I passed the CISSP exam provisionally on 13th Dec 2017.
It all started in mid of 2016 when my friend sent me the invite for Kelly website for CISSP studies.. As he knew CISSP is one of the dream of mine. (Thank you Iqbal Kazi).
I checked her website, then started making up my mind to do CISSP which forced me to check other websites / youtube / and CISSP portals.
During that time I got to know about Study Notes and Theory Facebook page and Budding CISSP group on Whatsapp. I requested for adding me in to Ahmed Khatibi which he did promptly.
Last year I remember, we had very few members (guess 250 was the limit in Whatsapp, so you can imagine... how small this group was and where it came... now it is Telegram with 1000s of members.) Thanks to Ahmed Khatibi – for the idea of making this wonderful group.
Anyways I started my journey for CISSP with Budding CISSP group –this group works like a manufacturing plant. 24x7 people send / receive/ exchange notes/clarify doubt / and most important every 10-15 days one NEW NAME in the WALL of FAME – who passed CISSP…that was and still is Motivation for all the CISSP aspiring candidates. Needless to say I also wanted to see my name in there... :-)
Challenges I faced:
My job requires lot of travelling, outside my city and country which was not giving me time to focus on my studies even if I used to take time out then also my mind and body never allowed me to concentrate on study…(travelling was making me tired)..Time was passing by and eventually I almost gave up my studies. Things were going haywire.
One motivational factor, which gave me a kick start again - I met many people in my job / professional peers who like to dominate you because of their connection with management, criticize, envy you - this happened a lot with me which gave me strength to get up and restart everything. Passing this exam is a slap to them.
Reality of the Life: - two kind of people you will meet..
One - who will always stand by you and support you. (for me all were strangers to me , I got to know them via this group only)
Second – never stand by you forget support they will come and demotivate you in their own way..
Learning: - Don’t get demotivated, instead take their criticism as a feedback and that will give you strength to be more focused towards your goal.
Anyways, Then again in June / July I restarted my studies, got in touch with Madunix and Dawood Kevar.. They are gems of a person. They helped me a lot in my studies / clarifications and what not.
I was studying in my own pace – 2-3 hours daily. Come Oct, I booked my exam for Dec 13, after booking my exam I stopped traveling / and studied almost 14-15 hours daily (for me this was required as I am very slow learner)... Taken guidance from Dawood where ever I got stuck.
After reading books, I still had couple of concept which was not clear in my head so I took membership of https://www.studynotesandtheory.com/signup and this really helped me to understand many concept.
I really don’t have words to explain how beautifully Luke makes people understand the concept of most difficult or confusing topics.. Yes, I requested him to make 2-3 videos on the topics which I was struggling to understand for very long. And he made it /always responded my mail! Thank you SO much Luke.
Night before my exam I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep well and got up at 5 am and in the morning I left home at 6.40 am, reached center at 7.40 am. Exam started at 9.
The moment I started my exam I felt as if I am in some different exam ;-). Still, I was marking the answer based on my best of ability but I kept flagging all the questions till 120th question and yes I was taking breaks after every 40 questions – reason, I didn’t sleep well so I was taking break to keep my brain working. I took almost 7-8 breaks , after I finished marking all the question I got into revision phase and I reviewed 3-4 times, in every review I changed couple of questions and also was removing flags so that I can just check the flagged question in next round.
This way I used full allotted time slot, then I saw 2.55 pm in system watch - I prayed and click on Submit button.. After submitting my exam I was so scared to go to the reception desk to see my result. So I went to restroom, washed my face and prayed…then slowly walked to the desk and the lady gave me the printout after confirming my name. I could see only “Congratulation” word on that sheet and thanked God !!
- Watched the whole series of Kelly's, David Miller (wonderful videos)Sari Greene, Luke Ahmed videos ,urduIT and skillset.
- ISC2 Official Study Guide- Sybex (cover to cover twice) , Eric Cornard cover to cover.
- Sybex- Official practice tests and book test
- AIO and CBK – referred for BCP/DRP and SDLC.
- AIO total tester and AIO 4th edition questions
- Used random YouTube Videos for understanding a concept more deeply.
- Madunix Process guide , and his guidance (Dos/Don’ts in exam) before my exam really helped.
Few Names (from Budding CISSP group) I would like to share: Ahmed Khatibi, Anwar, Sahaya, Reema Thakur, Ezra, Madunix , Luke Ahmed, Dawood
Most Important – Parveen Shaikh – My counsellor & Coach.
These guys were really were my strength during my journey.