Passed CISSP Exam on first attempt (24 Jan 2013)

moyondizvomoyondizvo Posts: 155Member
icon_cheers.gifI PASSED THE CISSP EXAM ON MY FIRST ATTEMPTicon_cheers.gif.

First and foremost, I would like to thank God for giving me the wisdom he has granted me to be able to tackle this beast of an exam. Big thanks to my wife for putting up with me whilst I studied, I know that the time away was hard for her (we newly weds :D). Anyway let me not waste much time and get to the good stuff:

- CISSP All-in-one Exam Guide (5th Edition) - Shon Harris - This was my main resource. I know that a lot of people on Techexams have slammed Shon Harris for being too verbose, but I found this resource the best "for me" because the verbosity gave me the background to understand the topics that were introduced and covered.

- CISSP Study Guide (2nd Edition) - Eric Conrad - In "my opinion", this resource is good if you already have the grounding of the topics or domains that you are studying or someone who already has extensive industry experience in multiple domains. When I didn't understand something from the Shon Harris book, I used this as a reference. I also used this a lot towards the exam as it drilled down right into the topics.

- Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK(2nd Edition) - I only used this book for about 3 domains and "I" found it dry, but it's a good book.

- Shon Harris Mp3s - I know that my approach may have been an overkill here and there, but it got me to pass right??? :) . Basically I love music, like everywhere were I am, I am always listening to music. The CISSP exam was very important to me and needed to pass it. So I wiped all music from my iPhone and added these Mp3s. On the bus to work, in the gym, to the mall, I would be listening to the Mp3s. I was rotating between the books and the Mp3s. What I found useful in this respect was to first read the books and then listen to the Mp3s.

- 11th Hour CISSP Study Guide - Eric Conrad - This is a really really good book for the last week(or even more) before the exam, I recommend this to reinforce concepts just before the exam.

- CISSP Practice Exams book - Shon Harris
- StudiScope Practice Exams
- Practice Exams at McGraw-Hill


- TECHEXAMS.NET - There are so many past posts on this website, people giving out FREE tips and links to FREE resources, had I known of techexams earlier, I am sure I would have done my exam much much earlier. I repeat, there are so many posts of guys who have gone through this exam and are giving out FREE pointers. This is not to overlook anyone who participates in these forums and their input, but I personally drew my motivation from posts of the following who completed their exams and posted their experiences: @JDMurray, @cyberguypr, @chilipepper, @Bigstars, @Jake007, @Bobloblaw, Richard Rieben and @emerald_octane. Techexams is a great place to be, so many FREE resources here (I hope I have made my point about the free stuff here :D).

From the onset when I started studying, I knew that Telecomms and Crypto were my weakest domains so I spent a lot of time going over these domains, trying to understand and take in as much as I could. For these two domains, I used all the books I had, from Shon Harris to ISC2 guide to Eric Conrad, I went through those domains over and over again from all the books.

The exam experience was gruelling. I know a lot of people have posted here on Techexams that one has to be mentally prepared for the exam and I thought I had prepared myself, but little did I know that I had not done enough. I was mentally exhausted when I hit the 175 mark, at this time I had taken two breaks and the clock was ticking fast. When I hit the 210 mark, my mind was beginning to black out and I had given up, I had already started planning my retake and my strategy for it. I took another break, this time it was a longer break to try and regroup. I went in for the last stretch but my mind was still exhausted.

I hit End Exam and got my results from the Exam administrator, took me 5 hours and 45 minutes. In my head, I had already concluded that I failed but when I had a look at the print out and saw the Congratulations, I jumped and threw so many air punches, kinda went Muhammad Ali for a moment there icon_lol.gif... You really have to be prepared for this exam mentally, I don't know how else to emphasize this. Another thing that is important to remember is that there are 25 ungraded questions so although they aren't labelled, some "to me" really stood out. Don't let these questions put you off. The process of elimination worked a lot for me through out the exam. Always take your time in reading the questions and understanding what is being asked, read the question 3-4 times if you have to.

I haven't listened to much music for close to 5-6 months now, I am gonna have my headphones on this whole weekend and catch up, probably hit the club with the boys too :D. Thank you Techexams, this is a great place to be.

Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congrats! Excellent writeup too, TE really is the place to be!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Posts: 613Member
    HOLY CRAP I GOT A SHOUTOUT!

    Step into CISSP bliss and bask in the hard fought glory for this is a joyous occasion!!! icon_cheers.gif
  • lsud00dlsud00d Posts: 1,571Member
    Congrats on your CISSP pass!

    I think crypto is one of the hardest domains for virtually everyone as it's seldom forefront and one of those things everyone takes for granted, like the Krebs cycle or lunar phasing icon_wink.gif
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,809Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Well done! Congrats.
  • wes allenwes allen Posts: 540Member
    Congrats! I think the endorsement times have come down a bit, maybe two weeks or so lately? Was running three to four this fall.

    It does feel good to see that "Congratulations" on the print out for sure.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,597Mod Mod
    Congrats!
  • VazmanVazman Posts: 10Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats!!! I am taking the exam tomorrow morning (8 hours to be precise) and will post my feedback.
  • ZorodzaiZorodzai Posts: 341Member
    Congrats

    On a different note - are you from the southern part of Africa by any chance ? Your name sounds very Zimbabwean icon_smile.gif
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Congrats on the pass!
  • Heny '06Heny '06 Posts: 107Member
    Congrats on the past, I see you passed the SSCP exam as well. Taking the SSCP prior, did that help in anyway for you?
  • HumbeHumbe Posts: 202Member
    Congrats man !!

    I passed mine on January 17th on the first try too !!
  • swildswild Posts: 828Member
    I have to say that I am so jealous of everyone that gets to take advantage of the CBT exam. That instant print-out is just amazing. Waiting 4 to 6 weeks for the results is pure torture.

    Congrats! One more step and you are certified.
  • moyondizvomoyondizvo Posts: 155Member
    Thanks so much guys, yes getting that print out and seeing the "Congratulations" is awesome. Not too sure how I would have survived back in the day when it was paper based, I think the waiting would have killed me...:D...

    @Zorodzai - I am not too sure if answering your question breaches any of this forums privacy or confidentiality rules, if it does, somebody please let me know. The name is just an alias I picked up from my workmate who is from Africa, I am from the ATL, Georgia.

    @Humbe - Congrats too icon_cheers.gif. I also followed you towards my exam date, great work bouncing back from being sick and passing the exam, Congrats, what's next for you???

    @Heny '06 - Yes, my journey to the CISSP began with the SSCP. I was always going for the CISSP, that was my ultimate goal, taking on the SSCP first was just to see how ISC2 worded their questions. I read of so many people posting on this forum of how tricky the questions were worded so I thought to myself let me take on a lower level ISC2 exam to get that feel. I should warn you though, these are two totally different exams, there are so many past posts on Techexams that compare them so you can have a search and read. It only helped to understand how different the ISC2 exams are from other vendors. Now there is going to be the burden of maintaining two designations and the AMFs, but it shouldn't be that hard...icon_rolleyes.gif...
  • bryguybryguy Posts: 190Member
    moyondizvo wrote: »
    icon_cheers.gifI PASSED THE CISSP EXAM ON MY FIRST ATTEMPTicon_cheers.gif.
    The exam experience was gruelling. I know a lot of people have posted here on Techexams that one has to be mentally prepared for the exam and I thought I had prepared myself, but little did I know that I had not done enough. I was mentally exhausted when I hit the 175 mark, at this time I had taken two breaks and the clock was ticking fast. When I hit the 210 mark, my mind was beginning to black out and I had given up, I had already started planning my retake and my strategy for it. I took another break, this time it was a longer break to try and regroup. I went in for the last stretch but my mind was still exhausted.

    Congrats on your pass! With that said, I can't stress enough to future CISSP candidates how important it is, when you're taking your practice tests to set aside a several 4-6 hour blocks and actually practice answering 250 questions in one sitting. It'll pay off in spades.
  • qwertyiopqwertyiop Posts: 725Member
    Thanks for your writeup, I have the Shon Harris and Conrad books on my desk and hope to do something similar to what you did.
  • HumbeHumbe Posts: 202Member
    moyondizvo wrote: »
    @Humbe - Congrats too icon_cheers.gif. I also followed you towards my exam date, great work bouncing back from being sick and passing the exam, Congrats, what's next for you???

    Thanks!!

    I'm looking at 2 more certs for now... C|EH or CISSP - ISSEP.

    What about you?? Got anything in mind?
  • moyondizvomoyondizvo Posts: 155Member
    I am probably going to go after the CISA or one of the CISSP concentrations, maybe ISSMP or ISSEP. I think the CISA is going to come first because I already have the bulk of the material. If you find any good material for the ISSEP, do let me know or if anyone else knows, do post :)
  • Jake007Jake007 Posts: 65Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Wow I got a shout out too!!!! Congratulations my friend, now it's your turn to lend your Hands to those that come after you.. Now get your endorsement done... CONGRATS again.
  • bobloblawbobloblaw Posts: 228Member
    Congrats. I sounded like Ric Flair screaming in my car afterward.
  • yamaj615yamaj615 Posts: 29Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats man!!!! Awesome success story. I just started my CISSP journey Jan the 1st.
  • ThistlebackThistleback Posts: 151Member
    Congratulations!
    Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
  • questian_123questian_123 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats.............
    Dear Can you share CISSP Study Guide (2nd Edition) - Eric Conrad
  • IristheangelIristheangel ABL - Always Be Labbin' Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,098Mod Mod
    Congratulations on the pass!
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
    Bonus TE Fun: Nerd Photos
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