Pass July 05 2017 (long)

dayglodayglo Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
Below is a summary of what I did to pass the exam. I may be rambling but then again I just got home...

I've been in the security field for almost 10 years so I may have more "real-world" experience than some others who are new to the field. Then again I never believed in certifications. I always believed that google was your friend and why bother to memorize information when it's all online... until one day I was "RIFFED", and I needed to find a new job..

I then realized that security certifications are like a high school diploma. And all of the kids coming out of school had one. So I decided to get some certifications. I'm over 55 and I have a 15 year old son so I cannot retire anytime soon... My first step was to download some of those "memory tips" videos from youtube and study those. They really helped me to understand what works and what doesn't work in my "AARP" brain.

It took me about four months of studying. I'm not a book person so I concentrated on videos (listening in the car as well at lunch and after work). I varied playback speeds so it didn't sound all the same (using VLC).

For the sybex, all-in-one, and 11th hour books I read the summaries, the exam tips and did the sample exam questions (thank goodness I was able to borrow them from a friend)

I downloaded literally hundreds of hours of videos from youtube as well as several CISSP Podcasts.

If I failed, I was going to purchase all of the Greenblatt videos from youtube as well as have a safari online subscription. That gave me a bit of peace-of-mind as I had a defined fallback plan.

I purchased the udemy CISSP class and accompanying exam questions when they each were on sale for $10. The sample test was a bit harder than the actual exam but in my opinion worth the $10. I also purchased the CISSP official study app and the official test app for $9.99 each.

Finally, I puchased the Boson CISSP app when it was on sale. While that test was a bit too technical, it did have the "drag-and-drop" questions that none of the others had. So in my opinion it was worth it.

So overall I spent about $100 plus the exam cost.

I found the sample tests at mhprofessional to be too technical but the audios were great. The sunflower document was also great.

I joined the facebook cissp groups - very helpful, especially the sample questions. reddit and of course this site were essential as well.

I had a free subscription to Lynda from work, I listened to each lesson twice. I listened to cybrary at the start of my studying, again in the middle, and finally at the "11th hour". Overall I found cybrary to put me in the right "security manager" mindset. They absolutely got me into the correct mindset. I kept repeating "answer like a manager not a techie".

I did a "dry run" of the exam two weeks ahead of time. I drove to the testing center on the same day and time of the actual test, and scoped out the traffic, coffee options, and parking. I'm glad I did as there was alternate-side parking and I had to park three blocks away so it wasn't a surprise the day of the exam. I also bought a protein drink, energy bar, and bottle of water with me... Just like the exam day.

I took one of the sample tests at that time period from in my car at exactly the time I would have started, along with breaks and snacks. Three days before the exam I ate the same thing at each meal and didn't go out anywhere special. I didn't want to take the chance of a cold or bad meal messing me up.

I noted my weak points, created a "mini sunflower" list for myself, and listened to more videos on just those topics for those two weeks.

The actual exam took about three hours plus another 20 minutes for questions I flagged. I took two 20 minute breaks. believe I changed a couple of questions but I fought the urge to change them. If I could not decide between two answers, my deciding factor was whatever answer was less technical and more managerial.

Overall the questions were less technical than I expected. I can't say there was any one single area which was emphasized. It was truly a mile wide and an inch deep.


  • 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
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    dayglo wrote: »
    I've been in the security field for almost 10 years so I may have more experience than a lot of you.

    Lol. Well done, you just completed grade 10 of the High school callee Security. We hope to see you in the college courses and university classes called Security. Most of us have already completed those.
  • CryptoQueCryptoQue Member Posts: 204 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • dayglodayglo Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    TheFORCE wrote: »
    Lol. Well done, you just completed grade 10 of the High school callee Security. We hope to see you in the college courses and university classes called Security. Most of us have already completed those.

    Well that didn't come out quite the way I mean it LOL. Thats what I get for writing something the day I take the exam. Go easy on an old man...

    What I meant to say is that I've been in the IT field for 20 years and dedicated to Information Security for ten of those years, so I have a lot of real-world experience. I;m going to see if I can modify my post...
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Member Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • gonrodgonrod Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats, thanks for the advice
  • clarkincnetclarkincnet Member Posts: 256 ■■■□□□□□□□
    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!

  • sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • nithichrisnithichris Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Could you please let me know the podcast you have used for CEH preparation
  • ddaygloddayglo Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cybersecstudy had a series of podcasts for the cissp.
  • nithichrisnithichris Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • RaisinRaisin Member Posts: 136
    The Cybrary video series was like gold for me.

    "Answer like a manager not a techie"

    I'm pretty sure that made the difference between a pass and fail for me.
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