It has been a very long time in coming, but yesterday I finally took my CISSP exam. I started preparing for my exam five months ago, but reading the big 1200 study guide from cover to cover. I've followed online classes and went to a week-long review class. And finally I took a few practice exams, both the ones included with the Harris book as well as those at CCCure.org. And finally, in the last week before the exam I read through an excellent CISSP summary, written by my colleague Maarten de Frankrijker (awesome work Maarten!).
All in all I felt pretty well prepared for the exam.
Yesterday I left home at seven and because I arrived at the exam site 1.5 hours early I quickly went to the market in nearby Nieuwegein to pick up some stuff and have a chat with old acquaintances. I arrived back at the exam site half an hour early, at 0830. While other people were still rifling through their study guides and summaries, I instead opted to simply read "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" ^_^ I mean, if you don't know the materials an hour before the exam, all the cramming in the world isn't going to help you :)
We started the exam at 1005 and I finished at 1310, so it took me almost exactly three hours including breaks. My strategy for the test? I divided the 250 questions into ten blocks of 25. For each block I answered the questions in the booklet, did a quick double check and then copied the answers to the answer sheet. I then took a one minute break, stretching, yawning and having a drink after which it was back to the next block of questions. After a hundred questions (so twice in the exam) I take a longer break, to walk around a little, to do some more stretching, to have a sandwich, etc. All in all, I made sure to remain relaxed at all times, assuming that pressure would only make me screw up questions.
Could I have used more time? Sure. Could I have gone over all 250 questions to see if I had made any mistakes? Sure. But I didn't. I felt right about the majority of questions I'd answered and figured that, if I -did- make any mistakes, I'd play the numbers game. How many questions would I have accidentally answered incorrectly? I feel that the chance is small. So, I was the first one to finish the exam and walk out of there.
I'm very curious what the results will be! Unfortunately it'll take a while for the results to come in, a few weeks I'm told.
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Well this doesn't happen very often: I've been forced to re-install my Macbook after two years of trusty service. The laptop was still functioning normally, but had begun to show glitches in file saving dialogs. A quick check with Disk Utility showed that there was corruption in the file systems's inode table and that (sadly) a format and restore were needed.
Took me four hours in total to run a full backup, then perform a clean install, then return all my files to their original locations. Not too shabby, but I would've preferred to spend those four hours programming. Oh well...
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