How Addie Cracked His CISSP Exam

When I started this website it was just a place to put my CISSP study notes, and even apply some theory.  Now, people are passing their CISSP exam and coming back to contribute to Study Notes and Theory.  I’m extremely humbled people like Addie not only put their time in to study for this grueling exam, but also make the time to come back and share their experience.  It’s people like Addie and all the others that have contributed to my section “Crack The CISSP“, that really move our information security industry toward further progress.  

Thank you so much for sharing your study plan Addie, we’re all very glad you passed your CISSP exam and are sure you will be instrumental in making the world a more secure place.  Good luck in all your future endeavors my friend.  

CISSP study Plan
Hi all , sorry took a bit long to share with you my CISSP study plan as i was still in celebratory mode . Now that the exam is hangover is gone, I will share with you my study plan as promised .Indeed the exam itself is a mile wide and an inch deep. I expected to find those deep technical concepts that I came across during my studies but to my surprise the exam was a bit easier than what I was expecting. Having taken and passed a CISA exam last year I found out the wording of the exam questions is a bit similar so I found it a bit easy to go through the questions in the exam.

Study Material used
I mainly used Eric Conrad books for my studies
Eric Conrad CISSP study guide 3rd Edition (Read this book cover to cover two times, got this book two weeks before the exam)
Eric Conrad CISSP study guide 2rd Edition (Used this before I got the 3rd Edition read it 3 times cover to cover)
Eric Conrad CISSP 11th hour study Edition (read this one cover to cover quite a number of times , I don’t remember how many times exactly)
I also used ISC2 CBK 4th Edition and Shon Harris 6th Edition for review purposes. As far as the official CBK is concerned , I did make start but I found it a bit complex to use but it has some good review questions which are almost similar to ones I found in the exam .Take some time to go through them as they are quite helpful.
CISSP – aide memoires :Very useful…/Eric_Al…/CISSP_aide_memoire20v4.pdf…/Cram-Study-Guide-for-the-CISSP-Ex…
Videos Tutorial: used the videos from plural sight , which are new but a bit shallow
Audio: Listened to Shon Harris MP3s while I was driving, in the gym, on the bus, on the train, and when I was going to bed. I must say they are really helpful, Shon Harris is really good at explaining stuff which might seem a bit more complex. U can get them at

Understand the KEY concepts of every domain i.e. Cryptography (Which is the best form of encryption algorithm to use in a particular situation) , understand the Individual roles i.e. CIO, ISO ,Data custodian.

I studied for a at least 2 hours a day for Almost 3 months, towards the exam I did longer hours maybe up to 6hrs

Exam Practice questions

Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to get any of the paid versions of the exam questions , as a result I was using mainly the free exam practice questions which are found on the internet I did all questions from MH professional which are based on Shon Harris 6th edition. I was getting an average of 90% on all the domains.…/Conrad…/COU36289844/open.html .

The Big Day: Exam Day.

6 hours to answer 250 questions. READ and UNDERSTAND the questions, usually it’s easier to eliminate two answers from the list of four options and you get stuck on choosing the best from the remaining two. Take note of the key words which are used on the exam questions i.e MUST, BEST,LEAST,NOT which make up most of the questions.
The exam questions are totally different from the practice exams questions that I was using. Practice exam are a great help in understanding the key concepts , so don’t expect any of them to appear in the CISSP exam

I managed to finish the 250 questions in the first 3 hours , which made me to panic a bit as I was expecting exam to stretch me to the last minute. Took a break and then came in managed to review all the questions which took me another 1 ½ hours .Overall I finished the exam in 4 ½ hours, I didn’t want to sit along till the last minute as I wanted avoid changing my answers .