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How Christian Cracked His CISSP Exam


I was YOU!


The first thing I want to convey, is that I was you. Someone who began their studies and tried to cut corners because I thought the material was so wide. How could one individual possibly understand everything in every domain? The question couldn’t leave my brain. My wife would ask how my studying was going, and my answer was always the same, “it’s just, so much.” With a support group, solid plan, and the motivation, you WILL pass. This is how...


Support Group

First, this journey will involve sacrifice from everyone within your inner circle. Ensure they’re on board for the new challenges. For me, it meant less family time. That isn’t acceptable to me; my family is my core.


So, how did I make up for lost time? All my “free time” went to studying. I removed my distractions. My day would start with a 40-minute dog walk. During my walk I would listen to CISSP related material. After coffee was toilet time, that’s where I took Pocket Prep tests (too much info).


I reduced my sleep to 6.5 hours and worked on breathing exercises to stimulate energy. Now, the biggest part: you need to understand your partner’s emotions! This test will stress you out. I’ve even gotten a little snippy with my wife and kids; I regret that. It’s important to understand our loved one’s stressors going into the exam, and how to best remedy them in a direct manner. (Isn’t it crazy how every moment matters while prepping?) So how do we care for someone directly and understand how they need to be loved? Take this quiz and have your spouse/loved one take it. It will highlight how they interpret love. We often try to love others the way we interpret love, that doesn’t work. The Love Language™ Quiz (5lovelanguages.com)


Solid Plan

Like others stated, start with booking your exam. Nothing will put pressure on you more properly than having a timer. So, here’s the roadmap:


- Read the Sybex. Stop flipping through it, stop putting it off. READ IT! It’s okay if you don’t understand everything at first.


- Deep breath, hug your spouse. This is a milestone.


- Take Mike Chapple’s LinkedIn Learning CISSP Prep course.


- You’re becoming powerful. Remember to be kind. Help a stranger.


- After you complete those two tasks, you should start to take daily tests. 50 questions a day

minimum. Use all different test engines. Most notably: Wiley Test Bank, CISSP test Bank Shon Harris), Boson. These exams are more technical than you need, but for this part of your studies, I believe it’s needed.


- Take a walk, enjoy the fresh air. Your hard work is paying off, and you should be grateful for

your health.


- Harden your weak areas with Study Notes and Theory videos. These videos are the most in-

depth for your week areas. Watch the PKI videos. DO NOT SKIP THOSE. I promise you don’t

know everything about it yet. The BCP/DRP videos are also mandatory. Don’t skip those.


- Great! You’re hard now. But you need to think like a manager now!


- You’re also become a strong leader. To be one, you must be an expert listener. Listen!


- Take Luke’s practice tests. They’re the hardest and are frustrating. But NO EXAM will help you more than his questions.


- Let’s take all the material we just learned and try to package it into something more digestible. Take Kelly Handerhan’s Cybrary IT course. She will highlight some of the big topics you have to cover, and push aside some of the smaller topics, like most of the Stream Ciphers.


- You’re almost a complete product now, but you may want some more glue to tie everything

together. Watch Destination Certification Mind Maps. You’ll be proud of how far you’ve come that everything makes sense.


- Read the Sybex again. You’ll realize how fast you can breeze by it now. No terms should be

new. You should be able to tie every single word you read to nearly every domain!


- Practice, Practice, Practice. Don’t cheat yourself on these exams. You’ll start to find

commonalities between answers. It isn’t about the score, it’ about knowing why every answer is wrong, and why yours is the most right.


- From a material standpoint, you’re ready.


Motivation

You must develop your WHY. It’s not for me or anyone else to define. Your WHY is something that’s buried deep within your being. I’ll share with you mine. You’ll see that failure was not an option. Be vulnerable...


I was raised below the poverty line from loving parents who barely made it to their next paychecks. We’d watch our weekly paychecks erased from the prior week’s overdraft fees. While it fueled my fire into success, I cannot let that be the standard for my wife and children. This journey was going to change my stars; and it did.


What does this exam mean to you? Write it down and obsess over it. We all wanted to quit. Those who passed knew it wasn’t an option. Dig Deep. We’re all in your corner. The world is watching.


I was YOU, but now I’m Luke’s 2,456th success story.



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