How I Cracked CISSP ON First Attempt
What is most important?
I passed CISSP on 1st June 2016 on first attempt….. It’s really good feeling. Few tears dropped from my eyes after I came out from the Center and immediately called my wife to share the good news! It’s really a big achievement. It took 5 Hrs. 57 min. I wanted to submit by myself before the auto submission struck, so I allowed 3 min to have in my hand for calm submission.
Before I dive into the strategy, I wish to make it very clear that CISSP preparation needs a lot of dedication and planning as well as the stamina to survive in 6 hours exam.
People like me, who are working professionals, finds it very difficult to adjust the time and patience to keep focused for 5-6 months. This time frame may vary from person to person, but utmost the dedication, continuity, and patience matters.
So, it’s up to the candidate how well he/she adjusts the time, but regular study is mandatory to keep yourselves focused and motivated. No more prelude, jumping over to the strategy and facts………………
Strategy Family support is really important. My wife motivated me always to get the job done. This Cert is dedicated to her for continuous support………….
STUDY MATERIAL It does really matter how well you understand the concept, so selection of the right study material is very crucial because we don’t like to waste such valuable time. My personal choices were: 1. Sybex, 7th Edition by Stewart, Chapple, and Gibson 2. Eric Conrad, 3rd Edition 3. CISSP AIO, 7th Edition ( I didn’t refer this, but came to know from many people that this is really good and aligned to the new domains) 4. Video lectures of David R. Miller, O’reilly Production (This fellow is really good in explanation) 5. Simplilearn.com ( Good; very specific to the content) For Practice Exam 1. ORG: Licensed version for the practicetests.org (Paid) 2. wiley.com (Free) 3. http://booksite.elsevier.com/companion/conrad/ (Free) 4. MH professional (Free) Note: Understanding the concepts are so important. The real work experience gives you an extra advantage to crack CISSP. So, having a work experience in Data Center Environment, ISO 27K, ISO 20K, and Audit will have an extra advantage.
STUDY PLAN I planned according to my leisure hours, on an average 3 hrs. every day, but sometime due to official work I had to skip. But ensure you are always on track and in touch with the FB Group” Study Notes and Theory”. Because, this group is focused, dedicated, honest and ethical. We must strive for CISSP in an ethical way. We must uphold the 4 canons of ISC2 ethics. It’s really important for long term success and satisfaction.
Practicing exam whenever I had time, discussing in the forum any time even when I was going to my bed. Getting early in the morning, my first task was to check the group postings.
Crux is try hard and harder. Feel for it…………………………..
Schedule the exam I booked the exam on 14th May almost two weeks ago because I wanted to book the exam when I was feeling 80% ready for the exam. But, registering for the exam before 3-4 months is more beneficial, because it pulls the trigger which I was feeling after registering. I was defensive on financial ground, but you should register 3-4 months ago.
So, the strategy is very clear….. 1. Study hard. 2. Understand the concept. 3. Practice Q&A as much as possible (Min 2000+), and target to score 80% or more. 4. Any wrong answer must be evaluated why it was wrong and why other were right. 5. Always keep in touch with any CISSP forum/groups.
FINAL TWO WEEKS I was striving for taking the exam, was a bit tensed but also confident to do well in the exam. I was focusing on the go through the materials to clear my concept.
NOT NECESSARY TO REMEMBER ANY SPECIFIC STEPS, RATHER TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS FLOW.
I was practicing as much as possible to get the concept clear. All domains are equally important to pass the exam. ON the day of the exam
I scheduled my exam at 10 a.m. I reached the exam center well before 9:30 a.m. It is important to reach the exam center at least 30 min before the scheduled time. It helps you to calm down and focused before you go for the final encounter.
IMPORTANT FACTORS: Carry Two ID cards. I suggest talk to your center operator to confirm the IDs you may carry.
Reach 30 min before the scheduled time
Carry your food and drinks.
Read all instructions before you proceed for the exam.
It was a long procedure to complete before I was cleared to take the exam.
Finally, I sat before the computer and started reading the first question. It was really tensed time I was going through. I was trying to understand the question and eliminate the answer choices. My strategy was to finish the exam in 4 hrs. and I successfully completed that but with 60 review flag. I took two breaks. One in 1:30 hrs. for drinking water for 4 min.
Second I took when I completed the 4 hrs. I had my lunch for 10 min. I had heard that changing answer during review is probably not the right choice. But I didn’t follow that. I went ahead and at first reviewed 60 flag questions in 30 min. I changed answer of 5 Questions (approx.). I took the third break for 5 min.
Then I started to review all 250 questions probably in 1 hour 20 min. I was a bit tensed when I had to change the answers of almost 15-20 questions. I was just trying to pull the best out of me and reconfirm the success. God is great that I didn’t follow any pre-idea of not changing the answers during review. When I changed the answers and finally approached toward ends, I was pretty sure about the success!
I finished the entire review before 5 min to complete the 6 hrs. It took time for first 150 questions to review and I changed mostly for those answers. Last 100 answers didn’t have much change. Probably I was tensed, and I made mistakes early. To eliminate any wrong answer, I had to review the whole.
I COULDN’T LEAVE IT ON MY LUCK. I HAD TO ENSURE THAT I CHOSE THE PROBABLE BEST ANSWER WITHOUT ANY DOUBT. I PUT ALL EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE QUESTION IS ABOUT AND WHAT IT IS ASKING AS AN ANSWER.
PLEASE READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS.
I hit the finish button. It was asking twice to confirm for submission. All effort of last 6-7 months at last came to an end. I was escorted by the operator out of the exam room.
I didn’t ask him about the result. I just followed his facial expression, when I saw he was smiling. I got my confirmation. Then he replied …………………you passed!
Oh God…. I was so happy to hear that. I collected my result page printed straight for the printer and looked at it once again.
I DID IT……..!
I completed my CISSP journey on 1st June 2016 at 4:45 p.m. with a SUCCESS. I dedicate this success to my Wife for all her relentless effort and pushing me to go for CISSP and the supreme authority for blessings to make it happen.
BEST OF LUCK!!!