I got my OSCP! :)
If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that it's been a long road, but after more than a year of training and preparation, I finally manned up to schedule the exam for the 11th of March 2023. Thanks to the Internet, I had no idea what to expect - some people say it is extremely difficult and fail, some say it is super easy and pass it in 8h. It is very subjective, depending on your experience and luck. For me, it was somewhat difficult. I haven't pwned all the machines but had enough to feel confident that I passed and finished it a few hours before the deadline. I didn't have bonus points. I don't believe in bonuses, so I didn't prepare or submit the lab report. I decided to focus on learning and applying the content instead. This doesn't mean I didn't do the exercises, though. I did all of them (which was part of my learning and applying), just didn't bother to prepare the report.
Going to the exam, I remembered what most of the OffSec student mentors were saying: the exam should not take the whole 24h. You should take your time for all the other things you normally do during the day. If you struggle with this schedule, it means that you probably need more practice. Following this advice, I decided to take it easy and, instead of thinking "I have to pass", I thought "let's see if I'm good enough, or if I need more practice".
The exam started at 5:00 am (there were no normal hours available...) so obviously, I didn't get enough sleep before jumping in. It didn't matter though, because throughout those 23:45 hours of hacking, more than half of it I spent on naps, preparing the food and eating, and of course, a few nice walks with my dog. Don't get me wrong, it was both physically and mentally exhausting, and again, to me personally it wasn't easy at all. But, having the right mindset and taking care of myself helped.
What's next on my upskill plan? Since I have the Learn Unlimited subscription at OffSec (thanks to my current employer), I will go for another training. As per my previous posts, I will try to focus on security research, so I will start with EXP-301. That being said, I also got Red Team Operator training and I think that it's going to be an interesting and very useful experience (not to mention another badge on my CV).