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SANS Training?

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secureseve

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Post Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:24 pm

SANS Training?

Hello all,

I have a question regarding SANS training. I see that some of the courses involve mp3 files and a book. These mp3 files are from live sessions of an on site training event. Now, are studying the mp3 files enough to pass the exam or should I read the book thoroughly as well? I mean, if these sessions were taken live (and over 6 days) I'd imagine the students taking the live session don't have time to read 1,000+ pages (or so I hear is the size of the books). Thank you for your time.

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kriscamaro68

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Post Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:51 pm

Re: SANS Training?

When you do sans training onsite the exams are not given after the bootcamp is over. From giac.org:

NOTE: GIAC exams are NOT given the day after the conference ends.
For exams purchased with SANS training, access to the exam will be available 7-10 days following the end of the conference

So the people still do have time to study and read the books given.

I also read somewhere (I think it was on SANS website) that the bootcamp doesn't give you everything you need for the exams. They advised to also do self study besides.

Hope that helps.
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What90

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Post Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:53 am

Re: SANS Training?

Hello secureseven,

I'd read the books. The audio contains some great stories and real life examples of the material, none of which is in the exam. The information in the books is easy to read and study on, so don't worry about the 1000 pages number.

I use the audio when reading through the books, to keep motivated or to get a different take on the material presented in the books. I read through the books a couple of times and then still use them as reference.

The top tip with SANS open book exams is to make an index of books for quick reference, should you need to double check an answer.
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MicroJay

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Post Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:38 am

Re: SANS Training?

I'd agree with What90.  All questions on the exam, you can find the answers in the books.  Creating an index not only helps gather all information that the material covers, but also helps on the exam. 

I have taken the mp3's and burned to CD to listen on my comute back and forth to work.  That just 'implants' it into your mind just a bit more!

I have also taken three GIAC exams and have done the same type of studying for all three (plus a re-cert). 

Hope this helps
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ziggy_567

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Post Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:27 am

Re: SANS Training?

I would actually say that you have the order of importance backward. In preparing for the exam it is much more important to read the books word for word since the exam questions will come DIRECTLY from the books. The mp3's are just icing on the cake. As What90 points out, the nice thing about the mp3's is that you get another spin on the material which makes it more likely that you'll retain more of the material.

Look around on the boards and you'll find a number of people that have posted their strategy to studying for GIAC tests. The exams are not overly difficult if you are prepared for them. If you're not prepared, though, they can be brutal.

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secureseve

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Post Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: SANS Training?

Thanks guys! Well, I don't think I'll be able to pay for any of the courses or the self-study. It's pricey paying for that, given my current situation aka broke college student. So what I've been doing so far is looking at the bootcamp and learning as much info on the topics from other sources. I plan on making mini tutorials (cause I learn better teaching) and hopefully people can advise me if I'm missing something I should be looking at as well as hopefully help other people who cannot afford the training material.

I read earlier that Dynamik did a "challenge" and he passed both the GSEC and GPEN. While not as knowledgeable as him, I'm sure if he can do it without the course, so can others with determination.
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Bane

Post Sun May 02, 2010 3:13 pm

Re: SANS Training?

Remember that the lectures are meant to be the narrative to the course manuals. That said, the lectures are not a word for word reading of the books either. It is definitely worth your time to go through the books, even better would be to go through them while listening to the lectures, that way you can make relevant notes right on the course pages pertaining to that topic.
Last edited by Bane on Wed May 05, 2010 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xen

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Post Mon May 03, 2010 9:22 am

Re: SANS Training?

I haven't taken any SANS course but from what I've read at the forums you do need to read the books. Answers can be easily in the books if you have prepared a good index.

However, if you can't afford a SANS course you can look at other options. Depending on your skills you can start with Security+ or CCNA to prepare your base. You may also want to look at elearnsecurity's Professional Penetration Testing, they are also coming up with a student version in June. You can use the EHNet 5% discount coupon if you'd like.
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Sizerp

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Post Sun May 09, 2010 2:54 am

Re: SANS Training?

I have taken a couple SANS courses and I've found my experience in studying for exams slightly different from the other folks here, but maybe its a learning style thing.

I listened to the MP3s start to finish and took mental note of the things I knew well, the things I would need to brush up on, and the things I would need to do some serious studying on.

I would follow that up by going through the books and creating my index for the exam, and as I did this I scanned through everything but spent time studying only the things I didn't know well.

I found this saved a lot of time, since I was listening to the MP3s on my commutes to/from work and only really used the books in the final phase of studying, and for general reference.

Note: I have taken my SANS courses as 'mentor sessions'.

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