My Exam Experience

TBRAYSTBRAYS Member Posts: 267
My Exam Experience

Yesterday, the day before the exam, I gave my brain a day of rest from 6 months of studying (Best decision I could’ve have made), I spent all day watching ESPN and playing with my son (my PTO day). We tested at the local Westin Hotel, I live about 28 miles from the hotel so I left my house this morning around 7am and arrived at the hotel around 7:45 (stopped by a waffle house on the way for a nice breakfast). Once I arrived, I sat in my car listening to some Smooth Jazz music just for relaxation. Around 8am I noticed other candidates arriving so I got out of my vehicle and followed. Our exam location was on the 7th floor in a ballroom. Once on the 7th floor, we proceeded to the check-in table with Identification and Exam Admissions letter. Once I arrived at my designated table which was in the back of the room, everyone had to place their items at the front of the room which everything except beverages, admission letter (two ISC2 pencils and ear plugs were provided by ISC2). The ear plugs came in handy due to distraction from people getting up for the restroom and other noises. After listening to the proctor for 30 minutes the exam started at 8:55 am est and the proctor stated the exam would end at 2:55 pm est. I wrapped up my exam at 1:04. I used the two-pass method while taking my exam. After the exam I felt pretty confident that I performed well, now the wait begins.

My Preparation

My Background

I have been working in Information Security since 2005. Just recently achieved my Masters in Information Systems Management with a concentration in Enterprise Security, and I can proudly say that the program at Walden geared me up towards this certification in the domains of Application Security, Information Security Governance and Risk Management and Legal Regulations, Investigations and Compliance. The other domains came from work experience.

My Action Plan
I observed the exam schedule on the ISC2 web site early this year. I decided to give myself 7 months to prepare. Like Commander Jameson stated the exam availability choice was either 10 weeks or 15 weeks away. But instead I wanted two ‘quality’ weeks per domain to learn, so I chose the one that was 15 weeks away.

Like Commander Jameson I drew up the following timetable – and stuck to it, with a two year old son, lol!

Week 0 - Book the exam, read (ISC)2 requirements, order books
Week 1 – Information Security Governance and Risk Management
Week 2 – Access Control
Week 3 - Cryptography
Week 4 – Physical Security
Week 5 – Security Architecture and design
Week 6 – Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
Week 7 – Telecommunications and Network Security
Week 8 – Application Development Security
Week 9 – Operations Security
Week 10 – Legal Regulations, Investigations, and Compliance
CISSP exam (9/17/2011)


I agree, “I know from past experience of exams that the only true way of assessing my knowledge is to sincerely take practice tests. I know people who skim read questions and look at the answers and then agree that they would have got it right, but I know it’s easy to delude myself when doing this” (Commander Jameson).

The books that I bought were:
  • CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition by Shon Harris
  • CISSP Study Guide, Eric Conrad, Seth Misenar & Joshua Feldman
  • Testout LabSim (CISSP)
  • CBT Nuggets & Videos by Shon Harris (For reinforcement)
  • CISSP Exam Prep Questions, Answers & Explanations: 1000+ CISSP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions (SSI Logic)
Bachelors of Science in Technical Management - Devry University
Masters of Information Systems Management with Enterprise Information Security - Walden University
Masters of Science in Information Assurance - Western Governors University
Masters of Science Cyber Security/Digital Forensics - University of South Florida

Comments

  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for the review :)
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • Chivalry1Chivalry1 Member Posts: 569
    Congrats on your pass...great review.
    "The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and
    content with your knowledge. " Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)
  • WutWut Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Chivalry1 wrote: »
    Congrats on your pass...great review.

    He still wait for his result, doesn't he?
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    How did you like Seth's book? I had him for my GSEC instructor, he is an awesome (and very funny) guy.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • Commander JamesonCommander Jameson Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Tbrays

    Fingers crossed for your results. Sounds like you approached this in a proper structured manner, which is always most likely to be successful.

    Interesting to hear that in the USA you use the word proctor. Not heard that before; in the UK we say invigilator.
    "Proctor" sounds a bit funny to my ears ... isn't that a type of, ahem, doctor? icon_wink.gif

    Commander Jameson
  • TBRAYSTBRAYS Member Posts: 267
    I dunno, lol, I've always used the term Proctor! How was the CISM, thats what I'm targeting next?
    Bachelors of Science in Technical Management - Devry University
    Masters of Information Systems Management with Enterprise Information Security - Walden University
    Masters of Science in Information Assurance - Western Governors University
    Masters of Science Cyber Security/Digital Forensics - University of South Florida
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Member Posts: 1,819
    tagged for later use

    sounds like a plan
    wgu undergrad: done ... woot!!
    WGU MS IT Management: done ... double woot :cheers:
  • Chivalry1Chivalry1 Member Posts: 569
    Wut wrote: »
    He still wait for his result, doesn't he?

    Yes he still has to wait on his results for an official pass....However I am anticipating a pass. :)

    Think positive TBRAYS...this long wait will have your mind going in all directions.
    "The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: be satisfied with your opinions and
    content with your knowledge. " Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)
  • WutWut Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Chivalry1 wrote: »
    Yes he still has to wait on his results for an official pass....However I am anticipating a pass. :)

    Think positive TBRAYS...this long wait will have your mind going in all directions.

    You guys are so lucky to live in US.

    I took my exam in my home country, Thailand which I have to wait for the result for almost 1.5 months T_T.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,661 Admin
    Wut wrote: »
    I took my exam in my home country, Thailand which I have to wait for the result for almost 1.5 months T_T.
    Part of that time is the (ISC)2 waiting for the exam booklets and test sheets to clear customs and come back to the US. This delay is part of what the (ISC)2 is hoping to fix by moving to Computer-Based Testing.
  • TBRAYSTBRAYS Member Posts: 267
    Chivalry1 you know what I'm hoping for but if it doesn't come out in my favor, I'll take it again in December while the information is still fresh! I think I'll get my results relatively quick since ISC2 headquarters is in my area (Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg).
    Bachelors of Science in Technical Management - Devry University
    Masters of Information Systems Management with Enterprise Information Security - Walden University
    Masters of Science in Information Assurance - Western Governors University
    Masters of Science Cyber Security/Digital Forensics - University of South Florida
  • badrottiebadrottie Member Posts: 116
    TBRAYS wrote: »
    I dunno, lol, I've always used the term Proctor! How was the CISM, thats what I'm targeting next?

    I found that in terms of difficulty, the CISSP is more comprehensive, technical and rigorous. The CISM is more managerial, strategic and governance focused. In fact, the CISM domains are a subset of the CISSP domains, and if you have CISSP experience and working knowledge, it is not that hard to pass, really.

    My $0.02.
  • TBRAYSTBRAYS Member Posts: 267
    I was wondering did I finish the exam to quickly from 8:55 to 1:04 with it ending at 2:55?
    Bachelors of Science in Technical Management - Devry University
    Masters of Information Systems Management with Enterprise Information Security - Walden University
    Masters of Science in Information Assurance - Western Governors University
    Masters of Science Cyber Security/Digital Forensics - University of South Florida
  • WutWut Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    TBRAYS wrote: »
    I was wondering did I finish the exam to quickly from 8:55 to 1:04 with it ending at 2:55?
    It took me 4.30 hrs in my case.
  • Laztech200Laztech200 Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Very good review. Had a similar experience.
  • badrottiebadrottie Member Posts: 116
    Wut wrote: »
    It took me 4.30 hrs in my case.

    I used 4.5 hours to write the CISSP, broken down as follows:
    3.5 hours of exam writing
    0.5 hours for breaks (15 minute food/water break, 15 minute bathroom break)
    0.5 hours final review of the Scantron scoring sheet to ensure completeness, ensuring there are no errors in transcription, etcetera. (As I had ample time, it seemed prudent to do a self-audit)

    The important point is that it matters not if you take two hours to complete the exam, or all six. The only thing that matters is passing the CISSP.
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