GCIA

jataiyjataiy Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi, I was wondering can I go straight for GCIA? I mean is there a prereq exam I have to pass first?
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  • markmorowmarkmorow Posts: 39Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    There is no pre-req exam. Everything you would need to know to pass the GCIA is covered in the class. This is one of the harder exams. 
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,255Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    And if you're asking if you can skip the class and go for the exam, you can, it's $1899 per attempt and includes two (one time use) practice exams. 

    https://www.giac.org/registration/cert-attempt

    Note, unless you're incredibly well versed in all the topics, I wouldn't try that one without the course and tons of study. 
  • SoldmyfortuneSoldmyfortune Posts: 4Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just passed this exam and it's a beast.  Taking the exam felt like I was beating it down with a whip and chair for four hours, no joke.  This is one of the few GIAC exams with a hands-on lab VM section at the end, so time management is critical.  You have to complete the multiple choice exam questions with enough time to do the VM lab section and complete it.

    You need to master the seven different tools the prep course teaches or you won't pass.  Not "know what they do", I mean master using them in a practical way, all seven.  You are responsible for the content of the entire six day course, it's thousands of pages of content and anything is fair game.  If you skip large sections because you think they're irrelevant, you probably won't pass.

    For God's sake, DO THE LABS.  Do every lab in the workbook, then turn right back around and do them a second time.  If you do every last lab, you will probably pass.  If not, forget it.

    This link has some of the best advice I've seen regarding this exam.

    community.infosecinstitute.com/discussion/134737/passed-gcia-sec503

  • BlucodexBlucodex OSCP, GCIA, GCIH, GMON, CISSP, CEH, CHFI, CCNA CyberOps, Security+ Posts: 430Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Really enjoyed the course, capstone, and exam.  Probably the best courses I've taken.
  • E Double UE Double U Posts: 1,550Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    markmorow said:
    There is no pre-req exam. Everything you would need to know to pass the GCIA is covered in the class. This is one of the harder exams. 
    Agreed!
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, etc

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • mjs1104mjs1104 Junior Member Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've taken 8 GIAC tests and for some reason I still think 503 was the hardest. Maybe I slacked on the prep for this but it wasn't easy. But like the others have said, the course was great, it's one of the few courses that I've taken that I would like to take again.
  • E Double UE Double U Posts: 1,550Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    mjs1104 said:
    I've taken 8 GIAC tests and for some reason I still think 503 was the hardest. Maybe I slacked on the prep for this but it wasn't easy. But like the others have said, the course was great, it's one of the few courses that I've taken that I would like to take again.
    I have taken four and GCIA was the toughest. One difference is that is the only course where I have used the on-demand option. But the packet analysis was just tough for me. I definitely do not want to take this course again.
    Alphabet soup: CISSP, CCSP, CISM, CISA, GPEN, GCIA, GCIH, GCCC, CEH, etc

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • charismaticxcharismaticx Sec+, GSEC, GSED, GCIH, CEH, CYSA, GSNA, CASP +, PenTest +, GCIA Posts: 40Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wait when did they add the VM section to the exam? I plan on taking it within the next few weeks. 
  • SoldmyfortuneSoldmyfortune Posts: 4Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    They added the VM section to the exam last fall, so late some time in 2018.  It's also part of the practice tests.  I'd say that's the best way to prep for it.  Do a couple of GCIA practice tests so you get a feel for how much time you need to complete each section. 

    Also, when you take the exam, make sure you go to a testing facility with up to date equipment.  I used one that had old ass mechanical style keyboards.  Not really a big deal for the multiple choice part, but it slowed down my typing speed for the VM portion of the exam which turned out to be a big deal.

    I believe there is also a VM section on the GCIH exam now, so it looks like GIAC is bringing that to a number of their exams.  Fun, fun.
  • charismaticxcharismaticx Sec+, GSEC, GSED, GCIH, CEH, CYSA, GSNA, CASP +, PenTest +, GCIA Posts: 40Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Oh dang that must be new! I’m going through the labs right now and it does take a considerable amount of time per day. I’m guessing I need to add more time than I thought for this exam. 
  • charismaticxcharismaticx Sec+, GSEC, GSED, GCIH, CEH, CYSA, GSNA, CASP +, PenTest +, GCIA Posts: 40Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Would you recommend indexing the lab book? I noticed some of the practice questions looked similar to the ones in the book. I imagine the real test will be the same. 
  • SoldmyfortuneSoldmyfortune Posts: 4Registered Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    I don't know if you really need a separate page by page index of the lab book, but I'd say using some notebook tabs like Avery Ultra Tabs to demarcate the different labs in the book would be a good idea.  There are about seven or eight tools you need to really know cold to be successful on the exam, so recognizing which tool is being discussed in a question and then being able to immediately turn to the lab that demonstrates that tool is super helpful.
    Of course you should really be practiced enough with each tool that you can just go to work without a book reference because you definitely won't have enough time to teach yourself how to use the tool in the middle of the exam if you've never covered it.  I actually tried that approach because I ran out of prep time and it was a spectacular failure.  I did all the labs multiple times for my re-test and it worked out much better.

    I found a thorough index is definitely more useful for the main books.  One thing I noticed that frustrated me to no end is that a topic can start on one page, go on for two more pages, and then conclude with two or three sentences on the back of the third page.  Guess what the question on the exam will be based on?  That's right, it's not the main idea of the first three pages, the answer will be those last two or three sentences on the back of the page that you would never know are there if you didn't have your books well indexed.

    Something I started doing is writing "Continued ---->" in marker at the bottom of any topic that started on one page and then flipped over to a back page.  That way during the exam I would always know there was more to look at on a certain topic no matter how many pages were used to cover it.
  • charismaticxcharismaticx Sec+, GSEC, GSED, GCIH, CEH, CYSA, GSNA, CASP +, PenTest +, GCIA Posts: 40Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think after running through the labs I feel a little more comfortable but the answer lab book is my reference guide. I’ve tabbed out the lab book just like the rest of my books for reference. I’m just hoping the actual exam the hands on portion isn’t harder than the practice test. If I’ve learned anything from my previous sans courses is they’ll ask the most obscure reference. I appreciate all the advice. 
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