Passed the GPEN without an index!

ARGHturARGHtur Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Correction… without my own home build index…
So I passed my very first GIAC exam, the GPEN yesterday with a satisfying 80% pass, I’m not very good at tests… I like a more hands-on approach so just passing it is fine by me.
Well after doing the course the I began looking at the OnDemand material that I was given… and as a new thing (by popular request) SANS now includes an index of all the books.
I knew that when studying for a GIAC exam you had to create your own index as this is has been covered by many other people, when googling for how to prep for GIAC exams.
But now SANS includes one for free… so I thought that I didn’t need one and could skip this part…
well… yes and no…
After passing the exam one part of me is glad that I didn’t spend the time indexing every little thing that I thought would be of use during the exam because I would properly miss something anyways… so I spend that time playing in the labs instead.
But during the exam when trying to use the index I quite often couldn’t find what I was looking for… and that frustrated me a bit since this was also my first “open book” exam and not being able to use all that information that I had brought with me was frustrating… so maybe I should have made my own index??

Anyways you can make do with the premade index… I tweaked mine a bit after the first test-exam so it was easier to lookup page numbers... but doing the exam without having to lookup every answer I think makes you a better student... and lets face it you can't look everything up... you need to have some experience...

This is just my rant… if anyone is in the same position and don’t know what to do? I hope this helps a little…
Just my two cents… or in this case Coin icon_smile.gif

[img][/img]https://www.dropbox.com/s/fof6a7ih95oe7ju/GPEN%20exam.jpg
GPEN%20exam.jpg

Comments

  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,879Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I've seen SANS indexes before, they are functionality useless. Looking at your photos of the first page of the SANS index, take "alias" as an example, the index says it appears 9 separate times, some of the listings have multiple pages it appears on, that's 23 pages the word "alias" appears. You could waste a considerable amount of time flipping back and forth searching 23 pages to find the answer you need. This is why you need to invest to time to build your own index, chances are your only going to list the one or two spots in the books useful information on "alias" is located for your own index, not to mention highlighting it to stand out instead of scanning or reading the entire page for the answer.

    It's great you passed your exam without your own index, but if your score during the exam was marginal, relying on the SANS index you would have probably failed. While concentrating on the labs may have helped you pass the exam, my opinion is why not do the labs, study and build an index. Stack the deck in your favor as much as possible.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • fabostrongfabostrong Posts: 214Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on passing. The books are filled with so much material. I imagine most would be better off with creating their own index because it'll make them more familiar with the material. I also think that everything you need wouldn't be int he SANS index. There's so many details that need their own index entries. My index was 500 pages and after taking the test, although I passed, I realized my index could've been a lot better and lacked a lot.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,879Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    fabostrong wrote: »
    My index was 500 pages and after taking the test, although I passed, I realized my index could've been a lot better and lacked a lot.

    500 pages? Or 500 entries? :) For my last two certification exams my index were between 1,500 to 2,000 entries, somewhere between 30 to 35 pages printed landscape.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,914Mod Mod
    Well done!!

    I'm lost in my index, just trying to cram as much info as possible (basically almost copying the slides info in a small table)....

    Let's see how it all pans out :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • E Double UE Double U Posts: 1,522Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    fabostrong wrote: »
    My index was 500 pages

    WTF?!?!?! Why? How?
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CISM, CISA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, etc

    2019 Goals: CCSP, CRISC

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • fabostrongfabostrong Posts: 214Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    TechGromit wrote: »
    500 pages? Or 500 entries? :) For my last two certification exams my index were between 1,500 to 2,000 entries, somewhere between 30 to 35 pages printed landscape.

    E Double U wrote: »
    WTF?!?!?! Why? How?

    Lol. Sorry about that. 500 entries, not pages.
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 926Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I passed the GCIH with no index. I think indexes are just a crude way to get you to review the books thoroughly but really not needed. I seemed to be alone in this opinion but not anymore. :)
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,879Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »
    I passed the GCIH with no index. I think indexes are just a crude way to get you to review the books thoroughly but really not needed. I seemed to be alone in this opinion but not anymore. :)

    I look at it as a resource that is available to you if you need it. You may not need your index, but I believe it far better to have something and not need it than need it and not have it. You could certainly challenge yourself and not make an index, or make one and not use it. But there no extra credit for not using one, and challenging yourself. Bet you would be very upset if using one would have made the difference between a pass or fail score. It's certainly not a cheap exam, it was only a $150 exam, maybe I wouldn't take as seriously either.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb A+, Net+, Sec+, CSSK, CCNA:Sec, GCIH Posts: 3,193Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    That clickbait title... ncool.gif
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK

    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • HornswogglerHornswoggler Posts: 63Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass and the coin!

    I did not index for GPEN but I did make one for the GCIH. It helped for the detailed questions, like syntax or details on the phases of an incident. Plus it's good experience reviewing the material to create the index, prep work to reduce panic during the exam. My index terms were focused from the practice tests.
    2018: Linux+, eWPT/GWAPT
  • IntrusionNewbIntrusionNewb Posts: 20Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats!
  • ARGHturARGHtur Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone... and sorry for the click bait title icon_biggrin.gif
    I have just returned from SEC511 training, no coin, lost by one point! but for this exam I think I'll make an index... as I feel this course is a lot more theory than SEC560 and less fun labs to play around in...
  • TechGromit wrote: »
    I believe it far better to have something and not need it than need it and not have it.

    This is some solid life advice. Sitting my GPEN in 2 hours :)
    Failure is a stepping stone to success...
  • Awesome! Congrats on the 560 pass!

    I'm thinking of doing the Python one next (SEC573) but still deciding.
    Failure is a stepping stone to success...
  • InCryptableInCryptable Posts: 36Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is some solid life advice. Sitting my GPEN in 2 hours :)

    Did you pass the GPEN?? How well did your index help you on it?

    By chance, do you have any unused practice tests? I sit for my exam later this month and have used my two practice exams...I'd like to try and get an additional practice test in...if you did not use all of your two practice exams...would you be willing to gift one to me?

    Thanks in advance...
Sign In or Register to comment.