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How Victor Cracked His CISSP Exam

Passed my CISSP exam during my 1st attempt!

I have been studying for the CISSP exam for the past few years and I had to postpone my study efforts for various reasons. However, did not let side effects of procrastination eclipse those efforts to go in vain.

Successfully harnessed the power of that knowledge to pass ISACA's CISM and CRISC exams this year.

Then kept the momentum to take the CISSP studies to the finish line.

Study Resources Used:

Kelly Handerhan's Cybrary materials.

Mike Chapple's OSG and its companion OPT Q & A book.

Pete Zerger's materials.

Rob Witcher's (Destination Certification) YouTube videos.

Plus, hands on work experience immensely helped.

While Studying:

Be consistent, regular and persistent in studying. There is power in continuity. Not all days are the same, in somedays when you don't have enough time to devote to CISSP studies just spend at least 15 minutes to keep the continuity for the process.

After completing reading a whole book or listening to a CISSP video, you will soon realize that your mind understood while studying but the contents start evaporating from your brain gradually.

Then fear grips your soul with a question how in the world am I going to memorize this whole book and remember this whole video contents. This is where how you use the questions and answers come to your aid.

While taking practice questions, please do research on why a particular answer is right and why the rest are wrong or not the best. Don't just try to memorize the right answers only because that will also evaporate from your mind soon. Do reverse engineering, find justification for the right answer and make sure why the other answers are wrong. This way your brain would keep absorbing more and more stuff, commits to your long-term memory and makes the retrieval process easier.

Repeat several times until it gets embedded into your sub-conscious mind. Consider Cyber Security as part of your life.

Memorization is necessary but understanding the concepts is more important.

Exam day:

Took pumpkin spiced Starbucks coffee and got into the PearsonVUE exam center well before 30 minutes. The front desk person took fingerprints multiple times and before entering into the exam room, the proctor asked me to give my blue light blocking pair of glasses and placed it in a device to find out if that pair of glasses had a secret recording camera embedded onto its frame. After confirming my pair of glasses were not equipped with any hidden cameras, he escorted me room and signed me in.

During the exam, you must think like a manager and not as a technical worker. This is a must, if you don't do this, you will definitely fail.

Pay attention to how the English language is used. It may not always be a technical twist but how the question is structured to mislead you, using the English language.

Go through the process of elimination and you should be able to find at least 2 obviously wrong answers, when there is an uncertainty about the remaining 2 answers wear the "Think Like a Manager" hat and think what you would do if you were a manager or a Risk Consultant in that particular situation.

Not all questions can be answered correctly by wearing the "Think Like a Manager" hat, especially the purely technical ones.

If you are unable to figure out the correct answer for a purely technical question, go with your gut feeling and your intuition will most likely be right. It is a God given supernatural guidance system for all of us. Proverbs 20:27

Also working in the area of Governance, Risk, Compliance, License Management and CMDB on a regular basis with a Cisco networking experience really helped me to choose the right answers for various questions.

After the exam screen closed, walked out and the receptionist put the printed side facing down at the front desk, when I flipped it, I could not believe my eyes when I saw "Congratulations"

In this journey, exchanged various e-mails with Luke Ahmed who is a legend in this field, and he always quickly responded and consistently encouraged me. (Publisher edit: use promo code "FULLTIMECISSP" to get 15% off Study Notes and Theory CISSP Course subscriptions)

Like mentioned in the beginning, if you have either intensely prepared for the CISSP, passed or failed in the 1st attempt, you can use that knowledge to pass ISACA's CISM certification.

ISACA's CRISC will also be easy but need to take a deeper dive into the Risk Management concepts.

Remember, passing the CISSP is only the beginning, never stop and continue to expand your skills in other Cyber Security areas such as cloud, privacy, digital forensics, identity management and many more.

Also focus on your presentation skills, no matter what level of technical expertise you possess, it ultimately comes down to your ability to deliver in a meaningful and persuasive form.

Hope this helps.

I wish all those who read this the best in passing the CISSP exam and several other certification exams!



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