I passed the exam provisionally on October 16,2017.
Stuck in a RUT ! That’s exactly how I felt a couple of months ago. Let me introduce myself. I am Vinoo George, an IT Auditor with 5 years experience, a passion for IT Security, a mind that questions everything and a thirst to know how it works.
I started working in 2012 and In the beginning it was all very exciting and the passion to make a difference in the work place was a pure high. However, a few months ago, that passionate feeling was slowly fading away and I found my self demotivated and this started affecting other parts of my life. This feeling is exactly what made me take up the CISSP. I would like to share my experience as well my study pattern with other aspiring CISSP candidates who might end up reading this post. But first I cannot be without thanking these 3 people. Tanu Bheda, her continuous support and motivation to ensure I got the CISSP was amazing, even though she comes from a completely different professional background I feel she can become a CISSP now.
The next person is, Ahmed Khan (telegram group) such an amazing person, always ready to help you out, provides you with motivation and will help you understand a topic if you haven’t understood. 3 rd Person is Akhil Atraya (Telegram Group), his kind words right before the exam finally got my anxiety at ease and helped me to keep calm and focus on the exam.
Study materials used: 1. Sybex official Study Guide - 7 th Edition:- (8/10) – (Read the book twice). Although this guide is written out well and the language used is quite simple, I rate it 8 as I dint think it provided enough information and had to refer other guides to get the complete picture of the topic being discussed especially if you are new to a certain topic.
2. Shon Harris 7 th Edition - 7 th Edition – (9/10) - (Read the entire book once) The sheer size of this book can make you want to leave it at a corner of your room to catch dust. But that being said, this guide will actually help any new beginner gain a deeper understanding of the topics being discussed and be amazed on how things work. Yes this book does have a lot of extra details but it’s definitely worth the read to any one starting off.
3. Eric Conrad - 3 rd Edition – (9/10) - (Read the book twice) Every aspiring / certified CISSP out there in this world knows the feeling of memory loss loll !! This book is a complete life savior, it helps you remember everything that you have read in the previous books and the author has done a fantastic job in explaining the topics in the most simplest form.
Test Engines: 1. Total Tester – (7/10) – comes with the Shon harris book (7 th Edition) – It helps you to get an understanding on what topics you are weak at and helps you to focus on that portion.
2. Cccure – (8/10) – can purchase these questions online, more than 3000 questions available. Questions are good and help you prepare for the exam. Keep practicing in hard mode. When you buy the membership you even get access to the old 2015 questions. Kind of helpful.
3. Sybex – (7/10) - 4 Practice Exam modules available on the online version, the questions are no doubt really helpful to you when practicing for the exam but one major flaw is that at times it times out or randomly crashes which truly can be annoying. Do these questions before the exams.
4. Sybex Practice Questions – (8/10) – Consists of really good questions and the practice exams are extremely helpful to get a understanding of how questions can be asked.
Make sure to do all the 8 domains and then move on to the 2 Practice Exams.
5. SSI Logic (CISSP) – Found this book online at amazon and it had a good rating from previous buyers, this books helps those who have a problem understanding the question and answering in the expected manner. The logical reasoning provided for each answer helps you to understand what the question actually asked. It’s worth buying it according to me.
Ensure you attain 80% or more when you do the practice exams, but make sure you do not keep repeating them even with a low or high score cause then it just becomes a memorized version in your head. Give each exam module enough breaks (like a week or more) and then again come back to them. During the exam, stay calm and keep breathing. Keep reminding yourself why you are sitting there and answer each question like it’s the one that matters, it’s the one that’s going to make you pass.
Take a few minutes break, rest your eyes don’t let unwanted thoughts get inside. If you get that feeling oh I’m not doing well, suppress it and keep going, don’t let negative thoughts get to your head. Like I said before, each and every question is the one that is going to Make you pass. Press that exam end button and walk up to that printer like you are already a CISSP.
Sorry for the long post, but I hope this will help any aspiring CISSP candidate attain their goal.
Regards, Vinoo George