March 15th | CISSP | Help me help my self

switch-modeswitch-mode Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Greetings Everyone,

I've been reading these forums for a while, a lot of good advice and seemingly nice community. I, like many people, have wanted to dive into earning the CISSP for a while now but never got too serious about it. I figured the best way to get serious is to pay the money for it and set a deadline. So I have registered for March 15th, 2014.

A few years ago I was with a team of people who were all studying for the CISSP. About half way through studying I was stationed elsewhere and everyone in that group tested a few months later and they all passed. I was happy for them as they obviously deserved it since they put in the time and effort but was a little disappointed that I wasn't with them.

Now its time to put in the effort, finish what I started. I'm hoping to draw support from these forums and learn from others mistakes and successes. There are a lot of threads to read through and I know that a lot of things are different from person to person, but I hope that the knowledge of many can come together to help me with the task ahead of me.

This is a two way street of course, I can't expect to take, take, take without giving a little in return. In the past I have shied away from forums because they are usually a time sink of which I mostly can't afford, but it seems here is a valid place to put a stake in the ground and call home for a while.

Thanks ahead of time for your understanding,


  • bull313bull313 Member Posts: 138
    Setting a test date is a great idea for seriously motivating yourself to get certified. I need to practice what I am preaching here, as I have yet to set my test date yet for my A+ (getting back into IT after a long hiatus). I hear the CISSP is a tough one, but seeing how you have your Security+ you should have a solid foundation.

    You have about 2 months until test time, which should be plenty. Best wishes to you!
    "Follow your dreams. You CAN reach your goals. I'm living proof. Beefcake! BeefCAAAAAAAKKKKE!!!"-Eric Cartman
  • switch-modeswitch-mode Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□

    Thank you very much for the wishes. I think you are correct that this is a tough test. I personally have the problem of trying to REALLY understand the material rather than just remembering what I need to pass the test. When I was taking the Security + I was in Afghanistan (as a soldier) and was studying in my spare time (staying up late or waking early) and really spent the time to learn what I needed. I had a 'friend' who was also to take the test around the same time. He on the other hand was more concerned on just remembering what he needed to take the test. He also passed. So if you put the two of us a week later in the same room and gave us practical questions I'm confident that I would understand more. This is part of my motivation for the CISSP. Perhaps I am wrong but I concider those who hold a CISSP to be very knowledgeable rather than just memorizing. I know that over time people forget things and its difficult to remember everything from every domain, but it stands to reason that someone who can pass the CISSP has a firm technical understanding and solid background. This is what I am aiming for.

    Thanks for your time,
  • BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
    Hi switch-mode,

    Congrats on spending a lot of money for motivational purposes! :D Perhaps your 9/11 GI Bill will cover the cost of your test if you pass? (If you have that...just a guess)

    It is a tough test, I'm hoping you're planning on investing 10-20+ hours a week on it for the next two months.
    I would fully recommend Shon Harris's 6th edition, something from Eric Conrad, paying for full access to the test bank, and studying your face off. When it hurts and you don't think you can fit any more in, keep going. Flashcards, a lot of them. And lastly, reviewing posts here is another good tool of course.

    Also, make sure you have verified you have the appropriate amount of work history and are lining up someone to validate that and you so that if you pass, you will have that already taken care of.

    Best of luck!
  • joebannyjoebanny Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @switchmode, good to hear you've set a date for this exam, that's a great motivation, even if you have to move the date forward (as I did and pay $20 extra) it is still ok, better to be sure of your preparedness than to waste $600. Having said that, I will suggest you set a study schedule, great to study with a team if you can find a serious one, however not everyone will get that, in my case I couldn't but my determination was rugged I decided to go alone, I set a schedule which I explained to my wife and my family was quite supportive. Ensure you read and understand all domains well. Take many practice questions, not sure what materials you're using but there are free questions with the Shon Harris book and those are great, buy some more if need be. Make sure you're hitting 80% on each domain. Once you're comfortable, go for it. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing you good news on this forum. Feel free to ask questions, this is a rich forum that will provide you great assistance in the process. May 2014 be your year of being CISSP-certified!
  • switch-modeswitch-mode Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Greetings BGraves,

    Thanks for the advice! Currently I have Shon Harris 6th Edition, Shon Harris Practice Exams 2nd Edition, and a DVD with 3 hours of audio and video. I purchased a box set. I think once I get into it the flash cards will be a good touch to help as I make my way through it. I'll look into the other suggestions you have made as well.

    Where I work will pay for a passing exam (another good motivation) but you are correct the VA will pay for my test if I jump through their prep courses first. I have the appropriate work history but I don't know anyone that can personally verify me, so I will have to ask them to contact someone I work with to validate my background (also my Military expertise was 6 years of network security, I have various certs and awards from the Army, including teaching) so hopefully that won't be much of a problem. Thank you for the concern, I'll definitely ensure I have my ducks in a row before the time comes.

    Thanks for the luck I'll take everything I can get!
  • switch-modeswitch-mode Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello joebanny,

    Thanks for all the great advice, I hope to post a success story in 2 months! I am in the process as I write this in working out a schedule, I think your right I should speak with my family and work something out with them as well, that's great that your family was supportive!

    Again thanks, and if I have any questions I'll be sure to let ya'll know.
  • bull313bull313 Member Posts: 138
    God Bless you Switch, and THANK YOU for serving our country! Now go get that CISSP, Solider! That's an order :)
    "Follow your dreams. You CAN reach your goals. I'm living proof. Beefcake! BeefCAAAAAAAKKKKE!!!"-Eric Cartman
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