Passed CISSP! - First attempt

ITSec14ITSec14 Member Posts: 399 ■■■□□□□□□□
I took my CISSP exam today and walked away with a pass. icon_thumright.gif

These forums have been a great help in my preparation. The exam was very challenging overall, but about as difficult as I expected (I knew it would be pretty brutal). I didn't take any breaks and pretty much used the whole 6 hours (I was on a roll and didn't want to stop). I did the three pass strategy like others have written about in previous threads. Overall, that worked out really well for me as some questions helped jog my memory on a few others that I struggled on.

For preparation I used the following...


Sybex 7th Edition - 9/10 (Very long book, but covered the domains well)
11th hour by Eric Conrad - 8/10 (Nice read to refresh concepts leading up to exam day)


Watched half the CISSP videos on LinkedIn - 7/10 (Kind of boring, but some decent coverage of material)
Kelly Handerhan videos on Cybrary - 10/10 (She's amazing!)

Practice exams:

Sybex online practice tests - 8/10 (These were pretty good, but the answers can be too obvious. Flash cards were nice to have)


Sunflower PDF - 9/10 (Great for reference, but did not use it heavily)

I personally believe that using too many resources can hurt your studies, so I kept it to a minimum.

So, overall it was a really tough exam, but it's doable! I'd also like to mention that you should never underestimate the importance of a good nights sleep and a healthy breakfast. The state of your body and mind go hand in hand. Do everything you can to ensure you are fresh going into that exam room.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.


  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Congrats...I have no idea how you focused that closely for 6 hours straight, nor how you didn't fall asleep doing a three pass strategy...both would drive me crazy.
  • shamim.secshamim.sec Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on your awesome achievement
  • mattster79mattster79 Member Posts: 135 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass! 👍

    I took 5.5hrs for my exam with no breaks. I didn’t want to lose focus and my rhythm. I think people need to do what feels right at the time. Be conscious to take a break if you feel like you need one, but don’t take a break for the sake of it.
  • PersianImmortalPersianImmortal Member Posts: 124
    Congratulations!!! Interesting, I'm using the exact same materials - the two study books and two video series, Cybrary & I also watched the pluralsight series once through, but it was far too dry, it was difficult to stay focused.

    Can I ask how long it took you to prepare?
  • greg9891greg9891 Member Posts: 1,175 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Certs Gained 2018: CCENT ,210-255 ( Cyber Security Operations)
    Upcoming: ICND2, CTT, 210-250 (Cyber Security Fundamentals)

    Isaiah 28:10 - For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
  • xxxkaliboyxxxxxxkaliboyxxx Member Posts: 466
    Was there any cats?
    Studying: GPEN
    : SANS SEC560
    Upcoming Exam: GPEN
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Was there any cats?
    You can’t really tell when an exam is’s more of “I think this question is harder or easier”...and there is already a thread covering CAT being in the future sometime not currently.
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Member Posts: 436 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Congratulations for passing your exam! I took the three pass strategy as well on my second attempt on the exam and I believe too that it helped me. You mentioned that the fewer resources is better in your case, did you have a lot of previous IT security experience before writing this exam? I was totally the opposite and had handful of resources that I was going through just to make sure that I wasn't missing anything.
  • xxxkaliboyxxxxxxkaliboyxxx Member Posts: 466
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    You can’t really tell when an exam is’s more of “I think this question is harder or easier”...and there is already a thread covering CAT being in the future sometime not currently.

    My humor has failed me once again, sorry everyone!

    Congrats OP, never give up!
    Studying: GPEN
    : SANS SEC560
    Upcoming Exam: GPEN
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Member Posts: 399 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @DZA - Honestly I’ve only been in a direct security position for about 15 months, but have done a lot of security related work in previous IT roles. A good amount was experience, but preparation helped fill the gaps. I focused heavily on areas I was weak in, but did not neglect areas I was strong in. I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong.

    @Persian - I prepared for about 3 months with some gaps. No studying on weekends, primarily through the week for 2-3 hours each day.
  • averageguy72averageguy72 Senior Member Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    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
  • TheRedBar0nTheRedBar0n CISSP, CySA+, Sec+, MCSA, ITILv3 Cape Town ZAMember Posts: 60 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats man! Using the same resources but got some additional practice tests and videos on Udemy (keeping those for December).
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 783 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Congrats!... It inspired me to continue preparing toward Nov 16th... I am taking this beast :)
  • sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • subhashdhyanisubhashdhyani Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    cpongrats on the pass.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • TheRedBar0nTheRedBar0n CISSP, CySA+, Sec+, MCSA, ITILv3 Cape Town ZAMember Posts: 60 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Nicely done, congrats on the pass! :)
  • cisumworldcisumworld Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi All,

    can anyone help me understand what is this 3 Pass strategy?

    Thank you
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 783 ■■■■■■■□□□
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