Exams: Overview

Exams:

GIAC exams are taken online in a proctored environment through GIAC's state-of-the-art exam engine, which was developed based on years of industry experience, customer feedback as well as ANSI requirements. Other unique features include the use of RealSkillTest exam questions to validate real-world knowledge; a post-exam performance evaluation by certification objective and a custom post-exam candidate feedback interface to help us further improve the testing experience.

The GIAC exam development process has been accredited under IEC/ISO/ANSI 17024 and is one of the most rigorous in the industry. The subject matter tested on GIAC certification exams is based on validated objectives for the given certification knowledge area. All GIAC certifications attempts consist of a single exam that covers all Certification Objectives.

Note: GIAC exams that are registered for in association with SANS training events do not become available to candidates until 10 days after the corresponding training event concludes. GIAC exams are NOT given the day after the course ends.

Throughout the exam, candidates may flag exam questions for the GIAC Exam Development Team review. Candidates are not allowed access to review exam questions after the exam is completed. Should you experience technical problems during your exam, please notify your proctor immediately. For information regarding the feedback procedure, please see the Exam Feedback Procedure page.

Test Details
  • What are the details of the exam?
  • What will I be tested on?
  • Exam time length?
  • How many questions?
Details vary by Exam. Please visit http://www.giac.org/certifications/categories and click on your exam of choice to view exam details. Psychometric research is conducted to determine passing points to ensure that every candidate receives a fair and valid exam of the highest possible quality.
  • What will I be tested on?
For the list of objectives tested on a GIAC exam, please visit http://www.giac.org/certifications/categories and click on the exam of your choice. GIAC's exam development process has been accredited under IEC/ISO/ANSI 17024 and is one of the most rigorous in the industry. A committee of experienced IT security professionals develops initial objectives for each certification, which are then refined by a larger panel of subject matter experts through a formal Job Task Analysis (JTA) process. This ensures that all objectives are valid and relevant to the certification.
  • What is included with my certification attempt?
All candidates receive access to two practice tests to help them prepare for the certification exam.
  • How long do I have to complete the certification attempt?
All certification attempts are valid for 4 months (120 days) from the date of activation in your account.
  • How long should I study before attempting the exam?
On average, successful candidates study for 55 hours prior to taking the exam (this is in addition to any formal training you may receive). This is why candidates are given 4 months to prepare for the exam.
  • What are the suggested study tips when preparing for a certification attempt?
All certification candidates should take the two practice tests that come with a certification attempt. This will help familiarize yourself with the exam engine as well as the specific types of questions that will appear on your certification exam. Taking the SANS course associated with the GIAC certification you wish to attempt is a great way to prepare for the exam. Visit http://www.sans.org/security-training/courses.php for details. For additional tips for success, please visit: http://www.giac.org/certifications/get-certified/steps
  • Where do I take the exam?
All GIAC exams must be taken at a proctored testing center. Visit http://www.giac.org/about/policies/proctor for details on our Proctor Policy.
  • How is the exam issued?
All exams are issued through our online exam engine, which is accessed through your SANS/GIAC account.
  • What can I bring into the exam with me?
"GIAC certification exams are open book format, but not open internet or open computer. Candidates are allowed to bring one arm full of books and notes into the testing room, leaving all other personal belongings outside of the testing room. An erasable noteboard and pen will be provided for you. Workstation space is limited, so please plan accordingly. No electronic devices are allowed such as extra computers, CD-ROM, USB flash drives, phones, calculators, cameras, etc. Candidates will not be able to access anything stored electronically on any computer during the exam such as searchable .pdf or Word documents. We recommend that you print any study guide materials and bring them as hard, paper copies."
  • Once I earn the certification, how long is the credential valid for?
Certifications remain valid for 4 years. You must renew your certification if you wish to extend the validity of your credential. Visit http://www.giac.org/certifications/renewal for details on our Certification Renewal program.