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My SSCP Certification Experience

Discussion in 'Other IT certifications' started by wagnerk, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    My SSCP Certification Experience

    A brief overview of the SSCP certification

    The Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP®) credential is a security/technical exam coupled with 1 or more years work experience in the information security field (in one or more of the 7 domains listed by ISC2). Unlike alot of other credentials, your work experience is verified.

    The SSCP is a credential in it's own right, however it can also be used as a stepping stone to the more advanced CISSP.

    Why am I going for this

    For several reasons:
    1. To prove that I can
    2. To validate my current IT Security experience
    3. For work
    4. To improve (yet again) my CV

    Studying for it

    You can do it via a 7 day bootcamp, however I didn't have the time or the finances. And to be honest, a full 7 day course (regardless of what it's in) would just do my head in. So what did I use? I used a combination of:

    1. The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the SSCP CBK
    2. The SSCP Prep Guide (however didn't finish it in time)
    3. Testout SSCP CBT
    4. Preplogic CISSP Printables (Practice exam)
    5. Preplogic Quick Prep Guide
    6. Cramsession's site here: http://www.cramsession.com/certifications/isc2/sscp.asp

    Time frame... As I've been busy with other things (FITS, NVQ, etc...), I only had a month to study for this exam. I have been studying about 1- 1/2 hours a day (everyday), took a week off from work so up'ed the studying time to 3 hours a day for that period, so all in all about 60 hours (give or take).

    As for related things that I've studied for, well I had already studied for and passed the Comptia Security+ and Microsoft's 70-298 (Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network)

    Exam Time

    The SSCP exam is technically a 3 hour exam, however I managed to do the exam in 2 hours. This is after going over the exam 4 times.

    There are 125 questions for the SSCP, covering the 7 security domains that the SSCP cover.

    The schedule for the exam was given as follows:

    Check-in & Seating: 9:00 AM
    Exam Instructions: 9:30 AM
    Exam Start Time: 10:00 AM
    Exam End Time: 4:00 PM

    But that's to cater for those going for the CISSP as well.

    The exam itself was alot harder that the Security+. I would say that in my opinion it's comparable to what the Network+ would be for the 70-291. However by doing the Security+ it does help to get you get the basics in. One thing that I was a little surprised was that, for an IT exam - it's still done on ancient technology: paper.
    The pass mark for this form-based multiple choice exam is a scaled score of 700 points or greater, however this does not equate to 70%.

    Results

    I now have to wait 7 to 10 working days, as the paper is sent to the US, then marked. Results will be e-mail to me afterwards.

    What to do next

    Well I guess it's dependant on whether or not I pass...

    If I pass, then I will have to get references to validate my experience with IT Security.

    (If I pass...) Will I be going for the CISSP? Well to be honest, I have no plan to do so. While IT security is part of my job, it's not my whole job. I do have to do at least 60 CPD hours within the next 3 years, with 10 of them in the first year (if I pass the SSCP exam). However this shouldn't be a problem with the amount of development we do.

    If I fail, will I resit the SSCP exam? I'm not sure. The exam itself is more expensive than alot of other exams (eg. Microsoft ones). I'll will wait to see how I feel when the time comes...

    Other info

    The exam was hosted by Firebrand Training UK, as I didn't train with them I can't say how good their courses are. However they conducted the exam professionally.

    There were 38 candidates this morning...
    Out of the 38, only 3 were sitting the SSCP.
    Out of the 38, only 4 were female.

    Waiting now for the result...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  2. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Great write up Ken. I'm sure you will get the result you need. How did you find the Testout CBT's? I haven't used them but may when I come to take this exam later this year. I think for the CISSP you need to have another person with CISSP to be awarded the title.....I think, I'll ask someone in work tomorrow
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  3. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Testout is ok, I've used them before for other exams, didn't use to rate them before, but they've gotten better imo. However for this exam the CBT was about 50 hours and some parts were boring (well they were boring to me as I really didn't have any interest in them).

    Not sure about that, I believe that you can get the CISSP/SSCP credential direct from the ISC2 but the application process is more indepth, it would be the same as if you're application was audited. A reference from a CISSP/SSCP would be better, but I don't know anyone with those credentials.

    Saying that, I'm not sure if I passed... So not worrying about that just yet.

    Thanks :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  4. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    My mate Bri on here might be able to clarify about the CISSP. I forgot to mention, how unusual is it to sit a paper exam these days!

    Cheers for the info on Testout. I might give them a whirl. I'm going to be sitting some exams in the summer I think so I might start looking for some CBT's next month
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  5. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    This is what the SSCP exam paper looks like:

    [​IMG]

    We'll have to see how the CSSLP trials go with PearsonVue, if that is successful then more of the ISC2 exams will be ported over (over the course of 3 years)...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  6. Bri1981

    Bri1981 Byte Poster

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    Hope you passed it Ken!
    You are right about the application process, I didn't know anyone with the CISSP so had to send the ISC2 my CV with names and contact details of my previous managers.
    Took a little longer than if another CISSP would endorse but but was still relatively straightforward.
     
    Certifications: See signature
    WIP: MBA entry diploma
  7. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Thanks mate :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  8. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cheers Bri, I've only ever heard of it being done through another CISSP but thats obviously just how my company rolls
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  9. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    did you pass?
     
  10. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Don't know yet, I was told that I should hear something within 2 weeks. However I've been hearing that people are still waiting for their ISC2 exam results 4 weeks after the exam, so I expect to hear back something (pass or fail) sometime this year...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  11. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Thought you initially said it would take 7-10 days to get your results :dry
     
  12. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Yeah, that's what I was told 7-10 working days...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  13. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    A snippet from the e-mail I received:

    A handful of questions and I would have passed, oh well, this isn't the first or the last exam that I'll fail.

    Will I go for it again? I don't know...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Unlucky mate :(
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  15. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Bahh, better luck next time mate. :/
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  16. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Thanks guys

    You could always try for it :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  17. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I've only just seen this, gutted for you mate. A while back I googled the SSCP and naturally I found a load of forums, anyway..... I noticed a large amount of people saying how this exam was the toughest they'd ever taken! If you take it again there's a very good chance you'll nail it but if not you have brushed up on your security skills and knowledge. Nothing like an exam to force you to remember useless facts :lol:

    Its my personal opinion after working in security (only for 5 weeks now) that knowledge is king, and the only reason anyone I work with does even the CISSP, is pressure from work or the market. Your security knowledge is very likely kick ass considering all of the other studies you've taken (you did 70-298 like me didn't you) so I wouldn't worry about this one.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  18. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Erm, I think I left the iron on, better go and check ...

    /me legs it ... :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada

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