No one was more surprised than me.
This was my first time with an adaptive test and I was glad I’d been given a sense of what to expect. It seems like it pretty quickly figured out what areas I seemed to know (or at any rate, be able to guess right on) and moved away from those questions. It kept hammering me on my weak areas (software dev and disaster planning).
My work was kind enough to pay for a SANS course, and I enjoyed it and I learned a lot. Hilariously, the guy presenting sounds very much like a coworker, so my kids were never sure if I was listening to a recorded lecture or actually in a meeting. They also ended up learning along with me, as I’d listen to the present without headphones. My son was very bitter about his headspace being taken up with information on VM’s and containerization. He told me he did not consent to this knowledge. I told him that he’d spit up on me a lot as a baby and well, payback is tough.
I did the requisite victory lap on Reddit to answer questions on how I prepped, which I am happy to share here as well. I learn by reading, so I read the entire All In One textbook by Shon Harris, then did the SANS course, then started taking practice exams on the official app. I worked my way up to 124 item tests, to give a sense of at least how long I figured the test would be. And there will be at least a few pretest items that can be on stuff you’ve never heard of – don’t be alarmed by those! The other benefit of doing long practice exams is I think you kind of train yourself to sit still and focus for an extended time (which will be needed during the exam).
I encourage anyone thinking of trying to go for it. I am hopeful this certification will assist me as I go along in my career, but honestly, the preparation for the test was also rewarding in its own way. It is a large Common Body of Knowledge to absorb but it’s very satisfying to realize you’ve studied all of it.
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