I joined this forum a couple of weeks ago, while I was preparing for my CCSP exam - which I had today and passed 🙂 I would like to sum up my personal recommendations for having good chances of passing the exam. Please do not take these notes as a general "recipe", it's just how it worked out for me.
Reading this post very thoroughly detailed by Radioteacher (who also recently passed the CCSP exam) - btw, congratulations from my side also! - I got a bit scared that maybe I am not doing enough for my preparation. The thing is: it very much depends on your previous experience and if you already have other credentials, like CISSP (or aquivalent). And more training is never bad, it's just a matter of perspective. In the end, what matters is if you go with a "clean mind" to the exam, meaning you feel you have done enough to prepare.
Long story short: I used the following materials to LEARN:
And to PRACTICE I used:
I did not participate in any classroom training and did not use any other resources for learning or practicing. But I must mention that I earned my CISSP credential last year in december, which helped a lot during learning and in the end at the exam. And I have approximately 6 years of experience in the IT Security field.
My recommendation: do NOT rely solely on the Official Study Guide, it simply does not cover all topics as thoroughly as the CBK does. Read the CBK at least 2 times to make sure you did not miss any important concepts.
Both books are, in my opinion, well written (like a story), with enough examples from the real world, so I would definitely recommend them both.
How much time I invested? Hard to say (I lost track...), but I started at the beginning of September 2017 and learned every week approximately 6-8 hours, starting with November a lot more (maybe 20 hours a week?) + a bit more in the last week prior to the exam. So I would assume I spent somewhere around 150 hours of study to pass the CCSP exam.
Is the exam time of 4 hours enough? Yes, in my opinion it is more than enough to cover the exam, 1-2 short breaks and a bit of buffer in the end.
I hope this information helps you in getting prepared for your CCSP exam. Wish you all the luck! Let me know if you have questions which you think I might be able to answer (except of those related to the real exam questions, which I will not disclose...).
On the road to the CCSP - NOT!
Well, I am just so frustrated now that words can't even describe it. My AM starts out going to the test center, only to find out they've moved 15 min west. After several phone calls, I finally find it tucked away in the corner of a strip mall. Same ladies, same arguments. I've been successfully testing close to 20 years and I've NEVER run into a test center like this. It runs like a jail, looks like a jail setup, to include invasion of privacy! I've never before been asked to turn out my pockets and WTF, my back pockets as well? She's staring at them through the window and I'm also sitting on them. Again, this place is a real WTF moment. Find the place, get checked in after several trips to the locker, oh yeh, you can't even have a handkerchief in your pocket. Never been an issue before this place. Now onto the exam. This was my third attempt at passing something I've studied hard on by reading a few times, the Sybex CBK; the Official Sybex Q&A book and some of the links. I studied the Adam Gordon video course about 3x. I'm expecting a score closer to 900, yet I get a 669/681, and this time - 630! I don't get it. I work with this stuff on a daily basis, I do IA work. I think some of the questions are inappropriate for this exam. I've also written questions for (ISC)2 and CompTIA and know how to think like an exam writer. So I don't know what to do next. I know the exam isn't totally flawed as people are passing it. I wish I could sit down with one of my exams with an official and butt my logic up against what they see is correct, but fat chance that happening. Anyways, THANKS for listening and if you have any ideas particular to my situation - I'd love to hear about it. /Roy
Question: How could you tell it was by one question? Since I've never failed an (ISC)2 test before this one, I now see why people complain about the feedback - terrible.
I'm impressed at the diversity of study material you were able to work through and keeping detailed track of it. I posted somewhere in this forum my extreme frustration with this exam yesterday for the third time! Reading your post, however, makes me think I need to work in other study material. Anyway, I've got 180 days (and ANOTHER $599.00 (unless they raise it)) to get it in gear or, I hate to say it, give up on this one. Although I have 26 other certs; I really wanted this one as it is what I do in part daily. /Roy
"Question: How could you tell it was by one question? Since I've never failed an (ISC)2 test before this one, I now see why people complain about the feedback - terrible."
I failed it by one also. If you fail, they give you a paper with the score, and a laddered list of the domains, in the order of how well you did on each. It's a sad moment.
The CCSP is a difficult exam.
That being said, I did pass 90 days later!
On the road to the CCSP - NOT!
... I've never before been asked to turn out my pockets and WTF, my back pockets as well? She's staring at them through the window and I'm also sitting on them. Again, this place is a real WTF moment. Find the place, get checked in after several trips to the locker, oh yeh, you can't even have a handkerchief in your pocket. Never been an issue before this place. ...
Sorry to hear about you bad experience. In my case, this was clearly stated in the information for the testing center. I arrive in gym shorts with my phone (drivers license and credit card) and car keys. That's it. It makes check in simple.
Do you make use of your scratch sheet of paper? I always jot down the OSI model first thing:
Nemonic (OSI) [TCP/IP]
Please (Physical) [Network]
Do (Data link) [Network]
Not (Network) [Internet]
Tell (Transport) [Transport]
Stupid (Session) [Application]
People (Presentation) [Application]
Anything (Application) [Application]
(Taught to me by my boot camp instructor)
Be comfortable with binary/octal/decimal conversions (subnetting)
While these may be more appropriate for the CISSP, they also provide a security blanket for the CCSP. Choose others as you need.
They give you tools, use them.