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How Doug Cracked His CISSP Exam

Pass Date: 12/16/2017

Endorsement Date: 12/18/2017

Official Designation Email Date: 01/18/2018

When I made the decision to go after the CISSP in March 2016, I had no idea it would take 19 months to conquer the beast. I appreciate the five failures because they forced me to actually lock in & learn the information. A certification with no knowledge of it will get your feelings hurt come interview time. One piece of advice I would give anyone seeking to pursue this is….GET IMMERSED IN THE INFORMATION!

Understand the WHY of every concept! Here’s a condensed version of my $3750+ journey:

1st Attempt 06/27/2016: Eric Conrad Study Guide, 3rd Edition, Cybrary (523)

2nd Attempt 08/15/2016: Eric Conrad Study Guide, 3rd Edition, CCure, Cybrary (507)

3rd Attempt 11/15/2016: Eric Conrad Study Guide, 3rd Edition, Sybex 7th Edition, Cybrary (547)

4th Attempt 06/29/2017: Sybex 7th Edition, CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests, Sari Greene Videos (647)

5th Attempt 09/09/2017: Sybex 7th Edition, CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests, Shon Harris AIO 7th Edition, Simple CISSP Audiobook, Sari Greene Videos, David Miller videos (691)

6th Attempt 12/17/2017: CISSP CBK 4th Edition, CISSP Official (ISC)2

Practice Tests, Simple CISSP Audiobook, SNT Practice Questions, SNT Telegram Group, itcertprep Practice Questions (PASS)

As you all can see, I went through a lot of study material to get over the hump. While all of the books I used were valuable, the CBK was the best resource in my opinion. It gets a lot of flak because it’s dry and slightly unorganized. None the books are exactly exciting to read. LOL! It’s all what you make it! It’s the CISSP bible and truth be told it is more than enough to pass the exam.

My first 3 failed attempts were a result of me thinking I could pass just from reading a book and watching videos until I was blue in the face. Terrible mistake! When I begin preparing for my 4th attempt, I began doing the practice questions and they are so valuable because they teach you how to think come test time. There are 1300 good questions in the CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests book that truly gauge your knowledge of the material. Understand WHY you got an answer right or wrong. I didn’t score particularly high on the practice questions, but I made sure I understood WHY I got the answer right or wrong.

Another costly mistake I made the first 3 attempts was testing on an empty stomach. Please consume good quality carbs like Oatmeal & Fruit beforehand. Those carbs will keep you more alert during the test!

The true turning point was when I purchased the CBK 4th edition and got immersed in the Simple CISSP Audiobook. Both of those study materials are very cut and dry, but were what I needed to get over the hump. I found this video a week before my 6th attempt & it also got me in the right frame of mind to get over the hump.


THE KEY TO PASSING THIS EXAM IS HAVING THE RIGHT MINDSET! Side note: When I booked my 6th attempt on 09/30 before the exam price increased, I had NO idea that my test date would be the LAST day of the 250 question format.

My recommendations to anyone interested in pursuing the CISSP are:

1.BOOK THE EXAM- It forces you to seriously lock in and study. If you have no to minimal InfoSec experience, book it 6 months in advance; if you have experience, book it 3 months in advance

2.INVEST IN YOUR OWN BOOKS – If you have skin in the game, you will more than likely take your studies more seriously

3.Study 2-3 hours daily – Don’t let the amount of material overwhelm and attempt to study 12 hours a day because you may retain little to no information

4.Don’t let practice question results affect your emotionally, understand WHY you got it right/wrong


HUGE S/O to everyone who helped me along the journey, especially:

Luke Ahmed – Thank you for creating this great SNT community! It allows several people with a common goal to come together and help each other! You’re the GOAT, Bro!

Thomas Maurice-Jamon Williams Jr. – Thank you for holding me accountable on my studies daily, Bro! I PROMISE to help you anyway I can to get you over the hump!

Michelle Scott– Thanks for checking on me and providing guidance regularly. I really appreciate it!

Richard Anderson – Your platform helped me tremendously preparing for my 6th attempt! Thanks a lot Bro!

Fadi Sodah – The telegram group you created was invaluable to helping me get over the hump!



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