Passed CISSP

lurk_no_more1lurk_no_more1 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
[FONT=&quot]I passed the CISSP exam a couple of days ago, and I wanted to share my experience. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Previous Certs: Sec + and CAP[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Professional Experience: 3 years in NIST compliance review/auditing.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Since CAP is an ISC2 cert, it counts towards 1 year of experience, so I am an Associate of (ISC)² Toward CISSP (I got the email notifying me of my associate designation about 24 hours after I completed my exam).[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Study Materials:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Video: I read on this forum a couple of posts about Larry Greenblatt's CISSP Exam Tips on YouTube, so I checked them out (seen here). I also watched his CISSP 2018 introduction video on YouTube, and read the comments and decided to buy a recording of his 5 day course, which comes with all the PDF slides, MP3 audio recordings of the course, MP4 video recordings of the course (over 27 hours if I recall correctly), the Sunflower PDF study guide (which is free and available via the web), and the ISC2 Code of Ethics that includes objectives of guidance (which I can't locate on the ISC2 website; so I am not entirely sure if they are testable, but they at least seem to have been at one point?) The total cost was $99, which is a bargain in my opinion (if interested, comments in YouTube video said to email admin@internetworkdefense.com). Larry does a great job highlighting important information for the test. Through feedback from students, he is able to communicate areas of focus for the exam (no guarantee on what will be on your exam obviously), which I found tremendously helpful. He also explains concepts in an easy-to-understand way, and does so with lots of humor and spot on accents! His course also includes a 50 question practice test, which you can schedule a 1 on 1 session with him, for an additional cost, and he will score that exam and review it with you, and review any other questions you have. I did this session with Larry and found it to be helpful and worthwhile. I felt like his questions were probably the closest to what you will see on the exam (I will talk about this more later), but that is hard to say for sure.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Eric Conrad CISSP study guide, 3rd edition (2016). seen here I started with this as my first source of studying, read it cover to cover, and then watched the Larry's 5 day course in its entirety (with taking lots of notes of areas he emphasizes, things I didn't know, things i found helpful, etc.).[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Sybex 8th edition seen here I was planning to read this after Eric Conrad's book, but decided to do Larry's course instead after reading reviews here. I probably ended up reading like 10-15% of the Sybex book, but used it, as well as Eric Conrad's book, as a reference when I was reviewing questions or concepts.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Practice Tests:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Boson ExSim-Max for CISSP (v201icon_cool.gif; can be purchased here I think there is a 25% promo code of SUMMER2018 that you can use.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests (2016); seen here I did the first 5 chapters or so. It was free; I wouldn't have bought it just because it was from 2016.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Sybex online test questions (if you buy the book, you get free access to the online test bank. Between quizzes and exams, I think it is over 1,000 questions; however, there seems to be some repeat. You have to go through registering your product; it requires some steps; I think you can start here[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I found all questions to be helpful; Boson was techical and accurate; perhaps closest to what you would see on the exam, but that is hard to say for sure. Sybex was good, but I found maybe 2-3% of the questions to be worded poorly or just very debatable answer (I didn't find that with Boson). The CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests were different. They maybe seemed a bit outdated, but I use that term cautiously. I still think they were helpful, but I am just not sure the exam focuses on all those areas quite the same.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]In all, all the practice tests had a balance of scenario based questions, technology questions, and memory questions. It is hard to say which questions were the best. If I had to rate them, I would say Larry's practice test, then Boson, then Sybex, then ISC2 practice tests book.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]For the 5 Boson practice tests, I scored like 61%, 62%, 54%, 65%, and 73%.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]For the Sybex, I did probably the same # of questions overall, and started off in the low 70s and then finished in the high 70s and low 80s.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I never re-took any tests; these were all first and only time scores. I did take a lot of notes on what I got wrong; read the explanations, copied and pasted lots of that info. into a Word Document and reviewed it later (just 1 overall review; but would reference certain areas as needed if I had a question in my other studying)[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Actual Exam:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I felt really good the first 8-10 questions, but then it got difficult. If you noticed I didn't do great on the Boson exams; so perhaps that is why I never felt the overwhleming feeling of failure that others describe. It was certainly challenging; the SDLC was a major area of focus for my exam. I did not love the way some questions were worded, but that was only maybe 5-10 questions. I would say there were at least 10-15 pretty easy questions; that is; if you understand the concepts, you should be able to narrow it down to that 1 answer pretty comfortably. My heart was racing fast for the first 20 minutes or so; which wasn't worrisome; it was just adrenaline and focus. I knew it would settle down and it did. I definitely was slow once I got to the challenging questions, and I don't remember for sure, but I think I had only 60 questions done in the first 90 minutes, but then I sped up (not in a way of rushing; rather, not perseverating over questions anymore. By the time I got to 75 questions; I had 75 minutes left, which I knew I could do 1 question per minute. However, it shut off after 100 questions. I was hoping it would, because I felt like I was doing decent.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Total study time: 6 weeks; pretty hard-core. I worked full time, but I would study for 4-5 hours every day after work, and then study for 12 hours every Saturday or Sunday. I didn't take any breaks from that schedule; just locked in and focused. I did practice questions daily, from week 2 till the end.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I also did maybe 100 hand-written flash cards for stuff I felt was important; I started these around week 4.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Let me know if you have any questions; thank you all for your support, and I wish you all the best in your studies and testing![/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Cliff Notes: Read a study guide; buy Larry's course, do practice questions, pass CISSP.[/FONT]


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    gchild00gchild00 Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    This is fantastic! Thank you for all the information. I've scheduled myself to take the exam on August 11th. As of now I'm in the same score ranges as you with the practice tests you listed. This weekend and leading up to the test i'm going to be doing deep reviews and additional practice tests. Congrats on the pass!
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    ArridTatooineArridTatooine Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on your pass !!
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    sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
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    lurk_no_more1lurk_no_more1 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all; I appreciate it!

    If anybody has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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    MitMMitM Member Posts: 622 ■■■■□□□□□□
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    lurk_no_more1lurk_no_more1 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
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    Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Member Posts: 428 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass! icon_cheers.gif

    I doubt that I can study for 4 to 5 hours after work though.. Hats off to you. icon_thumright.gif
    X year plan: (20XX) OSCP [ ], CCSP [ ]
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    LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 693 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Congrats on your pass! I can attest to Larry Greenblatt's style I feel helped me pass too.
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    lurk_no_more1lurk_no_more1 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you Info_Sec_Wannabe and LordQarlyn!
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