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How Kahaleed Cracked His CISSP Exam

First, my story deserves a little preface: I had been doing general IT study for most of 2021, but then became interested in the CISSP when I saw some questions online and thought they were pretty simple and straightforward to answer.

The rumor was the CISSP exam was six hours long, but I thought to myself, “If the questions are like this, it should be no problem.” THAT WAS THE OLD TEST, NOT THE CBK! I purchased a Sybex book and read through it thoroughly. The information was very understandable, and I then moved on to the study questions. Feeling confident, I then went to schedule the exam after about 6 weeks of good study. My backup plan was to take a boot camp if I failed, but it was time to get my feet wet. About 2 weeks before the exam I started looking at the test strategy and found out about the CBK. This did not work well at all. When I took the test, I was utterly confused, but I did make to 150 questions.

I next scheduled myself for a Training Camp Boot Camp and, boy was it worth it. The instructors helped me to see that this was not a traditional IT exam and that it is necessary to look at a managerial thought process versus technical thought processes. This completely made the difference.

I passed in 100 questions after about 100 minutes! Joe Barnes (My training camp instructor) also gave us a lot of great additional material and resources which helped to capture the breadth and scope of the exam. The icing on the cake was our review session on Saturday with Jerome Heintz. He hammered down the thought process one should use when answering the questions.

The best (and the nerdiest) way to think of the CBK is like the Kobayashi-Maru exam for Star Trek Officers. You can learn all of the book stuff like the back of your hand but it is still going to be a challenge. The second time I took the exam was just as tough as the first, I had little feeling of confidence just a better decision making process. I will list all the resources I used below. It may have been overkill but they got the job done.

Finally, do the thousands of study questions that people suggest, and don’t be scared to spend some money… - Sybex Official CISSP Study Guide Computer Questions and App - Boson CISSP practice questions - ITPRO TV CISSP videos - The 11th Hour Digital Book - Mike Chapple Cert Mike Cheat Sheet and Audio (they came with the Sybex Book) - Learn Z App Official CISSP questions - Study Notes and Theory Questions (I listened to “…Think Like a Manager” about four times!) - CISSP Practice questions with Kirk vs Spock - Training Camp 5-day CISSP Boot Camp

Best of luck to you all!


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