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How Schweta Cracked Her CISSP Exam!

How I cracked CISSP

Thank you all for your messages and likes!! Now its time to share my story. I passed CISSP on 23 Apr 2016, it is definitely a major achievement for me!

The test was way too technical with many questions in Network Security and Cryptography, more around the mitigation, and application of best controls. I felt as if this exam is testing me on two things :

1) What I studied in my graduation degree course (Bachelor in Computer Science) [although that was more than decade ago, but basics / fundamentals never change!]

2) My close to decade work experience in Information Security, as a consultant wherein I had frequent interactions with top / senior management of organizations I worked for.

I’m not a very studious person who will plan the studies and follow the plan!

What helped me to clear this exam is :

Read, Retain, Recollect and Apply

Read – I read CBK 3rd Edition and Sybex CISSP Study Guide 7th Edition only once each. Went through CCCure CBTs more frequently for difficult topics. To refresh few concepts I referred books I used in my degree course. Due to hectic work schedules and frequent travels I was unable to commit daily time to my studies, so there was no specific study plan. I read whenever I had time and whatever I liked reading at that moment.

1) Retain – I did not make any long notes. Only topics which were new to me, I jotted down few points. Retention can only happen if we understand the concepts and not mug up things.

2) Recollect & Apply – I tried to recollect and apply concepts during the practice tests. My average score on CCCure was 72%, MH Professional – 62 % Sybex 65%. But I decided to focus on why the answer is correct or incorrect rather than on score. 14 to 22 Apr – 9 days only took tests one after other.

3) Logical Reasoning and Work Experience – This test requires a good amount of logical reasoning and hence mugging up things won’t help, many on this forum have already shared this tip multiple times. Few of the scenario based questions were similar to situations I faced in my profession, and my interactions with senior management as a InfoSec consultant helped a lot in these questions.

4) This Forum – Thank you StudyNotes AndTheory for creating this group and all the members who shared questions, answers and informational debates smile emoticon I remember investing entire half a day reading almost all the posts on this forum.

5) Last but not the least and because LAST IS BEST – my Mom and Dad, who provided continuous encouragement and motivation, I feel blessed to have them as my parents!!

Everyone has different learning styles and grasping power, so don’t compare yourself with others. Take your own time to study, learn and unlearn. Have a good sleep every night, eat healthy, stay active, and don’t get stressed!


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