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How Dhamo Cracked His CISSP Exam

Dear Fellow Security Professional and Aspirants.

I cleared my CISSP exam last week, and would like share my experience to help others. Just a little bit of background, I have 12 years of IT experience and 8+ years in various Security roles. CISSP was in my radar for almost a year and It took me 8 weeks of rigorous preparation and below are the materials I used.

When I decided to take the CISSP exam, I downloaded some free test apps on my iPad and started taking questions and I was able to score 55 to 65%. So I knew I was not far behind and was good with my basics, and needed to learn the (ISC) terms and terminology.

Study materials use:

  • Cybrary -Kelly Handerhan video

  • CISSP (ISC)2-CISSP Sybex Official Study Guide

  • CISSP CBK 4TH EDITION - Only for reference and Q & A

  • CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests - Mike Chapple & David Seidl

  • CISSP Practice Exams - Shon Harris (Third edition) - Bit old but was useful

  • Shon Harris MP3 and practice Q & A

  • Luke's video and Practice Q & A

Below was my study plan

  • Booked the exam in about 8 weeks. I knew it was a risk, But unless you set yourself a target you cannot give your 100%. ( You can always reschedule if you are not confident)

  • My fist official preparation was Kelly Handerhan video in Cybrary ( She is awesome) and completed it in about two weeks. After every chapter video I took the official Sybex test at the end of each chapter in the study guide.

  • I knew it wasn't enough and I need to do a lot of reading ( Which I don't like, I am more receptive to listening rather than reading). So I started my reading of Sybex and took my own notes as I read through. After I completed each chapter I took the official Sybex test and scored about 65 to 70 %.

  • I sent 6 to 8 hours a day for reading and used my break time at work to answer the questions. It took me 4 weeks to complete the Sybex. I took the chapter test again and this time scored 85 to 90 %. Also took the full test ( 250 Questions) 3 times.

  • Last two weeks I listed to Shan Harris MP3, went through my notes and took the practice test in the site. Though some topics are outdated she covers the basics very well, and would highly recommend this, and it's free. (

  • Also watched Luke's videos and YouTube videos for the topics which I needed clarification. I used my white board and marker a lot and pretended as if I am teaching the concept. This helped me understand the concept better.

  • Last two days, I listed to Shon Harris MP3 reviews and took Luke's practice test. It helped me how to look for keywords and distractions in questions as the questions were relatively large. Exam day: Exam was at 2: 00 PM. Woke up early and was listening to my favorite music. Reached one hour before the exam. I took my time in reading through the questions and didn't want to rush even though I knew the answers. Double checked the questing for negatives. Took two breaks after 75 and 150 questions and submitted before 10 minutes. I marked around 40 question for review and decided not to review them. If I didn't knew the answer, I was always saying to myself that 25 question are not counted. This helped me to focus on the ones that I knew. Finally, when the printout said Congratulations – What a relief, you should experience that feeling.

Thanks & Regards,



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