9 Tips To Pass Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) in 30 Days

GIAC provides certifications on information security for IT managers and security professionals. GIAC is an acronym for Global Information Assurance Certification. It is based on the principle to validate the real-world skills of IT security professionals. Its main aim is to assure that a certified individual has an understanding and practical knowledge in the key areas of computer security. GIAC is offering certifications for job-specific roles that reflect the current practice of information security. It is a unique way of measuring specific knowledge areas rather than the general purpose of information security knowledge. The five subject areas of GIAC are

  • Security Administration
  • Forensics
  • Management 
  • Audit
  • Software Security

The GIAC certification gives an assured that the candidate taking the exam has the practical, real-world skills that are linked to a specific skill set being covered on the certificate. Having a GIAC will add confidence in the candidate’s personality that he has acquired all the skills to protect systems, networks, and the code. Proficiently, it helps to keep the knowledge base current through recertification that is periodic. To be able to appear in the GIAC certification exam, you must have had completed one proctored exam at a PearsonVUE proctored testing facility. It can also be obtained separately from the SANS training. 

The price of the GIAC certification exam is $1,999 for the first attempt, and some other charges are also included for the hands-on lab fee and the entrance exam. Having this certification will enable you to the top to have a promotion and also acquire the knowledge and skills you need to carry out your job roles efficiently. This certification will deliver to your such skill sets that will improve your ranking in the field of security. This certification will give the employees confidence that when they are securing the systems and networks, they know how to deal with the tasks. The training involved in GIAC is SANS that provides a system and network administrators with t6he skills that are technical and are needed to meet their certain security roles. Many of the organizations like the US government itself are making the contractors and consultants hire certified professionals. 

This certification will also give a strong position to people who have acquired it in front of the employees as it is then considered that due to the credentials they are showing, they know what they are talking about. The first certification is the GIAC silver for students who have completed the exam, and the GIAC gold and GIAC Platinum is for those who want to excel in their career ahead from that point. The main goal of GIAC is to improve the defensive condition of the practice of information security. This is done in a collaborative learning environment. 

The exams for GIAC are in open-book format. You are allowed to bring a hardcopy of books and notes along with you in the exam hall. But such handbooks that look like practice exams or tests are prohibited strictly to ring in the testing area. The GIAC exams are not open internet or open computer exam. You will have to get a renewal of the GIAC certification every two years of acquiring it. This exam contains 250 multiple choice questions that must be solved within 5 hours, and the minimum passing score is 70%. To be able to clear this bulky exam, you must prepare accordingly and should know where you are heading towards. A proper set of tips is given below to help you clear the exam in the first attempt.

1. Do Not Take Long Breaks

The SANS classes are every intense and involve too much technical knowledge being thrown at you. You may feel exhausted by the intensive experiences in a long week. But you must not take long breaks and should not put off studying. If you are serious about passing this exam, you will have to not get overwhelmed about it. After the class is over, don’t take too long to return to studying and getting back on learning. This will help you keep the material new and fresh in your memory. You will e able to recall this information more quickly if you keep on studying in a regular mode. 

2. Divide The Course Material In An Index

The GIAC exams are all open books and also open note that is often perceived as easy in the start by many candidates. But that is wrong. The SANS books are very detailed and have a bulk of knowledge in them. These books are a huge amount of information that is to be digested by that gets hard to grab on. Hence diving the course materials into an index helps you differentiate all the concepts. This way, you will be able to find what you are looking for quickly. Dividing the course will give you a good start that is manageable. But the rest must also not be forgotten that you will have to focus hard on preparing the divided indexed subjects. This index will help you get easy going with the trickier questions. The index will also help you review the questions more easily as you will know which page contains which topic. If you are creating the index on an electronic device, you must get it printed as there won’t be any device allowed in the exam hall. 

3. Prepare From The Handbook

You must always consider official handbooks to be the best source of preparation for the exam. These handbooks provide the best outline and complete data on the questions that will be asked in the exam. You will get the most authentic knowledge through the official course books for GIAC. It will allow you to have a complete understanding of the key concepts of the GIAC. You will also get an overview of the topics that can be asked in the exam, the prerequisites of the exam, the timetables, and the duration of the test so that you are completely aware of what you will be getting in the test area. Knowing everything beforehand will prove to be of help as it will keep you confident in the exam hall. 

4. Take Practice Tests

Practice tests prove to be the best source of knowledge for getting a sound idea of the structure of the exam and the questions you will be facing. These practice exams are accurately based on real exams and are completely comprised of real-time questions. Just don’t get disheartened if you score low on these tests as these are only a way to assess where you stand in your preparation journey and should only be used to get a knowledge of course subjects you need to focus on once again. You will know about your weak areas and will understand which topics you have a good grip on. If you find the practice tests difficult, then that is because you are not aware of the complete course material, or your index did not work for you and was not helpful. You should take notes of which questions seemed hard for you and add them to your index to focus on them more keenly.

5. Label Your Books

In the outer cover, each SANS book looks the same. This causes difficulty in the exam hall to find the answers you are looking for. But labeling can help you clear the exam with ease. You can label the books with a different number each and remember which one contained what information. This way, you will be able to quickly grab the book in the exam hall and look for the answers you need. Reading the monotonous book cover may be distracting and time taking, but big, bold numbers can prove to help as they will be easy to read in the exam. It increases your speed and also your efficiency as it prevents you from panicking. 

6. Make A Plan

A study plan is essential for the GIAC exam so that you can cover the coursebook in due time. You must be very realistic in this approach as things will slip out of your brain if you try to fit in more information in a limited time. Different people need different amounts of time to get going with the bulk of the course, an average of two months would do by doing one book per week. This week will also include taking notes and building an index. But you may take more or less time to prepare fully as well. You just need to be sure of how much time you need and get the exam after the due time. You must fit in, taking many practice exams in this plan as well. Practice exams are what will make you know more areas that need your concentration. 

7. Join Online Groups

You can join online communities and groups to be surrounded by people whoa re also appearing for the GIAC exam. This will help you in being surrounded by people who are also taking the same exam. 

Many difficult concepts and subjects might only need a trick to be memorized, and who knows through these online groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, you may find the best solution that would help you in clearing all your course subject issues. These groups also contain people who have cleared the GIAC exams. They can share their hands-on experience in the group and also their success stories. These stories can help the current candidates to find some hope and get a boosted spirit about passing the exam. These groups would be of great help as they will also let you be aware of different important information that you might miss being surrounded by a bulk of data to prepare. 

8. Take The SANS Course

Whether you take the SANS course in a live class or listen to it through online sources, you must go through the entire course and ask questions whenever you feel the need to. You must book your exams as soon as you feel you are perfectly ready to appear in the exam. You should secure your location and time in the slot that suits the best to you. Also, remember that you can reschedule your exam even after you have fixed your exam slot. If you feel down the line that you are not ready to take the exam, then you can let go of the scheduled date and fix a new one later on. You can even request an extension of the deadline beyond a time of 4 months.

9. Go Through The Whole Course

Once you complete the entire course books, get back with the rest of materials and also the course books and go through them all over again. You should keep highlighting the important concepts and keep notes of what you find important. You must keep listening or reading to the course material over and over again while you do simple tasks in your daily life. You need to keep all the concepts in your mind and know which ones are where and in which book. You may find mp3 files of the course material on the SANS portal and download them on whatever device you are using. 


SANS framed the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) program to go about as the certification arm for its instructional classes, guaranteeing that people fulfill information and aptitudes guidelines in explicit regions of IT security. More than 165,000 GIAC certifications have been given. GIAC confirmations are notable and exceptionally regarded among managers and the data security industry. Indeed, even the United States National Security Agency (NSA) perceives GIAC affirmations. 

GIAC offers more than 30 security affirmations across early on, transitional, progressed, and master levels. As per SANS, GIAC affirmations are novel since “they measure explicit aptitudes and information territories as opposed to general infosec information.” That implies a run of the mill GIAC confirmation requires thorough planning and hands-on understanding. That is the reason SANS preparation comes strongly suggested.