How Ankush Cracked His CISSP Exam
As I committed that I would share my study experience after passing my exam on Jan 2nd, 2021 and wanted to give it back to social media forums which helped me a lot during my journey.
Before reading further, this is a statutory warning to people who want to stretch their study plan like a bubble gum. Please do not read further because it will give you a deep shock. (LOL)
If you want to follow my study plan then you should have heart of steel, patience of cheetah and nerve of Ironman (I could not find better than this – ROFL).
I started my studies in April 2020 while joining the Simplilearn course (worst of all sources that I used). It comprised of 15 classes although I took twice the classes while changing the trainers so approx. 25 classes of 4 hrs each. Along with that I have stared Sybex official Study guide 8th edition. Other than classes I were never consistent in studies.
I was reading books on and off, like 5 days in one go and then take a break of 2-3 weeks because of my job pressure. So effectively I took 45 days all together to finish the Sybex with an average of 15-16 pages per hour and 3 hrs a day on weekdays and 6-7 hrs on weekends and finished the book in August mid.
After finishing the book, it was a 3-month gap till Nov 17th when my friend Mark, who is my study buddy and biggest reason of success called and told me that he has cleared the CISSP today. I was very happy for him and equally committed to passing the exam at all cost. He asked me to set a deadline and schedule the exam while following his path of glory.
In that very moment, a spark ignites in my heart and I booked the slot Jan 2nd, 2021 while giving myself 45 days to pass because failing was not an option.
For the next 45 days, everything needs to be preciously planned. The meals, working hrs, study hrs, breaks, pain management, health management etc.
So, I started executing the following plan which was designed by Mark -
Working Hrs- 9am to 7pm
Study Hrs- Week Days- 8pm -12/12:30am
Weekends- 12pm to 4pm and 8pm to 12/12:30 am
Nov 18th – Nov 24th –Adam Gordon’s Accelerated CISSP 2018- Video serious for brief revision along with 100 questions (This has no deviation) every day.
Practice Score -55-60%
Nov 25th – Dec 13th –150 practice questions everyday with revision of weak topics from Sybex (I almost read close to 8-9 chapters in various domains) followed by videos from Luke, Adam Gordon again in 1.5x speed
Practice Score- 60-65%
Also visited doctor 2 twice to take therapy to control the cervical otherwise it will hamper my studies.
Dec-13th – Dec 20th – I started feeling exhausted as I was continuously slogging late evening hrs every day along with doing my job which gave me a feeling of whether I took the wrong decision of booking exam so early or not. I was scoring less than 70% as I was forgetting important topics which were a daunting task for me to cover.
Then comes my savior, my same old study buddy Mark. He again started motivating me and helping me to understand the topics and align me with the plan which was deviating.
Dec 21st to Jan 1st, 2021- Regularly practicing 150-200 questions and started reading Eric Conrad 11th hrs for more precise revision as detailed study time was over and I only had 11 days to revise and work on the weak areas.
Just 5 days before the exam, I started reading The Memory Palace by Prashant Mohan along with handwritten notes and few videos of Luke Ahmed on YouTube.
Just 2 days before the exam, one of my friends told me to read COTS (I have no info about this topic before) and SDLC, so I watched Prabha Nair videos and it helped me to prepare the topics in the very last minute.
Till now my practice score improved significantly and I started scoring 75-80% consistently.
A day before the exam, I stopped everything and visited the doctor for therapy as I did not want any pain during the exam that would impact my performance.
Watched video of Kelly Handerhan, why you will pass CISSP which had helped me a lot in my exam.
The D Day!!!
The exam was much easier than what others had said. Nothing surprised me since every question was seems familiar to me and I was confident to get 150 and pass. My entire study plan was to prepare for 150 and maintain the score in and around 70% which is the passing marks and so I did. Here Boson helped as it shows live percentage during the practice test.
1- ITpro.tv – Accelerated CISSP 2018- Adam Gordon- 10/10
2- Sybex Official Study Guide - 8th Edition (Cover to Cover)- 45 days- 10/10
3- Simplilearn- Instructor Lead Classes- (25 days coincide book study)- 1/10
4- Boson Exam slim- 8/10
5- Luke Ahmed Study notes and Theory- 7/10
6- Sybex Official Practice Test 2nd Edition – 8/10
7- 11th Hour- Eric Conrad - 10/10
8- The Memory Palace- Prashant Mohan- 7/10
9- Handwritten Notes- 10/10
10- CISSP Pocket prep- 10/10
11- Cissprep.net- 7/10
12- Process Guide V21- 10/10 -Very Important if you can find time and read this in last week.
13- Total Practice questions -5000+
14- Total Video Hrs- 200+
15- Total Page Reads- 2000+