Passed CWSP!!!

I passed the CWSP exam today with 81%. The breakdown for the relevant subject areas of the exam are;

  • Wireless Network Attacks and Threat Assessment 85%
  • Monitoring & Management 78%
  • Security Design and Architecture 80%
  • Security Policy 100%
  • Fast Secure Roaming 75%

After 3 intense months of studying and a week long online class I felt good enough to take the test. In the exam I felt comfortable that I had sufficiently covered the relevant material. So often when I sit exams I get a few questions I know I just didn’t cover the material well enough to answer them. I didn’t have this feeling in this exam and in fact only had one question where I wasn’t sure what the answer should be. Obviously from my score I missed 12 questions, but that’s still a good result from my point of view, in that my study for this advanced my knowledge of wireless security enough to be over 80% correct.

On to the point of this blog, to help others out there who might be studying also for this exam. I would say, as many others have said, make sure you study to the exam objectives and don’t just slavishly follow any study guide or course. Very often instructors or self study guides have no knowledge of the exam questions! My last ‘check’ that I performed before I was satisfied I was ready was to print out and go through every point on the exam objectives and make sure I understood well the subject area. Of course you want to concentrate mainly on Security Design and Monitoring being that they make up 75% of the exam weighting, but don’t forget to also be knowledgeable about the other areas too. The remaining 25% can be the make or break deal to get you over the finishing line. I would find the weak areas you have and go over them in detail referring to both the standards, documents on the internet and study guide information until you are comfortable you understand in depth what is required. For me my weak area was fast secure roaming. this was simply because I have on the job experience in attacks (doing assessment work), monitoring, design and policy work. 802.11r, 802.11k and roaming in general I just haven’t had to look closely at the details of before. You can see this reflected in my score above. I spent a bunch of time going over again and again all the details of this area and there were more than just a couple of questions in the exam about voice networks and roaming. I can see that this is an extremely important  area for wireless networks and after studying 802.11r I can additionally see its importance from a security point of view. I will be continuing to study more on roaming as I progress towards my next goal, CWAP.

Another thing I want to say if you are using the practice tests to gauge your weak areas always remember that the exam itself won’t have any questions that are ambiguous like some are in the practice tests. The question format in the practice tests is similar to the exam, but only use the actual questions themselves as a guide to what could be in the exam. The current questions are from the previous version (PW0-200) and so there is some material in them that is not relevant to the actual exam (PW0-204). Personally I felt that the questions in the exam were very relevant to my job as a wireless security professional and that they covered very well the subject matter that is needed to be a wireless pro. The last helpful comment I would make to those studying still is to remember that the goal isn’t just passing the exam, the exam is just a test to measure your skills. The real goal in studying for any exam is to gain the knowledge of the field in sufficient depth to be able to carry the title conferred by the exam. For me, my goal is to be regarded by my peers as an expert in wireless. To this end I am aiming for the CWNE eventually. The study I undertake in pursuit of that is both relevant to my job and to my career. I know that the CWNP program is regarded by my peers as a good independent measurement of wireless skills. I also know that by saying I am a CWSP that they will instantly recognize I have acquired a body of knowledge in pursuit of that title that they can judge quickly what my wireless skills are. This is the real objective, don’t loose sight of that in gaining the title you desire. Good luck!

5 Responses to “Passed CWSP!!!”

  1. Congratulations for passing your exam and also for sharing your study experience !

  2. Prashant says:

    Congratulations.

    Requesting your suggestion about practicle hands on knowledge in wireless security for CWSP certification.

  3. Darby Weaver says:

    A very late congratulations!

    Look to be following in your footsteps soon. Hope things are well.

    Darby Weaver

  4. Mark Wnukoski says:

    I have taken this test three times and all 3 times have received at 68% with Fast Secure Roaming always being the killer part. I keep on going back to the chapters in the book and studying this for another 2 weeks and then retake the exam and still receiving a 68%. What advice can you give on the subject?

    Thanks again.

    -Mark

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