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Crush the CISSP


In preparing to take the #CISSP exam 11 months ago, I devoured tips about study materials. Thankfully, I passed the 1st time.


This post describes what resources I used -- and how. I hope it will help others tackling this certification.


(Spoiler alert: There aren't any short cuts.)


My preparation had 4 phases.


1๏ธโƒฃ I absorbed the densest source materials first.


For full exam subject matter, nothing tops these tomes.

๐Ÿ“– ISC2 Official CISSP Common Body of Knowledge Reference

๐Ÿ“– ISC2 CISSP Official Study Guide from Sybex - Mike Chapple

๐Ÿ“– CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide (Shon Harris)


If there's a CISSP prep canon, the Sybex book and All-in One Exam guide are in it. These stalwarts are thorough, trusted and time-tested.


The CISSP CBK Reference isn't mentioned as often. But, I found this 645-page resource invaluable.

๐Ÿ“Œ The contents of the CBK map every topic and subtopic within the 8 Domains and track the ISC2 CISSP exam objectives.


2๏ธโƒฃ Next, I supplemented with interactive online content.


My favorite in this category is Luke Ahmed ๐Ÿš€'s Study Notes and Theory.


Luke is a CISSP-prep machine. He's inspiring and also very funny. His videos incorporate questions that he answers in depth.

๐Ÿ“Œ Definitely, the most enjoyable CISSP content I consumed.


3๏ธโƒฃ Then, I took hundreds & hundreds of practice exam questions.


In this order, and with these formats, I plowed through...

๐Ÿ“– ISC2 Official CISSP Practice Tests - Mike Chapple

๐Ÿ“– How to Think Like A Manager for the CISSP - Luke Ahmed

๐Ÿ’ป Thor Pedersen's "hard" CISSP questions


By answering 2,000 questions total, I saw where I needed more focus or what was settling into place, as my exam date neared.

๐Ÿ“Œ Thor's hard questions are doozys. Leave those for last.


4๏ธโƒฃ Finally, I used targeted resources for review.


I needed to keep reviewing certain aspects all the way up to the exam. (There are 8 Domains, after all!)


For this, I favored the visually sophisticated content from Destination Certification Inc., especially videos by Rob Witcher.

๐Ÿ“Œ The motion graphics are stunningly produced, but high-level.


Until April 15, 2024, the CISSP exam will be the same version as the one I took and passed early last March.


Drastic changes aren't expected, after that.


Destination Certification Inc. has a video about the upcoming changes on its YouTube channel. "If you have existing CISSP study materials, they're still totally valid," Rob Witcher says.


There are many solid choices for CISSP exam prep content, of course. This post offers views only about the resources I found the most valuable.

๐Ÿ“Œ It's possible to borrow some of the books from libraries!


If you're studying now, good luck! Keep going. Don't give up. (By the way, I didn't ever feel really "ready.")

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