Get Certified: How To Certify

Get Certified:

General Instructions

GIAC Certification exams are taken online via the GIAC web site and administered in a proctored environment. For complete details regarding the GIAC Proctor Program please see

Depending on the Certification you are attempting, the time limit for the exam ranges from 2 to 5 hours. For more details on the breakdown of your exam and subjects covered on each, please review the Certification Information Read Me First section in your portal account, once the certification attempt has been activated.

For a detailed description of the certification process, including information that will help you prepare for your certification attempt of choice, please download the Certification Program Candidate Handbook.


Step 1
Select the GIAC Certification you wish to attempt.
Step 2
Determine if you want to make a Certification Attempt or if you want to register for an associated training course with your certification attempt.
Step 3
Prepare for the certification exam.
Step 4
Schedule an appointment to take your exam. Click here for proctor details.
Step 5
Once you have passed the certification exam, you are GIAC certified! You will be emailed instructions regarding the options for receiving your official certificate.

* Please note: GIAC does not distribute electronic copies of certificates. For proof of certification beyond the framed certificate option, your record of certification is reflected our official Certified Professionals directory:

Access to Materials and Exams

  • All GIAC-related correspondence is sent to the email address you provided when you registered. If your email address changes, be sure to update your email address by clicking on "Personal Information" on your portal home page.
  • You can access your certification information by logging in to your portal account and clicking on the Certification Attempts link. Your deadlines will be clearly displayed in the certification grid.
  • Please be sure to read the "Certification Information READ ME FIRST!" page, found in the Certification Attempts section of your GIAC portal. This includes details of your certification attempt.

The Exam Process

GIAC exams are taken online in a proctored environment through GIAC's state-of-the-art exam engine. The GIAC Engine was developed based on years of industry experience, customer feedback, as well as ANSI requirements. Features include the use of RealSkillTest(TM) 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.


  • Deadlines are displayed in Universal Time (UTC), also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The exam deadlines are clearly displayed within the certification grid in the GIAC Certification Portal.
  • GIAC Certification attempts will be available in candidates' accounts for 4 months.
  • Your exam must be completed by your final exam deadline OR payment for an extension/retake must be received by 15 days after your final exam deadline.
  • The option to purchase an extension will become available 15 days prior to your attempt expiration date, and gives you the chance to extend your deadline 30 days. The ability to purchase an extension will end 15 days after your deadline.

Tips for Success and Where to Get Help

The GIAC certification program is challenging and we want to help you succeed! We offer the following advice when pursuing your certification:

  1. Plan your time carefully. You have four months to study; take advantage of it. If you wait until the week before your exam to study you are not likely to do well.
  2. Become familiar with the certification objectives for the certification you are attempting. For a list of objectives specific to the certification you are attempting, please review the Exam Certification Objectives listed in the Certification Information found in your portal account at
  3. Especially for technical certifications, plan to spend some significant "hands-on" time with the technologies covered by your certification objectives. GIAC exams are designed to measure your ability to correctly analyze a situation and properly apply your knowledge.
  4. After significant study time to ensure mastery of the material covered by the certification objectives, attempt your first practice test to gauge your progress. Practice tests serve to get you familiar with the types of questions you can expect to see on the certification exam, as well as the testing interface in general. When taking the practice tests, you should pace yourself and practice using any references you plan on bringing with you to the testing center to simulate the exam experience. They are more beneficial when they are used as a dry run prior to the real exam. You will have the option to display the correct answer for missed questions during practice. NOTE: The first practice exam is a more accurate gauge of your skills than any subsequent practice exams.
  5. When you complete your first practice test, print out the report at the end of the exam. The report tells you how well you performed on each certification objective for your exam. If you have less than four stars for any certification objective consider refocusing your remaining study time in those areas.
  6. Don't wait until the last minute to begin studying!
  7. The exams are open book; take advantage of this.
  8. According to a survey we conducted the average GIAC certified individual spends an average of 55 hours of study time over and above of any classroom training. If you are just learning the material for the first time it could easily take three times that much study to master the certification objectives or even more. Realistically assess your own skills for each certification objective, and be prepared to spend the time required for mastery.
  9. Make sure you read the question and all answer options very carefully.
  10. Before sitting for the exam, use on-line resources to help address gaps in your knowledge. Search by certification objective topic areas, or specific tools or concepts. If you are a candidate for a technical certification, completing hands-on exercises and lab work from any relevant training you may have received will be a benefit. There are on-line exercises, challenges, packet captures, and war games available for many technical subject areas. A search engine is your friend.
  11. GIAC exams contain many application and analysis questions that require a person to apply knowledge and solve real problems relevant to the certification objectives.
  12. Send any questions to In order for us to provide faster service, include your curriculum User ID or your portal SD number and what certification you are attempting so that we can easily reference your account.