Exam kicked my butt

Well, I was hoping I wouldn't have to write this post. The exam kicked my butt. Bad.

I was hoping this post would be more like, "Yo! I got my OSCP!"

I studied quite a bit and felt like I was steamrolling the lab machines. They weren't terribly difficult and each seemed to focus on maybe one or two things from the material: i.e. LFI, File Upload, etc.

When I got into the exam, I popped the buffer overflow in about an hour. Took my notes as I worked on it so I didn't have to backtrack.  Went to the 20s, made little to no progress. Figured I should do the 10 for a quick confidence boost. Blew it out of the way in about 15 minutes, and reworked it a second time to capture better notes, screenshots, etc. So maybe a total of 30 spent on that.

Things kinda stopped working from there. I couldn't make any headway. My usual bag of tricks didn't seem to be doing anything for me. While I can't go over specifics, I am positive there's something I didn't see.

In theory, if at the end of the exam they said, "well, here's why you screwed up," I'm positive it would be a simple solution that I just never saw or overlooked. I just need to practice up a bit.

A friend helped me get a general sense of strengths and weaknesses, and put together this:

What Went Well


  • BOF - Easily got this one.
  • Stuck it through (stuck to it until they cut my vpn)
  • Running autorecon in the background (while doing other manual tasks)



  • Use a timer (This will help me know when to move on if I'm not making progress)
  • Checklist (enum-type checklist, services, etc.)
  • Pastables / tool switches (pastable commands that will make it less likely that I have to fumble with syntax and args)