GIAC GCWN Preparation Help

BreadfanBreadfan Posts: 282Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm in need of a little help from you all. It's been awhile since I have posted on here, but I still lurk multiple times each and every day. Since I last posted I got a new position in my company and they have paid for my SANS/GIAC GCWN Course and Exam.
It expires at the end of August (unless I pay for an extension).

My question(s) to you all who have taken a GIAC exam is how did you finalize your preparation for the exam? I know its open book and I have been reading that I should prepare my own set of indexes to bring into the exam. This seems to be where I am stuck though. I have never taken an open book exam before, so I am kind of at a loss for how to properly index 5 books efficiently.

I am re-listening to the videos and going back through books, but each time I try to setup an index in Excel, it just doesn't make sense. I know Excel very well, I just dont seem to be able to index at all. icon_rolleyes.gif

Any help and tips you all could provide would be great as I am very nervous for this exam and when it comes to exam-taking, I am not the best (I do better at sims)

Thanks,

BreadFan
Mark Twain

“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go.

Comments

  • uyen_nguyenuyen_nguyen Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Don't worry too much. Relax, calm down. And you must control your brain's neutrons, don't let the clock fool you. I used to be like you, except that I challenged the exam. Worry, nervousicon_lol.gificon_lol.gif but then things will be okay.
    English is my second language. My apology for my grammar errors.
  • quinnmanquinnman Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I create an index in excel with 3 columns, column A listing the subject, tool name etc, column B is the book number and column C with the page number. Go through all 5 books and at the end order alpabetically

    Below is an example

    IP Address Spoofing 5 178
    DDOS 3 54
    Bitlocker 2 25
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I took the GWAPT last month. The openbook part threw me off too. Plus it was the first CBT that I had ever taken so I wasn't sure what to expect.

    My indexing was pretty lowtech. I used post-it notes and taped them as tabs on the pages as I reviewed the books a few days before the exam. Then I used the books when I took the sample exam the day before the actual exam.

    Good luck on the exam.
  • BreadfanBreadfan Posts: 282Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    uyen_nguyen - That was funny as hell. Almost spit my coffee out. lol. Thanks for the tips

    quinnman - Thanks for the indexing help. I plan on indexing all the major topics, and do it like you said. With 5 books, it will be quite a list.

    paul78 - I'm afraid to use the post-it method for everything since in previous experiences, they fell out, etc.

    Like uyen_nguyen said, I will hopefully relax, not watch the clock, and just use common sense in answering the questions.

    Thanks for all the help. Hopefully, soon I will be posting a PASS post...
    Mark Twain

    “If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go.

  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Breadfan wrote: »
    I'm afraid to use the post-it method for everything since in previous experiences, they fell out, etc.
    That's where my CISSP training paid off. I implemented a BCP solution by making sure that I knew where the table of contents was in each book icon_cool.gif And I had a HA backup for the post-it glue with scotch tape.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,386Admin Admin
    I'm prepping to take the GSEC in a month. I'm indexing the six books using a 3-column table (term/book/pages) and I will make two indexes: one sorted by all terms alphabetically and the other sorted first by book number and then by term. I'm not sure which way will be more useful, so I'll use my indexes to take the second practice GSEC exam and see. My biggest concern is not having a term I need indexed. So far the most thorough indexing method seems to be high-lighting the significant terms and phrases while reading the books and then going back and building the index.

    I'm thinking about taking a yellow sticky note with me to cover up the on-screen score and timer.
  • uyen_nguyenuyen_nguyen Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Winning the clock and the checkpoint result are the main key points to pass. When I did my GAWN, it is like a heart attack when coming to the last 135-150 question, I only had 20 minutes left for 15 questions, the closer the ending question is, the faster the clock time and the longer the question will be. Last 5 mins, the clock tick tock tick tock, if I looked at it then I wouldn't do the last 15 questions well. Hopefully, we will see your GCWN pass thread soon.
    English is my second language. My apology for my grammar errors.
  • docricedocrice Posts: 1,706Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    How did you do on your practice exams? In my experience, the practice exams simulate the real one closely. If you can score a decent grade (say, 85%) on a practice run in about half the allotted test time, you're probably good. Otherwise, take your time to learn the material at a pace you can adopt.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • quinnmanquinnman Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    My scores have been 10% higher in the real exam compared to the practice tests. I have only done the GCIA and GCIH exams. My alphabetical index really helped.
  • BreadfanBreadfan Posts: 282Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sorry I am just now replying to this but work has been so crazy lately and trying to study at the same time....Drain Bamaged indeed.

    JDMurray & nguyen - lol, that's exactly what I had thought about doing with the post-its (covering the clock up), b/c I am afraid that getting down to the last questions, and seeing the clock and/or my pass/fail rate at that point will make me freak out. Maybe I will do it like the MS tests where you wait 30 seconds (or a lifetime) and then the screen goes PASS! (or FAIL!)

    I'm not sure if it's good to know where you are at a particular point in the test b/c that can make or break your concentration (but that could be me)

    As for the practice tests, when I first got the materials (before I opened any books, etc) I took one practice test (yes, this was BEFORE I realized you only get TWO. But, I scored like a 61% with my worst subject being IIS, since I have never looked at or used any of it, and this has proved to be the most difficult (and boring) topic for me to learn. I have enjoyed the Securing AD and PKI topics and since I will need these for my MCITP, I have tried to log these for future reference as well.

    I have also used mnemosyne flash cards and they have been a great help. I really appreciate everyone's help and tips on this exam. Hopefully, I will post a pass (not really concerned with my score on this one), and then it's off to the CISSP boot camp and studies and somewhere in there I hope to do the 70-640/642 before they move it to the CRAZY mcse again...(SMH)

    BreadFan
    Mark Twain

    “If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go.

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