top of page

How Ragu Cracked His CISSP Exam

A senior citizen (60+) bows to Luke Ahmed.

I have provisionally passed the CISSP exam on May 2, 2019 - 100 questions and 110 minutes. I am a network engineer who is on call 24 x 7. I have a Ph.D. and used to be a CCIE (no longer current) but never had to study as much as I did for the CISSP exam.

I followed Luke Ahmed's advice - immerse yourself in the CISSP world, attempt at least 5000 questions and always pick the higher level (superset) answer. In addition I went with my first intuition for most of the questions. Yes, no cable TV or Netflix in the last 1.5 years and I do not miss it. Just 2 minutes of CNN App every day. I did not miss any family vacations, weddings and holiday celebrations. The best thing that I did was becoming an SNT paid member before studying for the exam. Luke Ahmed, your questions have a lot of depth and are unique.

I like the fact that Luke Ahmed also tells why the other choices are wrong. Luke also sends questions via email and responds to all emails promptly. One of the keys to pass this exam is be able to think like the ISC2 way. I did not take any formal CISSP training other than online training stated below. The Attorney, the man who had the brain hemorrhage and the young pregnant woman who passed the CISSP exam were my motivators. This experience has given me the confidence that I can work on any project as I can ask the right questions. I took Luke Ahmed's tests a week before the real exam and still did not get a passing grade on many of them (I timed it just like the real exam) even though that was my second or third time on the same questions. This made me feel the real exam questions were relatively easier in most cases.

I studied two weekends every month and at least an hour every week day except when there were family emergencies. My cell phone would be turned off while studying. I stopped studying CISSP for 6 months to take care of emergencies but continued to be a paid SNT member as I did not want to lose touch completely. It is important to read the question and spot the key words.

Purpose means the reason or the why behind the question and do not pick the answer that shows "how". Some questions can only be answered only if have had hands on experience in that area and no amount of studying will help with those kind of questions.

Mistakes I made were, I was overwhelmed with my own notes (600+ pages) and post it notes all over the bedroom. Once a week or so please go back and look at your notes and post it notes for a few minutes, concepts will sink in much faster and stay longer. I was on the Telegram group for a short period and thanks to Hero Torentino, Sandhya Chebiyyam and others I cannot recall. Thanks to Fadi Sodah for the telegram group.

I also implemented defence in Depth for my home by having both kinds of smoke detectors - Ionization and Photoelectric.

Good luck every one and thanks Luke for hosting this special platform. Your dedication is highly appreciated. One of things on my bucket list is to meet the founder of Rymar Tech!!!

I used the following material.

1. CISSP CBK 4th Edition (only as a reference but answered all domain questions)

2. AIO 7th Edition (only as a reference but answered domain questions that I was weak in)

3. ISC2 Official Practice Tests First and Second Edition

4. ISC2 CCSP Official Study Guide (No intention of taking this exam, just wanted to increase my knowledge on cloud security - read chapters 1,4, 5 and the respective review questions

5. ISC2 Official study Guide 7th Edition (Read twice, cover to cover)

6. Answered questions in the above books and also Thor Pedersen, CCCure and Boson

7. Kelly Handerhan, Mike Chappel (LinkedIn) Videos, Mohammad Atef (Infosec4TC)

8. Youtube - IT Dojo Questions, Skillset, Larry Greenbelt, Prabh Nair

9. Amazon Audible - Phil Martin Essential CISSP Second Edition

10. CISSP flashcards from Laurie Hocking

11. Read several NIST Publications - very time consuming, Luke summarizes this information in his videos


bottom of page