CISSP - Passed and Certified!

Yoshi06Yoshi06 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
I had written this post after my Exam in April but saved it and procrastinated till I forgot. Yesterday my endorsement application was accepted and I decided to reach back into my archives to revive this and add a comment about the endorsement process.

I Slew the beast!!!!!...I never used to understand the strength of this expression until I took and passed the CISSP exam.I passed, on my first attempt and because I've found these "passed" posts useful, I decided to do mine.

A bit about myself:
4+ years experience in IT and Infosec, working in a Financial services company, I have been exposed to all of the 8 domains to varying degrees during that time.
Bachelors in Computer Science

Study duration
The journey started last year with a 1-week boot camp, sponsored by my company. Honestly, these things are best if attended towards the end of your preparation and not at the start. By the end of the week, I knew it would be a long road to exam readiness. I came here to find out how people were preparing and Eric Conrad's book, along with Kelly's Cybrary videos had great reviews from a lot of posters so I went to get them. I started off watching the Cybrary videos as recommended by one of the posters whose post title I can't remember right now. His recommendation was to watch Kelly's videos passively at first without taking notes, then read the book(s), taking notes this time, and watch Kelly's videos again, taking note of things that may not have been clear the first time. I listened to Kelly's tapes and Shon Harris' audio on the way to and from work(1 hour drive each way) then downloaded David Miller's videos(Pearson) and converted them to audio for the same purpose.
Total time between my Bootcamp and the exam was 6months, but there was a 2 month period where I suspended reading because I wanted to confirm my exam date and the only accredited center in my city couldn't book the dates I wanted.

Cybrary CISSP videos(Kelly Handerhan) - 10/10, Kelly knows! She goes straight to the point on the key areas you need for the exam and delivers the content in the most interesting way. There is a video in the intro module where she talks about the exam, every second in that video is gold. I listened to it twice on the drive to the exam and it was very helpful in putting me in the right mind-frame for the test.

Eric Conrad Book(3rd Ed) - 9/10 - Smallest in size of all the books because he goes straight to the point. However, it's better for people with a prior understanding of some basics because a couple of things are assumed, or just overlooked.

Sybex Book - 8/10 - More detailed book but still easier to read than the Official Guide(Please don't even bother skimming through that). I found it too voluminous and only used it to close gaps in understanding exposed in practice tests.

David Miller CISSP Course - 9/10 - Another very good resource, lengthy course but I would recommend it for domains you don't have too much experience with. He really goes deep in trying to let you understand the concepts. Played them at 1.5x speed because I found that he spoke a bit too slowly for me

ISC2 Official Practice tests - 9.5/10 - Highly recommended because the question style is closest to that of the real Exam. I was scoring mid 70's - 80's on the practice tests

The Exam

The exam was grueling. I finished in 4 hours but by the end, i couldn't take it anymore. My best advice on the exam would be, TAKE BREAKS. The 6 hour time period is more than enough to take the Exam so don't be scared of taking breaks, and bring snacks to refresh yourself. I had planned to take breaks at questions 100, and 200 but from the mock exams, I knew I had to try to do as many questions as I could before taking my first break because the subsequent ones would be needed within a shorter space.I took breaks at questions 125, and 210 but by the 236th question, I was struggling real hard to push myself to get to 250. I just wanted to end the exam and leave because of exhaustion.

Also, get some good sleep before the exam, you need your brain fresh. Shun last minute reading because it only puts you under stress. At the end, i had marked about 50 questions for review but after looking at 7 questions and changing 2 answers, I decided to quit the review and just end the exam. As i walked to the administrator's desk, I kept telling myself that if I don't pass, I won't rewrite for a while because I had given it my all. Picked up the result, "Congratulations" Boom! i fell to the ground in excitement that just cannot be described

I was endorsed by my Bootcamp facilitator and it went pretty smooth. Yesterday(3 weeks after submission), I got an email telling me that my application was still on the queue to be processed and I should wait for the full 6 week period for a response before reaching out to them. To my surprise though, I received a congratulatory email that same evening with the good news.

Thank you to everybody here for shared insights, the posts and comments were very helpful. I'll be waiting for questions in the comments.


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    PersianImmortalPersianImmortal Member Posts: 124 ■■□□□□□□□□
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    NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA Member Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□

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

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    shimasenseishimasensei Member Posts: 241 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats, Welcome to the club!
    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...
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    scadascada Member Posts: 49 ■■■□□□□□□□
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    jhearnjhearn Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well done, and thanks for sharing your experience here!
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    sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
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    djcarterdjcarter Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
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    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!

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    CryptoQueCryptoQue Member Posts: 204 ■■■□□□□□□□
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    arussnflarussnfl Member Posts: 9 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats!! I have failed twice already! Where did you get this ISC2 Official Practice tests ?
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    tunerXtunerX Member Posts: 447 ■■■□□□□□□□
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