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How Hugh Cracked His CISSP Exam

Yesterday, I passed my CISSP exam on my first attempt. Thanks Luke Ahmed and all my “classmates” in this study group. This is an excellent resource I highly recommend to anyone pursuing their CISSP certification.

In addition to participating in this study group, here are some additional resources I used (** denotes the sources I highly recommend):

• Sybex CISSP Study Guide**

• Shon Harris All in One CISSP Exam Guide**

• Kelly Handerhan CISSP video training course (CybaryIT)**

• McGraw-Hill CISSP Practice Exams (book and/or the online question bank)**

• CCCure Online Quiz Engine (I HIGHLY recommend this resource)**

• Sybex Official CISSP Study App**

• Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK

• Syngress CISSP Study Guide

• Syngress CISSP 11th Hour Study Guide

• Skillset Online CISSP Test Engine

• Pocket Prep CISSP App

Here are a few more resources and strategies I used that may be helpful to others:

• videos (Free resource online; his videos are primarily for CompTIA certs, but he goes in-depth on many topics covered in the CISSP exam; I used it as an alternative resource to get a verbal explanation on a topic.)

• Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction (It’s a small book from Oxford University Press on cryptography for the non-technical crowd. I didn’t read the whole book, just sections on crypto algorithms I wanted to get a better understanding.)

• Mnemonics (I used existing, well-known mnemonics and ones I created for myself.)

• Free online CISSP test questions (as many as I could find)

• I made sure I had a good breakfast the day of the exam (My exam time was at 11am, so I knew I would be taking the test during lunch time. I didn’t want to start having hunger pains in the middle of the exam!)

• Leading up to test day, I tried to eat foods that support healthy brain function during exams. Yes, it sounds quirky, but it worked for me. I did this before my Security+ and CISSP exams, and I passed them both. (There are numerous sources online on this topic; Google it if you want to learn more)

• I got a good night sleep before my exam. I felt rested and refreshed going into the exam.

• Anything I wanted to take with me to the test center, I packed the night before the exam.

• Thoroughly read the questions and answers… then read them again. After that, read them again, before selecting your answer. One small word in the question/answers makes the difference between a correct or incorrect response. I also, used this process to identify the two answers that were most likely incorrect, so at least I was left with a 50/50 chance of getting the right answer from the remaining two.

• Make sure you understand the underlying concepts of what you’re studying. Unless you’re a genius and/or have a photographic memory, there’s no way you can memorize all the material covered on the exam. But, if you understand the concepts, you will be able to read the question/answers and identify the correct choice.

• Finally, stay cool, calm and confident. Don’t let a question on something you’ve never seen freak you out. Trust in your ability, read the question, pick the best answer, and move on to the next question. You will be fine.

I know this is a very long post, but hopefully it’s helpful. Good luck and all the best!



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