How Lina Cracked Her CISSP Exam!

Provisionally passed July 11, 2019


In 2016 I started thinking about getting CISSP, I checked the certificate requirements, books, other people journeys...etc

I was intimidated by the books size, yeah thousands of pages is not pleasant to read. I had initial plan to study for it during my maternity leave, yup, was a big mistake, underestimated new baby’s responsibilities, and couldn’t study.

In 2018 got back to the idea of sitting for the exam, I started by watching Kelly H’s Cybrary class, then read Sybex 7th edition, I had it from 2016. I am a very bad reader, I skim and get bored easily, that’s why I couldn’t retain much of the info, but by reading the book and seeing the video the CISSP mindset started building and got new better job because of it, so even if you didn’t pass the exam, you definitely have learnt something out of this study “Don’t give up”

New job, a lot of work, fell off the wagon again and stopped studying.

May 30th this year, I texted my husband at work and said “Honey, be ready for a bad wife, bad mom, who is not available, I will be busy studying for the CISSP exam” he said “You got it!” this time I had to make it happen, I opened the VUE website and scheduled the exam and PAID, and the panic started.

May 30th till the date of the exam July 11th:

1- Got SNT website membership

2- Read the Memory Palace “I am not reading that Sybex freaking book again, once is more than enough for a bad reader like me LOL”

3- Did the SNT flashcards on the members website

4- Bought BOSON “If you are doing this one, read the explanation more than worrying about the score”

5- Bought Kaplan they are the same value as BOSON “Don’t do the same practice questions more than once, you will be fooling yourself”

6- Telegram group to discuss difficult questions and point of views, and to have some social interaction “I was isolated without any social activity during this month :( “

7- My weak domain was telecommunication Luke Ahmed's videos were the best for this, so research more about foreign concepts you find in the practice tests

8- A week before exam stopped doing practice questions, muted telegram group LOL.

9- Read 11th hour book “This time without missing any word,nope not a single word”

10- Kelly H Cybrary again “Not missing any of her words”

The exam:

I don’t know how many questions I had exactly but probably 110s in 120s mins thing, because when I answered Q100 I looked at the screen and had 62 mins left, but the exam was still going on, and stopped later suddenly.

None of the questions you can find anywhere, but the style is similar to the practice questions “Most, Best, Highest” and 4 answers to choose from. I felt like a wreck during the exam, but I used the tips below that probably made me pass, so don’t give up, you might think that you are failing, but no you are not.

BTW, the exam is very smart, it kept giving me questions from the domain I didn’t study much, so make sure you don’t leave a weak domain.


1- Practice questions is to point out your weak domain not to score more, the highest I scored in BOSON and KAPLAN was 68 “I don’t do the same practice questions twice, remember!”

2- If you are lost, and want to know how to pass the exam, leave everything you are doing now, watch these videos and adjust your mind and study plan to get to this:

3- You saw the videos? Now, you will not be a network engineer in one month if that domain is your weakness, so learn the general concepts, but learn them all, no skipping domains, they got my weakness (weakness in the exam is the domain I ignored because it’s easy) in the exam and they kept hitting me with questions about it.

4- One more, practice questions are to help you to point out your weakness, if it’s only one week to the exam and you still don’t know your weakness yet, that's a problem, DON’T worry about your SCORE!

5- The 2 answers immediate elimination thing is real, this is the only thing that made me smile during the exam, yes, you will read other CISSP saying “You can eliminate 2 answers easily at the beginning, then the other 2 are good, but one is better than the other”, I’m like “oh my god, this thing is real LOL!”

6- The 4 canons, know them well and in order, shame on you if you don’t answer the question about them right, and yes they are tested, this is not a secret, If I was ISC2 I would put high weight on those.

7- 11th hours was my last read and Kelly H Cybrary my last view a few days before the exam, IT’S WORTH IT


1- Sybex 7th

2- 11th hour

3- SNT membership

4- Cybrary videos

5- BOSON practice

6- Kaplan practice

7- Sybex and Shon Harris practice

Good Luck!


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