reviewed the questions that I had marked for review, decided on an answer, then unflagged the question and proceeded to the next flagged question.

I made one final pass on all 250 questions before submitting. No idea what my score was, but it doesn't matter since I passed!

Materials used:
  • CISSP Study Guide, Third Edition (Eric Conrad)
  • CISSP (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional Official Study Guide, 7th Edition (Sybex)
  • CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition 7th Edition (Shon Harris)
  • Cybrary Videos/MP3s (Kelly Handerhan)
I've been studying for a couple of months....I had wanted to wait until I finished the MS:ISA at WGU before sitting this exam.

For those of you who intend to sit this exam, please let me know if you have any questions. Good luck to each of you.
Education: MS-Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, BS-Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University, AAS-Computer Network Systems - ITT Tech,


  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,126 ■■■■■■■■■□
    First congratulation! Your test technique is the same as mine. I did this at the SSCP in March and at first I flagged many question based on nervousity, but as I answered more question, I felt more confident, and came back to those first questions.

    CISSP is next for me... Same books and material than you. I hope to pass it late june, just before my holidays.

    What is your next step? CCSP?
  • JasminLandryJasminLandry Member Posts: 601 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass!
  • averageguy72averageguy72 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
  • PalwashaPalwasha Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! If you don't mind me asking, did you use any Practice exam(s)?
  • shimasenseishimasensei Member Posts: 241 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations! Now you can change your avatar to CISSP :)
    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...
  • cisco4lifecisco4life Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • pinksjpinksj Member Posts: 89 ■■□□□□□□□□
  • sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • carlettuscarlettus Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I saw you've studied on 3 different books. Do you think it was really necessary to pass the exam ?
    Coul it be a good approach to first see the videos then study on ONLY one book?
    Thank you
  • TankerTTankerT Member Posts: 132
    Congrats on the pass!
  • Sam_aquaSam_aqua Member Posts: 72 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have Sybex 7th Edition and Conrad's 3rd edition as well. Would you still recommend to buy Shon Harris 7th Edition? Please advise. Thank you.
  • dragonfly_222dragonfly_222 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I passed the CISSP on the 9th. I did have Shon's book and mostly used it for reference. I read the whole first domain, but found I wasn't really retaining things very well. After that used it mostly to dig deeper in on concepts I wasn't understanding very well. What seemed to work best for me was taking lots of practice tests. I went over every question, regardless if I got it right or wrong, read the explanation to see why I got it wrong (or right..some questions I got right for the wrong reason) and then dug into concepts I didn't know in the various books. I found each book had a different angle on things, so I felt I got a pretty well rounded understanding by reading different points of view.

    Test engines I used were:
    • CCCure (primarily),
    • Trancender (I had access from a Global Knowledge class I took),
    • Sybex,
    • CISSP for Dummies,
    • Shon's book - I had both her 7th addition and the 4th edition test book.
    Books I used were:
    • Shon's 7th edition,
    • 11th Hour CISSP, 3rd Ed, Eric Conrad (read cover to cover),
    • CISSP for Dummies,
    • Sybex book which I got digitally with the class.
    Other things used were:
    • Sunflower document
    • Cybrary CISSP class - this is a great class and I highly recommend it. I spent the time sitting down and listening to the whole thing through once, then listened to it every time I was in the car or out for a walk. Kelly H. has some great tips and hints to help you remember things.
    • Quizlet for digital flashcards. Personally, I found the flashcards very helpful.. knowing the definitions of things helped me on questions I might not really have understood, but since I knew what x, y or z was, I was often able to guess correctly on that knowledge alone for the practice tests.
    I think at the end of the day, you just need to find how you learn best and do that.. everyone is different. Personally, reading the books cover to cover don't really help me retain as well as doing the quizzes and learning concepts as I go. Reading the 11th hour after I'd done 2500+ questions did help as a final review.

    HTH. Good Luck!
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on your pass. It's nice that you were able to get your results so quickly, rather than wait for a couple weeks.

    I like how the CISSP gives you the option to go back to review your answers, there are other tests where that isn't the case. For my CISSP, I made a couple of review passes through the entire test (and changed some answers) until I was satisfied I had a good answer for all the questions.
  • aspiringsoulaspiringsoul Member Posts: 314
    I wanted to respond to some of your questions.


    Skip the Shon Harris Book (as much as I love her), there is too much superfluous information in the book that you will not even see on the exam. The Sybex and Conrad Books are sufficient to prepare for the exam.


    Definitely not necessary to use three books to prepare for this exam. Honestly, I over-studied for this exam, and I used more resources than what was necessary. You could probably pass using the Eric Conrad book alone, but I think you'll be more prepared if you use the Sybex and Eric Conrad's books.


    Yes, I used the Sybex Practice Exams, and the Shon Harris Practice exams. The Shon Harris practice exams are junk though IMO. The Sybex practice exams helped to prepare me for the exam, but I didn't spend much time taking Practice exams, maybe 2 days.


    Next Steps? OSCP. Then CASP (not sure about this one yet), CISA, CISM. Maybe some SANS courses if I can get executive buy-in. I think I'm done worrying about Vendor Certifications such as Cisco and Microsoft though.

    I hope this addresses your questions. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

    Good luck everyone!
    Education: MS-Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, BS-Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University, AAS-Computer Network Systems - ITT Tech,
  • Deadly-DosageDeadly-Dosage Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Nicely done! I tend to like SANS courses! Best of luck to get the buy in on them. They saved us from quite a few headaches!
  • deepthiknairdeepthiknair Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on clearing the exam. Did you feel that the CISSP exam is easier/tougher compared to the sybex practice test?
  • clarkincnetclarkincnet Member Posts: 256 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! Awesome job!
    Give a hacker an exploit, and they will have access for a day, BUT teach them to phish, and they will have access for the rest of their lives!

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