CISSP class/test Dec 11 Sterling/Dulles

k-nutzk-nutz Registered Users Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
So since I am still waiting for my results I figured I would post about my experience with Training Camp. Work paid for the class and it ran from Mon-Saturday 8am to about 7 or 8pm with the test scheduled for Sunday Morning. They provide lodging and lunch with the paid class so that is nice.

First off I have to say that I have taken many college classes and IT courses while in the military and Dennis Lee is by far the best instructor I have had for any IT course, or any course at all for that matter. The material is SUPER dry but Dennis made it fun and easy to learn. I have recommended him to all my co-workers that are looking at achieving CISSP as well. One of the guys in class said he came to his workplace for a CISSP course and All but 1 person passed.

This past summer I took Advanced Network Security through the university of maryland which is essentially a CISSP course as well, so the class I took with training camp was a good refresher and helped clarify alot. I drove from Stafford VA to Sterling VA every morning I left at 5am, got there by 6am to ensure I didn't get stuck in traffic. While on the road to and from class I listened to the Shon Harris video files that a friend converted to audio files. So that took up 2-3 hours of the day every day. When I got to the hotel at 6am I ate their continental breakfast then went up to my room to study and do homework for 2 hours. If I could do it over I would definitely take advantage of the hotel room, but since I have a toddler and a newborn I didn't want to bail on my wife like that, she said she knew it was important and encouraged me to stay at the hotel BUT I know how hard two kids can be alone and I wasn't about to bail on my wife for 7 days.

The morning of the test I dedicated to memorizing the gimme material (TCSEC, code of ethics, IEEE, etc) simply because I didn't want to miss a guaranteed right answer knowing that all of the other questions would have multiple "right" answers. I used CCCure test questions but I didnt see any of those on my test.

While in the class every evening we did a review, it really got on my nerves at first, even if EVERYONE called off the right answer the instructor still read the question, read each answer then explained the answer. After a while it dawned on me that he was showing us how to try and single out the best right answer.

I am no stranger to 250 question tests as that's what the navy does for advancement, so the length of the test didnt bother me. I did however have to learn how to take a CISSP test, any other test I have taken I skim the question, the read each answer til I find the answer and move on to the next question. The one thing I learned that I think is important to pass on is to be thorough with the questions, so many times 1 word in the question can mean the difference between a or b being the answer. How I did it: I read the question, read each answer then I read the question again and went with my first answer. Over all the review questions I learned that if you have to work through or justify the answer in your head to prove it over another then you should probably go with the one you are trying to disprove.

Too many times in review I missed questions because I over thought the scenario.

ie. if there is a fire in your server room:
a. sound the alarm
b. sound the alarm and shut off power
c. run screaming
d. cry like a baby...

Sure b makes sense, of course you want to sound the alarm and shut the power down, it makes sense right?? but that is already over thinking it sound the alarm is the first and most important part...

Anyways I spent about 3.5 hours taking the test, I think I was the second one out of the room. leaving the test I didnt feel confident, and I didnt feel horrible. Since then I have had my confident moments but this wait has been making me doubt myself.

I went to work the following Monday, big mistake I could barely function. I ended up calling out sick the next day just to recoup.

The only complaint about the class that I have was a guy named Chad, apparently he was told by his work that he had to get the cert. He had no idea about anything IT or security related so that slowed down the pace of the entire class since he was asking questions every 5 minutes. No exaggeration he would ask questions like what is Twisted Pair, is twisted better than untwisted, what is RJ-45. So please if you are in the position of sending employees to classes please ensure they have basic knowledge for the sake of everyone else who is in the class.

So the wait continues, I will post either way pass or fail, and immediately schedule my re-test if necessary.

Comments

  • ZekeCISSPZekeCISSP Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Took my exam Dec 10th in Charlotte, NC and got my results last week. I'm sure yours will arrive very soon. Anyway, we had a guy that must have been told he had to get his cert 'or else.' I say this because he passed out at breakfast in the hotel where the test was given (where I chose to stay) and left in the ambulance - yes, he missed the test. As most of us know, the test is tough, but not that bad. People shouldn't psych themselves out that much.

    I took a two week CISSP class given at my base (Air Force) two years ago (2009), but never tested. I retired and was hired by a company that offered to fund the test, but didn't offer me a refresher course (I didn't ask) so I got the Shon Harris book, DVD's, and some other books from a friend of mine who recently passed his CISSP exam (on the third attempt). The only book I bought was the most recent 11th Hour Study Book, which was pretty good. I also paid for the CCCure site for the sample test question. I wasn't as impressed with them as many of the posts I read led me to believe I would be.

    I basically started with the DVD's...too dry. I decided my best method was to go through sample questions, from books, CCCure, the CD that came with Shon Harris's books, etc...I would do questions and when I missed one, I would find the answer and read the pages around that portion of the book. Sometimes I would just read a page or two, or for things like Firewalls, I would read many many pages. I would highlight while I read and then if I had to read it again, I would focus on the highlighted portions. I guess this worked for me.

    As you mentioned on the test, reading the questions and the answers completely is a big part of it. I have a bad habit of skimming and looking ahead to the next answer so I used a separate piece of paper (must have been my answer sheet since you can't have extra paper) to cover up anything below the question or specific answer (a, b, c, d) that I was reading at the time. It helped me on many questions by ensuring I didn't just by pass an answer that I deemed obviously wrong at first glance.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,881 Mod
    Oh man between Chad's story and the guy go passed out this is the best CISSP thread ever. Good luck to k-nutz and thanks for the review. Congrats to ZekeCISSP.

    Welcome both to TE.
  • k-nutzk-nutz Registered Users Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Its Official at 10:17 EST my results came in, I passed.

    I honestly am not sure if I could have done it without the best instructor EVER:

    Dennis Lee
    CISSP Course taken through Training Camp
  • zecchinozecchino Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I second k-nutz's post that Dennis Lee is absolutely fantastic. I took his course in Feb 2014 and I am not sure about the entire class average, I do know that the other three people who finished at the same time as me all passed. Also, a friend of mine took his class and he told me that everyone passed. Pretty much I stayed away from the Shon Harris, skimmed the CCURE (don't spend your money its absolutely nothing like the exam) and did some other test ****. What I liked about Dennis was the way he framed the questions to make you think. In anycase, it your serious about passing find a prep course, make sure Dennis is your instructor and your likely to pass.
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