How Chetan Cracked His CISSP Exam
Motivational words from my WIFE:
"What is stopping you, if you give up on your dreams how our kids will achieve theirs, you need to go chase your dreams."
For background, I have 14 years of experience in which 6 years in Security Operations (Firewall, Proxy), and 5 years in Information Security Management in Financial Institution. It all started in May 2016 when my manager enrolled me for CISSP boot camp happening in my office campus. I took the boot camp which was based on SYBEX book and I thought this is something which i should be perusing. Hence a wonderful journey of becoming a CISSP was started which bring me here today to all of you. Challenges in my Journey: I work in regional role due to which it requires a lot of travelling in Asia, which was not giving me time to focus on my studies even if I used to take time out (on the run) then also my mind and body never allowed me to concentrate on study. Time was passing by and eventually I almost gave up my studies. Things were not going good. I was not on good track on time management for study. Journey: Finally, I took some days off on year end 2016 and did a serious study of SYBEX book, prepared some notes. Did practice test to get my knowledge tested and failed brutally. Went back on drawing board and decided to get more information from various sources then SYBEX. My colleague advised me to Enrolled myself to Study Notes and Theory Facebook page and Budding CISSP group on Whatsapp which I DID immediately, which was later moved to Telegram. A special thanks to add me to Ahmed who added me to group promptly. I got energized booked the exam for 08th May 2017 and started giving weekly 5-6 hours to Study. I did a lot of research but due to family reason 29 June 17 to May 06 2017 I need to travel INDIA urgently, which broke my study pattern and had no time to do last minute revision, practice. Still I attempted the exam on 8th May 2017 and failed with 678. I was broken as in journey I have to give up spending time with family. I thought this is not my cup of tea and almost moved on. Meanwhile in June God blesses us with new baby and I almost went back to my daily family life, which is awesome, playing with kids in evening and weekends.
The HOPE and RAY OF LIGHT was when my WIFE asked what is stopping you, if you give up on your dreams how our kids will achieve theirs, you need to go chase your dreams. The whole night went in thinking what she said and I eventually went back to drawing board and went back to study on weekends. I heard the exam is changing in April 2018 and which ENERGIZED me to go book exam on 28 March 2018 and attempt. I was on Family vacation in December where I met my ex-colleague who provided me official CBK book (Green book). 2 days prior to exam I got the Shon Harris 6th Edition from Library and Shon Harris practice test, study material from Vaibhhav, mate from Telegram group. 4 days before exam: - I was doing questions from ISC2 Practice test - Reading the notes I prepared - Practice Questions, Practice Questions.
1 day before exam:
- Madunix Process guide read it 2 times (MUST for ALL) - Practice test Shon Harris 7th Edition. - Notes prepared by me
Exam Day: - Wake up early 6:00 AM, Read Process Guide again. - Run though quick look on my notes. - Reached test center 8:30 AM, exam starting at 9:00 AM - Exam started and Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is very tough as no option to go back. - Didn't realize that only 12 minutes are left and i still have 20 questions to go. - Took pace and went to last question on 2 hours 59 min. - I prayed and click on Submit button.
That’s it, was a bit scared but went to Reception and she handed over printout with smile and congratulation! I didn't realize I passed and sat down on a seat, read my name and Congratulations again, at this time my wife face coming in eyes and words keep coming in my ears, again and again. I called her and my parents for good news. Study Materials. - Sybex Official Study Guide, 7th Edition. - CISSP CBK, 4th Edition - Shon Harris, Exam Guide, 6th Edition. - Kelly Videos at Cybrary - https://www.cybrary.it/course/cissp/ - Urdu It Academy, Kashif Iqbal- http://www.urduitacademy.com/courses/detail/(ISC)2 - Study Notes and Theory Members Site (All videos and flashcards by Luke) – These are really awesome - CISSP CBK Flashcards 2016 - Quizlet, - https://quizlet.com/133926485/cissp-cbk-flashcards-2016-flash-cards/ Practice Test - Sybex Official Practice Test - Online (Comes with the book) - Shon Haris CISSP Practice Exam, 2nd edition - Mc Graw Hill - CISSP Practice Exams, Online Free https://www.mhprofessionalresources.com/sites/CISSPExams/exam.php?id=AccessControl - Shon Harris 7th edition - Total Tester - Luke and Thor Questions on SNT FB Notes: - Madunix Process Guide v14 (From SNT) (MUST TO DO 10/10) - Sunflower Notes (From SNT) - CISSP Exam Preparation - Study Notes and Theory - Notes prepared by me Thanks to, - 1st to God who give us energy to believe in yourself. - My Wife and Kids, my parents to provide support and faith when required. - Vaibhav for helping me on last minute - Madunix for Process Guide (Savior) and good advice
- Ahmed Khan, supporting me after my 1 attempt - Hero, Konstantin, Dawood (AI), Sunny, Anjlica, Tarun, Ezra, Adil, Nirmala, Gokhan, Albert, SIEM QA, Yaniv, Ken, Arif, Divjot, Puneet, Mafuz, Olga J and all the members of SNT group (telegram and FB). - Lastly, Thanks to Luke and all who believed in me, interacted with me, supported me, and kept up my morale during my journey.
My Advice to all Future CISSP Aspirators, do study smartly, prepare your notes, as saying goes, what you write you remember and NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS.
Thanks, Chetan Kamra (CK)