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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Unhappy Failed the GPEN last night

    I failed the GPEN exam last night. I went into it using just the books (no index or notes, cheat sheets, etc..), that was one major mistake. The other was waiting too long between taking the course and taking the exam.

    Anyhow, I've been reading through all of the threads on here about the exam and it's preparation. Does anyone know if there are any discounts available to those retaking it?

    I feel like a dog that crapped on the carpet at this point and just want to retake it as soon as possible.
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by afsinclair View Post
    I failed the GPEN exam last night. I went into it using just the books (no index or notes, cheat sheets, etc..), that was one major mistake. The other was waiting too long between taking the course and taking the exam.

    Anyhow, I've been reading through all of the threads on here about the exam and it's preparation. Does anyone know if there are any discounts available to those retaking it?

    I feel like a dog that crapped on the carpet at this point and just want to retake it as soon as possible.
    Is that a rhetorical question? I need to know in order to respond appropriately.

    I am not going to confirm or deny I have ever failed a GIAC exam. What I will say the answer to your question is No.
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  4. Junior Member
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    #3
    I dunno, I'll take any feedback or advice I can get.
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  5. Senior Member Phalanx's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GirlyGirl View Post
    Is that a rhetorical question? I need to know in order to respond appropriately.
    Why would asking about a discount be rhetorical?

    OP, have a look here: https://www.giac.org/exams/retakes-a...ensions#retake
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by afsinclair View Post
    I failed the GPEN exam last night. I went into it using just the books (no index or notes, cheat sheets, etc..), that was one major mistake. The other was waiting too long between taking the course and taking the exam.

    Anyhow, I've been reading through all of the threads on here about the exam and it's preparation. Does anyone know if there are any discounts available to those retaking it?

    I feel like a dog that crapped on the carpet at this point and just want to retake it as soon as possible.

    I got an email recently stating that the exam version is based upon the version that is out when you take the course. If I interpreted it correctly, the course version number is tied to the exam. So, I don't think how long you take to sit for the exam makes a significant difference. When I mean I got an email recently, I mean this month.

    I would post it but then if someone from GIAC/SANS frequents the forms my confidentiality would be broken. You can believe me, or email them.
    Last edited by GirlyGirl; 12-05-2017 at 02:24 PM.
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  7. Junior Member
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanx View Post
    Why would asking about a discount be rhetorical?

    OP, have a look here: https://www.giac.org/exams/retakes-a...ensions#retake
    I dunno, just asking. Can't hurt, right?
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    You should always make an index for GIAC exams...without one, you might as well not even take the books because you aren’t gonna be able to look anything up efficiently.

    I seem to remember that you can only do so many extensions...which means eventually you would have to take the newest exam and not necessarily the version your course books are based on...if you are within a year you should be fine though.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by afsinclair View Post
    I dunno, I'll take any feedback or advice I can get.
    You should know what you need to study based on what the results were after you finished the exam. It will tell you what modules you were weak in. However, if you want my sage advise, then I will provide it just as I would to anyone else:

    - You need to make an index. Don't use one they provide you and don't use one that someone at work gives you either. The whole premise behind the index is dual-fold. It is to provide you a quick reference and it also gets you to dig deep into the notes portion of the slide decks and read the material! If you took your practice tests you saw how they answered the question: they will be very close to what you read in that material.

    - You need to do the labs and you need to understand what you are actually looking at. Don't just do it blindly without understanding what you are looking at. If you just do that you will not see what the output looks like and be able to interpret it in a manner that would provide you with a solution to a quiz question.

    - You should go back and either read the material yourself or at the very least listen to the audio files that should have been provided to you. They are not making questions off of what the instructor is saying, it is straight from those books.

    Frankly, by the time I've done all 3 of those things and read through the material once or twice along with 3 or 4 times of repetition on labs in modules I was weak in, I didn't even need the index to find the material. I knew where it all was. Also, don't start so late into the game that you are cramming the material. That may work on some tests, but it is super hard for tests like these. They are designed to be hard in the facet you need to know what you are looking at AND what certain concepts are.

    Go buy the retest and get into those books! Good luck
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  10. Senior Member 636-555-3226's Avatar
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    #9
    Heck even if you don't have an index you can ask here for one. There's likely to be SOMEONE in here who can help a brother out.

    then again, i always suggest people use an index as a backup and try to learn as much of the material as possible (admittedly tough with some exams & based on your own experience level). if i'm hiring you for my red team and see you've got the GPEN, i'll have one of my other guys who has taken it ask you some questions i'd expect you to know based on the material. nothing super hard, but something you wont have an index for
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  11. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by afsinclair View Post
    Anyhow, I've been reading through all of the threads on here about the exam and it's preparation. Does anyone know if there are any discounts available to those retaking it?
    Yea, a retake is around $700, while not cheap, it's far less than the $1,699 for taking an exam without a course, I think you have to wait 30 days before making another attempt, you pay before 30 days and schedule the exam for a date after the 30 day awaiting period.

    Quote Originally Posted by 636-555-3226 View Post
    Heck even if you don't have an index you can ask here for one. There's likely to be SOMEONE in here who can help a brother out.
    I'd recommend against this, it's highly unlikely the page numbers are going to line up between book revisions. An index is most effective when you can minimize the time required to look up an answer. If you can reduce look up time by even a second or 2 per question, over the course of the exam, you can answer a couple more questions with your index. Personally I use colored tabs so I can flip directly to Index tab 17 without flipping pages to find page 79.

    Preparation is the key to passing GIAC exams, if you properly prepare for the exam, they are fairly easy to pass, especially with two practice exams that are very close the the actual exam, show me another certification that has official practice tests just like the real exam. I don't know of any.

    Quote Originally Posted by afsinclair View Post
    I feel like a dog that crapped on the carpet at this point and just want to retake it as soon as possible.
    This would be a mistake, You have 30 days before you can even attempt the exam again, use these 30 days to better prepare yourself. You shouldn't rushing this and hope this time you'll guess the correct answers. These exams are not cheap and when taken lightly often results in a failure.
    Last edited by TechGromit; 12-06-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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    #11
    @ Randy_Randerson.....I just sat and passed GCFA yesterday. Should have followed your advice. Wound up finishing the online lectures last week, writing my index last weekend, and sitting a practice test the night before the official test. Got a 71% on my practice test (a little low for a next day tester). Real exam score was a little higher.

    The only thing that saved me was that I had a subject index and book indices. Before I alphabetized the index, I separated each book's entries in order by topic. Then I alphabetized the whole list of topics. Found some good Internet advice about using colors. Each one of my 4 books for FOR 508 had its own color for its tabs. If I were to do it over, I would have spent more time practicing tools and made a separate index just for tools.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    The index is more important than the tabs. I had tabs on almost every page ---- way too many to be useful.

    Open book = open heart surgery for a 1st year surgical resident at the end of a 36-hour shift
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    #13
    Thanks everyone for the advice. I've been mulling over where I went wrong on the test and have a pretty good idea what I need to do at this point.

    As soon as I retake it, I'll post an update. Hopefully I pass and can move on to my next exam (the CISSP-ISSEP).
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 636-555-3226 View Post
    Heck even if you don't have an index you can ask here for one. There's likely to be SOMEONE in here who can help a brother out.

    then again, i always suggest people use an index as a backup and try to learn as much of the material as possible (admittedly tough with some exams & based on your own experience level). if i'm hiring you for my red team and see you've got the GPEN, i'll have one of my other guys who has taken it ask you some questions i'd expect you to know based on the material. nothing super hard, but something you wont have an index for
    Do not use someone else's index. You will not learn anything that way. If someone invested the money in you to take this certification, then show your appreciation by actually learning the material.
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Here is a great video showing a python script that you can use to make your index. I downloaded this script and modified it for my use.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4QmSQDIiHM
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  17. Senior Member E Double U's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by afsinclair View Post
    As soon as I retake it, I'll post an update. Hopefully I pass and can move on to my next exam (the CISSP-ISSEP).
    Wishing you the best of luck and not another crap on the carpet lol.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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    #17
    girly girl is the worst. every ... single... time
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