My 10 years illusive Journey to CISSP is officially over. Passed yesterday on the 2nd attempt at 150

COBOL_DOS_ERACOBOL_DOS_ERA MemberNorthern VA, NYCMember Posts: 205 ■■■■□□□□□□
edited November 6 in CISSP

First thanks to this wonderful community. I started my journey with CISSP back in 2011, when you need to take the exam on paper. Man! I remember my you know what was glued to the chair for 5.5 hours and that poor thing went NUMB for a good amount of time once I was done with the exam, and failed with a 600 score.

First, forward to 2021, I planned to take the first 100 questions, slowly without looking at the time. I would say after answering about 30-40 questions I kind of get the hang of how that Damn CAT is throwing out those questions. For one of the questions, I end up taking a 2-3 minutes power nap just to answer the questions. And was thinking who is that MF wrote this horrible Question, had a few of them but that question was way..way off. For some questions, I followed my gut and the17 years of experience helped me to do that. For some questions, I was fairly confident of my answers, for some I was not.

I used the following techniques to answer all the questions:

 Ø  I’m a consultant, and this is the advice I would give out.

Ø  Does this solution(s) is economical and also resolve the issue(s).

Ø  if one answer covers all the others, then it’s the right one.

Haha!! Since my journey started back in 2011 and ended yesterday, I could say that I dragged out the preparation longer than I needed. But! Life has always thrown curb balls at me. Scheduled to take the exam in 2018; had to cancel the exam. In 2019 same thing happened and the last straw was in 2020 when I lost Mom to covid, my elder brother was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, Dad was in the hospital. Between June 2020 to April 2021, I had lost 10 close family members to covid and other diseases. So, you guys could imagine my mental health situation. I don’t know how I did not end up in a mental hospital.  I wish my mom was here to see this, when I failed the exam in 2011, she just told me better next time. When I had to cancel the exam back in 2018, 2019 she just put her hand on my head said God has a better plan for you, you will pass the exam. God, I wish she was here to see this achievement.

 Materials Used:

 Ø  Sybex OSG 9th Edition (Did not read end to end).

Ø  Pete Zergers videos (Inside Cloud and Security) were a great help.

Ø  Boson test bank: Too technical but the explanation was a goldmine.

Ø  YouTube questions from IT Dojo, Prabh Nair, and Larry Greenblat, and many others.

Ø   Most of. Prabh’s ‘coffee shots’ were valuable, and I believe this one helped me to pass the exam

Ø  Luke Ahmed’s material: Took the Study Notes and Theory subscription ( I believe I  went t through around 10 video tutorials)

Ø  Reddit forum learned a lot from there.

 

Advice to Test Taker:

Don’t lose your nerve during the exam, have faith in yourself. Also, get ready to pound by CAT in your weak areas.  CAT figured out my weak areas were:

Ø  Security and Risk Management

Ø  Asset Security

Ø  Identity and Access Management (IAM) (I worked in the IAM domain for around 4 years, that was not enough experience 😉 for CAT)

And boy! Oh Boy! I believe 60% of my question was from these three domains and the rest of the 40% was from the others.

And my last thought is CISM+CRISC+CGEIT = CISSP exam. No wonder it is a monster of an exam.


Now off to endorsement  😉

CISM, CRISC, CGEIT, PMP, PMI-ACP, SEC+, ITIL V3, A-CSM. And Many More.

Comments

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,369 Mod
    Congrats! This sure is a long journey, you did it!
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • COBOL_DOS_ERACOBOL_DOS_ERA Member Northern VA, NYCMember Posts: 205 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks, UnixGuy, yup sure it was a long journey and I did it. Next is CCSP, and hopefully I don't have to wait another 10 years for that. I will be semi-retired by then :smile:
    CISM, CRISC, CGEIT, PMP, PMI-ACP, SEC+, ITIL V3, A-CSM. And Many More.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,975 ■■■■■■■■■■


    I used the following techniques to answer all the questions:

     Ø  I’m a consultant, and this is the advice I would give out.

    Ø  Does this solution(s) is economical and also resolve the issue(s).

    Ø  if one answer covers all the others, then it’s the right one.


     


    Congratulations on sticking with it and conquering the beast especially while dealing with all of those losses which had a mental toll that I can only imagine.

    Regarding your technique, I agree with the second two points. What got me over the hump when I passed in 2016 (after failing twice) was advice from my manager who said answer the question like he would. I was an Information Security Analyst that was purely technical and approached the questions as such. When I approached each question like my CISO would, that seemed to do the trick. Plus I studied a lot more between each fail  :)


    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA and more.

    2021 goals: AZ-303, AZ-304, maybe CRISC.

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • Mike7Mike7 Member Posts: 1,107 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats! Agree with the techniques, though I will add that experience helps. 

    In a way, it also took me 10 years to get it. I heard about CISSP in 2005  while working as an application developer in a startup and thought it may be useful to my career. At that time, the exam was paper based, was only available twice (?) a year, and the only study guide was Shon Harris's thick AIO book, so I decided not to pursue. I did buy AIO book but did not read it.

    From 2009, I transferred to an infra lead role managing the company's  SaaS servers. As the company's business expanded,  I found myself doing more security related tasks such as fixing VA bugs, securing web servers from hacking  and mitigating DDoS attacks.

    That got me interested in security as a career and I decided to take CISSP exam in end 2014.  By then, CISSP exam was available at Pearson Vue as a 250 questions 6-hour exam. Eric Conrad's CISSP Study Guide was also available; it is an easier read than AIO. And it helps when you have experience in most of the 10 domains covered by the exam, I was able to grasp the concepts fairly quickly. 

    I studied for about 3 months and passed exam in end March 2015.  I passed CSSLP in end 2015, and moved on to a security role. In 2017, I passed CCSP.
  • dragonldbdragonldb Uxbridge, OntarioMember Posts: 8 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on your perseverance and hard work. Well earned!
  • odomscdodomscd Member Posts: 19 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am so proud of you for sticking it out!  Congratulations in excess!  
    Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the exam. That type of information is extremely useful.


  • COBOL_DOS_ERACOBOL_DOS_ERA Member Northern VA, NYCMember Posts: 205 ■■■■□□□□□□
    odomscd said:
    I am so proud of you for sticking it out!  Congratulations in excess!  
    Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the exam. That type of information is extremely useful.


    Thank you, this form has helped me a lot so I'm happy to help in any way possible.
    CISM, CRISC, CGEIT, PMP, PMI-ACP, SEC+, ITIL V3, A-CSM. And Many More.
  • COBOL_DOS_ERACOBOL_DOS_ERA Member Northern VA, NYCMember Posts: 205 ■■■■□□□□□□
    dragonldb said:
    Congratulations on your perseverance and hard work. Well earned!
    Thank you!
    CISM, CRISC, CGEIT, PMP, PMI-ACP, SEC+, ITIL V3, A-CSM. And Many More.
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