How I passed the CISSP exam

I apologize for the lapse in posts as of late. Work has me tasked with two positions and training a new hire to fill a vacancy. In addition, I have been studying for the CISSP exam. Hence, the recent posts of CISSP Study Sheets and lack of free time to post about other security events. I am glad to report that I have passed my first attempt at the CISSP exam with much less study time investment as many are touting required. Here are the CISSP study resources I used and how much I believe they helped me:

5% – Attended a CBK seminar – 1 week
15% – Question Drills from – 500 questions total
30% – CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide – 15 hours 500 questions
50% – Past Experience – NA

To be honest, my past experience in physical security, database administration, release engineering, application security, law enforcement, and computer forensics provided more answers than all of my studying combined. The trick was wrapping real work experiences with the terminology and framework of which ISC2 has determined security professionals should be consistent. I accomplished this simply by using the Shon Harris’ CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide’s references and tips sections. Reading the1000 page book is not necessary for those with basic understanding of concepts and reasonable problem solving skills. Just focus on the finer points, the terminology, and then use the CD provided to do question drills. If you’re scoring 80% or better on the practice exams, you are on track to pass.

I’ll continue posting the CISSP Study Sheets as I create them. It’s an ongoing effort for the folks in my organization (and you) who have yet to pass or after numerous attempts. On a related note, you may want to research some test taking techniques once your studies are complete. I believe this to be the struggle with some of my colleagues.