Recommendations for a course of study prep!?

zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
Hi all,

I am preparing to begin self-studying for the CISSP and I am trying to set a realistic time frame and gather a list of study materials that will help me. I know that this will vary for everyone depending on their experience and what not. I am currently working as a IA engineer (Vulnerability scanning, DIACAP, GPO's etc) and have worked as a Sys Admin for roughly 6 years now and I hold Sec+ as well as MCITP and a handful of other certs.

I am thinking that a 3 month period planning to study for an hour or so a day and some days even more should hopefully be enough to prepare me?

Right now I have the Shon Harris AIO 6th edition, just ordered Eric Conrads 2E guide, the 11th hour book and I also have access to VTE's CISSP training. I am thinking of purchasing Transcenders CISSP practice exams/flash cards and maybe another resource I can.

Can any current CISSP's look at my proposed study plan and let me know if I am missing any great resources and if what I have in mind in terms of timeline and study materials should be enough to put me in a good position to pass if I put in the time studying.

Any tips and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!


  • redzredz Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would recommend the CCCure quiz engine (~$50) and the CISSP for Dummies (~$25) book. The CCCure quiz engine is the best I've seen thus far, and the CISSP for Dummies book is a good complimentary book that presents the same information in a very different way than Shon or Eric's books.
  • beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,525 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Depends more on how you study, learn and absorb information. Do you only need to read material and feel comfortable? How about quizzes, quiz books, flashcards, notes, etc. Is your study method amicable to more hands on? Forensics and physical security could very well fall into this category.

    You may want to check out you tube for for security related videos as well. There are a number of options out there. Don't set limits as to what you use for security materials. The CISSP is well documented as far as study materials available. Actually, I'd have a hard time finding any one certification that has nearly as much study materials written for one test.

    As far as the Shon Harris/Eric Conrad book debate goes here's the conventional wisdom. The Shon Harris book works better if you have limited to somewhat limited exposure to the full field of information security. Eric Conrad's book speaks more to the experienced professional, hence the smaller size.

    Like many journeys, the CISSP study will have its share of rough spots and pleasant surprises. Don't forget to enjoy the journey.

    - B Eads
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I also have access to Fed VTE's 2012 version of CISSP prep course. I'm not sure if anyone else here has utilized that and can comment on it but if so please do! I'm curious if it is worth watching, it looks like a recorded bootcamp course basically, focusing on all 10 domains in pairs of two.

    Thanks for the tips so far!

    I was thinking of signing up for Infosec's online self paced bootcamp but if I can avoid spending the nice chunk of change it is and instead use the Fed VTE bootcamp, CCCure paid quizzes, Conrad's book and other resources then I would prefer that, since it would be much cheaper
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    If I could do it over again...

    Eric Conrad's larger and smaller CISSP Books.
    McGraw Hill Quizes (found the website)
    OpenSource (I think was the name a 250 question CISSP test).
    All the GIAC/SAN's CISSP PDF's.

    I blew threw the exam today I had every question answered in 2 hours and spent another 1.5 hours reviewing every single question.

    My method was to answer the questions then go back through and compare every answer to the answer I selected. I would ask, is my answer the best, does it meet the objective?

  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks Phil, I'm going to use all the resources you named (got the books coming this week) and also watching Fed VTE's CISSP course video.

    I also found a 25 pg PDF on this site that seems to have a condensed version of valuable info.

    I appreciate all the insight from everyone!
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    Yep that 25 page is the Ver 1.1 CISSP Summary. The only thing I wish it did better was explain the BCP/DCP and Legal piece.
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well I went ahead today and set a firm date to test

    December 14th will be the day.

    I've almost finished reading EC Study Guide v2, and I am reading each domain in the 11th hour after finishing the lengthier version in the study guide. Also testing on each domain in CCCure after reading them, and then again every few days just to keep them fresh.

    Where can I get my hands on the 25 page pdf mentioned? Have about two months until testing and want to soak up as much as I can. Plan to use practice questions from McGraw Hill and Shon Harris AIO as well.
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