Scheduled GSEC Exam

xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
So I've scheduled my exam for the end of September.
I've been pretty busy with work, going back to school this Fall (in 2 weeks).
I wanted to give my self a realistic time frame to study.

I've taken the SANS GIAC 401 course. 90% I felt I already knew.
I haven't taken our 2 free practice exams that are given to us yet.

The instructor stressed that even though it's open book, it's still not an easy test.

I imagine the exam questions are going to be "wordy". Why else would they give you 5hours to complete it?

A tip our instructor gave us was to create and index of what's where. This topic is in this book, in this chapter/page.

I was wondering more about the structure of the exam. Are they wordy like Microsoft exams?

I think my strategy going in... will be similar to that of when I took my Microsoft Certs.

Read the Answers first. see if I can eliminate a bogus answer. Read the scenario/question, then come back to the answers.

Without violating any of NDA... can someone tell me if you're allowed to skip a question and come back?
I've made that mistake before. Thought I could skip in Cisco... whoops.

Either way. wish me luck.
its study time.
nerd power.


  • Psyco32Psyco32 Member Posts: 104 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My recommendations:
    1-Create a index. Create a index. Create a index. You can search the SANS forums on here on how to create an index. In the process of creating it you WILL re-enforce your learning at the same time!!!

    2-The GSEC questions can be both wordy "You are blank blank Sys admin and you have to do this that and this. How do you?" and then there are straight to the point questions "What is this type of output?" or 'Which file type would let you do this?".

    3-Your methodology for answering the questions is sound. Most of the time 2 of the answers are probably dead wrong and can be factored out of your final answer.

    4- You are allowed to skip up to 3 (???) questions I think?? Only thing is, you cannot skip another question without answering the first skipped question first. Also, the skipped questions apply to your 15min break. The exam won't let you take your break without answering your skipped questions first.

    5- GOOD LUCK!!!!
    2014 GOALS
    > GMOB [MAR_2014] OSCP [MAY_2014] GREM [OCT_2014]
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,915 Mod
    GIAC exams are linear. Can't go back.

    GIAC Exam Feedback Procedures
    Once you start your exam, you must answer each question to the best of your ability in the order they appear on your exam. The exam cannot be bookmarked. Once you begin, you must complete the full exam.
  • chanakyajupudichanakyajupudi Member Posts: 712
    Best of Luck ! Do let us know how the exam goes !

    I have scheduled mine in November. I have the GCIH Scheduled this September !
    Work In Progress - RHCA [ ] Certified Cloud Security Professional [ ] GMON/GWAPT if Work Study is accepted [ ]

  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    thanks guys. working on my index now.
    nerd power.
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    welp.. I think I'm screwed. I haven't studied at all. Just now working on my index.

    I feel like most of this I already know tho. I have til Friday to study.

    I lost track of time with work, school and everything in between.
    where did the time go?

    I think tomorrow morning I'll take the practice test I have without any books, see how I place.
    Focus on my index and weakspots... then take the 2nd test with open notes.

    Would it be shameful to ask others for their old index? lol
    nerd power.
  • Psyco32Psyco32 Member Posts: 104 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Someone else's index wouldn't help you. SANS changes the formats of their books every couple of months I think.
    2014 GOALS
    > GMOB [MAR_2014] OSCP [MAY_2014] GREM [OCT_2014]
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Member Posts: 526 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Good luck for your exam.

    You will really need the books to refer to for your exams.

    I will say about 50% you can find the answer in the books. Let's say, they give you a hex **** capture from TCPDUMP and ask you the flag set in the protocol, are you able to refer to find the packet **** to refer to?

    The practice test is for you to gauge yourself how well you index your book. Try not to waste it and take it without the book.

    About 50% of GIAC question are wordly, they try to simualate real world scenerios and you have to answer to the best of your understanding. Sometimes, you will have to refer to the book to really understand what the book is asking.
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    thanks for the extra tips.

    I was joking about asking others for their index.

    Silly question. are we allowed to bring other books/notes?
    nerd power.
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    just finished taking one of 2 practice exams.

    Failed with 70%. No notes/books. I had 2hrs45mins left. Intentially failed a few questions for descriptions. failed a lot due to not reading accurately.
    I admit I'm a bit distracted today.. it's Sunday.. Football is on.

    So now I know where some obvious weaknesses are, I'm going back to my index.. and reading more..

    Overall with 70% with no notes and being distracted.. I dont think I'll do so bad on Friday. Fingers crossed.
    nerd power.
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Member Posts: 526 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Yes you are allow to bring any paper material you want as long as your standard size school bag can hold
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    tomorrow is the big day. I just finished my Index.
    About to take my 2nd practice test, this time with books.
    wish me luck.
    nerd power.
  • chanakyajupudichanakyajupudi Member Posts: 712
    Best of luck friend !

    I am writing in a month !
    Work In Progress - RHCA [ ] Certified Cloud Security Professional [ ] GMON/GWAPT if Work Study is accepted [ ]

  • EngRobEngRob Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck!
    I have mine scheduled for Tuesday. Please post how you did on the 2nd practice test and actual exam.

    Back to tidying up and reviewing my index......
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    WHEW! What a test!!!

    So, late into the night last night I finally completed.
    Flipping back and forth in a book really eats up your time! I only scored 80% after using my books.

    This morning was a frantic morning, having printing issues.
    So I rush out the door after finally getting my notes and index printed.

    I get to the testing center, I click start. By the time I needed to use my Index, I realize.. the printer didn't print my entire index!
    In fact it left out all of my notes/index for Books 5 and 6, and a few topics from Book 4. Wow. Just blank pages.

    If that wasn't enough.. i felt defeated since question 1. It seemed like none of the questions I had on the practice exams were on the actual test.
    I fantasized SANS laughing at me. "haha, we got him. we prepared him for this, and we test on him that! muahahahaha"

    I held in there, focused, skipped a few, came back.. then the final moment.. with 45mins left... 85%.

    Wasn't easy.. and I feel bad for the test takers around me...
    I was constantly flipping through the book pages quickly since I didn't have my full index.

    All in all, I liked the challenge.. and I learned a lot in the process.. I felt like I was studying.

    Having the checkpoints on the side really helped keep me motivated.

    My advice to everyone: make sure you ENTIRE index is printed.

    I also was rushing to complete my index.. I bunched a lot of topics together..
    I can't say whether this helped me or hurt me.

    My reason behind it was, while I'm searching for one thing.. I'll come cross another which sits in my RAM.
    So when another question pops up and I recently seen the answer/topic.. it's already there in memory waiting.

    makes sense?

    Thanks for all the luck guys.. and I wish you all the same.
    Stay focused.. Stay calm and conquer!
    nerd power.
  • Psyco32Psyco32 Member Posts: 104 ■■■□□□□□□□
    AWESOME!! Way to hang in there!!! I had a similar occurrence when I took the GCWN. The index pages for Book 5 with all the IIS references was a jumbled mess due to formatting and it seemed like almost every other question I was getting was an IIS question. Making the index and then taking the practice exams definitely help you. CONGRATS on getting the cert!!!
    2014 GOALS
    > GMOB [MAR_2014] OSCP [MAY_2014] GREM [OCT_2014]
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    thanks. My next SANS course/exam will be GCIH in July 2014.
    Next for me CCDA (January) and CEH (February)
    nerd power.
  • chanakyajupudichanakyajupudi Member Posts: 712
    Good Course. Wishing you the best of luck !
    Work In Progress - RHCA [ ] Certified Cloud Security Professional [ ] GMON/GWAPT if Work Study is accepted [ ]

  • EngRobEngRob Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! Sounds like you had a lot of fun on exam day :)
  • xirtlookxirtlook Member Posts: 124
    fun. sure. that's the word I'd use lol

    I brought a starbucks double shot drink with me, but ofcourse i couldnt bring it with me.
    So I left it in the locker so I can drink it during my break.
    well come time for my break, one of the ladies behind the desk said no, I couldnt go back into my locker.
    She did offer me a free soda tho. Then once I finished, the other lady said it was fine for me to drink my starbucks.
    Poo. Oh well I obtained the necessary caffiene I needed to proceed lol
    nerd power.
  • EngRobEngRob Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Too many people write **** notes on the side of Starbucks shot's a know fact :)
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