CISM passed 03 August

Nick_Nack_Paddy_WhackNick_Nack_Paddy_Whack Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

A long time lurker here. I've just registered to give my feedback on the CISM exam. I sat and passed my CISM exam today at the first attempt. I self-funded it and took advantage of the ISACA discount code which was emailed out at the end of July so the exam cost a total of $450. I've got about 12 years of experience of working in cyber security and am also a 27001 LA. My background is SOC / Consultancy / Risk / Compliance / Training and I have worked as an ITSO as well.

In terms of preparation, I bought access to the official QAE database in April and just smashed out the questions until I was happy with the explanation of why I got particular questions wrong - I forget who mentioned it on here but I was at pains to not just remember the question and answer from the previous time I attempted it. Due to other work commitments, I did study for a week or two at a time and then took a break of over a month. I studied in short bursts as and when possible. I went into the exam today with an average of 86% after 75 hours of study time with my scores in the domains as follows.

Domain 1 - 86%
Domain 2 - 84%
Domain 3 - 86%
Domain 4 - 88%

I did have a wobble and did a 30 problem question session this morning just before the exam which resulted in a score of 60% (my lowest in a LONG time) - I recommend you don't do that if you're of a nervous disposition! :D

In the last 5 days, I went through 750 practice questions, read through the Risk part of CISM on Cybrary (Kelly H is a good instructor but she sometimes waffles on which is distracting if I'm honest), read through a copy of the Knowledge Academy CISM course book which I had acquired off a work colleague (didn't really rate it to be honest - in fact, if I'm really honest, I thought it was dire) and watched a brilliant high level overview that's available on Youtube by Sean Hanna (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_74Kk3b8hQ).

I didn't bother with the official review manual. Obviously I cannot go into detail about the content of the exam but if you put in the effort with the QAE database, then you won't have any issues. The question style is identical and I had no major show stoppers.

I was in and out of the exam in 1 hour and 18 minutes - I had done the first 75 questions by the time the counter had reached 40 minutes (well, 180 minutes as it counts down but you catch my drift). Overall, I averaged 31.2 seconds per question. I didn't mark any questions for review and resisted the temptation to go back and review my answers as I knew I would only go and change some of them from right to wrong and vice versa.

I had no issues with the test centre nor the facilitators who I found to be spot on.

I personally found the exam a lot easier than I was expecting but that's because I beasted myself with the QAE database. I've now got to wait for the actual score I achieved.

I've just done the self-assessment for CISA and scored 72% at the first attempt. I will seriously look at getting that done and dusted before the end of the month if possible - again, I intend to just use the QAE database to get through that.

Hopefully this quick write-up will be of use to someone and remember - everyone's experience of CISM will be different. Don't be put off by those who say it was easy or difficult. I've read so many differing opinions on the exam that it put me off booking the exam before I decided to book the exam for today 3 days ago! I don't have a chapter near me so I didn't bother registering with one.

I will say that I found doing the questions in 30 question groups a lot easier than doing it in 50 question or 100 question groups - I think I did one 100 question session and a couple of 50 question sessions and I found I was making more errors that way - the majority of the rest were in 30 question groupers where I was able to hold my concentration, take 5 minutes to compose myself and then crack on with the next 30 questions.

And remember - you are not being tested on your current organisation's IS stance. Try to put yourself in the shoes of being an IS Manager for Acme corporation and think about what would be the best thing to do? Sounds silly but it helped me enormously.

If anyone has got any questions, I will try to answer them as best as I can.

Comments

  • mazharakrammazharakram Registered Users Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am uploading CISA Video lecture one is below

    https://youtu.be/aH0nilNY15E
  • Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Senior Member Member Posts: 428 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass Nick! icon_thumright.gif Planning on taking the CISM, CISA and CRISC route as well?

    mazharakram - I didn't check the link you shared above, but did you come up with it? I saw that you shared this link in a couple of threads.
    X year plan: (20XX) OSCP [ ], CCSP [ ]
  • Ran_1Ran_1 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats Nick & thank you very much for the tips.

    I am also looking forward to take the exam by next week. And my current status is -> gone through the cybrary video, CISA & CISM webscram once. Completed entire 1000 Q&A once (60 hours, 84%), and now i am going through the missed questions from last time. And its currently ongoing (3 & 4th module). And gone through Official CISM review guide twice.

    If anyone can help with final 5 day prep schedule, it will be helpful.

    Similar, few queries to Nick,
    1. How was the exam questions, is that very much tricky or somewhat similar to Q&A database.
    2. Any direct questions from CISM review guide. (Since i have seen most of the Q&A database questions are directly from review guide)

    Thanks & regards,
    Ran
  • Nick_Nack_Paddy_WhackNick_Nack_Paddy_Whack Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ran_1 wrote: »
    Congrats Nick & thank you very much for the tips.

    I am also looking forward to take the exam by next week. And my current status is -> gone through the cybrary video, CISA & CISM webscram once. Completed entire 1000 Q&A once (60 hours, 84%), and now i am going through the missed questions from last time. And its currently ongoing (3 & 4th module). And gone through Official CISM review guide twice.

    If anyone can help with final 5 day prep schedule, it will be helpful.

    Similar, few queries to Nick,
    1. How was the exam questions, is that very much tricky or somewhat similar to Q&A database.
    2. Any direct questions from CISM review guide. (Since i have seen most of the Q&A database questions are directly from review guide)

    Thanks & regards,
    Ran

    Hi Ran,

    1.) I can't go into details about the exam questions but if you can get on with the Q&A database (and understand why certain answers are right and the reasoning behind it), then you won't have any surprises. I didn't have anything which threw me.

    2.) No idea - I never touched the CISM review guide so couldn't give you an answer.

    I_S_W,

    I'm going to push and try and get CISA done before the end of this month. I may / may not attempt CRISC after that - I've got CIPP/E & CIPM next month.
  • ecuisonecuison CISSP, CCSP, TOGAF v9 Certified, Security+, Network+ Member Posts: 131 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on the Pass and thanks for the info on your study material.
    Accomplishments: B.S. - Business (Information Management) | CISSP | CCSP | TOGAF v9.2 Certified | Security + | Network +
  • sabya_sghoshsabya_sghosh Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats Nick for successfully passing the CISM Exam. Which QAE Database did you refer, is it that from ISACA?
  • Nick_Nack_Paddy_WhackNick_Nack_Paddy_Whack Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yes - the ISACA one. I'm not aware of any others that are available but I'd strongly recommend using the official one.

    I got my official confirmation email today - 582. It was 10 days from sitting the exam (not 10 working days). I'm happy with that!
  • Nick_Nack_Paddy_WhackNick_Nack_Paddy_Whack Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    For those wondering on turn around times from ISACA, I submitted my application on the 13th August, received confirmation that my application was successful on the 14th August and received my certificate number etc on the 16th August.
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