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How Ravi Cracked His CISSP Exam

My CISSP Journey

Hi Friends, I have been a passive lurker in this group for a long time . Have been thinking of doing this certification for more than 5 years but could not commit dedicated time due to being lazy and family commitments.

After changing permanent job to a contract job and only earner in family, got the motivation to commit time for this exam. Booked exam date 27th April giving myself 1 month to prepare. Passed in first attempt on question 104 with 70 mins left.

Background - IT Security Engineer with experience on firewalls, proxies, PKI, F5, HSM etc etc

Preparation - With just one month to prepare I gave 2 hours everyday and 5 hours weekend. Also went on family trip before the exam being Easter holiday :P

Resources -

Sybex official study guide 10/10

Eric Conrad study guide 10/10

11th hour 10/10


Mike chappel linkedin


Sybex official practice tests 10/10

I gave 10/10 to the above resources cuz they were the only ones I used.

Coming to exam, as majority of people have mentioned the exam is focusing on concepts.

  1. Exam will give you all sorts of questions from technical, governance, compliance, Risk to everything in the book testing your knowledge in all eight domains. The test knows were you are lacking and will try to grill you on that domain.

  2. Being security engineer and technically sound, had a brain fade when even I had to read the questions three times to answer technical questions. You can imagine how the other questions would have been and being a non native English speaker does not help either.

  3. Experience from my work helped me in answering questions specially if you work in a organization were proper processes are in place be it change management, risk management, configuration management, log management, backup management etc

  4. Also the questions might not even say what particular concept they are asking. Will just give you a scenario and let you figure out what concept it relates to.

Luke's questions specifically train you for the exam by focusing on concepts (Note - I am not a paid member but have leveraged his free resources)


  1. Understand the concepts

  2. Needless to say THINK like a manager

  3. Try to do give your best to first 50 questions even if you have to give extra seconds to first 50 questions. This will set the pace for you.

  4. Frankly speaking if you know the concepts and experience then passing the exam is not difficult.

  5. If you are starting fresh then according to me start with 11th hour. Being short and to the point on topics will give you good base to go deeper with the official study guide or any other resource. My problem was I was overwhelmed with the size of study guides hence avoided this exam for 5 years.

Hope this helps other aspirants


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