Lookin' For Luck!

CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
Hey TE,

You might have noticed my absence recently. It's due to my studying for the CISSP exams. Anyone who's passed before knows what a beast this is to study for. On top of that, I started a new job 2 months ago, and am still working on school... Needless to say, the daily gym schedule fell off the map. LOL

Well, I'm here now to get good luck wishes from everyone as I am sitting the exam in in about 30 hours. I'm currently reading through the 11th hour manual, and plan to read the "TIPS" section at the end of each chapter in the AIO before I actually site the exam. I also made 1700 flash cards to go through on my phone, and I'll have my laptop with me in the car as I sit in the parking lot. I always like to take a practice test or two before I take the actual exam... Nobody plays a football game "cold", so why go into a 4 hour test cold... Right? icon_lol.gif

Anyone have any other suggestions on last minute prep? I am scoring in the lower 80s on the Shon Harris tests, and in the mid-70s on CCCure... AlthoughI think the latter is due more to question quality than a necessary gap in knowledge. I also bought the studISCope sets and am scoring in the low to mid-80s on those as well.

As I'm sure many before me have experienced... I have that nagging feeling of impending doom in the back of my head, and feel more study on TCSEC levels, protocol to OSI layer mappings, the Kerberos process, and a few other "deep" topics could use a bit more studying... Is this pre-exam jitters, or are they really hit that hard on the exam?

TL;DR: Wish me luck all, I feel my chances of passing are about 60:40 right now.



  • webgeekwebgeek Member Posts: 495 ■■■■□□□□□□
    BS in IT: Information Assurance and Security (Capella) CISSP, GIAC GSEC, Net+, A+
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    Having passed the December 2012 CISM exam, that should be an easy task. :) Some called me crazy for prepping and sitting the CISM exam followed by the CISSP 3 months later, but the two exams have about a 50% overlap, so it made studying for the CISSP a lot easier in areas such as ISG&RM, BCP, DR, SDLC, etc...

    Jeez, this industry uses too many acronyms. :S
  • doverdover Member Posts: 184 ■■■■□□□□□□

    Knock it out of the park brother. Wondered what happened to you...thought you went BlackOps on us :)

    1. Think like ISC2
    2. Identify the key words/phrases
    3. Eliminate the wrong answers
    4. When in doubt, go with your manager gut
    5. Grab a beer
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Good luck and hope to hear that you pass it. Sounds like you are well prepared.

    Get a good rest the evening before. BTW - it's a six hour exam as I recall, not 4 - so be prepared for that duration.
  • ThistlebackThistleback Member Posts: 151
    When you run into those questions that have two good answers, here are some tips:

    As Webgeek said, think about management issues - people, policy and process - rather than the technical solution to the question.

    Beware of answers with absolutes - such as "XX percent of all" . . . "always," "never," etc.

    When you first read the question, try to identify which domain is being addressed - this too can have an effect on which of those two good answers is the correct one.

    These tips should add a good percentage to your odds of success.

    Good luck!
    Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
  • joebannyjoebanny Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I can only wish you all the best! Mine is in a few days too. My only advice is I will suggest you try to relax the mind. Having done all you have done, you want to be able to think clearly- relax. I look forward to hearing your good news!
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Good luck to you too Joe.
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    Thanks team... Not sure why I said 4 hours instead of six. I think perhaps because the CISM took me 4? *shrug*

    Thanks for the quick responses guys. Excellent feedback. :D Keep them coming. I'm going to take a couple more practice tests and crash out early tonight. I already went to the store to get some jerky and water for the "long haul".

    Should be interesting to say the least!
  • wes allenwes allen Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you haven't watched the SANS webcast, check it out for sure: https://www.sans.org/webcasts/successful-passing-cissp-95594 Also, there is a great study guide from CCCure.org that is good for the last few days before the test to distill a lot of the acronyms down.

    And, pack some snacks and the caffeinated beverage of your choice, if you indulge in that. Esp. if you think you will be taking the full time, take breaks. I did a break after 100 questions and another after 175. If you review, maybe a break before that as well.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @CISPhD - you may recall that at ISACA exams, they provide earplugs. ISC2 did that when they managed and proctored their PBTs. I find that having earplugs helps my concentration tremendously so you may want to bring them if you are taking the CBT at a testing center.
  • raybfreeraybfree Member Posts: 38 ■■□□□□□□□□
    when no beer is available, grab a Red Bull.. a 4 pack at minimum! It does the job everytime!
  • webgeekwebgeek Member Posts: 495 ■■■■□□□□□□
    paul78 wrote: »
    @CISPhD - you may recall that at ISACA exams, they provide earplugs. ISC2 did that when they managed and proctored their PBTs. I find that having earplugs helps my concentration tremendously so you may want to bring them if you are taking the CBT at a testing center.

    It is really quite at the CBT.....you aren't gonna need plugs but if that is your thing bring some since they are not provided....well at least at my center they weren't
    BS in IT: Information Assurance and Security (Capella) CISSP, GIAC GSEC, Net+, A+
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,878 Admin
    They do provide ear plugs that the testing center I go to. I wonder under what organization's criteria they do that for (Pearson Vue, perhaps?). Next time in for an exam I should get a pair just to say that I did.
  • Jake007Jake007 Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JD, Your right Pearson Vue provide you everything, actually they are overly strict, i couldnt even chew gum in the test center, or use my own ear plugs. You cant even eat/drink in the text center. They provided ear plugs, Head Phones, dry erase board and marker..

    Good luck to you C, take a deep breath take your time and really look at the questions. You will do well.
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    Well everyone... I regret to say I didn't quite make the cut...

    Just kidding (April Fool?). :)

    I passed the exam after 108 grueling minutes of ISC2 torture. I still felt mid to fair even after I took the exam. After I left the test room, I collected my things from the locker and the proctor handed me a folded sheet with my exam results. I left the test center without looking at the sheet. Hopped the elevator down and made it to the parking lot before the "What if I failed?" thoughts started entering my head. I felt about ready to puke by the time I made it to my car, closed the door and sat quietly with my little piece of life altering paper. I opened the paper and saw the first word "Congratulations!"... I was so relieved! I believe I actually said "Uuuugggghhhh holy ****" out loud. lol

    Overall, I can heartily say the CISSP was the worst studying experience of my life, and I'm happy to say that I will be happy to collect CPEs until the end of time before I have to study for that exam again. :P

    Thanks to everyone in the TE community who has continually provided support through the CISSP, CISM, Sec+, Microsoft and other certs. :)

    What's next!?
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats man! That's awesome! :D Fun to read your story. Did you just use the AIO and 11th Hour?
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    I had quite the extensive study regimen. I used the following over a 4 month period:

    - Shon Harris AIO read cover to cover
    - 11th Hour CISSP read cover to cover the day before the exam
    - CISSP for Dummies read cover to cover
    - CISSP CBK by ISC2 drolled on cover to cover
    - CISSP CBT Nugget Series (approximately 30 videos worth 20 hours)
    - SANS organization CISSP presentations
    - 1 of 3 wishes offered by a genie for infinite wisdom
    - New Horizon CISSP 5 day boot camp 2 weeks before exam
    - 1729 self-made CISSP flash cards (Available for distribution, just ask)
    - Shon Harris practice test (Approximately 2000 questions over 55 exams)
    - ISC2 studISCope practice tests, 3 sets of 100 questions each
    - CCCure.org practice exams (39 exams worth 1925 questions)

    I would say my personal study regimen went way above and beyond what was required. I probably could have gotten away with just the AIO (Or CISSP for dummies depending upon your tolerance for dry reading), 11th hour, the AIO test engine, and the stuISCope test engine. Everything else was really just review of other materials. Either that or one of the other resources covered a very specific topic in much greater detail. E.g... The CBK covered ITSEC in much greater detail.
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Whoaaaa. Where'd you get the genie?

    Yeah, you definitely had quite the study regimen :o . Very cool, thanks for the info.
  • bryguybryguy Member Posts: 190
    Wow, did I read that right? "108 grueling minutes" - that's pretty high speed! I don't think I've heard of anyone completing the exam in that short of period of time. What is that like 25 seconds per question? Maybe that has something to do with the CBT as opposed to PBT, but still... Well done, sir!
  • kalkan999kalkan999 Member Posts: 269 ■■■■□□□□□□
    108 minutes is not grueling, that is INCREDIBLE. Less than 30 seconds per question! Hat's off too you.
  • moyondizvomoyondizvo Member Posts: 155
    Congratulations ... icon_cheers.gif ... Guess you found your luck icon_lol.gif
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,834 Mod
    Congrats!!! I'm hoping to test in June.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • Jake007Jake007 Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thats what I want to hear....Congrats Buddy!!! get that endorsement. !!
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    Absolute shortest exam time I've seen for CISSP. CONGRATS!!!!
  • ssehgssehg Member Posts: 69 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats.. Amazing that you clocked 108 minutes... icon_lol.gif
  • oradevoradev Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats, CISPhD icon_cheers.gif. After passing the 12/2012 CISM, I just started studying for CISSP exam on 4/1. What are you going to do with the 11th Hour CISSP and CISSP Dummies books? I'll take 'em off your hands if you're looking to part with them.
  • ThistlebackThistleback Member Posts: 151
    Congrats and "Well Done!" too! It's always entertaining to read a test-taker's story of reading the grade slip . . . I can just see you now . . . icon_cool.gif
    Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! I think my first pass was 108 minutes...
    Spicy :cool: Mentor the future! Be a CyberPatriot!
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    It all went by pretty fast. I didn't bother with breaks during the test, I just kept clicking watching the number of remaining questions go down... Already 50 questions done! Wow, half way done now! Less than 100 questions left! Only 50 questions left, this is like a practice test! Holy crap, only 15 questions left! Done! **puke**

    There weren't nearly as many scenario based questions as I had anticipated. I cant directly speak to count, but I expected at least twice as many as I actually got. Maybe I just got lucky. :)

    Thanks to everyone for the praise. I already got my endorsement from a coworker, and am doing a quick run through on the ISSMP. I'm told that with all the studying I did for the CISM and the CISSP, a simple read through on the ISSMP CBK should be more than adequate. I can take the ISSMP once the CISSP endorsement comes back clean in the next few weeks.
  • _Marauder_Marauder Member Posts: 132 ■■□□□□□□□□
    That's Awesome. Congratulations!! icon_cheers.gif
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