Passed CISSP - 3/21/14

Amurray22Amurray22 Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
I passed my exam today & would like to thank the forum for all its good info and support.

I took about 3 1/2 hours, including 2 breaks, to complete the exam. I thought it was a tough exam. Focusing for that length of time was one of the tougher parts. I would agree with some other postings that the BCP/DR and telcom/network domains were major parts. These were my weaker domains so maybe these just stuck out more to me (also mentioned here)

Here is my study method & tips
S. Harris AIO, 6th edition book
S. Harris/SecurityNinja web video course
S. Harris audio files (found thru this forum)
CCCure paid test account
IT Masters free online CISSP short course
Flash cards (Cram.com: Create and Share Online Flashcards)
CISSP Common Body of Knowledge Review course material - not sure where I found this online, but was a complete set materials for a review course. Was from some type of open licence courses site
Sunflower PDF

I studied for about 9 months, but really focused the last 2 months with ~15hrs/week. I started by watching the videos for each domain and taking notes. Also used the video's slide handouts. After this I reviewed the notes for each domain and read thru the chapter of the AIO book. Also reviewed the other sources. I listened to the IT Masters material and the S. Harris audio during my commute. A would take quizzes/questions for each domain after reviewing the domain. I tried to vary the source of questions so that I did not see the same questions. I took 1 250 question practice exam using the test taker from the AIO book.

Tips
Set a schedule for your studying - I did not do this at first and did not focus on the studying
Vocabulary - knowing the terms and initials was helpful for ruling out answers. Lots of alphabet soup
Know the domain's main topics well - probably obvious but this caused me most of my issues
Use multiple quizzes/question sources so that you don't repeat questions and just memorize that particular answer. Unfortunately I found the auto quiz generators were repeating questions.
Take multiple 250 question practice exams - taking full practice exams helps prepare for the length of the exam and decide on your method of attacking it
Exam time: Sleep well/eat well/take breaks


Good luck to all and thanks again to the community for the info & support.

Andy

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,947 Admin
    Congratulations from J Murray to A Murray! icon_cheers.gif
  • jasonarobertsjasonaroberts Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats AMurray!

    I also passed my CISSP exam yesterday for the third time. (Job responsibilities don't give me a lot of time to collect the needed CPE credits...)

    The exam was the toughest this time around by far, with a much sharper focus on vocabulary, as AMurray mentioned. First two times (paper test) I finished in about 3 hours each time - this time around it was over 4 hours. It sounds simplistic, but knowing knowing knowing the concepts behind the information is as important as knowing the information, i.e. if you just memorize & associate words/numbers, you will have a much harder time with the exam.

    My resources & tips are pretty much in line with AMurray's. One preparation tip I'll add is...Set aside enough time so that you can go through sets of NEW practice exam questions for at least 2-3 hours at a stretch. Even with a break, having to read and pick apart the sometimes-EXTREMELY vague questions & answers was mentally exhausting. Practicing ad nauseum on questions you don't know the answers by heart is the closest approximation of the test I can think of.

    I like the new exam format, in that it makes you think and forces you to know the concepts. I also HATE the new format for the mental anguish it caused me hahaha.

    Hope this helps. Good luck to everyone!
  • impelseimpelse Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats guys
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  • Amurray22Amurray22 Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the good words. I completely agree with jasonaroberts that you really need to know the concepts. I could see that for those who are not native English speakers it would be even tougher. Sometimes the concepts are expressed using slightly different terms then I saw in my studies.

    Andy
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats AMurray!

    I also passed my CISSP exam yesterday for the third time. (Job responsibilities don't give me a lot of time to collect the needed CPE credits...)

    The exam was the toughest this time around by far, with a much sharper focus on vocabulary, as AMurray mentioned. First two times (paper test) I finished in about 3 hours each time - this time around it was over 4 hours. It sounds simplistic, but knowing knowing knowing the concepts behind the information is as important as knowing the information, i.e. if you just memorize & associate words/numbers, you will have a much harder time with the exam.

    My resources & tips are pretty much in line with AMurray's. One preparation tip I'll add is...Set aside enough time so that you can go through sets of NEW practice exam questions for at least 2-3 hours at a stretch. Even with a break, having to read and pick apart the sometimes-EXTREMELY vague questions & answers was mentally exhausting. Practicing ad nauseum on questions you don't know the answers by heart is the closest approximation of the test I can think of.

    I like the new exam format, in that it makes you think and forces you to know the concepts. I also HATE the new format for the mental anguish it caused me hahaha.

    Hope this helps. Good luck to everyone!

    I couldn't imagine taking the exam 3 times, that is a feat in its own right..
  • cgrimaldocgrimaldo Member Posts: 439 ■■■■□□□□□□
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