CISSP Study Material Recommendations

IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from mPasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
Hey everyone,

So I've been spending the last 5 months getting through Shon Harris' AIO book and I found it very very dry but I finished it. I tried her video series but I found it extremely dry and hard to focus on. Looking for alternative study material. Anyone know if the CBT Nugget videos are accurate and a little more lively?

Also I bought the official CISSP CBK book and plan on going to the official bootcamp sometime in April before I take the test. Any other recommendations on how to best prepare myself?

Thanks!
BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
Blog: www.network-node.com

Comments

  • contentproscontentpros Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Here are a few resources that helped me pass my test:

    Eric Conrad's 11th hour study guide:
    Amazon.com: Eleventh Hour CISSP: Study Guide (9781597495660): Eric Conrad, Seth Misenar, Joshua Feldman: Books

    I didn't have time to make my own flash cards so I bought the SSI 250 flash cards:
    Amazon.com: CISSP Exam Prep Flash Cards (9780982576854): SSI Logic: Books

    For practice tests I felt the questions in the SSI CISSP exam prep 1000 questions were the closest to the actual test. There are some incorrect answers but when you can start picking those out you are ready to test. I liked the way they would have a couple of 40 question tests from all domains and then a 15 question test focused on a single domain.

    Amazon.com: CISSP Exam Prep Questions, Answers & Explanations: 1000+ CISSP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions (9780982576847): SSI Logic: Books

    Hope this helps,

    ~CP
  • bigdogzbigdogz Member Posts: 847 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Iristheangel,

    I used the OIG and AIO.

    I have not heard a great deal of good reviews of the CBT nuggets. I would save your money but I guess it depends how you learn. I have heard some good things from The CISSP for Dummies book.

    -Visit cccure.org browse the forum and try the test questions.
    -Think of this exam from a Manager's perspective.
    -Lately a great deal of questions are scenario based.
    -Read the NIST documents.
    -Be ready for this exam physically and mentally. Remember - 6 hours is a long time. You should bring snacks and something to
    drink.

    Good Luck!
  • bryguybryguy Member Posts: 190
    Eric Conrad's 11th hour study guide was a decent review, although I wouldn't recommend that anyone use it as their sole source material. Even the full book, I thought, was an abridged version of the material you'll need to cover. I know he gets a lot of recommendations on this forum and others, and as a SAN instructor he's well respected in the security community, but I didn't get anything additional from his books when compared to the OCC, and AIO.

    I hate to say it, but the Official CISSP CBK, is drier, in my opinion, than the AIO but both are comprehensive sources. I don't know if there is really a benefit to reading both. If I had to do it over, I probably just would have focused on one book or the other.

    Having taken a good number of pactice questions, including Shon Harris' and all of the paid CCCure CISSP questions, I agree that the "SSI CISSP exam prep 1000 questions" was probably the most comprehensive practice test material that I came accross.

    I would also recommend buidling your stamina by taking several practice tests that contain 250 questions, similar to the actual test prior to taking the exam.

    Good luck in your studies.
  • doverdover Member Posts: 184 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I second (or third) Conrad's study guide as supplemental material. It is a nice, relatively concise review after all the in-depth studying and the bootcamp is said and done. I enjoyed the Official CBK text much more than Harris's AIO - I just couldn't take the writing style I guess. I think you should get something just for making it through that book.

    To sum up:
    Official CBK text
    Conrad's study guide (and to some degree the 2 web site 'practice tests')
    CCCure test engine
    NIST documents - particularly 800-34 BCP/DRP

    I don't think you'll have a problem with the exam; if you've put in 5 good months of study and have the required background experience you should do fine.

    I do recommend that you take some 250 question practice exams - if you haven't already - like bryguy recommends. It really does help to prepare for the actual test. By around question 200 my mind started going numb; probably a combination of anxiety, doubt about previous answers and fatigue. Having done 4-5 250 question 'tests' from CCCure and the Conrad web site helped although the Conrad tests were very simplistic compared to the actual exam.

    Good luck! When's the big day?
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    dover wrote: »
    I second (or third) Conrad's study guide as supplemental material. It is a nice, relatively concise review after all the in-depth studying and the bootcamp is said and done. I enjoyed the Official CBK text much more than Harris's AIO - I just couldn't take the writing style I guess. I think you should get something just for making it through that book.

    To sum up:
    Official CBK text
    Conrad's study guide (and to some degree the 2 web site 'practice tests')
    CCCure test engine
    NIST documents - particularly 800-34 BCP/DRP

    I don't think you'll have a problem with the exam; if you've put in 5 good months of study and have the required background experience you should do fine.

    I do recommend that you take some 250 question practice exams - if you haven't already - like bryguy recommends. It really does help to prepare for the actual test. By around question 200 my mind started going numb; probably a combination of anxiety, doubt about previous answers and fatigue. Having done 4-5 250 question 'tests' from CCCure and the Conrad web site helped although the Conrad tests were very simplistic compared to the actual exam.

    Good luck! When's the big day?

    I agree with what you're saying about the AIO writing style. Very verbose and dryly written. I can take verbose OR dryly written but when you mix the two, it's hard for me to keep retaining. The application and OS security parts was extremely hard to read. It's not that it was overly complicated but I found myself zoning with her writing style (same with her video series as well)

    I am planning on taking the test in May. I work in security right now, read the AIO book at work, and I am playing the CBT Nugget series in the background but when I go home at night, I'm working on schoolwork and CISSP is far from my mind. Based on the recommendations here, I want to read another good book (leaning towards the official CBK), I'll probably get the CCCure and SSI questions, boot camp a week or two before the exam at the end of April, and then the week or so before the exam, I'll use the 11th hour series.

    Thanks for all the recommendations, guys! You're all awesome. I'm actually getting together on G+ with people to form online study groups if anyone is interested
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Iris - here are a few things I would suggest.

    1. Read JD's blog post on his studying/experience with prepping for the CISSP. That will give you an idea of the different resources available and what you can use.

    2. When I tested, I used the AIO (agree it is kind of dry). I supplemented it with a subscription to CCCure.org (spent MANY hours practicing in their test engine). I also got a copy of the CISSP for Dummies. Cheesy as it seems, it filled in a few blanks for me. Also, I'm a fan of the StudISCope practice exams from ISC(2). They are pricey, but for me it gave me the best feeling on where I stood and how prepared I was.

    Best of luck!
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    rwmidl wrote: »
    Iris - here are a few things I would suggest.

    1. Read JD's blog post on his studying/experience with prepping for the CISSP. That will give you an idea of the different resources available and what you can use.

    2. When I tested, I used the AIO (agree it is kind of dry). I supplemented it with a subscription to CCCure.org (spent MANY hours practicing in their test engine). I also got a copy of the CISSP for Dummies. Cheesy as it seems, it filled in a few blanks for me. Also, I'm a fan of the StudISCope practice exams from ISC(2). They are pricey, but for me it gave me the best feeling on where I stood and how prepared I was.

    Best of luck!

    Thanks! Do you have a link to JD's blog post?
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
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