I Passed the CISSP!

SnarlingCoyoteSnarlingCoyote Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
I just had to find a place to overshare. icon_cheers.gif

This has been on my "to-do" list for about 2 years, but around Thanksgiving, I realized I was never going to do it unless I set a date, so I went in and picked a date and sort of. . .more or less. . .well, I did some studying, but not of the "taking a final in graduate stats" kind of studying you really should do. The weekend before my test date, I studied my brains out, realized I wasn't going to pass and rescheduled it for an extra week out. Continued studying every waking hour, walked into the test center and spent a miserable 2.75 hours reading questions and thinking I was going to fail, because there were so many judgement call questions. I was half-thinking the entire time "well, if I flunk, I won't flunk NEXT time." But I soldiered through and did my best, answering the questions. I got to the end, told the test I was finished; proctor came and I left the room, walked to the front office and the lady at the front handed me a piece of paper saying I had passed. :D

For a moment the world seemed to stop and then this dear lady said "you need to sit down before you faint." She also handed me a box of tissues. I finally got myself together, walked out, called my husband, and gave him the good news.

In terms of studying, I'm not sure I can give anyone any additional advice, except that I lurve Safaribooksonline. For $24.95 a month, you can get 10 sets of videos or books or combination thereof in your e-bookshelf to print off and read and study. The books and videos include Shon Harris's guides, so it really is a good deal.

It was a hard test. I said when I was studying for it, that I was going to take this test and be done with getting certifications, but now I'm thinking about my next cert. . .


  • warmkittywarmkitty Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulation !!!. Wish you good luck for the next cert..
  • FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
  • Z3-MasterdZ3-Masterd Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Excellent!! Do you feel like one book/resource in particular helped you more than the others?
  • shyguyITshyguyIT Member Posts: 380
    Congrats! icon_thumright.gif
    2017 Goals:
    Route[X], Switch [], TSHOOT[]
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
  • datacombossdatacomboss Member Posts: 304 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So, no wait for results if going the paper test route?
    "If I were to say, 'God, why me?' about the bad things, then I should have said, 'God, why me?' about the good things that happened in my life."

    Arthur Ashe

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,718 Admin
    Congratulations! icon_cheers.gif And what a great story of determination!
  • Kamat2000Kamat2000 Member Posts: 34 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • sameojsameoj Member Posts: 366 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats, kindly share with us your study strategies and materials.

  • SnarlingCoyoteSnarlingCoyote Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    My study technique:

    Well, I knew from graduate school that if I just read the material I don't use (like I use RBAC all the time, but MAC? Not so much.) I wouldn't learn it. I also knew that I need to read things in different formats to "get" it.

    I took the bootcamp over a year ago, so I had that book, and that really, really helped. For me, I need to be in a classroom, then I need to write out everything I don't know at least two or three times, sometimes more often. For example, on something like all the TNI/TCSEC matrix levels, I wrote the details for each level out 10 times. Yes, my writing hand often hurt and on a future cert I may eventually give myself carpal tunnel or somesuch with this method, but I learn it!

    Also, when driving to and from work (35 to 50 minute drive, depending upon traffic), I would pick a topic and give an imaginary classroom a lesson on subject. I even invented difficult questions from the audience to ask myself!

    I would also make little graphical notes to leave for myself in various places. For example, under my keyboard, taped to the desk, there's a markup with the OSI and TCP/IP levels and examples of all the things at all the layers. For the key and block size of the block encryptions, when I was learning that, I had a little chart in my car, and when I was at a stop light, I would recite them to myself. Once I was done with that, I did hash sizes. When I was done with that, I had all the different public/private key strategies marked up graphically to review. I put a little chart about all kinds of databases and middleware in my bathroom where I would see while I was brushing my teeth.

    I did full-time graduate school while I was working 50 hour weeks, so, I pulled out all my old study tricks!

    As for books, I bought and used a LOT - my 10 slot bookcase at safarionline is FULL, plus there is a stack of materials and notebooks and printouts in the trunk of my car about a foot tall. The best materials are ANYTHING by Shon Harris, hands down. The books are well organized and extremely well-written in a good conversational style. 2nd choice is Wikipedia. I would pick topics I didn't understand and go to Wikipedia and read the entry thoroughly, tracking it through all the references to other topics, usually picking up a LOT of knowledge along the way. I also liked CISSP for Dummies. I bought the Exam Cram Questions as well and the question sets were really useful, but several (about one or two questions per domain) were flat out WRONG. I also used CCCure, and it was really, really helpful, but I think there's an overemphasis on some topics and not enough on other topics in that database.

    Go to the bootcamp if you can. If not, I think the Shon Harris taped lectures are good as well as the Shon Harris book and question sets. Also, do a lot of CCCure, but realize that it has way more questions for some domains than others and that on the test, all domains are equally important!

    Hope this helps!

    ETA: Oh, just thought about this. For any sort of learning, it really helps me to figure out a real world parallel to a process and use that. Like for CPU processing states, I pictured a Character Spot Meet and Greet at Epcot. (That sounded weird outloud, but if you know the CPU processing states and you know how that particular attraction is organized, it will make sense.)
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247

    sounds like you really were dedicated to passing! also scheduling really puts the fear of god into you! (did the same thing for my pmp... procrastinated until i finally scheduled the test then study study study... thanks for the link to safari .. i have several of the other books for the cissp, but might have to check out the latest from shon harris (I have a much older version of her book someone gave me).

    again congrats.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • kapokapo Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations for passing CISSP !!! and thanks for sharing your exam preparation method in this post. I would like to ask you if you met any of the new style questions (hotspot or drag-and-drop) within the exam ?
  • iamsidiamsid Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Which bootcamp did you take?
  • hylaabhylaab Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
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