I passed SSCP certification exam from ISC2 recently. The post is to share preparation tips and reasons to take this exam. There is not a lot of posts on Internet about SSCP prep since it’s not quite a popular exam and I hope this article helps people who decided to take SSCP.
The first thing is to understand SSCP exams and its nature. IMO, it’s entry-mid level exam with focusing to examine technical/administrative thinking for security practitioners. It’s also a very good starter exam for those who can’t obtain CISSP due to lack of working experience or knowledge. I decided to take SSCP instead of CISSP due to shortage of 5 years working experience. Moreover, I believe this exam covers a good learning path and can transfer knowledge for CISSP exam in the future. Moreover, you can waive 1 year working experience to pursue CISSP after obtaining SSCP. Apart from SSCP, there are several alternative good exams from SANS,CompTIA and so on. Still, CISSP from ISC2 is the de-facto standard in terms of knowledge coverage and job opportunity and it becomes a clear choice for most cybersecurity professionals.
There are so many approaches people prepare for ISC2 exams and it depends on you as well. you can start by selecting self-study, taking class and online-learning. I decided to read 2 books and take notes and mind map for the recap. The first primary book is ISC2 SSCP Official Study Guide from Sybex. It’s important Not to skip this book because it is designed to cover all 7 domains and topics and technical terms used in the book are the same with the questions from exam. Make sure to find the latest edition at the time of taking exam. The second book is SCP Systems Security Certified Practitioner All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition. I uses the all-in-one book as reference and didn’t read back to back. it’s good to read for a particular topic that you are not quite good at it and want to improve your understanding. I didn’t take any practice tests but it is recommended by most people who take ISC2 exam. There are people who suggests about things like brain dumps and stuffs. I don’t recommend it because I believe we should embrace the learning process and earn the certification.
The exam questions are not long and you have plenty of time of think, write it down to get to the MOST correct answer. Some questions can have more than 1 correct answer and your job is to simulate the question as a real scenario to pick the ideal ones. The exam requires critical thinking to get the correct answer and make sure to review the questions you have doubt. No need to rush.There are 125 questions for 3 hours and you have 1.5 mins per question to answer, which is plenty of time. Concentrate and put all the things you read from your brain and make a logical decisioning.
After you passed CAT exam, the next step is to go through endorsement process and follow the instructions that send to your email by ISC2. Online endorsement from ISC2 makes the process quite convenient and ease to process.