My journey to CISSP started back in March 2017, when I ordered the books from Amazon. I had started to learn and realize how critical Information Security will be for Organizations and Governments in years to come and therefore opted to chase this Certification. Right from the day one, I knew it would not be easy cert to crack and would require sheer Consistency and Dedication. Therefore I began with the fundamental principle of studying hard and making an honest effort without thinking much about Exam or its result.
It took me a year to prepare and appear in exam, some may see it with suspicion for the time taken but my idea was that I should not rush to take the exam and should instead let the concepts sink into my thought processes. This journey was nothing less than an odyssey as I felt it had some very closely lineated concepts and I genuinely struggled to retain the intricate details, there were numerous nights where I could not sleep and even my dreams had CISSP concepts bumping in. Then I realized why it is said to “EAT, BREATHE and SLEEP CISSP”
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sybex (the book with which I started) but I still felt hollow and found myself lacking depth, at that time I got to know Luke Ahmed (a wonderful, selfless person) with a simple but amazingly valuable website that has helped many to clear this cert.
Luke suggested me to study Shon Harris AIO. I then bought Shon Harris and read it cover to cover. Reading Shon Harris gave me the depth and the confidence that I was looking for. I can’t Thank Enough Luke, Prashant and Ahmed Khan from CISSP Budding Group who genuinely helped me throughout 5 months prior to taking the exam, whenever I had any confusion, they were there to help me.
On 6 th Feb 2018, I was extremely upset and depressed, struggling to retain details but Prashant and Luke really supported me during that period and kept on telling me that I was already on the right track. I remember one particular video from Luke, "What To Do 1-2 Months Before the Exam" calmed me down and gave me confidence to deal with the false alarms that I was getting.
I think what grapples the most aspiring CISSPs is the fear of the unknown (like it did to me days before the exam) since the Exam questions are completely phrased in a different manner to test your concepts.
Therefore I feel your Orientation and Experience matters a lot in pursuing this cert and taking on this exam. I was completely overwhelmed to have cleared this exam on 8th April 2018.
I would urge all the CISSP aspirants to not take a hasty approach for this exam, Instead make a Consistent, Honest and Determined Effort and utilize the valuable resources on the Study Notes and Theory Website.
Below is my Study Plan: 1. Sybex Official Study Guide. (Cover to Cover) 2. Made my Own Notes from Sybex for all Chapters. 3. Shon Harris AIO 7th Edition (Cover to Cover) Made Notes “Only” for Important Topics from this book. 4. CISSP Process Guide. 5. Cybrary Lectures of Kelly Handerhen (70% Covered) 6. Watched All Videos from Luke Ahmed SNT website (Free + Subscription Based) 7. Practiced 4000+ Questions.
I’ll be happy to help other aspiring CISSPs and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org