Hakluke’s Ultimate OSCP Guide: Part 1 — Is OSCP for you? Some things you should know before you start

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If you’ve landed here, you’re probably thinking about taking the Offensive Security PWK course to become an OSCP, but you’re not sure if you’re quite ready to take the plunge. Well! You’ve found the right place, my soon-to-be hacker comrade. This is a list of questions that I get asked regularly from people thinking of signing up to the OSCP. I am not being paid to promote this course, just my opinion.

This document is a work in progress! If you have any ideas or questions you would like answered, get in touch!

Would you recommend it?

How much time do I need?

How much lab time should I purchase?

  • If you already a seasoned penetration tester, and you are just getting your OSCP to lengthen your CV and brag to your mum, go with 30 days. Unless you are a super master hacker who doesn’t sleep, this probably won’t be enough time to own everything in the labs, but you don’t need to — you only need to pass the exam.
  • If you have a fairly solid foundation in hacking and you have success with other hacking challenges such as hackthebox.eu or vulnhub, go with 60 days.
  • If you aren’t all that experienced with hacking, or you want to scrape every last drop of information out of the course, go with 90 days.

If it makes you feel any better, your decision is not final — you can always purchase a lab extention after the inital purchase. Also — if you fail your exam, you can resit it for $60 USD.

How is the PWK / OSCP structured?

1. Coursework

2. The Labs

3. The Exam

Once you’ve completed your exam, you follow the submission guidelines very carefully and wait for the (hopefully) good news!

What’s the difference between PWK and OSCP?

How do the hackthebox/vulnhub boxes compare to the OSCP labs?

My thoughts about the “try harder” mentality

How to ask good questions

Tips for the exam

  • Take regular breaks
  • Plan your time before the exam begins
  • Document as you go
  • Back up your notes regularly to avoid data loss
  • If it seems too complicated, it’s probably not the right path
  • Believe in yourself, it’s easy to get overwhelmed

Official Support

Where are the other parts of this guide?

Luke’s Ultimate OSCP Guide: Part 2 — Workflow and documentation tips

Luke’s Ultimate OSCP Guide: Part 3 — Practical hacking tips and tricks

Oh and also, follow me on Twitter!

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