CREST Registered Tester (CRT Exam)

I have been meaning to get round to is this post for a while… It seems to me that a lot people come across this site looking for information on how to prep for the CREST Registered Tester (CRT) exam, and this is also what I get asked the most about though the contacts page.

Everyone is different but here is my experience without breaking the NDA (note: should anyone from CREST have objections to this post please get in touch via the contacts page and I will remove it).

I sat the exam around 8 months ago, but this post is pretty generic and could be used in any technical exam prep really.

The first thing I did was downloaded the technical syllabus, this document lists everything you are expected to know in the exam. I used the document to mind map each topic and get down an overview of what I do know about the topics. Mind mapping the syllabus helped me work out what I needed to focus on and create a study plan to work on the subjects I needed to brush up on such as analysing router and switch config files. My background as a sys admin and experience in pen testing had pretty much covered everything I needed to know.

If you have not tried mind maps for learning yet I would suggest reading about the concepts then giving it a try, I find them really useful.

In the week leading up to the exam I tried to ensure I had memorised anything that I would expect to feature in the written exam which I don’t keep in my head at all times because it is rarely needed and always just a google away. Things like details around cryptography algorithms and which vulnerabilities popular worms exploited, etc.

I am not going to go in to the details around the exam format, it changes and all the information you need is on the site, but I will put some tips that I use to help me get though exams.

Exams are stressful, but under too much stress you will begin to find it difficult to think clearly. Make sure you go in relaxed and stay that way, if you feel like you are getting stressed out just take a minute to calm yourself down and get back in to a relaxed state of mind, then carry on.

Time is an important factor here, it is not the CISSP exam where you have enough time to do the exam twice and still take an hour break in the middle. Move quickly and make sure you get it right first time round, you may not have time to check your answers at the end.

If you get stuck, move on to the next question. Do not spend time staring at the screen hoping that the solution will just pop in to your head, mark it, move on and come back to it later if you get the chance.

Lastly, enjoy the challenge, maybe I am warped but I had a good time even though I had an epic drive home ahead of me. Next time for the CCT exam I think I will just take the train.

I think learning to learn is one of the most valuable things I have ever learned. How about you? I am interested in hearing about your approach to learning a new subject. In this line of work you are constantly learning so having good techniques for quickly learning new things is helpful.

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