I took my second practice test a few days ago, and it has taken me quite a bit to get over it. I got a 34%.

Not a 90% like I was expecting, but a 34%.

I took the practice exam after struggling to hang a light fixture in our house for almost two days (like any good home improvement story, it involved what seemed like 50 trips to Lowes). As I sat down to take the practice test I was frustrated, tired, and pretty disappointed that I wasn’t drinking a beer celebrating converting that stupid light fixture. BUT! I told myself I was going to take the practice exam this weekend. I NEEDED to, to make sure I was on the right path.

I missed the first question. The second question. And then the third question. Each time, when the test taking service showed me the correct answer I wanted to slap myself. I knew that. I understood the question, and I knew the answer. Yet, I rushed through wanting to just get done with the thing, instead of taking my time.

Multiple questions about ARP and DNS threw me off again, even though I know those attack vectors. I understand what poisoning those services looks like. It didn’t matter though. I chose the wrong answer again and again.

Around question 50, I rage quit. I was so pissed with myself. I couldn’t even look at the final score that day.

However comma. Almost the exact same lessons learned can be gleaned from the effort this weekend as the previous. I must take my time. I must read the question and answer twice before hitting submit. Check the books, it’s why I’m bringing them. Use the break; there is no reason I couldn’t have used that break after the first few mishaps, just to calm myself down. Fifteen minutes of breathing exercises could have been really helpful there.

Regardless, I still scheduled the exam. I am fairly confident that I will pass, I am really still hoping to get that instructor invite, and would love to end up on the GIAC advisory board mailing list. At the end of the day though, a GCIH is a GCIH and I can just do as best as I can do.