You might have already come across this quote on CISSP preparation, “Its a mile wide and a inch deep” ,
There is so much to study in each domain but not sure on how much, it’s like - where do I stop with a concept!!!
This kind of demotivated me. :) “Oh, too much to prepare, too many things to remember.” But I had to start somewhere, so I registered for exam, stopped reading reviews, bought some study materials spent time in understanding concepts. Most importantly, spent time in test prep questions. Understanding why an answer is wrong, made a huge difference. Because it’s not about what is technically right but what is required for the given scenario.
Here is what’s next in the blog,
- Stopped Reading Review
- Study Materials
- Test Preparation 65% test prep, 35% study(reading)
More I read about exam, the less I progressed. So reading syllabus, blog posts, knowing about text books, ready reckoners, new study materials, none of this had any effect.
“Exam Registration!” this was my motivator. I registered for exam, paid exam fee!
Stopped reading reviews
Initially I spent some time reading CISSP reviews, personal blogs, reddit discussions, exam experiences (passed and failed), CISSP coach talks and many more. I stopped all this later!
I thought reading reviews would give clarity but they confused. If you already read two or more reviews, you should stop reading this one as well. Because reading more reviews is fuel for confusion.
Does this mean that we should not read reviews, no! we should read but stop with few posts. While reading those one or two blogs check for,
- study materials
- Any valuable points for exam preparation
- Study routines
A Google search for “CISSP study” gives list of books, video trainings and promising study materials to pass. Not all are true but some references are worth.
Here is my list, this is not The ultimate list but it helped me for exam. Your mileage may vary so choose what works best for you.
- Official Study Material
- Official (ISC)² CISSP Study Guide - Mike Chappel, David Seidl, James Michael Stewart
- Official (ISC)² CISSP Practice Tests - Mike Chappel, David Seidl
- CISSP Study Guide - Eric Conrad
- Eleventh Hour CISSP : Study guide - Eric Conrad
- ExSim-Max for CISSP ( boson test prep software) - Did not use completely, used only for few practice exams
- Kelly Handerhan CISSP videos on Cybrary- Free
- Mike Chappel CISSP videos on LinkedIn Learning - Paid
- Kelly handerhan video on Youtube
- Larry Greenblatt’s youtube video not the course videos
- Sam bowne videos after reading CISSP study guide by Eric Cornad
65% practice test, 35% study
For exam, it was important to get right mindset. To get this right, I spent more time on practice tests. If you are very technical then it’s time to think differently. Kelly handerhan video gives an overview on this.
Here is my study plan which I followed for each domain,
- Read CISSP CBK (Common Body of Knowledge)
- Mapped topics to text books
- Searched for missing concepts and made notes about it
- I watched videos to get an overview of domain and on concepts covered in that domain. Once I got the overview I moved to text books.
- Read CISSP study guide - Eric Conrad - After reading CISSP guide by Eric Conrad watched videos by Sam bowne flow of these videos are similar to the book.
- Read Official study guide - Mike Chappel
I answered practice tests after each domain. ~100 questions for each domain in “Official (ISC)² CISSP Practice Tests”. Then few more questions in boson “ExSim-Max for CISSP”.
If an answer was wrong, analyzed why it was wrong and why did I select that. Correcting two aspects, knowledge of domain as well as my approach to questions.
Took 3-4 mock exams. Answered two right after study completion, timed it. This gave a rough idea on how much time I took for exam. Then revised materials once again with “Eleventh hour” and official guide (important concepts, few videos). After this I took two more mock exams.
Best part, none of the questions appeared in exam.! This is good if it had appeared there wont be any difference between this and other exams.
Practice tests/exams helps to bridge gap in learning and to get the right mindset for exam.
“Remember to check why a particular choice was incorrect/correct while studying.”
References to study materials quoted in blog post
- ISC)2 CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional Official Study Guide
- CISSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests
- CISSP Study Guide - Eric Conrad
- Eleventh Hour CISSP®: Study Guide
- Simple CISSP Kindle Edition