Top critical review
41 people found this helpful
Not what you need to pass.
on December 3, 2014
Although I recommend purchasing and reading this book, I don't recommend it as your prime study material. Ms Harris spends way too much time reiterating the same concepts, and over explaining relatively simple concepts with what is undoubtedly page filers. The more important concepts, such as encryption standards and authentication is inadequately covered to help you on the exam. I studied 4 books, including this one and the CBK and found this book to be the least helpful towards the exam. Oddly, her training videos, which are very costly cover topics not found in this book, which is very odd considering that this is supposed to be the definitive study guide. I can only assume this is to encourage you to purchase the much more costly training videos.
With a master's degree in Cybersecurity, and B.S. in Information Assurance and after reading several other books prior, I found my self constantly making correction notations in this book for information that was poorly explained or over iterated. Of course being able to correct errors in this book assured me that I was ready to take the exam.
For those taking the exam, I suggest keeping this as a cram study guide, for after you learn the subject matter elsewhere, but it is worthless in teaching you the topics needed to pass. My suggestions,
1. Read the official CBK published by ISC2 and highlight important technical information.
2. Repeat step 1, but this time read your highlights
3. Read the Sybex official guide, and highlight sections you are still unsure and the reread only highlighted sections.
4. Skim through this book, and read references to the items you highlighted from the prior two books, for a different perspective. At this point, you should be familiar enough with the material that you can make corrections to Ms Harris's book and be able to more accurately explain the topics.
5. Never study for longer than 2 hours. Typically after the first hour, you start to retain less and less information. Take frequent breaks. This will keep the information fresh and in long term memory.
What I don't recommend doing.
1. Repeatedly taking practice exams. This will not help you. In fact it will hurt you. The CISSP exam is unique because it doesn't have wrong answers. You will be presented with 4 answers, 3 of them are correct and 1 is flat out wrong. You have to pick the best answer, not the correct one. Practice Exams are memorizations of the questions and corresponding answers, which if they appear on the exam, will be slightly reworded to fool you into thinking you have the right answer when in truth, it is second or third best answer. The test writers know these practice exams exists and will intentionally try to fool anyone trying to take the easy way out.
2. Going to a boot camp. This is not only a waste of money, but will not help you learn the material. If your company is paying for your voucher, if you fail , they may want to you to reimburse. Either way, placing complicated subjects into short term memory will not help you much, the further you take for the exam. These pass for sure company's will usually give the exam directly after the final lesson in hopes that you will pass if they just gave you the lesson. This rarely helps. I have seen people attend these boot camps 3 to 8 times before passing. Doing the reading. Its not hard and knowing the material will help you greatly further down the road.
My suggestion on taking the exam.
1. Carry one of your study guides with you in the car when you go to take the test. Show up early and quickly read over the high lighted material, particularly subjects you was having difficulty with. By this time you should be very familiar with the material. This book is especially good because despite its over reiteration and failure to explain certain topics, you should be able to read through the garage info, add to the stuff not explained enough.
2. While in your car, focus on memorizing short term data, like numbers, protocols specifics and names. This sort of stuff isn't the type of data we keep in long term memory if you can help it and its usually the first to be forgotten. Don't try to fight this naturally tendency. Instead, brush up on it directly before the exam, place it in short term memory where it belongs until after the exam.
3. Read every question to its literal meaning. Your a lawyer. If the question says something, don't try to interpreted it as something else. The people writing this exam aren't stupid. If they word a question a certain way, that's exactly how they wanted it worded. There is no implied meaning to a question so don't try to analyze it.
4. Don't look for correct answers. Typically ever question will have 3 correct answers and 1 wrong one. You are trying to select the most correct one. If you immediately select the answer you think is correct, you will likely pick the wrong one. Instead, look for wrong answers and cross them out. You should be able to eliminate 1 answer right away. Take the remaining three and begin eliminating answers that aren't as good from the other. The last answer remaining is your correct one. (Again, remember there is no implied questions, do don't select answers that sound good to you, select the one that best matches the literal question as worded.)
5 Turn your test in. Congratulations, you passed.