Passed the CISSP today!

msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
It's been a long while since I've gone down any certification path, life has been way too busy to focus much. I started studying for the CISSP in the fall last year, but work has made it difficult to focus on it lately for too long. Fortunately, the work I've been busy with has been implementing the top 20 CSC's, working on implementing an ISMS and moving towards ISO 27001 certification next year - so a lot of the work has been helpful taking some of what I've been studying and implementing it in a professional capacity.

I went into the exam this morning with a pretty good level of confidence but was expecting to soon feel like things weren't going well as per how others have reported the exam experience to be. It was definitely an interesting experience, and I can say I wasn't quite sure how to feel about how the exam was going. Some questions seemed pretty straight forward, while others would pop out where it was hard to pick the best response. I approached the 100 question mark and hit the pause at question 102 and was escorted back up front awaiting the printout with a congratulations at the start. I was starting to feel a bit defeated towards the end of the exam, but I kept trying to convince myself since this is an adaptive test - if I'm getting rough questions it must be because I'm doing well with prior questions.

Study materials included:

Official CISSP Study Guide & Practice Tests (Sybex) - I read through this book twice in full and brushed up on some of the areas I felt weak in where needed. This was probably my most referenced resource. I didn't use the practice tests at all, neither the book or the electronic versions.

11th Hour CISSP - I read this in full this past weekend as a last minute refresher. Solid book, good to refresh your memory on key concepts.

Simple CISSP Audible Book - I used this when commuting to and from work. I have about a 45 minute drive in and out of work each day, so I probably ended up listening to this as my attention span allowed 3 or 4 times in total over a few months on and off. I'm not one that feels I get much from passively hearing things in this way unless I have a video in front of me playing as well but I imagine it helped commit some things to memory.

Cybrary Videos - I watched these once through when I had some extra time at the office. Great resource considering the cost.

I skimmed the various NIST publications referenced throughout the Sybex book briefly.

Sunflower PDF was a good resource that I read through once this morning prior to the exam.

The only practice questions I went through were the Boson ones. I used it in study mode, reading up on any questions I got wrong. Pretty good resource overall.

Finally, I also sat through a Global Knowledge virtual course last November. I didn't read through the official course books any, I just sat through the lecture. It was a pretty good resource I suppose, honestly hard to say since the time I spent studying was largely spread out in between other projects going on and I didn't really start taking the study time extremely seriously until the past week or two.

Overall, I think the best study aid for the exam has been my work experience. I've always been more on the information security side of things at my job for the past 5 or 6 years. The past couple years have really hit hard on security, having been responsible for spearheading a bulk of our security initiatives thus far and working towards taking us to ISO 27001 certification has been a huge help. I'm definitely glad it's behind me and they're not kidding when they say it's an inch deep and a mile wide. It's a relief to feel like I can move on to other things now, as busy as everything is.

Hopefully I'll have the endorsement process behind me and 100% official before the end of May - when I'll be attending the Palo Alto Ignite '18 conference so I can earn some CPE credits!


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