rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlotWorldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
So after two + months of studying I finally sat the CISSP this morning. I finished in about 4 hours. The questions weren't as difficult as I was expecting, yet there were some where I had to give a "best guess". I "think" I passed but I'm not sure - I don't have this despair of failure yet I'm not confident enough to say I passed (if this makes any sense).

Study Plan

I've been in IT for over 10 years, working help desk, systems admin/security auditing/remediation to currently working with and writing security policies and GPO's (with some sys admin functions thrown in). My company brought in a trainer from G.K. to do a one week boot camp back in early January. I also used the Shon Harris AIO 5th edition, CISSP for Dummies and probably about 9000 or so questions from (paid site). During the day when I had some free time I would do practice questions, and at night I would spend about an hour or so reading (maybe 2 hours a day on the weekends). I have a wife and two kids so I couldn't read until after the kids were in bed I only had about enough energy for an hour of reading. I also purchased one of the practice tests from CISSP. The first time I took it I scored a 60-something percent on it. I waited about a week and retook it a second time, giving myself time to focus on the questions as well as to "forget" any questions/answers (I've found sometimes with practice tests when you start to take them many times you begin to memorize the questions/answers). This time my score jumped to over 80%. I took it again the other day and my score jumped to the high 80% (the last time I went back to questions I marked for review, which I think brought my score up).

The Rub

So about half way through my studying I had a trip for Florida planned (this was planned well in advance of the class/test). I figured 3-4 days away from the books would do me good, and I did some reading on the drive down (my wife drove btw). When I got back, I got the flu! So I lost another week of studying while I was sick. When you have the flu, you don't feel like doing anything except sleeping.

I recovered fine from the flu and jumped back on the horse. Starting last weekend and through this week, I found myself really ready to get the test over with. Not that I was super confident that I was ready (I think I was as ready as I could get), but I was just tired of studying. Almost all my free time was spent reading, or doing practice questions. I was just burned out! This is probably typical (I guess) for most people who take this test.

The Test

As I said, not as bad as I thought/was expecting. There was very few questions that had not been covered in the AIO/Dummies/ My strategy for taking the test was answer about 30 questions at a time in the book, then transfer them to the scantron form. Those questions I wasn't sure about I put a question mark (?) beside them. Those that I answered, once I transferred it to the form I scratched the question number so I knew which ones were transferred. I did the first 70, then jumped to the last questions and worked backwards. I have no clue why I decided to go that route.

I took one break to go to the restroom and that was it. We were allowed to have water/beverage at our spot as long as it had a lid on it. I brought water and snacks but left them in the back of the room. By the time I left probably less than 50% of the test takers were still in the room.

Now the fun part begins, the wait. It's good to see that the results are coming in fast. Hopefully I will get the congratulations email. The next time I could take the test in my city would be July. But frankly, I don't know if I would have it in me to study and take this test again. It's brutal!

Sorry if this has been a bit unorganized and rambling. My brain is kind of shot right now.
CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS


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  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm sure you did well bro. The wait is always killer though :P

  • shaqazoolushaqazoolu Member Posts: 259 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Best wishes on your score and not getting audited when you apply for sponsorship.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,088 Admin
    Best of luck on your results and thanks for the great review! :D
  • holysheetmanholysheetman Member Posts: 114 ■■■□□□□□□□
    good luck with the results, I'm also still waiting on mine!
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Thanks to everyone for the kind words! I think yesterday the stress finally got me yesterday and I have been thinking about those questions I had a hard time with.

    One thing I didn't mention in my original post, I had done ISO auditing for 5-6 years so I think that helped me when it came to policy/procedure/guideline questions.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    good luck man! I'm sure you did very well :). I'm hoping the fast exam results continue, so I can know where I stand this week :)
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
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