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Community Champion

Study plan and the Road to Success

I want to start off by acknowledging that EVERYONE’s different. But what I have found to be useful in my exam preparation is my time management. I give myself a certain amount of time (depends on the test) to study. For the CISSP, I gave myself 60 days. On the most part, I was committed to enjoy my weekends, although I would listen to podcasts or YouTubes for an hour or so.

I do give myself some downtime in order that I do not burn out. For me, burnout leads to disinterest – and I avoided that at all costs. The 60-day period that I boxed myself into was key. Because I had already paid the $700 for the test, I knew that I had to be committed to my plan, or otherwise face disappointment at the test.

 

The 1 ½ hours that I’d commit each day would be split into two sessions about 2 or more hours apart. For me, I was able to retain a lot more information this way. I also use this method in my academic studies. On some days, it’s all test engines and other days are spent reading and covering those areas where my experience or knowledge were weak.

If I came across a post or a video that was negative of the CISSP or ISC2, I would quickly turn away from it as there’s already enough pressure and anxiety to meet the requirements for this test as it is. In any case, I am only going to look for positive people giving positive messages. Look, hundreds of thousands of people have already passed this test – why can’t you be one of them? Go to the testing center armed with this positive attitude and thought process. Know that you are just as good as me or ANYONE else who has passed this test.

Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
7 Replies
Community Champion

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success

I think you hit several very good points @Lamont29. I gave myself a year, but then again I also took Network+ then Security+ and then the CISSP within that year. One of the things that helped me was scheduling the test date. Once I set that up there was no turning back. It kept me focused on my studies and ensured that I kept focused on it, while still letting me have some family time and not experience burnout.

Community Champion

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success


@CISOScott wrote:

I think you hit several very good points @Lamont29. I gave myself a year, but then again I also took Network+ then Security+ and then the CISSP within that year. One of the things that helped me was scheduling the test date. Once I set that up there was no turning back. It kept me focused on my studies and ensured that I kept focused on it, while still letting me have some family time and not experience burnout.


Yes, experiencing 'burnout' can be a killer in one's overall plan. Just being realistic, everyone has a life outside of having their faces pinned to a CBK resource(s). Getting burned out can even lead to depression for some. I always warn my students about crashing. Sometimes it might be necessary, but these events ought to be few and far between what one's norm should be.

 

 

Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
Newcomer III

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success

So true...I've been studying for the CISSP exam for the past 2 months now.   The more I study the more I have respect for this exam.  This reminds me of my engineering licensure board exam when I graduated from college...so expansive and there's no way one can be 100% guarantee that one can pass the exam.   One can only do so much to prepare for the exam, give it all, and hope for the best!   

 

My exam is this coming June 12 (Tuesday).   Pass or Fail, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and the behavior/mindset change in me as I've been preparing for this exam.  

Community Champion

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success

Good luck @unixgeek21 on this exam. Let us know how it goes for you. Thanks for chiming in as well.
Lamont Robertson
M.S., M.A., CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+, MCSE
Community Champion

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success


@Lamont29 wrote:

I want to start off by acknowledging that EVERYONE’s different.


Amen.  Over the time I spent doing the seminars, some took them before they did personal study, and others took them after.  Myself, I would suggest that, if you take a seminar, you take it first, because it identifies weaknesses and blind spots for you.  But, yes, I know that some want to take a seminar just as a "last resort."

 


@Lamont29 wrote:

I do give myself some downtime in order that I do not burn out.

A very good idea: I always told my seminars not to study on the last day before the exam.  It's also one of the reasons I suggest getting together with a study group if you possibly can.  Having a weekly session means both that you have a deadline for some study, but also that you have time for your regular life.

 


@@Lamont2 wrote:The 1 ½ hours that I’d commit each day would be split into two sessions about 2 or more hours apart.

Again, a good reason to have a study group, and regular sessions.  You get a chance to think about what you're studying, and even, sometimes, apply it to what you are actually doing in your job.

 


@@Lamont29 wrote:If I came across a post or a video that was negative of the CISSP or ISC2, I would quickly turn away from it as there’s already enough pressure and anxiety to meet the requirements for this test as it is. In any case, I am only going to look for positive people giving positive messages. Look, hundreds of thousands of people have already passed this test – why can’t you be one of them? Go to the testing center armed with this positive attitude and thought process. Know that you are just as good as me or ANYONE else who has passed this test.

 


Very interesting idea, and one I hadn't considered.  Lots of people have opinions, pro and con, about ISC2 and the cert.  Opinions aren't what get you through the exam.

 





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Newcomer III

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success

Thank you @Lamont29 for wishing me luck on my upcoming exam...I've been reading posts in the forums since I started studying.  You have been a constant and very positive contributor.   I appreciate the nuggets of wisdom you would impart on aspiring test taker like me. Smiley Happy

 

I totally agree on what you said about  "positive attitude and thought process".   I believe both have to be present to have a better chance of success.   My son plays hockey and I've seen some of his games where the team who won the game showed persistence and tenacity even in the face of a 3-goal deficit heading into the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period!   It's as much a mental as it is in the skills.   

 

Drawing on this in relation to the CISSP exam, I've seen a recent post where the poster gave the advice of never giving up during the exam til the end...even the poster mentioned how hard he prepared for the exam.   This I believe is an example of "positive and thought process".

 

Newcomer II

Re: Study plan and the Road to Success

@Lamont29 I agree with your process.

 

I look at studying like watering a garden.  Too much, too soon and it just runs off.  A little every now and then, the garden withers and dies.  You have to water thoroughly and give it time to soak in.  Rest is important.

 

I took a boot camp for my second CISSP and it provided a great amount of information, but I had to take time to process it and integrate it into my mind.

 

If you think you can cram for the CISSP, you are going to be poorer for the experience.

 

-Gary