SANS GIAC Exam Study Tips

SANS GIAC Exam Study Tips

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About SANS GIAC Why certify? Why work for high score? Exam format Open book, open notes Exam Success Strategy: Study, Test, Study, Test, Test Bonuses for high scores

Why not just pass and be done?

85% + to apply for SANS Mentor program Opportunity to teach SANS material to your peers First step on the road to Instructor

90% + to join GIAC Advisory Board Amazing mailing list(s) full of accomplished professionals Influence SANS/GIAC direction GIAC Exam format Proctored multiple choice 10+ days after course At a Testing Center

Study materials “an armload” Prepare your books: Tabs, flaps, highlighting and other markings To Index or Not to Index?

Handouts and additional paper: Cheat sheets, posters, and class handouts Man pages and command reference Other books?

Indexes Most courses have TOCs or indices built-in Many have glossaries, reference lists in appendices

Many students create their own index Tailored to your learning and exam needs Very valuable use of study time

Index by … ? Topic or Subject, Keyword or Tool name Exam Objective, Process Stages Pancakes! Lesley Carhart Full Spectrum Cyber-Warrior Princess @hacks4pancakes Strategies

Be prepared and practiced!

Look up what you need to … but not too much

Mark hard questions … but only a few

Manage your time … don’t run out

Make best use of Practice Exams!

Study, Test, Study, Test, Test

Practice Exams just like the real thing, but way cheaper

Same exam engine, same question formats Identical if you happen to use IE for practice exams Same question quality Entirely different questions Optionally show you answers, explanation after This feature not available on real GIAC exams. Same feedback (score,stars) as live exam Track your performance through your studying and practice.

Study, Test, Study, Test, Test Recommended cycle

Finish (some) studies first Read books, listen to podcast, watch videos Simulate your exam conditions Take practice exam #1 seriously: Quiet environment Books and material prepared Full time allotted Reassess with detailed results Score as well as topical star ratings

Study, Test, Study, Test, Test (2)

Satisfied with that score? Study more as needed Re-read, re-listen, re-watch course materials Ask for help: peers, instructors Look to open source: Internet sources, other books Simulate Exam conditions Take practice exam #2 seriously, do better! Take the real exam with confidence! Or consider your options for extension, help…

Spend Money o Time Extension : ~$359 for 45 days o +15d to -30days from exam deadline o Hardship/Deployment? Call/mail GIAC. o Additional Practice exams: 2/$100 o Missed scheduled exam: $150 seating fee o Fail and retake: $689 o Wait 30 days o Includes 60 days extension o Fail thrice, must wait a year! o Challenge an exam (no course) : $1699 Renewal References and more GIAC official site for policies, fee schedules, certifications: Lesley’s “Better GIAC Testing with Pancakes” Thanks to students, mentors, instructors, for their tips including: Jason, Ed, and Hal Questions Need help studying? Comments about this presentation? Ideas for future talks?

Bonus Content: Gold Projects GSE

Written on June 20, 2017