Took Exam twice!!!!!!! What am I not studying?

rickymoorerickymoore Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
First score was a 571 and just recently 605. So close and within reach, but I'm just not getting it. It takes me the whole 6 hours and the last time, I finished the last question with only 15 minutes to go over the ones that I marked. I thought I was pacing myself, but it seems like I'm almost running out of time. Anyone have any suggestions?

Comments

  • BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
    It is mentally difficult to fail an exam once, let alone twice. I feel your pain. Hang in there!
    Two things at this point I can suggest:
    One, get your head right. Two failures is tough but not the end of the world. Review your weak domains and study them closely obviously. And then study the domains you are strong in, and then study some more. The worst advice ever right, but thats the secret to success. You only fail if you give up.
    Two, have you tried using the cccure.org test bank for their practice questions? This is an excellent resource and the paid version of the test bank is EXTREMELY useful. I used Shon Harris and Eric Conrads books for study as well, and about 400 flashcards I wrote and memorized the crap out of.
    Don't give up!
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    1. Look for the question mark. Find the question, then look for its answer.
    2. Closely compare the answers. When I took it, some answers were different by only one or two key words.

    I thought that the exam tested my understanding of English more than it tested my understanding of security. Of course, I had 10+ years of combined military and private sector experience when I took it, so your mileage may vary.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • rickymoorerickymoore Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the tips. I used teh Shon Harris pratice tests but found them to be not that useful. I've never heard of the cccure.org test bank, but will check it out today. I am considering the ISC2 6 day boot camp, any thoughts? I've been studying since Jan 2013, took the test the first time in June, then again in September. I've found the Shon Harris book difficult to read and absorb. She seems to go off on tangents when discussing the material. I was told about the Eric Conrad books, but only a week before I took the test a second time. I'll be ordering today. Which is best the 2E or the 11th hour or both?
  • MSP-ITMSP-IT Member Posts: 752 ■■■□□□□□□□
    EDIT: Statement clarified by user.
  • BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
    Edited my post to clarify since evidently the context was not understood by all.
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't think he meant it as a put down, I think he meant mentally it is tough on the tesk taker to face failure twice..
  • rickymoorerickymoore Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you MSP-IT for the look out. I did understand what BGraves meant! In regards to the Eric Conrad books which is best the CISSP Study Guide 2E or the 11th hour or both? I've done the practice exams with the Shon Harris book, but found them to not be helpful. Her delivery in the book makes it difficult to read as I feel she goes off on tangents and my ADD kicks in and I'm off in another direction. I've not heard of the CCCure.org practice tests, but will check that out. Any other suggestions? I seem to move along well when taking the exam, but notice that once I've completed all the questions and go to return to the marked ones I only have about 20-15 minutes remaining. I've also considered the ISC2 6 day boot camp...any comments on it?
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,821 Mod
    I just passed so if you could list what your current study situation looks like I can offer some advice (length of study, books and practice exams used).
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, 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
  • HumbeHumbe Member Posts: 202
    First... Which area did you scored the worst? - Study that.
    Second... Which material are you using to take the exam?
    Third... How much knowledge or background do you have in Info Sec?
    Fourth... Have you considered SSCP or CAP?
  • rickymoorerickymoore Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for your advice and support. I did an online boot camp with a companycalled “InfoSec,” but the material seems scarce and although I’m sure theinstructor is highly knowledgeable, I felt as if all he did was read thematerial sent to me in a package, word for word. I read the Shon Harris CBK and did thepractice tests provided. I created flashcards from each domain and restudied the domains I did poorly in after thefirst attempt at the test. I did betteron those I previously did poorly on for the second attempt, but what I feel isthat I’m missing the concepts and how to apply them. I am well versed in the actual material, but Ithink my problem is mainly the scenario questions. I have a background in Information Securityand have been in this field for 3 years as an Information AssuranceManager/Information Security Systems Assistant. I’ve recently purchased the CCCure.org practice test package and plan onpurchasing the Eric Conrad study guide. Does anyone think that the second book Eric Conrad put out, “11thHour,” worth purchasing? Also, I wasconsidering the ISC2 6 day boot camp. Iwould appreciate any thoughts on whether the Boot Camp is a good idea at thispoint before I spend $4000 to attend?
  • BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
    Ricky,

    I would say that if you've sprung for the cccure.org stuff, invest a few weeks in to the questions there until you can reliably score 90+ on each domain. If you're able to do that consistently and gone through your weak areas (don't forget to go through your strong areas too!) then that's probably a better investment of your time and $ than the bootcamp. That's my opinion though, and there may be people here that have taken the bootcamps that speak highly of it. I was able to clear the exam with all the stuff you mentioned above and a ton of flashcards. (Have you made flashcards? They're terrible but hand writing each one and studying it over and over can be useful!)
    Just my thoughts! Good luck to you!
  • NovaHaxNovaHax Member Posts: 502 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I didn't even read the "scenarios" when I took my exam. A lot questions in CISSP consist of a ridiculously long paragraph scenario followed by a fairly straight-forward question. Often times...the paragraph does not contribute anything that would be necessary to answer the question. My strategy was to read the one-liner question first. Determine if there was enough information in that to answer the question (9 times out of 10...there was), and only if there wasn't, I would go back and read the scenario.

    Hope that helps!!!
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Threads like this are making me nervous. I am scheduled to test Dec. 14th. I've read Conrads study guide v2 and 11th hour each once and I am preparing to re-read them both now (and plan to read the 11th hour multiple times). I'm also using a paid version of cccure and doing domains individually and other tests consisting of all 10. I'm averaging roughly 70% in some of the tougher domains and a little better in others. Hope by re-reading, especially on areas it recommends and also using the AIO as a reference, plus the v1.1 study guide I be successful.

    Best of luck to you OP, I'm sure you'll get it soon!
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,503 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I love Eric Conrad's 11th hour book but its probably not going to help much as far as the scenario based questions which are more akin to teaching high school algebra story questions. You remember two trains going in opposite directions..? Blah, blah. Its more of a matter of teaching your how to answer the question itself and different for each individual.

    One advantage to taking a paper based test is the ability to cross-out meaningless wordage in these tests. I can see where this is only a bit more complicated on a screen only. Yes, its a personal dig but its my dig at CBTs.

    This is going to drive some folks, particularly instructors nuts, as this is considered to be somewhat taboo but I have a tendency to read the answers first then look at the question anticipating the most correct answer. Now, this technique doesn't work for everyone but in my weird reverse logic it often does work. Try practicing this on a few scenario questions and see if that doesn't help as well. If it does great if not - don't ever use it as it can slant your thinking to the wrong answer by over anticipating. Teacher's in particular hate this technique but I've been doing just that for years quite successfully.

    Last item is to physically write out complex concepts that you "think" you know but have trouble applying. Nothing like drawing diagrams or fill in the blank scenarios out on Visio or paper to make you apply concepts that in general feel like they are there but maybe not quite. For example on a 8x11 sheet of paper write out the OSI layers from top to bottom. Now add in an example of a physical or logical device for each. How fast can you apply these to one another? Perhaps not as fast as you might think. Just look at the Presentation layer and you should come up with at least three different concepts that apply. Physical? At the very least 2-5, etc. This will help you apply nebulous concepts to real world concepts very quickly rather than having to "really think" about the material - it should come quite fast almost like "muscle memory". It all happens in your head but the material just gets replayed that much faster. Time is the ultimate killer here. You will tire yourself out mentally with an exam of this type if you force yourself to struggle with the material.

    - B Eads
  • rickymoorerickymoore Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    All great points and suggestions. I greatly appreciate them all. I will begin the cccure.org quizes and continue with my Flash Cards. Yes BGraves, I have a bag full of flash cards that I continue to read and re-read to familiarize myself with the material. I have ordered the Eric Conrad study guide and will begin reading that as well. Once again, thank you all for the support and the suggestions, they are all helpful. Don't worry zxbane, you'll do well. Don't let the scenario questions hang you up, which I believe is my biggest hurdle. Good luck!!!
  • hylaabhylaab Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    B Eads -

    Great exam taking technique. I tend to do that once in a while as well and it works for me in finding the key point in the question. Just to reenforce my retaining process, I always do the end of chapter questions before reading the chapter and revisit the wrong answers again.
  • redzredz CISSP-ISSAP, ISSEP, ISSMP, CAP (& others) Member Posts: 265 ■■■□□□□□□□
    hylaab wrote: »
    Great exam taking technique.

    Don't be nice to beads. It sets a bad precedent. He's going to expect me to be nice all day at work now. Sigh...
    NovaHax wrote: »
    Often times...the paragraph does not contribute anything that would be necessary to answer the question. My strategy was to read the one-liner question first

    Do this.

    Whether or not you want to read the entire paragraph, read the question first. That should be absolutely the first thing you do on every single scenario. Read the question alone, dissect what that question is asking, and then find any additional information you need in the scenario (or just answer it if you don't need additional information).

    It will do three things for you:
    1. Focus your efforts on answering the correct question.
    2. Keep you from reading and focusing on so many scenarios and prematurely exhausting yourself
    3. Save you time to review your marked questions.
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,503 ■■■■■■■■■□
    redz wrote: »
    Don't be nice to beads. It sets a bad precedent. He's going to expect me to be nice all day at work now. Sigh...



    Do this.

    Whether or not you want to read the entire paragraph, read the question first. That should be absolutely the first thing you do on every single scenario. Read the question alone, dissect what that question is asking, and then find any additional information you need in the scenario (or just answer it if you don't need additional information).

    It will do three things for you:
    1. Focus your efforts on answering the correct question.
    2. Keep you from reading and focusing on so many scenarios and prematurely exhausting yourself
    3. Save you time to review your marked questions.

    Classic passive aggressive posture for this place. I see you going far here in the maze of the ivory tower that is our workplace.

    - B Eads
  • LionelTeoLionelTeo Member Posts: 526 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Besides memorizing all the answer, the keypoint is to know how to take the test. It helps to tell your mind to always select the BEST answer for each question. Cccure question are good but over kill for what you actually needed for the exam. I score 69% on my first run. However Cccure will helps to train your mind to select the best answer. The best way to use Cccure is to select each domain with 50question only and then revise through all the wrong answer. Then try a 250 question test and use the result to focus on your weak domain till the last day for your exam.
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