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How Darrall Cracked His CISSP Exam

Darrall Vs CISSP

Journey of a life time! ROUND 1 As part of my job role in April 2015 I had anopportunity to go on a week’s course to learn CISSP and take out what I can from the week, then go sit the exam…Well I took many notes in that week and soon realised in my own mind that I needed to study more before taking the exam. I carried out a studying program at the start of Jan 2016 with a view to sitting the exam before a voucher ran out April 2016.

After the weeks course, I followed with Two Months study reading Sybex book and taking Sybex test questions. I booked the exam at the end of April 2016, My Practice tests were registering around the 70% mark with Sybex Practice questions so I knew I was going to have to fight hard to pass this exam.

I Went in to the Exam and if this was a boxing match I would have been knocked out, although I put up a good fight with scoring 620.. in truth I wasn’t ready, I was trying to memorise stuff and I did not know enough the way the exam went with me having to guess on many questions, I knew i failed!

Looking for POSITIVES I scored better than I thought I would. Summary of Round 1 – We have something to build on here with the score of 620, I can look forward….

I took the British Summer time off as I preferred to get out more than sit in doors studying. (WRONG decision) I should have kept things ticking over even if I was only putting 1 hour a day.

Round 2 Start of August 2016 we`re back into studying and booked the exam for end of October 2016 to help keep the momentum going, I continued to use the Sybex book for reference , Practise questions included ccure this time which as a good resource tool and Sybex and scores veried from 68% to 75% I know I have some knowledge in the bank by now and know many concepts.

The exam went well this time as I understood most of the questions, thinking I know the answer, I had that feeling id done a lot better this time round although there was still a few tricky questions thrown into the mix , I felt positive, had I done enough to get over the 70% mark???? And after 5 hours I’d had enough, I had Man Flu!!? (no excuses as Man Flu does not impact thinking ;) so I didn`t look at questions for review as I felt I’d done enough after 5 hours…I felt drained so ended the exam!

I got my result from the printer and yep once again FAILED!!! Scored 677 this time. How can that be? What went wrong sprang to mind? Summary of Round 2 – Okay so I did better than the first time, still bad habits need to be addressed, stop thinking you have done enough before the exam finishes and do the review questions, get back into study and nail the weak domain which has appeared twice on my score sheet I received– listen to what ISC2 are telling me here!!?? I felt i had treated the exam with contempt by not doing reviews… okay I worked hard but got knocked out all the same! Two choices at this point.. Quit or pick yourself up off the floor and go again… Learnt a lot of concepts and I feel I am close to knocking CISSP Exam out ;) So I’ve got to wait Three long hard months before I can go again and I’m chomping at the bit to go again SO LETS DO IT!!!!…. Xmas 2016 is going to impact study so I need to make a good solid plan and stick to it. Round 3 From Oct 2016 to end of Jan 2017 I read Conrads 11th hour book a very good shortened study guide, I referenced the Sybex book and I hammered the cccure questions and ISC2 questions scoring 72 – 85%. I took Xmas week off (might be a good thing) but I was back into study and questions at the beginning of Jan 2017. This boxer is getting up for the big fight again who knows quite a bit about my opponent (CISSP exam) this time around. This was my drive … learn, learn, learn concepts live, breath sleep CISSP Study! Here we go again… I know that the Concepts are sticking and are committing to memory , my test scores are improving on the whole, 75 -85%, my approach to the exam I accept I’ll get a few wrong, cut out answering questions without thinking, also take a more active part on the great FB CISSP study group interacting with many people and having discussions with Olu and a like which was really good as you are living and breathing the material with many good questions being posted. There's a lot at stake this time, its getting costly at $600 a throw and the time used up where my Wife is having to put up with me showing more interest in CISSP then her (Allegedly)?, I know I will achieve a pass one day , I am improving, I’m learning and my test scores are well into late 75% - 85% keep the good vibe going!!!

EXAM time…. LETS DO IT! Treat each question with respect, FOCUS JUST FOCUS!!! ….The reality is I`m going to work for up to 6 hours!!! Think of nothing else accept the question in front of you…. FOCUS, FOCUS FOCUS!!! forget what has gone before or what might happen. After 5 Hours 45 mins I ended the exam …. Thoughts at this point???? I was numb and didn’t feel anything towards how I had done (learnt from round 2 not to get to excited) Back to the printer and the chap behind the desk says “You`ve been here before?” I smiled, he handed me a piece of paper which read "CONGRATULATIONS! You have…."

SUMMARY I hopefully still have your attention.. you are on a journey where you are transforming into a CISSP – this is not to be taken lightly - you got to learn the concepts there’s no substitute to this! the tests that you do such as CCCure or Sybex in my case are to measure your progression, DO NOT go for memorise as a rule .. Know your Concepts and demonstrate the right habits before and during the exam, you have 6 hours use it wisely! … The Exam is well written and will check you out for knowledge and weakness`s, It’s a good exam that you should embrace as it will treat you fairly! I do recommend light study the day before the exam and avoid the cramming at the last minute, what you have not learnt 24 hours before the exam isn`t going to make much difference on the day.

Okay the boxing analogy is probably not the best description for the build up however I know my opponent CISSP has credibility and the ability to defeat you if you have not trained (study) well …although CISSP has its limitations even though it’s an “inch deep and a mile wide” but still…and if you know all that you need to know about your opponent you sure do stand a damn good chance of CONQUERING! By all means be nervous at the exam as that shows that you care for this and you really want it! These are the best well written questions you will face so pace yourself , enjoy and FOCUS!!! Best of luck to you all that are due to take the exam…. with hard work, FOCUS, and the endurance you will meet this goal “ PASS”! My tutor wants to use a quote that I made to him when I gave him the good news on my pass so let me share this with you also.. Exam requirements are.. “Passport, dedication, determination and endurance, along with the most important thing of all KNOWLEDGE!!” Study Materials – CISSP Official Study Guide 7th edition – Official ISC2 Practice Tests – Cybrary: Kelly Handerhaan videos – Sybex Test Banks - FB Group -Study I mixed it up to keep it fresh. Get actively involved in Lukes FB Study group – you can get so much out of this with interaction and sharing knowledge! Did reading for Two hours a day and rounded off with 25-50 questions at night before bedtime.

Travelling to work listened to Kelly (MP3) on CyberyIT in the car and on some lunch breaks watched her videos, Kelly is very good and keeps things logical. Week before the Exam I ramped it up by doing 100 questions before bedtime. Night before the exam – get to bed early – banging your head against a wall trying to cram in any missing concepts isn`t going to work or do you any favours…RELAX!

Most of All Best Wishes.. if you work hard you will be rewarded!!!



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