How Viral Cracked His CISSP Exam


It all started when I appeared for CISA in 2014 end and lost by 3 marks. At that point of time, I thought, I would rather go for the highest certification like CISSP in future. Gradually moving ahead in my information security career, I started loving information security and its implications. I have been serving as an information security researcher, information security consultant and now, ISO 27001:2013 subject matter expert for my organization with specialization in audits.

I started my CISSP preparation back in July 2016 with Common Body of Knowledge (this is a very big book which is indeed heavy). I was not at all concentrating on giving the exam in near future, hence I took my time to read and understand each and every concept in detail – I had to consult multiple individuals for Communications, Cryptography, Security Architecture and what not, but it was fun. Later I finished reading through this book and then bought Sybex for further studies. I started reading this book. I completed reading this book and it was July 2017 when I thought that now is the time to set a date. I chose October 26, 2017 as it would give me enough time (approx. 3 months) to streamline my studies and concentrate on my efforts.

I reached out to one of my colleagues (a part of our Telegram group) who had cleared CISSP before some time. He suggested me to join Facebook group, which I did, and then I met Luke.

On conversing with Luke, I came to know about the Telegram group, which is the best thing that ever happened to me. I learnt many new concepts and received a plethora of guidance by interacting and actively participating in the group. This helped me in streamlining my approach towards CISSP exam.

My study path: * I used to spare at least 2 hours a day on my studies, in spite of work and close to 4-5 hours on weekends

*I read CBK, Sybex 7 th edition and Shon Harris books page to page

*After finishing each chapter, I answered all questions within this book, graded myself and learnt my mistakes

*I referred to all summaries from time to time – Mady’s process guide, Sunflower notes, individual chapter summaries by Shon Harris and 11 th hour

* I had multiple CISSP applications on my cell phone (close to 7), which were specific to study of CISSP flashcards, CISSP questions of the day, CISSP domain/concept revision and CISSP

QAs * I had also purchased Sybex 1300 questions bank book

* Just remember guys, you will never get time for this activity, you will need to spare time for doing it

Question-Answer: * I completed Sybex 1300 Questions

* Had scored an average of 75% on all 100 questions from all domains

* Had scored 73% in Sybex Test – 1 and 77% in Sybex Test – 2 (each exam of 250Q)

* I appeared for Udemy question answer set

*Had a score of 73%, 73%, 78% and 83% in Test-1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively (each exam of 25Q)

*I completed 3 domains of Mc-Graw Hill (tough and tricky questions, must try)

Pointers: * After going through CISSP exam, I would just say one thing, CISSP exam is not HARD, it is TRICKY!

* Read each and every question thrice to get a knowhow of what is actually being asked

*You will be able to eliminate 2 options easily, selecting the correct answer of the last 2 would depend on your comprehensive skills of understanding the question and how fast you recollect the asked topic

* If you take 1 minute to answer a question in Sybex, you will need close to 2.30 – 3 minutes to answer a question in CISSP exam

* Last but not the least, take full time i.e. 6 hours to complete your exam and perform a review of the flagged questions – do not have a mind set to complete it in 4 hours or so, trust me, it doesn’t work that way

My Exam: * Initial 160 questions were difficult in which I was not 100% confident on my answers – these were mainly scenario based

* First exam break of 5 minutes after completing 152 questions

* Next set of 20-25 questions were direct and remaining 80 were pretty tricky

*Next break of 5 minutes after competing all exam questions (time left: 38 minutes)

* I reviewed flagged questions and was able to reach Q. No. 162 when my time was almost up

* I changed my answers for close to 4-5 questions

* I finished my exam and received my result saying – Congrats!!!

“SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR THOSE WHO ASPIRE”

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