Passed CISSP 08/03/17 -- 2nd Attempt

mattlyonsmattlyons Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
Long time lurker, first time poster. Been lurking for a while and gleaning information while I went through the studying process. Below is my story.

Started studying in December 2016 after Thanksgiving. Picked up the pace in April and began studying 4-6 nights a week for 1-3 hours a day. First attempt was June 27, 2017 and I failed with a 660. Was pretty crushed mentally after seeing the failing grade but immediately re-scheduled for August 3rd for my second attempt when I got home. Took a week off due to in-laws being in town and staying with me and just for a mental break.

Started studying again at the beginning of July and tried to give more focus to my 3 weak domains and then also information that I may have thought was too tedious to study the first time around. Also some topics that I did not have the best big-picture understanding of, I thoroughly studied it to make it clear to me. Some of those topics were Kerberos, Known CT/PT, Chosen CT/PT, XSS, CSRF, DRP vs BCP vs COOP and some others that I cannot recall at the moment. Took the exam again and passed. Below is my study material.

Study material:
  • Sybex 7th edition
    • Read all 1000 pages and highlighted stuff I thought I needed to know. Went back through and made 500 flash cards on what I had highlighted. Flash cards is always the way I have studied; high school, college, etc.
  • Cybrary -- Kelly Handerhan
    • Picked and chose videos for a while and then watched all of them the last couple of weeks before my first attempt. Watched all of them again before my second attempt. Kelly is amazing.
  • Sunflower CISSP PDF
    • Skimmed through this one night and picked a couple of things out for flash cards. Didn't use it much.
  • "CISSP Combined Notes"
    • Someone on these forums posted his CISSP notes. It was 68 pages I believe. Same as the Sunflower PDF, I skimmed through these one night and picked a couple of things out for flash cards. Didn't use it much.
As for practice tests, I did maybe 50 questions before my first attempt. While studying for my second attempt, I told myself I was going to do at least 1000 practice questions so I began doing practice tests I found online but all the questions were nothing like what was actually on the real exam so I stopped after maybe 200 because I thought it was a waste of time.

All in all, my studying was pretty basic. Basically just the Sybex book and Kelly Handerhan and I ended up making 500+ flash cards from those two resources.

Even though she won't ever see this, I want to give a special thank you to my wife for pushing me, taking care of our 3 year old and allowing me to study all those hours. Could not have done it without you. My second child is due in 8 days. Time to switch my focus over to that.


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    CryptoQueCryptoQue Member Posts: 204 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations! Your perseverance and determination pushed you over that passing score the 2nd time around. I can definitely relate to having a wife taking care of the little one while you sacrifice family time to study. It's all worth it in the end because having the CISSP under your belt will elevate your professional career and financial perks to share with your family.
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    mattlyonsmattlyons Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Spot on CryptoQue. We kept the long term benefits of the CISSP in our mind while I sacrificed family time in the short term.

    Will also add that I took 2.5 hours the first attempt, no breaks and flagged/reviewed no questions. Second attempt it took 3.75 hours, 1 break and flagged/reviewed ~30 questions and changed the answer to two.
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    averageguy72averageguy72 Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats! Way to stick with it.
    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
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    mattlyonsmattlyons Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I keep remembering things I wanted to write in my original post but I cannot edit.

    I am fairly young, just turned 28 six days ago. Have a bachelors in Computer Science and have about 5.5 years experience to be applied towards this cert. Most of the experience is vulnerability scanning/mitigating/testing and then creating/maintaining DoD baselines. College was almost exclusively Java programming.
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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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    redsteelredsteel Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh wow, Congratulations! I'm so psyched for you! I have a 3 yr old and a 6 yr old. It's been really hard grinding through this Sybex book, but it gives me hope seeing that it has paid off for someone. I've done the Cybrary and the CBTNuggets videos. Hoping to finish reading this tome this month and use next month for review and maybe test early October. I'm ready to be done with this marathon! Congratulations though. You will have to let us know what kind of opportunities this opens for you in a half year or so. And what a blessing, for a wife that supports her husband and sacrifices for you in this time in your life. Rembmer it. You may have to repay the favor one day!:D
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