passed CISSP exam on a sunny day

_nessie__nessie_ Member Posts: 39 ■■■□□□□□□□
Thought I'd follow the pack of people posting how their failing/passing time was after grinding through the CISSP exam.
First things first, I'm quite certain I had a vast amount of luck today. I was sure I wasn't going to pass the exam, due to the simple fact that I didn't feel well-prepared.
It got even worse last week, when I tried several exam-questions (links found on this forum, provided CD with SH's book ...) and I barely scored 70%.

But, there actually was no other option than just passing the exam, as I'd been provided a voucher that ended on the 1st of Feb. The voucher was obtained after following a week-long 'boot-camp', paid by my employer, somewhere at the end of Mar last year.
Agreed, some would argue: you really had enough time to study or at least work on it.
And to a certain extent, they'd be right, if there wasn't anything else needing my attention. And most of you know the feeling, barely having some free time and yet you need to study ...
In Dec last year, I eventually set an exam date in Jan, so I knew 'the' day was closing in fast .. very fast.
In the meantime, some colleagues at work were already asking 'ah, when are you going to pass your CISSP' ... as if THEY knew for sure that I was going to pass ... aaaarg, some more moral force ... which was already peaking, as I didn't want the money, spent to get me on that course and the exam, be spoiled after all ... (ethics, yay)

Either way, I did set my planning for the last weeks, so I'd have at least 5 days in total, freed up for myself, to engage myself into studying. Took a day off, went a day at work, took a day off, went a day, weekend off ...

I have to say that I appreciated the mp3's I was able to d/l from CBTNuggets. They were the easiest thing to follow during the commuting times, spending one hour and a half on average per traject. So that saved me about three hours a day that I could listen to the stuff instead of reading.
I already had gone through the whole series about two times during last year.
I managed to read from time to time in SH's book and I finished some parts one time, some others two times. And yet, I have to say, for non-native English speakers, there's easier lecture around. icon_rolleyes.gif

Having a background in telecommunications, I though that was going to be the easiest part, but then again, I didn't want to fail that one either.
Same thing for cryptography (I've read on here that this is not really one of the favorites, but I have to contradict - I loved that part icon_cool.gif), I did know some aspects already, but memory tends to get a bit rusty if you're not 'into things' anymore.
I did have some notion about the other domains, the thing is, and that was what worried me the most, I didn't feel like I was getting to the point of obtaining the level of detail needed for the exam.
And I sure wasn't going to make that up for the last weeks.

The questions I did, helped me however to pinpoint some recurring details and dangerous points, so I concentrated on those.
And although I was feeling quite unconfortable the last week, since progress was pretty slow and results pretty bad, I simply continued on how I'd planned. I even read some threads on here, to learn how people coped with a failure, after all, you learn the most from a failure. So I was mentally prepared to accept a failure as well, an attitude that helped me in the past as well. So far for the psychological part. icon_profileright.gif

Now, for the 'new' kind of questions, I think it's fair enough to make reference to the examples given on the ISC2 site with the addition that you could make up for yourself what kind of 'lists' that would fit in a drag-and-drop method.

I believe I flagged a 20 some questions, which I planned to review after taking a break when finishing the 250 questions. For some of the questions I felt unsure about, I set myself in the 'management seat and looked at it from a security perspective'. Don't know if it helped.
After three hours, fatigue kicked in, I started to get hungry but I only had 50 questions (plus the 20) left, so I decided to continue. It seemed that the hour that followed, simply rushed by. I had to reread several questions, tried to make a graph to understand it, dodged some tricky questions (which raised my confidence a little) and was utterly happy after clicking twice on the yes button on the question-window 'are you sure you want to end this review, after clicking yes, you will not be able to return to the review window" .. I sure was sure, I was simply fed up ... icon_rolleyes.gif Four hours in a row, well, to the contrary of most people, I've had worse exams (no, not any certification or otherwise ... job-related though).
As I was the last one in the room, the supervisor asked me how it went, I'm sure he knew the answer already, and I only had to confirm the feeling I had before taking the exam: pretty bad I believe, although I didn't miss the lack of detail I was expecting to encounter.
He then told me I passed, on which I replied 'you must be joking' icon_lol.gif
He wasn't :)
Left the building and grinned all the way back home .. I still am from time to time as I write this down (oh, and all I wanted to say was that I passed ... errr, sorry)

To wrap up my sources
- the mp3's from CBTNuggets during 'lost hours'
- SH's book 6th edition and the questions of the CD (although those tend to repeat themselves after a while !)
- the boot-camp I got and the powerpoints that were used
- McGraw-Hill site with the CISSP practice exams (I was pretty awful at those)
- wikipedia, in order to look up the terminology and read the explanation in a different way, which sometimes helped better understand the kind of English that was used in SH's book (again, non-native speaker) also, found wikipedia quite useful when comparing things to each other

Perhaps one last advice: if you're into sports, don't drop that, it definately clears your head icon_thumright.gif

I already spent the last hours looking what to do next ... feels like I'm up to anything now icon_lol.gif



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