Self study for GCFA

mayonaka123mayonaka123 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
A friend is letting me borrow his SANS FOR508 books and lectures from when he took the class in 2016. Would it have changed that drastically in the last year and a half to where I'd fail for not taking the class or reading the newest books? Anyone else pass with just the SANS books and lectures?

Comments

  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Sans likes to update their courses a few times a year. I wouldn't think it would be a "drastic" change but I would expect some changes.
  • GirlyGirlGirlyGirl Member Posts: 219
    People are going to give you mixed replies. My answer is, it depends.

    I am doing an OnDemand course as we speak. I looked at the instructors laptop time and date in the lower right hand corner while he was showing something on his computer. The date was like 6 months ago. This happened this month. I am sure I hit the rewind and paused the video for a situation just like this. If someone doesn't believe me I will find the slide....but if I prove it we are going to have to talk regarding something called P A Y P A L. That was a joke, or was it?

    I personally do not believe they are updated a few times a year beyond popular belief. Once, probably. Twice, maybe. Three times, I doubt it.

    You know what the difference between the books and the videos are?? Nothing. You just get more explanation with the video series. You get details and specifics. You get real life experiences. You hear the instructors voice and see what he looks like. You get diagrams and drawings. You get to see the SANS studio. The only other difference is with the videos they are not doing the lab portions.

    I just did a practice test today. Every time I got an answer wrong I put a 1 on my sticky note. Long story short, with my calculations I failed the practice test. I even didn't answer the last 4 questions. Guess what? I got an 81 on the practice test. Yes, I was surprised as well. Long story short, some questions are not graded. How many? I don't know. If the exam is (I am making this up) 201 questions..who knows it might be 22 questions that mean nothing towards your score.

    What I would do:
    1. read the book and make an index. If the topic is unfamiliar to you, read the book again.
    2. Buy a practice exam and see how you do.
    3. If you pass, buy the exam.
    4. If you fail no harm no foul.

    GIAC has 32 certifications including the GSE. They will probably have 40 by years end. Saying they update 32 certifications multiple times a year would get you the same response as telling me the sky is orange.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Good Luck.
  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□
    GirlyGirl wrote: »
    People are going to give you mixed replies. My answer is, it depends.

    I am doing an OnDemand course as we speak. I looked at the instructors laptop time and date in the lower right hand corner while he was showing something on his computer. The date was like 6 months ago. This happened this month. I am sure I hit the rewind and paused the video for a situation just like this. If someone doesn't believe me I will find the slide....but if I prove it we are going to have to talk regarding something called P A Y P A L. That was a joke, or was it?

    I personally do not believe they are updated a few times a year beyond popular belief. Once, probably. Twice, maybe. Three times, I doubt it.

    You know what the difference between the books and the videos are?? Nothing. You just get more explanation with the video series. You get details and specifics. You get real life experiences. You hear the instructors voice and see what he looks like. You get diagrams and drawings. You get to see the SANS studio. The only other difference is with the videos they are not doing the lab portions.

    I just did a practice test today. Every time I got an answer wrong I put a 1 on my sticky note. Long story short, with my calculations I failed the practice test. I even didn't answer the last 4 questions. Guess what? I got an 81 on the practice test. Yes, I was surprised as well. Long story short, some questions are not graded. How many? I don't know. If the exam is (I am making this up) 201 questions..who knows it might be 22 questions that mean nothing towards your score.

    What I would do:
    1. read the book and make an index. If the topic is unfamiliar to you, read the book again.
    2. Buy a practice exam and see how you do.
    3. If you pass, buy the exam.
    4. If you fail no harm no foul.

    GIAC has 32 certifications including the GSE. They will probably have 40 by years end. Saying they update 32 certifications multiple times a year would get you the same response as telling me the sky is orange.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Good Luck.

    How do you like the course so far?
  • mayonaka123mayonaka123 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    See, this was my theory too. the exercises they give you you're supposed to pretend it's 2012. So while I think they do update it sometimes. I know for a fact it was drastically updated sometime between 2014 and 2016. I highly doubt it's enough to where these books would throw me off.
    I plan to do that with the practice test! I also see you get two practice tests when ordering the cert, so I think anything that may have changed I'll be updated on by the time get through all these tests.
  • GirlyGirlGirlyGirl Member Posts: 219
    How do you like the course so far?


    I am not taking the course towards the GCFA exam. Just throwing that out in the air. It's not on my radar or will it ever be. Nothing against it though. Just not one of the 32 certifications they offer I am interested in.

    If you are asking how I like SANS courses/OnDemand so far? Well, I enjoy them/it.

    I feel that when attending a live course you are done in a week and absorbed absolutely nothing. You are sitting down holding your needed bathroom break because you'll probably come back and the instructor is on another chapter. It's literally impossible to absorb everything with the speed in which they give the information at live events. The key word was impossible. Although, I met one guy who sat for exams after the live events. It's not the norm, though. I am not sure I have read anyone up here doing it. Nor am I going to search for it icon_lol.gif. But, the gentleman was making his index in class tabbing his book out with every chapter. I will assume experience comes into play a little. People say you need to read the book 100 times and listen to the audio 100 times and make an index 5000 times. If you know the material you will pass in less time it takes someone who doesn't know the material. Like I mentioned in a previous post I took a GISF practice exam and passed, with no material. I plan on tackling it in March, with the course I am prepping for now. So, I am trying to knock out two in March. I said that to say, I feel as though if you know the material, it shouldn't take a month of study time. It shouldn't take two weeks of study time.I have only met or remember reading about one guy who took and passed exams after the course. It all depends on how comfortable you are. If you don't know the material, use the entire 6 months of whatever the OnDemand access is good for.

    The material that SANS offers is great. The semi-downside is if you are already familiar with it.

    The good of being familiar with the material:
    1. You answers questions quicker come test time.
    2. You can skip material if you see fit.
    3. Your index is shorter.
    4. If you are during a live event, going to the bathroom or grabbing a cookie won't put you behind a chapter.

    The bad of not being familiar with the material:
    1. Just the opposite of what I said above.

    Do what works for you. Don't listen to me or anyone else with regards to advice. Some people absorb information better. Some people don't remember much. Some people use the index a lot. Some people claim to not have used an index and passed. Some people have 5 pages index. Some people have 50 page index. In the end, all that matters if you passed the exam. Nobody really cares how you got to that point.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,998 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Depends on the course, they are not going to update something like the FOR526 every 6 months, because the number of people taking the course is considerably lower than say the GCIH. If you attend a SANS training event, you can pretty much tell by how often they offer the course per year (FOR526 only 4 live training events per year) and how many students are in the classroom to gauge how often the class is updated. (Incidentally FOR526 has 30 live training events a year) I would predict something like the GSEC (about 60 live training events a year) and GCIH (64 live training events) are updated every 6 months (and big classroom sizes to boot), but courses only offered a few times a year with considerably smaller classroom size are update every other year if that.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
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