Provisionally passed the CISSP exam - 5th Attempt

InfoAssureInfoAssure Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
I've followed this forum to get various study advice from its members over the years. I appreciate some of the feedback I've gotten which I believe has helped me succeed. Today, after a long journey of attempting CISSP exams, I've finally managed to pass this grueling test. I originally took the CISSP back in January of 2015 after attending a bootcamp. My experience level at that time was a Cybersecurity analyst for the Department of Navy. I analyzed vulnerability scans and STIGS across systems and created Certification and Accreditation documentation. I've previously ran vulnerability scans, hardened systems, implemented firewalls, encryption, etc. I have my Security+ and a Bachelor's Degree in IT Management and have had various roles in information security. In the past year, I've become an ISSO and have gotten a taste of managing accreditation boundaries . I wanted to pursue the CISSP because I felt it was the next natural progression in my career path. I failed the exam many times due to various factors, but I feel what really held me back was not being able to think like a manager. I kept trying to fix the problem as a technical analyst which was where a lot of my experience was at the time. My previous attempts were fairly close which is why I kept pursuing this exam. That and I just wanted to be able to obtain this certification. If my scores were not even close to the mark, I probably would have gave up on this a long time ago. I'm glad I didn't.

In the past I've used many different sources to study over the years (CISSP for dummies, 11th hour, CISSP All in One, Sybex 8th edition, Quizlet, CCCure, Mcgraw Hill, CISSP Practice Exams (Shon Harris), MindMaps, Sunflower, FEDVTE). What I truly believe helped me pass the exam this time is 2 things - 1) CybraryIT - Kelly Handerhan's ISC2 CISSP course - 13 hours. This video truly helped me understand the concepts that I couldn't grasp from reading the book. Kelly is a great instructor who really explains high level concepts in a very simple and relatable way. I've enjoyed this course immensely and appreciate this free source. I highly recommend this as a study source. 2) Kelly Handerhan has a video on youtube called "Why you will pass the CISSP exam." I played this video over and over and it really helped me finally approach the exam in the correct manner. I owe my success to her and also to this forum and it's members that have posted their study habits over the years. Thank you all so much.

To those who are pursuing this exam and have failed, don't give up. If you want something bad enough you'll eventually get there. My journey was a long one, but being able to finally reach this milestone has put me on cloud 9. My wife and family has supported me the entire way during this process. I feel I've learned so much from this test and even when I failed the exam, I've used many of the concepts in my career as an information security professional.


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    vCISO2017vCISO2017 Member Posts: 51 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great effort - 5th attempt - real resilience mate, great feedback and my hat off to you!
    CITP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS CCP | VCP | CISM | CGEIT | CIPM | PMP | MCSE, etc.......
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    MitMMitM Member Posts: 622 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congratulations! Great advice also
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    sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats. I respect your "never die" "never say never" attitude. Well done.
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    TheRedBar0nTheRedBar0n Member Posts: 60 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well done mate!
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    PersianImmortalPersianImmortal Member Posts: 124 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations!!! Way to stick with it!
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    Can'tTakeIt!Can'tTakeIt! Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Info Assure, a big CONGRATS to you! I admire your resilience and determination. You must be so relieved. Your background sounds eerily similar to mine. I've taken the CISSP twice now and have failed both times. Even with all the support and great advice from members of the forum, I can't seem to find the motivation to attempt the exam for the 3rd time and only to fail again. However, I know if I don't try it will continue to remain in the back of my head. My questions to you are:
    - After each attempt, how long did you take to regroup and find the motivation?
    - I too like Kelly Handerhan's videos and find them super helpful but what was it about the YouTube video that struck a chord with you? I've watched it a few times and agree with what she says but what was in particular that you found helpful? Is it the "changing the mindset?" I know everyone says to approach the exam from a Manager's perspective, and maybe I'm struggling with the 2 best answers approach.
    - How did you approach the exam this time that set you over the finish line?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience! It's inspiring me to get back on the horse again!
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    gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■■□□
    5*699=3495 US dollars
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    shimasenseishimasensei Member Posts: 241 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations, much respect to your persevering attitude.
    Current: BSc IT + CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F, MCSA:Win10
    Future Plans: MSc + PMP, CCIE/NPx, GIAC...
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    InfoAssureInfoAssure Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think for me it was truly understanding the concepts and changing my mindset when approaching the exam. I had failed many times before I realized that my approach wasn't working. I kept thinking I was approaching it like a manager, but I had a hard time getting into that mindset due to my experience being more technical at the time. I became an ISSO a year ago and I believe that has also helped me think more managerial or "risk advisor" like. Also my work experience helped me in this recent exam as I felt more comfortable with some of the technical questions by understanding the concepts more thoroughly. Also, the time limit being less and not going back to change answers may have also played a huge part as well. I tend to second guess some of my answers and have changed things in the past which they say isn't the best way to approach the exam. I believe everyone's journey is different and mine took a bit longer, but it was worth it in the end.

    After I failed the fourth time, I had taken a year and half break before trying again. I had started studying about 6 months after I failed the fourth time, but got side tracked with life and didn't pick back up till recently back in May. Also, my daughter was born about 5 months ago, so between studying for the exam, working a full-time job, and helping my wife take care of our daughter it was challenging for me.

    Good luck to you! I'd give it another shot! You've already put so much time and effort into studying and preparing for the exam. It's worth the effort and will help you in your career in the long run.
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    adamus1020adamus1020 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on getting this thing over with! All of the time and effort will pay off, I'm sure!

    Being someone who has taken the old style CISSP test and the new adaptive style test, would you say the new adaptive version is "easier"?
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    tedjamestedjames Member Posts: 1,179 ■■■■■■■■□□
    With kind of attitude, you will go far.

    And thanks for the Kelly Handerhan tip. Great video as are her videos on Cybrary.
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