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Testing on CISSP 14 April 2014

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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks guys! It's been difficult these past weeks but I'm sure it'll be worth it, pass or fail.

    Finished studying physical security today after about 2 hours of reading and note taking. That marks the end of my studying of the 10 domains. I started off reading the 11th Hour chapter on it to get familiar with it and then went through the Sybex chapter. This domain was pretty straight forward, I averaged an 80% on my tests. Working in secured facilities for the past 6 years has really helped a lot in this domain.

    With tonight's average, my grand total of all my practice tests and EOC questions for each domain came out to a mediocre 77.6% I was aiming for an 80% but I think if I focus, commit, and bust my behind these last couple of days, I think I got a shot.

    Now that I've covered all the material again, I've got to plan out my remaining days on what to study. I think I'll read the 11th Hour cover to cover tomorrow, make notes on things I want to revisit in detail, and then begin revisiting those parts.

    My wife works late on Thursday so I can finally have the space and time to take a shot at a practice 250 question exam. I might try the Sybex ones since I've gone over the AiO questions multiple times and don't want to test on previously covered questions.

    I'm taking time off work on Friday to allow for the final three days before the test to be completely uninterrupted and allow for more study time. I'll probably go through my heavier books to start off the day and begin writing out (memorizing) all the tables, metrics, and formulas I want to commit to memory. I'll then probably read the 11th Hour again and end the day with the 2nd Sybex 250 question exam.

    I will probably shoot for another 8 hours on Satuday (relaxing Saturday night, for sure), and all day again on Sunday. I think I'll spend most of that time review the material by domain priority (which ones I feel more comfortable with) and end it by reading the 11th Hour again.

    I'm looking to go to sleep on Sunday around 10 P.M and wake up at 0600. Probably lounge around and make my way slowly out the door (no rushing, no flustering, I live about 15 minutes from the testing center). Hoping to be at the testing center no later than 0730. I'll go over some notes in the car if I arrive a little early.

    It's getting really close now!
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Spent five hours today studying, which is the most Ive done for a weekday.

    I used the 11th hour and summaries from the AiO and Sybex books I basically went through each domain and toke down notes on things I wanted to double check, compound, or memorize. It was great to see a lot of the material, especially from the earlier domains, being recalled easily. I'm sure a lot of the stuff I want to revisit is just for completion and surety's sake.

    I made it through 7 domains and about half of the 8th before I had to call it a night due to mental fatigue.

    I'm going to finish up tomorrow, hit up my 600 flash cards, and then see how I do on my first 250 question, all domain exam...can't wait!
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Finished reviewing my domains today again and took my first 250 question test (I have two left in my bank).

    I scored a 78% which is alright with me, but I'm sure I could have got over an 80% if I slowed down. The test wasn't hard and I don't think it was in line with the actual CISSP's questions, but I think it was there to reinforce the concepts, technologies, and key terms that are essential during the test.

    I'm going to go through 600 electronic flash cards right now and relax the rest of the night. I'm getting to the point where I am very burned out from studying...I'm nervous for Monday to arrive, but some part of me wants it to be here already.

    I took off from work Friday to get in extra study time. I'm probably going to go over my notes and revisit all the areas I want to review and then go from there.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Covered 5 domains today (my easy to moderate ones) for 6 hours today. I scored no lower than an 80% and even got a 100% on one of my domain practice exams.

    I'm feeling comfortable with recalling the material and am not thrown off as much by certain concepts as I was before.

    I'm even starting to dream about the exam and when my wife is not home and I'm not occupied with something else, it's always in my mind. Even when I was showering today, I was thinking about it, hah! Sometimes the pressure is getting to me and I have to step aside and take a walk. My wife said she can tell I'm stressed and is hoping this is over soon!

    Tomorrow is another day of 5-6 hours of studying the other 5 domains (to include two of my toughest domains - software development and crypto).

    It's crunch time...
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Spent 3 hours studying 3 domains today (BCP/DRP, Crypto, and Legal).

    Again, able to recall most of the material and feeling pretty good. Scored no lower than an 80% on my practice exams and got a few 90%s and 95%s. Crypto didn't come across as too hard or foreign this time (I was able to recall my encryption and hashing names once I went over them a few times, thanks Sec+ ;)).

    Going to go over security models and software development security tomorrow, take a break, then read the 11th hour cover to cover again and go over my flash cards one last time.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Last day of studying, put in a good 6 hours. I covered two domains I wanted to revisit (Software and Security Models). Later in the evening, I read the 11th Hour from cover to cover.

    Got everything packed for tomorrow. All I have to do is wake up, shower, and head out the door. Testing center is about 15 minutes away so I'm hoping to arrive a little early and practice my "white board regurgitation" in my car. That way when I get in I can just write it out on the white board.

    Thanks for the help all. I will post as soon as possible with my results.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    sojournsojourn Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Good luck! I wish you all the best.
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    BenchwarmersBenchwarmers Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good Luck, sir!! You put together a solid study plan, which should pay off soon :)
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    zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good luck today, let us know once you pass!
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    aftereffectoraftereffector Member Posts: 525 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good luck today! Tell us all about it.
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
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    levsterlevster Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good Luck Mate! Hope lady luck smiles on you today. Cheers!
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    AndyLien79AndyLien79 Member Posts: 30 ■■■□□□□□□□
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    cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    BLUF: Passed!!!!

    Long version:

    I did it! I passed ;) What a journey the past 5 months have been (originally mandated to get CISSP back in November).

    Here are the factors and materials I believed helped me knock this out:

    * 6 years experience in a variety of domains (physical security, network operations, patch management, help desk, crypto, network traffic analysis) working for the government. I believe the test mirrors the DoD rather well.
    * Studying for the amount and length that I did. If you want a general road map of what I did, you can reference my previous posts! All my studying efforts are laid out.
    * Previous certifications and studies
    * Years of standardized testing in grade, middle, and high school. This helped me to read the question carefully and avoid the confusing parts and noise.

    Materials used:

    * Sybex CISSP Study Guide - I cannot recommend this enough. The material is presented in a concise and straightforward manner with real world examples to keep you interested. It is not overwhelming in information nor dry like some other materials I checked out. The flash cards, practice questions, practice exams (3 250), and PDF glossary of terms with this are great compliment to an already great text. I read through this book 4 times and probably wrote about 15 pages of notes in the margins alone.

    * CISSP 11th Hour - Great concise read for keeping the key points fresh and hitting just what is needed to help you recall the more specific details. I read through this 3 times, to include cover to cover the night before my test (took 3 hours).

    * Shon Harris CISSP AIO - Q: Is this book good? A: Depends if you like salt on your textbooks. Very wordy, covers a slew of extra material, and not portable at all. The bad humor just sealed the deal. I did like the introductions, summaries, and bullets at the end of each chapter. I did use the CD test engine to test each domain I studied. I downloaded the audio but never had the time to listen to them. The companion practice test book was good too.

    The test:

    I tried to go to bed right after my previous post in this thread. That did not happen. I ended up tossing and turning and using my phone until 4am when I dozed off. Luckily I had set 10 alarms to include my wife's. I woke up feeling like I had never even slept. At that time I began to have serious doubts.

    I arrived at the testing center at 6:45am and went over my dry erase board routine. I practiced writing out my AV, EF, SLE, ARO, ALE, etc, cryptographic protocols, and the CISSP code of ethics.

    Around 7:30, the doors opened and I was the second one to sign in. They did catch the change my signature has gone through from my driver's license issued in 2006 to my IRR military ID issued in 2012 (I signed a lot of papers in the military, so I rush it now). They mentioned this to me but said it wouldn't be a big deal. I locked up my valuables to include my wallet, phone (turned off), drink, and energy bar. The proctor then had me turn out my pockets and pat my waist down. I wore gym shorts and a soccer jersey to be comfortable. After that, she walked me in and I started the test.

    While the tutorial was running, I filled up my dry erase board with the material I had practiced earlier. I read the tutorial/NDA and then the test was on!

    First few questions were gimmes and were nowhere near in line with what I was expecting (easy to me as opposed to difficult to understand). I got in a routine and decided to just see how far I could go before I either got tired or had to use the restroom.

    As the questions kept coming in, I had to ask myself, "I'm I taking the right exam? Maybe this is SSCP?" I checked the top of the screen and it said it was indeed CISSP. The material and questions didn't have that mystical, string you up and confuse the heck out of you quality that everyone had built it up to be.

    I was feeling really good with my answers so I decided to not go back unless I had an absolute reason to do so. I only did go back to one question because another question helped me to change my answer.

    At question 200, I had to go to the restroom so I signed out and went. When I was washing up, I looked in the mirror and said, "I got this!" I didn't feel too thrown off or discouraged by the test. Sure there were some questions I didn't understand or had trouble with, but good reading and comprehension helped to see me through the noise and distractions. On the way back in, I tried to open my locker to eat my energy bar, but the key wouldn't work. I didn't bother with it or my protein shake as I only had 50 questions left.

    I got to 240 and I could feel my heart racing. I think the nerves of almost finishing coupled with my B12 pill set me off...I finished the last 10 pretty confident. I sat at the review page for awhile, noting that I hadn't flagged anything for review (I never do). I then thought to myself that I had put forth my best effort on each question possible and if I didn't know it then, I guessed because I had exhausted my reasoning and memory to come to the right answer. That's when I decided I was going to go for broke and hit submit.

    The test was over, the window closed, and I got up to meet the proctor as she was coming to me. She took up my dry erase and signed me out. I was expecting her to have my results but they were at the front where I signed in.

    The gentleman at the desk hands me my result print out upside down. I turn it over and don't notice a break down of the domains, a score, or percentages. It just looks like a letter....I see the word congratulations and I feel relived to be done with that. I grab my stuff and leave. Lucky for me, a thunderstorm came down just as I got into my car.

    At no time during the test did I feel discouraged or had a feeling that I would fail. The test and questions seem fair and straight forward to me.

    Just glad this is over with. Secured my job, opened up new opportunities, and was a great experience.

    Certifications are on the back burner for now, I need to finish my Bachelors.

    Thanks for the help, well wishes, and encouragement everyone!

    ~J
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    JonnygJonnyg Member Posts: 84 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats!
    Working on: Nothing, finally.
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks! Getting my stuff together for reimbursement from the VA and my company as well as my endorsement ;)
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    da_vatoda_vato Member Posts: 445
    Congrats!!!! I knew you would based on reading your journey. Now have a beer, relax and enjoy.
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    stryder144stryder144 Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Outstanding!
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
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    niagara22niagara22 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations!!!
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    AndyLien79AndyLien79 Member Posts: 30 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! Quick question..the sybex study guide...is it the 6th edition that you studied from?
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks all!

    Yes, the Sybex CISSP book I used was the 6th edition.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    niagara22niagara22 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■■■□□□□□□□
    We are the question drag-n-drop or hot-spot questions? Were there some the were normal multiple choice?
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Multiple choice, drag and drop, and hotspot were present.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    BenchwarmersBenchwarmers Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats jvrlopez!! Nice, concise review as well!! I'm glad that your experience went so well. Goes to show that hard work and disciplined study pays off in the end!! You didn't mention rewarding yourself after such a strenuous study schedule - make sure that happens :)
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    NimrodHunterNimrodHunter Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats jvrlopez, Can I ask how much of it was technical in nature? I keep reading that it is a managers test, but all my studies are more technical in nature, so this makes me nervous. I test next Friday and have been doing a lot of reading also, writing down note cards and doing practice tests, which some questions make no sense to me, but then again everywhere I read states that all practice tests aren't anything like the real test.

    Any, congrats once again.
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    cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats jvrlopez!! Nice, concise review as well!! I'm glad that your experience went so well. Goes to show that hard work and disciplined study pays off in the end!! You didn't mention rewarding yourself after such a strenuous study schedule - make sure that happens icon_smile.gif

    Thanks!

    As much as I hated studying almost non-stop for the past month, it did pay off by how comfortable and easy the test felt for me.

    I actually went out and got a $100 bottle of Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve...one serving with one ice cube tonight should suffice ;) Saving the rest for future accomplishments and special occasions!

    My wife is also treating me to my favorite restaurant tonight!
    Congrats jvrlopez, Can I ask how much of it was technical in nature? I keep reading that it is a managers test, but all my studies are more technical in nature, so this makes me nervous. I test next Friday and have been doing a lot of reading also, writing down note cards and doing practice tests, which some questions make no sense to me, but then again everywhere I read states that all practice tests aren't anything like the real test.

    Any, congrats once again.

    Thanks for the congratulations. I had the same feeling as you. I kept hearing it wasn't technical but managerial. Despite this, I was stumped as to why all the texts I read went into details such as bit size, OSI model breakdown, etc etc.

    I won't get into specifics, but just think of it like this: The only really "technical" domains would be Telecom & Network Security and Encryption. Maybe some Software Development. If you study those regularly and are comfortable with them, any "technical" like questions or matters pertaining to them should be easy for you. The rest of the domains are what I would consider processes, administration, managing, managing risk, and decision making. All the metrics, procedures, models, and processes you are studying will come to you on the test to help you choose the best answer if you are studying everything.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    sojournsojourn Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Huge congratulations!

    I've lost the study train over the last couple of weeks, so I postponed my exam today and have pushed it out another 3 weeks until May 22nd. Your post is great motivation!
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You'll get there!

    I had originally wanted to test NLT 1 Apr, but fell off the horse so I had to schedule for today.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    TheProfezzorTheProfezzor Member Posts: 204 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on the pass!. Could you share your views about, things that you think are now obsolete and are still mentioned in the books?. Like standard, frameworks etc. Also, how many questions did you get from cloud computing?.
    OSCP: Loading . . .
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