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Newcomer II

Passed my CCSP exam on 05/23! (long post)

I'm excited to share that I passed the CCSP exam on 05/23!  I want to thank everyone on this board who posted and shared their experience, study methods and tips.  I started last year preparing on and off (mostly for about 8 months or so but didn't really get serious about my studies until March 2019.  And then I was even more focused in my study and preparation once I decided to register for the exam in May.  It's amazing how we can get motivated when money is at stake, especially when the wife says "you better pass" (lol).


My study and preparation are as follow:


  • CCSP (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional Official Study Guide (by our friend on this board, Ben Malisow) - I read cover to cover and took concise notes.
  • CCSP Certified Cloud Security Professional All-in-One Exam Guide (Daniel Carer) - I read once.
  • The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP CBK - I read once.
  • I read the various documents and took notes:

CSA - Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing v4.0
CSA - The Treacherous 12
CSA - Cloud Control Matrix
Jerico - Cloud Cube Model
OWASP top 10


  • ISC2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) video course (Cybrary - Kelly Handerhan) - very good course that gave a nice overview. 
  • CCSP videos at ITPROTV by Adam Gordon. 
  • CCSP flash cards at Quizlet (installed on phone, free)
  • Anki flash card software (free) - I used this the most for my preparation.  I made flash cards from my personal notes and the various reading materials mentioned above.  You can also import the flash cards from Quizlet into the Anki software.  There is a paid iphone app that allows you to sync your data with the desktop software (really worth it!).
  • I recorded my flash cards into mp3 so I could listen to them while driving and doing parental duties (shuffling 3 kids to various practices and events during the week took up a lot of my time).
  • And lastly, after I felt comfortable with all the concepts, I did all the practice questions in the various resources mentioned.  I saved Ben's CCSP Official (ISC)2 Practice Tests for last and I completed all the practice questions at least 2 rounds - averaging in the lower 90's. You can register the book for online question bank access. (Thanks Ben! It's a great study resource)

On the day of the exam, I arrived one hour early and sat in my car to just relax and meditate.  Once I arrived in the testing center, there was a back log of testers being processed and I had to wait for about 30 minutes.  I used that time to quickly scan through my notes and flash cards.  During the exam I felt pretty good with my pace and time since I practiced taking simulated questions in batches of 65 and taking a quick 10 minute break at about the halfway point.  Since passing my CISSP in 2017 with 250 questions, 125 shouldn't be a problem (lol).  I finished the first pass of the exam in about 2 hours with about 25 questions marked for review.  I spent another hour reviewing the marked questions and also reviewing the entire exam once again. At the end I submitted the exam and I felt confident.  The test proctor came to my station but apparently I didn't confirm to end the exam.  I walked outside to the counter to give my locker key and retrieve my ID card.  During that entire time, I kept watching the printer for a document to print but did not see anything printing.  I really started to get worried at this point and all kinds of things running through my mind.  As the lady proceeded to hand over my ID card, in her hand she had a folded paper and gave it to me.  I opened it and immediately looked for the "Congratulations" but somehow to my nervousness, I couldn't find it for a few seconds.  Then finally my eyes fixed on the "Congratulations" and I was so excited!


Sorry for this long post but I wanted to share my experience.  During the past months, I read all the "passed" threads here on this board, Reddit, and various forums.  Each one would give me motivation and belief during the times I wanted to quit.  So hopefully I can at least inspire and help at least one person to succeed in their journey to becoming a CCSP!

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3 Replies
Newcomer I

Re: Passed my CCSP exam on 05/23! (long post)

I passed as well last week. 


The exam was harder then i expected as I thought there were many questions that were not in the preparatory material. I also have the ISC2 official student guide. 


If it wasn't for my practical knowledge of being in IT and IT security for the last 20+ years to fall back on, I am not sure I would have passed. This is probably how ISC2 intends it though - a bunch of paper CCSPs without years of exposure. 


I spent about 2.75 hours going through the exam. Flagged about 20 questions and had them noted as 50/50 for 2 options. Reviewed those 20 in about 20 minutes and changed one.  


I can't share anything due to NDA, but I remember one question, that i went back through notes, books, and other resources and it just is not documented anywhere. It is a set of metrics that you would have to know/memorize, so not really a fair question if no one knows to prepare for it. Google found the answer though. 


Best advice - be ready to use inference skills. 

Newcomer II

Re: Passed my CCSP exam on 05/23! (long post)

Congratulations on you passing as well.  I agree with you.  I used my practical experience on many of the questions and I'm so glad to have achieved this certification.

Newcomer III

Re: Passed my CCSP exam on 05/23! (long post)

congratulations to you all on passing!

Eric Geater, CISSP
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."