Passed GCIH

snowchick7669snowchick7669 Member Posts: 69 ■■■□□□□□□□
Passed the GCIH exam yesterday and wanted to give back to the community around how I prepared etc as I used the posts here to help with my studies.

I took the SEC504 course late last year at the London SANS event. I was lucky enough to get selected for the work study program which was an amazing experience! Would highly recommend - although you work hard during the week, you get to see a lot behind the scenes and meet some brilliant people.

Over the next few months I took the following approach;

1) Read through all the books again whilst putting together my exam index
2) Tabbed my books for easy access
3) Went through all the labs from the workbook again
4) Sat my first practice exam to gauge my weak areas and the strength of my index
5) Went back and studied my weak areas using the OnDemand course
6) Amended my index to include any of the points that were missing or any areas that needed to be more detailed
7) Sat my second practice exam and amended my index again
8) Read through my index and highlighted important bits (multiple times!)


My index was around 30 A3 pages long and had 4 sections (Main, Tools, Windows commands, Linux commands). I kept updating this and made sure I had enough detail to understand the keyword and any significant points about it. I made sure I was familiar with my index so I knew which section certain topics were, etc.

The A3 size worked for my because I had a good font size and wasn't struggling in a sea of text during the exam.

Practice Exams

The practice exams were pretty similar in difficulty to the real exam. I would suggest treating them like the real thing as it will be a good way to gauge where you're at. I ensured I had explanations on for both right and wrong answers in case I had missed anything in my index/study. I scored the following on my tests;

1st practice exam: 83%
2nd practice exam: 88%
Exam: 89%


My tips for the exam are as follows;

  • Take your time to read the question & the answers (then re-read the question). Some questions are wordy, so take your time on these and some are straight forward so you don't need to waste time. I'd say 30% of the questions I knew the answer to without referring to my index or at least had a very solid idea of the answer. I only used my books for a handful of questions, the rest came from my index. You definitely don't have to rush, but you also don't have time to look everything up in your books (hence the importance of your index!)
  • You should be well versed with the timings of the exam if you did both practice exams
  • Flag/skip questions that you are taking too long on and come back to them
  • My index had enough detail so I could answer the majority of the questions straight from this & I used my books as a backup when I wasn't 100% sure or the question was asking for something very specific
  • Ensure you have done the labs and know what the tools actually do! (important!). Some of the questions tested my experience with tools and their intended operation/output
Overall it was a great experience and I loved achieving this certification. The course was brilliant and the material is relevant. For technical courses, this was definitely up there as one of the better ones I've taken, if not the best.



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    E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,229 ■■■■■■■■■■
    SEC504 is still my favorite of all training courses I have taken. Congratulations on the pass! What is next for you?
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
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    snowchick7669snowchick7669 Member Posts: 69 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks! I really enjoyed it and would def recommend. 

    Going to take a break for a little while and then I’ll see which direction I want to go in! Studying for certs whilst working full time is starting to take its toll a bit. 

    Would love to do the CISSP-ISSAP or perhaps another SANS course (been looking at the GCTI cert)

    For now I’m just going to keep myself entertained on Hack the Box :) 
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    MalwareMikeMalwareMike Member Posts: 147 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! How many SANS certs have you taken so far?
    2019 Goals: CISSP, Splunk certifications (Certified Core, Power User, Admin, and Architect)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Malware_Mike
    Website: https://www.malwaremike.com

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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    +1 on 504 being my favorite class. Congrats!
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    snowchick7669snowchick7669 Member Posts: 69 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! How many SANS certs have you taken so far?
    Cheers! This is my first SANS cert so far. No doubt I’ll be taking more - probably apply for the work study program again next year. 
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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,564 Mod
    Congrats on passing the GCIH, this cert is in demand!

    Learn GRC! GRC Mastery : https://grcmastery.com 

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    afobafob Member Posts: 11 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I passed yesterday as well! Congrats!
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