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Study Smart: Proven Tips to Pass the GIAC GSLC Certification Exam

The GSLC certification program acknowledges individuals who possess the expertise and capabilities required to lead an organization’s information security initiatives. This GIAC certification is specifically intended for skilled security professionals who are accountable for creating and executing security policies, procedures, and strategies.

What Is GSLC Certification?

The GSLC certification is focused on the management aspect of information technology projects related to security. This covers a wide range of topics, such as risk evaluation, formulation of security policies, and web security principles.

Who Should Attend?

This certification is designed for the following:

  • Information security managers.
  • Security professionals with leadership responsibilities.
  • IT and other managers.

GIAC GSLC Exam Details

The GSLC exam comprises 115 multiple-choice questions covering risk management, incident response, organizational security, legal issues, cryptography, network security, and system hardening. The exam takes approximately three hours and requires a score of 65% or higher.

To become certified, applicants must first register with GIAC and pay the associated fee. The cost of the GSLC exam is $949. After registering for the exam, applicants can schedule their test appointment at a Pearson VUE testing center. It typically takes two weeks to receive your results after taking the exam.

How to Pass GIAC GSLC Certification Exam?

One of the unique features of the GSLC exam is that it is an open-book exam. You can bring any printed material to the exam, including notes, books, and study guides. While this is an advantage, navigating the vast amount of information available during the test can be challenging. This article will provide some tips to help you prepare for the GSLC certification exam.

Tip 1: Create a Study Plan

Before you start studying, you must create a plan that works for you. Your study plan should consider your strengths and weaknesses and the time you have available to study.

Here are some tips to help you create a study plan:

  • Break down the material into manageable sections.
  • Set realistic study goals.
  • Create a schedule and stick to it.
  • Take regular breaks to avoid burnout.

Tip 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Exam Format

Understanding the exam format is crucial to passing the GSLC certification exam. The exam consists of 115 multiple-choice questions and is three hours long. It is a closed-book exam, except for the open-book portion.

Here are some main facts about the exam format:

  • The passing score is 65%.
  • You have three hours to complete the open-book portion.
  • You can bring any printed material to the exam except electronic devices.

Tip 3: Use Multiple Study Materials

While the GSLC certification exam covers a lot of material, it is essential to use multiple study materials to prepare adequately. Using numerous resources will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the material and increase your chances of passing the exam.

Here are some study materials to consider:

  • Official GIAC study materials
  • Third-party study guides
  • Online training courses
  • Practice exams
  • Study groups

Tip 4: Enroll in a SANS Training for GSLC Certification Exam

Consider taking a SANS training course if you’re starting to become GSLC certified. SANS is a well-known organization that provides world-class cybersecurity training and certification programs, and its GSLC training course is no exception.

Here are some benefits of taking a SANS GSLC training course:

  • Comprehensive coverage of all GSLC exam topics
  • Access to experienced instructors and mentors
  • Hands-on labs and exercises that reinforce key concepts
  • Practice exams that simulate the real GSLC exam experience
  • Networking opportunities with other cybersecurity professionals
  • SANS training courses are recognized and respected by employers in the industry.

Remember that taking a SANS training course does not guarantee you will pass the GSLC exam. However, it can provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that will be invaluable as you prepare for the exam.

Tip 5: Take GSLC Practice Exams

Taking practice exams is an excellent way to prepare for the GSLC certification exam. Practice exams help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you a feel for the exam format, and they also help you develop time-management skills and reduce test anxiety.

Here are some tips for taking practice exams:

  • Take practice exams in a timed environment.
  • Review your answers and identify areas for improvement.
  • Take practice exams from multiple sources.
  • Use practice exams to simulate the exam environment.

Tip 6: Review Your Notes Regularly

One of the advantages of an open-book exam is that you can bring your notes to the exam. However, reviewing your notes regularly is crucial to ensure you can find the information you need quickly.

Here are some tips for reviewing your notes:

  • Organize your notes in a way that makes sense to you.
  • Use bookmarks or sticky notes to mark important pages.
  • Highlight key points or definitions.
  • Review your notes regularly to keep the information fresh in your mind.

Tip 7: Practice Time Management

Time management is critical to passing the GSLC certification exam. You have limited time to complete the exam, and you must manage your time wisely to answer all the questions.

Here are some tips for practicing time management:

  • Allocate your time based on the number of questions and their difficulty level.
  • Only spend a little bit of time on a single question.
  • Skip questions you don’t know the answer to and return to them later.
  • Use the exam software’s features, such as flagging questions for review and marking questions for follow-up.
  • Keep an eye on the time and adjust your pace accordingly.

Tip 8: Get Plenty of Rest

Finally, getting plenty of rest before the exam is essential. Lack of sleep can impair your cognitive function and reduce your ability to think clearly.

Here are some tips for getting enough rest:

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the exam.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before the exam.
  • Try to relax and stay calm.


Preparing for the GIAC GSLC certification exam can be challenging, but with the right strategies and study materials, you can confidently pass the exam. Remember to create a study plan, familiarize yourself with the exam format, use multiple study materials, take practice exams, review your notes regularly, practice time management, focus on crucial topics, utilize exam resources, and get plenty of rest. By following these tips, you can maximize your chances of success and earn your GSLC certification.