How Shalini Cracked Her CISSP Exam!
I passed the CISSP exam provisionally on 11th Oct 2017.
Thank you very much everyone on the Telegram group for your guidance and support!!
Special thanks to Madunix, Prashant, Ahmed Khatib, Olga, Kim and Dawood, also Yaniv, Rabee, Satish, Venkatesh, and many other active members of the group. My journey started in 2013 when I attempted in December but failed with 696 score. After that syllabus changed and so did my priorities!
I found out about the FB group last year and used to see few questions passively, soon I found out about Whatsapp Group which is now a Telegram group. I joined the group around December 2016 and soon ordered Sybex as last time I purely studied with AIO.
I have 2 kids, 1 year and 3 years old and no family to look after. It’s not important to know for your preparation but I just mentioned that it was hard for me back then in serious study because of kids. I was on maternity leave so easy to think of study also had couple of holidays planned. Anyway in July I came back from holiday booked my exam and started serious preparation. I used to study 4-5 hrs daily, in the last 1 month I studied almost constantly (10-12 hrs at least).
The biggest reason that I cleared this exam was few names I mentioned above. Prashant was on holiday but he still used to answer my questions, also used to call me to revise the topics in last few days ☺ Madunix not to mention was there always when I pinged, Ahmad, Kim and Olga they all used to motivate me with CAN DO attitude. They are the ones who did not let me quit! I cannot thank them enough! I feel lucky that these people supported me throughout my journey and made me clear this exam!
10 days before the exam my grandfather passed away and I wanted to attend the morning but for that I had only option and that was to cancel the exam.. I could not study, for good few days my brain was recovering from shock. When I had 1 week left I came back with more energy and planned to go for exam. I did full revision of Sybex, Sunflower, Madunix guide, my notes and many other topics I felt needed improvement. In nutshell it’s never enough study for CISSP exam.
On the day of exam I left home at 8, reached center at 9 am, the guy at the centre was very friendly and shocked with 6 hrs length of exam. Finally I started my exam at 10 am, I took break after 100 questions for 5 min (used to eat Snickers) then again at about 200 and after finishing them all once. I had 90 minutes for review, half way through my exam I had fear that I failed but I was still trying to focus.
I changed many questions during review (which is not recommended) when I had 15 minutes left I gave up and did not review remaining questions and just submitted. I came out with feeling that I failed my exam. The lady at reception who had printout said yes you failed – she did not know genuinely. With heavy heart I went to get my stuff out of the locker and came back to get the printout, I noticed my photo and screamed I passed, I was in total shock!
For all those girls out there it’s a huge decision if you want to go for exam but trust me it’s doable, you just need to trust yourself! It was not easy with kids who used to tear the page and draw on my notes ☺ This group is the best platform for success!
I used to remind myself always whenever I felt weak “Ease is greater threat to progress than hardship”
STUDY MATERIALS: - I have watched the whole series of Kelly's, Sari Greene and skillset for telecom
- ISC2 Official Study Guide- Sybex (cover to cover many times)
- Sybex- Official practice tests
- AIO and CBK - for reference only
- AIO total tester and AIO 4th edition questions
- Used random YouTube Videos for understanding a concept more deeply. Google was my very important source for any confusion.
- All the Telegram questions and Madunix guide
My Tips Read the Sybex official book, use AIO for reference. Make your own notes for quick review, regularly participate in discussions and QA sessions. Focus on the basics and clear your concepts, you should know the basics about each and every topic. For me videos were the best source for any concept to retain.
- The CISSP exam is not only to test your knowledge but it also tests your stamina so make sure you develop that by practicing loads of questions. Try and understand the keywords, most importantly learn how to answer any topics if asked in different ways because that’s how the actual exam is.
- If not clear mark the question for later review and move on to the next question.
- Always read carefully through the entire question, read the question twice at least before selecting an answer.