Cleared CISSP

email2vmemail2vm Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi Everyone,

I am very thankful to the success stories which were posted. That kept me going and challenging myself. Today, I want to thank all, for sharing experiences and helped me to share my own.

I also wrote everything on my blog so i will just copy paste some important content here (

During my last paper of CCNP, I started searching about books that I should read to pass CISSP. i soon learned that Shon Harris is best for this beast. I started reading Shon, which I ordered earlier, from the same day i passed CCNP. I read the first chapter "Information Security and Risk Management" and then started to do the questions which were at the end of the book. I got 82% right. I thought if these are the questions in the CISSP then I said CISSP is simple to crack but to soon find that I was wrong.

As soon as I completed the chapter, I answered the questions which were at the end of the book. My daily routine starts by waking at 8:45 AM, reaching office by 9:30 AM. Once I am at office can't say what time I will reach home again. Usually I reached home by 9 or 9:30 PM. I spent some time there after with my wife until she goes to sleep by 11:00 PM. I used to study till 3-4 AM and run to office again the next day. Because of this busy schedule, I decided to dedicate saturday to her. I decided saturday instead of sunday because it was half working day for her. she used to wake me up by 10AM on every Saturday and I utilized the time till she returned for my studies. Sunday I had all the time in the world. This was my day. I read, I go gym, I take rest and read untill 3:00 AM.

It took me 3 months to complete Shon. I used to score between 78-85% for the questions behind every chapter. I started CCCure and I scored almost 69-76%. I thought I was ready for the exam. Till now I just read Shon once and did all the CCCure 2150 questions. But there was something within me which said, Ravi you are not ready yet. Are you playing stupid? questions can't be so dumb in actual exam.


I read review of that book. There were two reviews which said that most of the questions were from NIST. I checked the sample questions and the reviews were right. Just before closing the browser I thought of going through some questions. I checked the question number 39 which was about XACML. I realized that I forgot about this...slowly as I went through the questions the more I realized that I am still not ready. Clearly, this was helpful as I now understand what level of questions can be expected.


This boosted my confidence. It also became obvious about the question which I can bypass from that book. I started working 9 hours shift, sticking to my schedule. No saturdays to wife and no enjoy on sundays. A strict schedule was being maintained. I came to know about the ISC2 retired questions from studyscope


Gave the second paper from study was quite hard but managed to score 79. Now I kept topics which I wanted to read from each chapter which was of high importance. This helped in the final hours of the preparation. During my first reading of the Shon I prepared notes. The sample of the notes is something:


Before fortnight, a trip to Belgium and Netherlands cropped up. It was a business trip which lasted for a week. I had only 1 week left to be exact daily 6 hours and saturday and sunday. Many blogs read that the last 15-20 days were crucial. I thought I have wasted the crucial time. Since I scheduled my exam on 29th Oct which was Monday, I had time to visit the CBT (computer based test) center on saturday. On sunday evening I gave my last exam from the study scope I passed by 71%. I just thought still my probability of passing the exam now and before 2 months still remains same 50%. But I was sure that I would.


Till now, I studied the two books 2 times each, more than 8000 questions solved and none failed.


Now it was time to prepare a strategy for the main exam. Its a 6 hour long big exam. I planned
1> every 100th question i will take 5 min break..even if I have left all the 100 questions unanswered.
2> I will not panic even the first 25 questions are unanswered may be they are just unmarked questions.
3> I will take three breaks maximum
4> I will utilize most of or all the time during the exam.
5> I will eat food which will make me calm for atleast 2-4 hours.
6> prayed god to give me strength for staying focused during the exam


I read on some blogs that some failed with score as near as 694. So one correct answer may make big difference. Took 15 mins to answer them. For most of them I really did not like to change the answer. I just clicked on the end exam because of impatience. I took 5 hours and 45 mins.


I called my wife and told her. She was sharing this with everyone in her office. I thought she was more happy than me. I think she sacrificed more than me and hence her joy but me still in shock.


Now I was taking too much time, more than what an average person would spend for passing the CISSP. Clearly at one point I doubted my own capabilities. But only way was to accept it as challenge and not to rush. I completed the CBK in 3 weeks. I read the most important 5 units again from Shon.


I was not able to enjoy for 3 days because I was in shock. I promised my senior that if I pass I would come to office same day 5 PM and if I failed, i will just ride home and sleep some time. My exam was over by 4:30 and I already missed 3 calls from my wife and colleagues. I went to office and everyone congratulated me for passing this exam.

My current experience stands at 4 1/2 years in access controls, network security, system security and DR.


  • email2vmemail2vm Member Posts: 17 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Double negations:

    The questions in CBT were straight forward. If I could remember well..there were at max 2-4 with double negation.
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    Good notes. Sounds like you were very dedicated. I passed CISSP (associate) as my second cert (ever) and am working on the CCNA now. I feel like the study habits we posses from the CISSP make everything else look like a cake walk lol.

    I don't think you "overcompensated" for anything. The people who fail the exam often come back to say that they didn't take it seriously enough or something along those lines. Overcompensation = more confidence/cautious optimism when its game time. Nothing wrong with that at all.
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