How Alex V. Cracked His CISSP Exam

April 28, 2020

MY JOURNEY WITH CISSP

 

How “CISSP” soaked in.

Myself being an IT professional with 8 years of experience in Information Security, first got the wild idea of taking up the examination through my manager during the career development discussion, it was a casual talk and never had I imagined that it could be such a difference in my career. 

 

It initially started on a lighter note in November 2018, I am a person who does the night shifts and one could imagine how tedious it can get when you have to work on BAU task and also to prepare for a challenging exam like CISSP.  December was the time I realized that it is never going to be easy unless I prepare myself physically and mentally that the next 6 months of my time should be dedicated to CISSP and that its going to be totally worthy.

 

Personally, I had to sacrifice a lot of things, but thanks to all my friends and family who supported me throughout.

 

Seat belts fastened, get set GOOOOOOO.

Here begins my serious series of preparation with Sybex 8 th edition, with over 8 years of experience in IT Security, it astonishes me now as how the concepts of Kerberos and SDLC were sounded so different to
me when I looked at them closely.  Sybex began my bible and I read it multiple times, took up tests and my confidence level reached a
decent level, looked like a good start. 

 

Here came my manager again who suggested me “Study Theory and Notes “, visited it and took few sample tests and this is the point where CISSP looks like a GIANT to me and I was like this poor guy who’s confidence was totally shattered with a score of 4/25 in the sample tests.  With lots of courage , I reset my expectations towards the examination to a 10 level pointer and went through all the free videos one after the other , got the paid subscription and I must say SNT is the best place where any CISSP aspirant can stop at for an end to end preparation. 

 

The concepts are so well explained and hats off to you Luke, you made my life so easy with practice tests, your videos helped me a lot and the way you put concepts are like, some one sitting and feeding you bit by bit and you seldom realize that you have absorbed so much. 

 

Key References.

I Started with Sybex 8th edition and completed it cover to cover then revised at least 8 times. 

 

A very little handwritten notes with synopsis.
 

Started first domain in all-in-one study guide by Shon Harris, but I am unable to complete it. I would suggest the aspirants to go over this book fully at least once.
 

Got paid subscription at Study notes and theory for 3 months and went over all the videos in it, this helped me a lot for better understanding of every concepts.
 

For practicing I took all the questions at the end of every domain in

Sybex and ISC2 official practice tests.
 

Every question in Study notes and theory, covered every exam 4 times and noted every new topic in it.
 

Got paid subscription for Boson practice examination, covered every practice exam at least 3 times.
 

Completed all the sample question videos done by IT DOJO youtube channel.
 

Got paid subscription for Pocket prep mobile app, this was very useful during my break time and dinner time for practicing short question for every domain.


Practiced almost 5000+ questions prior to the actual exam.
 

Memory palace by Prashant from Study notes & Theory– one of the best material to recollect everything before the exam.


Last but not the least, the advise and guidance from my colleagues and friends who had already completed CISSP, did play a key role in my journey.

 

The “D” Day – 25 th May 2019

Time Flew, and it always does when you are anticipating a big event, and why not…CISSP is no less than a big event in my life. I know many of you would agree this.  After couple of second, third and fifty thoughts, I finally booked the exam for the 25 th of May 2019.  20 days for the deadline preparation and every passing day I accumulate a dozen of those butterflies in my tummy.
 

I hardly slept for 3 hours the night before the exam, and here comes the D day.  Reached the exam center by 9, my exam slot was for 12 PM.
My exam started at 12 after all validations and it kicked off in a tense mode, but I had got little accustomed after 20+ questions.

 

Applied all the stuffs that Study Notes and Theory/Luke Ahmed taught while answering such as Think like a manager, consider CIA, eliminate wrong answers and choose the most probable answer.  I gave the best as per my understanding and when the question crossed 99, I was under the assumption that I am going face another 50 questions, but the exam had ended at 107th question.

 

The Exam center faculty had come with the result in the next 5 minutes.
I was literally dumbstruck to see the “Congratulations” word in the result paper, lot of emotions ,6 month of hard work, sacrifice, restlessness came to an end and I couldn’t ask for more.  I controlled my emotions and came to my Car and prayed almighty for the success, I was already in cloud  nine and the day was a hit complete parcel of happiness.

 

Highlights

The principle rule is commitment, be committed and mainly put your 100% efforts in the right direction with good guidance.  Do not hesitate to invest money on valuable paid subscription for practice exams and videos, especially for Study Notes and Theory. It's worth the money spent.


If you know any of your friends who is CISSP Certified, please do not hesitate to reach out and get guidance. It played a key role in my preparation and a big thanks to my friend for the support.
 

Book for the exam when you are confident at 80%, the rest will fall in place as you prepare.  Prepare short notes for quick reference.
Practice at least 5000+ questions, try to be familiar with all the option that you have in your answer. 

 

Hard work with dedication is a deadly combo, please try to mix them in right proportions and there is nothing impossible.
 

A big thanks to my manager Mr. Jairish P Jeyapandy who encouraged me and gave a right path for completing it successfully. 

 

And a Special thanks to Mr. Luke Ahmed – Study Notes and Theory for motivating and keeping me engaged in all your videos with your experience shared in a simple way.


Finally, I thank my family, friends and colleagues who were a source of immense support and encouragement throughout this journey.
I am wishing all the CISSP aspirants for the successful CISSP journey, all the hard works and sacrifices gonna be most worthy post the completion.

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