CISSPassed?

flippedmanflippedman Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
Well, I sat for the CISSP this past Saturday April 30th in College Park, MD. I felt pretty good taking the test, and felt pretty good coming out of the exam location, so hopefully that is a good indication that I passed. I feel like I was able to spot the 'tricks' they used in asking questions; although pretty much all the questions felt tricky to me.

What can I say about the exam? This may be a little weird, but it was just fun to take it, and fun to test myself and my mental capacities. It truly is a comprehensive exam and hopefully the hard work of 3+ months of pure studying will pay off. You reap what you sow, and man did I sow...a lot.

I'll briefly mention some things I did to prepare, but don't want to go into a full blown study plan until I get notification, because then it won't help anyone.

Main Study Material:
Primary - Shon Harris AIO 5th ed
Secondary - ISC2 Study guide
Tertiary - Eric Conrad CISSP Study Guide
Other: VTE web courses

Opinion - If I had to do it all over again I would STILL use the AIO as my primary and supplement even more with Eric Conrad's book, I barely used the ISC2 study guide, it just didn't read well although I'll probably use it as a reference in the future. Conrad's book was very good in tightening up the concepts and last-week preparation.

How I studied:
My biggest worry was how to remember EVERYTHING, but, Thank God, I came across a special study method in Wired magazine titled "Want to remember everything you've ever learned?". It was an article about the SuperMemo study method, which I will get into later. It worked much more than I anticipated.

In my opinion, the biggest thing you can do to prepare for this exam is five-fold (in no particular order):

1) KNOW HOW YOU STUDY, taking notes works for me so I stuck with that, and the supermemo method includes a varied way of breaking down the information for memory retention and recall.

2) PLAN YOUR WORK and WORK YOUR PLAN. Come up with a study plan beforehand and stick with it. More on this later.

3) SET GOALS. I would even say set some crazy goals, that's the only way you'll study your hardest. For example, I set the goal of "Being the first person to score a 100% on the CISSP". Mind you, this is probably very unrealistic, but each time I caught myself studying "just to pass" I reminded myself of my goal and I felt guilty about not studying my hardest.

4) YOUR LIFE IS MORE THAN THE CISSP. This should probably be at the top of the list. I honestly felt that I invested some of my soul into this exam and it got to a point where I thought "What am I going to do if I don't pass?". Well, I'll tell you right now, I corrected myself and my thought processes and said to myself "The same thing I always do, and that's enjoy life" (although I reminded myself I still wanted it....bad).

5) DO THINGS TO KEEP YOURSELF SANE. I really enjoy kickboxing, so I stuck with that 2x week to keep my fitness level up and to break up the time. Keeps the blood flowing to the brain too.

Well, hopefully I won't have to wait 4+ weeks to hear results, because even though I am confident, my biggest worry is that I made stupid mistake like putting my first name last and last name first on the scantron.

More later.

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,667 Admin
    Thanks for the great review and good luck on your results.

    Getting enough regular exercise to keep yourself alert is great advice for anyone studying for a big cert exam. It really does wonders for your brain.
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    Congrats on the pass! I'm sure you walked away with a pass and a lot of new knowledge gained through the hard studying. Keep an eye out on other candidate result dates...I took the exam the same week that others got results, so I had to wait a few weeks for my results...guessing they queue them up before grading and communicating results.
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Not to steal your thunder but here is a link to the wired article.

    Want to Remember Everything You'll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm

    Haven't read it yet, waiting for the Prez to announce that OBL got capped. :D
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • kmdickinsonkmdickinson Registered Users Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I took the exam at the College Park site as well this past Saturday. The test was certainly humbling but I felt good as I closed my book. I studied the Shon Harris guides as well as a couple of other practice exam sites. One was cisspexampractice.com and I don't think this site was worth the time.

    Good luck on your results!
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    flippedman wrote: »

    4) YOUR LIFE IS MORE THAN THE CISSP. This should probably be at the top of the list. I honestly felt that I invested some of my soul into this exam and it got to a point where I thought "What am I going to do if I don't pass?". Well, I'll tell you right now, I corrected myself and my thought processes and said to myself "The same thing I always do, and that's enjoy life" (although I reminded myself I still wanted it....bad).

    5) DO THINGS TO KEEP YOURSELF SANE. I really enjoy kickboxing, so I stuck with that 2x week to keep my fitness level up and to break up the time. Keeps the blood flowing to the brain too.

    4 and 5 are the truth!

    Best of luck - the waiting for the results is the worst part.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • security techsecurity tech Member Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for giving us your experience of taking the CISSP. Your write up gave me confidence. I sit for my exam in about 6 months, my main source of studying is AIO. I am going to purchase additional study material, after I finish the AIO.

    I totally agree with your step 4 & 5. Can't wait to hear your results that you PASSED!
  • ITdudeITdude Member Posts: 1,183
    Anyone know if the CBT Nuggets are worthwhile for this exam, as a supplement?
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • MegalopsMegalops Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    flippedman, any word on the results from your 4/30 test yet? I've seen that a few others have gotten their results on Friday.
  • flippedmanflippedman Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Really? I've been checking my email quite a bit and have not seen anything from ISC2. I've even checked my spam email.
  • MegalopsMegalops Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    flippedman wrote: »
    Really? I've been checking my email quite a bit and have not seen anything from ISC2. I've even checked my spam email.

    If you check the other forum, you'll see that there have been results from 4/30 and 5/1 test takers.
  • flippedmanflippedman Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Which forum? Thanks.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,667 Admin
    Posting links to the forums of non-illegal Web site is allowed. However, cccure.org requires that people have a registered membership and sign-in before their forum postings can be read, so it's likely that most people will not be able to follow links to their forum posts.
  • kmdickinsonkmdickinson Registered Users Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hey flippedman, I took my test in College Park on the 30th and I'm still waiting too. The person reporting that he got results on the 30th at cccure.org took his in Budapest. Hopefully any day now.
  • dbla17dbla17 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I attended the CISSP exam in NY on April 16th 2011 and still have not received my results. Anyone else wait this long?
  • mmatjammatja Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    dbla17 wrote: »
    I attended the CISSP exam in NY on April 16th 2011 and still have not received my results. Anyone else wait this long?

    No results yet for me too - I attended the CISSP exam in Kraków,Poland on April 16th. I emailed [email protected] a week ago, but received the info that my result is still unavailable.
  • TunYauTunYau Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I had taken the exam on 16 April Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
    Still no result yet.

    Saw 2 candidate pass in a Shanghai and Hong Kong in 1 chinese forum.

    It seems result only send on Firday Morning US Eastern Time?
  • flippedmanflippedman Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Passed!!!

    I'm pretty happy right now. From the start of studying to taking the exam was about 3 months.

    I will go into more detail later.
  • kmdickinsonkmdickinson Registered Users Posts: 11 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass!
  • ITdudeITdude Member Posts: 1,183
    Congrats, great going! Looking forward to seeing your further details.....
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • mmatjammatja Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    My results came in yesterday - I passed :D I will try to write a few words on exam preparation later.
  • TunYauTunYau Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulation flippedman and mmatja.

    Same here just received the result today morning.
    Result send from ISC on Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 11:29:31 -0400.

    Will share my experience later.
  • flippedmanflippedman Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have attached two documents (my study strategy and my actual study plan) which I hope will be useful for anyone preparing for the CISSP exam. Let me know if you have any questions!
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