GIAC Practitioner Exam Prep At a Glance
GIAC certification holders, have shared these exam prep suggestions.
Average Hours Studied
Start with Training
The best way to prepare for any GIAC practitioner certification is with the affiliated SANS training course. Each SANS training course is a deep dive into critically-needed security skills that are then validated by a GIAC certification. SANS courses are currently offered either Live, Live Online or OnDemand, so no matter which training format you choose, you can meet your preparation goals while maintaining your responsibilities at work and at home.
Training Best Practices
No matter how you prepare for your GIAC practitioner certification, follow these two steps to help you pass your exam.
It’s not enough to just be a passive bystander in your training course. Students that actively participate –by asking questions, taking notes, and talking to their instructor – are the students that learn the most, retain information better, and have a higher chance of success on their GIAC exam down the road.
Apply Lessons to Real-World Scenarios
While training, take new concepts you’ve learned and try applying them to real-world scenarios. Think about how they might fit into to your daily work. Then, try and explain what you’ve learned to a colleague or friend. If you can teach someone else how a concept works, you’ve successfully mastered that idea or skill.
Four Months to Study for Your Exam
Don't wait! Start studying right after you finish training for best results.
Open Book Exams
GIAC exams are open book. Use your study time to reread material, highlight and index key concepts. All printed books, notes, and study guides are allowed (no digital items).
An essential part of the studying process is creating your index. An index is a systematic, color-coded guide that you create, allowing you easily find the material you need during the exam. The biggest benefit of the index beyond being a quick directory? The process of creating your index is guaranteed to help you learn and master the concepts you need for your exam.
GIAC Practice tests mimic the certification exams. After your first in-depth run through of the course material, take a practice test. You’ll receive a report once your practice test is completed showing you which objectives you need to revisit. Take an additional practice test once you feel ready for the real thing. Review any last-minute concepts that you need to brush up on.
Exam Day Tips
Make sure to have your index, textbooks, and any other printed materials you might need with you whether you’re testing remotely or at an in-person center. Find out more about scheduling and exam day policies.
I don’t ever take two practice tests in one day. I fix my index up, study sections I am weak on, and sleep on it.
The whole point in building your own index is so you’ll learn and retain the material. Asking for mine or taking someone else’s is a shortcut that will likely lead to your own disappointment come exam time.
1. Don’t procrastinate 2. Don’t skip making an index 3. Don’t skip taking the practice exams 4. Don’t squander your time during the exam 5. Don’t beat yourself up