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How Huen Cracked Her CISSP Exam

Reference Materials:

  • Sybex 7th Edition CISSP Official Study Guide - Cover to Cover twice (except the last 2 or 3 chapters that I only studied once)

  • Shon Harris AIO 7th edition (except domain 2)

  • Sybex Official Practice Tests

  • Eric Conrad 3rd edition (except the last 2 chapters)

  • Eric Conrad 11th hours

  • ISC2 + ISSA Study Group (only available locally)

  • Women in Security CISSP Study Group (no longer available)

  • CISSP study group (meet once a week at work since Feb 2017)

  • Luke Ahmed’s study sessions (all of them)

  • Shon’s MP3

  • Kelly from Cybrary

  • Random Youtube Videos

  • SNT videos and practice test (Practice test is harder than the actual exam)

  • Random notes from Budding CISSP group

My journey: My CISSP journey starts in January 2015. I wanted to get into security field and when I looked at the job descriptions, most of the roles required CISSP. I decided to join a study group organized by ISC2 and ISSA local chapter and I attended the class once a week for about 4 months. Half- way through the class, we received the news that ISC2 were going to reorganize the 10 domains

into 8.

I then landed a Security job in July before I get a chance to attempt the exam. I had to put my study on hold due to the demand on the previous job and I decided to study for Security+ in early 2016 because I know with my crazy schedule, that certification is more do- able. My CISSP journey start back up in July of 2016.

I joined Luke’s Facebook group and found out about Budding CISSP group and I joined the group after I passed Security + in 2016. It was a very active group and I reviewed all the posts every morning on those that I missed and participated throughout the day. I rarely missed a lot of the questions that Budding CISSP group posted except the very last month before my exam.

I was sick 2 days after I scheduled my exam for more than 2 weeks so I was not able to study much. I had to slow down on the week of my exam because my brain pretty much hit the max (I called it buffer overflow). I started to watch some motivational videos on the last 2 days before my exam to keep the positive attitude. Looking at my journey, I could say that I am over prepared. At the same time, I am not sure what else I would do to change it. It is like a blind man that trying to touch an elephant. You do not know what you would anticipate until you step into the exam hall.

Overall, the exam is very high level. The only advise I would give is read the question, select the answer and go back to re-read the question again. Do not try to fix any problems because that is what a technical person would do. Lastly, relax. You will never feel that you are ready or confident until you take the test and get the “Congratulations”. There is no secret sauce or shortcut to this exam but I believe positive attitude and hard work will definitely pay off. It took me a little over 4 hours to finish the exam. The questions are not super lengthy so there is enough time to finish the whole exam.

Special thanks to Ahmed Khatib, Dawood (Kevar), Madunix and Ezra for leading Budding CISSP group. I could not have done this without the motivation from the group and blessing from the Lord.


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