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Exams: Preparation



The SANS Institute is GIAC's preferred partner for exam preparation. SANS training can be taken in a classroom setting from SANS-certified instructors, self-paced over the Internet, or in mentored settings in cities around the world. Each year, SANS programs educate more than 12,000 people in the US and internationally. To find the best teachers in each topic in the world, SANS runs a continuous competition for instructors. Last year more than 90 people tried out for the SANS faculty, but only five new people were selected. View Training Events

Practice Tests

GIAC Practice Tests are a proven aid in helping to master material covered on GIAC certification exams and also help you become more familiar with the exam system and testing style. GIAC Practice Tests should be used as a study tool to help ensure you have a clear understanding of what to expect from the exam system, as well as the content that will be covered on the examination. Utilizing GIAC Practice Tests significantly improves your chances for success.

Every GIAC Certification Attempt, with the exception of the GSE Multiple Choice Exam, includes access to two Practice Tests (a $258 value) Retakes do not come with access to new Practice Tests. GIAC Practice Tests are timed; they are taken through our online exam engine and are designed to simulate the format of the actual exam, with the same number of certification objectives, multiple-choice questions and time limits. During the Practice Test, each time you choose a wrong answer, you will be shown the correct answer and an explanation that will help to reinforce the subject matter presented in the question. You have one attempt at each Practice Test. Once you begin a Practice Test, the timer starts counting down and cannot be reset, so make sure you have adequate time allotted before beginning a test.

If you need an additional attempt, you will need to purchase another test. There are not an unlimited number of Practice Test questions, so there is a law of diminishing returns if you retake the same practice tests over and over. Practice Tests are one tool to help ascertain if you are ready to attempt a GIAC exam, but Practice Tests do not take the place of study time or real world experience!


GIAC practice tests are accessed through the GIAC Certification Portal via the link in your SANS/GIAC portal account. If you wish to purchase a practice test, you may do so for a cost of $129 each. They are available via online registration. Once payment has been confirmed, practice tests will become available within 24-48 hours.

Allowed Materials

GIAC certification exams are open book format, but not open internet or open computer. Candidates are allowed to bring an armful of hardcopy books and notes into the testing room, leaving all other personal belongings such as wallets, purses, hats (and other head coverings), bags and coats outside of the testing room. Weapons are not allowed on testing center premises. Please leave weapons (guns, knives, etc.) at home or stored securely in your vehicle. An erasable noteboard and pen will be provided for you. Workstation space may be as limited as 4 feet (1.2 meters) wide, so please plan accordingly.

Electronic devices (laptops, PDAs, thumb drives, software applications, phones, calculators, cameras, etc.) are strictly forbidden. You will be provided with an onscreen calculator, should you need one during the test. Candidates are not able to access anything stored electronically during the exam (.pdf or Word documents, Internet websites, etc.). The testing process only allows one connection out to the GIAC Exam Engine. It will not allow connections to private web pages, so any material posted to private web pages is not accessible during GIAC exams. We recommend that you print any study guide materials and bring them as hard, paper copies.