How Tarek Cracked His CISSP Exam

Tarek, this was an awesome study review.

Thank you so much for sharing it with us, I truly appreciate it.

-Luke Ahmed, CISSP


First thanks to Allah on All the blessings that he has bestowed on me.

Second I’m sorry for my English as it is not my first language.

Third it was a great feeling when you go to the Exam Center administrator and take your exam paper result with this Sentence in the first line (Congratulations!).

I started my study in August 2015 and due to facing some obstacles in life that compelled me to stop the studying after completing the first 3 domains. I started again in Jan 2016 from the beginning until August 2016 with my first attempt which was ended with failing to achieve my goal with score 686 which was too close, I took a decision not to go through it again but (my parents, my wife, and my close friend who was studding with me throughout the whole year, he successfully accomplished the mission in the day before my exam date) he advised me not to give up it is not the end of the world you can do it.

After a week I decided to schedule for the exam to be on the 4th of October 2016, and I began to put my plan to review the all 8 domains within 30 days.

My plan from the Jan 2016 to August 2016 is as below:

1-Study from Sybex 7th edition domains “1, 3, 6, 7” which gives me a lot of details that I need to know.

2-Study from Eric Conrad third edition domains “2, 4, 5, 8”.

3-Solve the chapter’s tests from CBK, Sybex, and Eric.

4-Watch cybrary videos.

After finishing my study I started to solve Shon Harris 6th edition chapters test, Eric Conrad 2 exams, and Sybex 4 exams to evaluate myself.


My Plan from August 2016 to the first of October 2016 is as below:

1-Review all the 8 domains from Eric Conrad.

2-Study again my weak points from another book Sybex 7th, Shon Harris 6th edition.

3-watch CBT nuggets “recommended”.

My advice to anyone wants to accomplish this task is:

  1. First try to understand the concept behind the 8 domains, try to find a way to link the 8 domains to each others.
  2. Understand the concept of CIA very well, each domain want to achieve this concept as “you conduct a risk analysis, classifying your assets, perform BCP/DRP, create change management process, etc.” all of this topics have one common factor between them “How to protect CIA”.
  3. It is not a technical course, try to study the technical topics from a management perspective, but without neglecting what is important to study.
  4. Don’t spend too much time to memorize the different laws and regulations, understand what is required to solve any question comes to you on the exam.
  5. Try to summarize the introduction before going through each domain to get what is needed.
  6. Try to take a lot of notes, every time until the last night of the exam I found new notes to type in my handbook.
  7. Understand the processes before memorizing them.
  8. After finishing the practice exams review all the questions and find the wrong ones, 90 % of the wrong answers will be repeated in each exam you solved, so write down them and find in which topics are those to review them again until you clearly understood them.
  9. Train yourself on the strategy that you will follow in the real exam.
  10. The exam is a time management, my first attempt I wasted a lot of time in some questions which negatively effected my performance during the 6 hours and I had only 5 minutes break. On the other hand the second attempt I took 3 breaks each one is 10 minutes and I finished my exam in 4 hours and 10 minutes and reviewed 100 marked questions in the remaining time.
  11. Remember the ethics, risk analysis, cost/benefit analysis, CIA while you are solving each question.
  12. Be calm it is not a battle it is just an exam.
  13. Don’t give up.


Again thank you all and especially to Luke Ahmed for this fantastic group.

Wish to all of you the best luck.