OSCP: A review of the course and exam

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Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I passed the OSCP exam with 100 points 

In just a few words, I would like to share my experience with you


Aside from my computer science degree, I also have a number of cyber security certifications, including ECPPT, ECXD, EWPTX, and EJPT. I also completed the Dante Labs by hack the box.

As I was preparing for OSCP, I started doing a lot of CTFs from try to hack me HackTheBox and proving ground.

PWK Course

I bought the one-year subscriptions with the two retry voucher so I decided to take my time and go throw the Course with calm, in addition, I also decided to do all the exercises and get the extra 10 points.

I bought a one-year subscription with the two retry vouchers, so I decided to take my time and go through the course with calm, as well as complete all the exercises to earn the extra 10 points.

On the assigned start date, you will have access to all your course materials, including the PWK videos, and the PWK PDF course. Please note, however, that you cannot stop or start your lab after it has begun – it will be a continuous block of time. 

This course is full of valuable information, however, it doesn’t give you all the info you need to pass the exam, but it does teach you how to study, where to get the information, and how to exploit machines you’ve never used before.

The most important thing you’ll learn is the try harder methodology.

Check out the official website for the complete syllabus of the course.

The Labs

Some of the lab machines are easy, while others are so hard that you might find yourself banging your head against it for hours on end. However, you can access the dedicated forum or to the official discord server to discuss the machine.

Make sure you spend as much time as possible in the lab, especially working on the exercise about active directory

Extra Proving Ground 

After I spent a lot of time in the labs, I decided to subscribe to proving ground (I also completed some paths on THM and hack the box), but in my opinion, the more useful machines are those from proving ground. Initially, I chose the machine suggested in the tjnull list, then I randomly picked some random machines until the day before my test. 

The exam

On the first of June, my exam started at 8 o clock in the morning, so I decided to get up around 7 o clock. After taking a quick shower and eating breakfast, I connected to the proctored instructor and began the test. 

In my case, the exam started badly because I had an issue with my Kali machine and I spent a good hour with the customer service of offensive security trying to resolve it, but nothing worked so I decided to keep going and I downloaded the VM again. Finally, I was able to connect to my exam environment.

I began by enumerating all machines simultaneously. After that, I was able to get a low shell into the first AD machine pretty easily, and after 20 minutes I had a privileged shell on that machine as well. 

I was stuck on the lateral movement for about 40 minutes, so I decided to take a 15-minute break. Then I did try to hack a stand-alone machine and I was able to get a low shell and a root shell in around 30 minutes. So I was very happy and I decided to return to the AD machine, and after some lookup and a bit of “google fu”, I found the path and I moved laterally until I became a domain admin on the domain controller.  At this point I decided to take a longer break and go for a walk, As soon as I returned from the break it was already evening, so I decided to spend a little time with the stand-alone machine. Once I got a shell, my adrenaline went down and I felt much less stressed because I knew I already had enough points so I decided to have dinner, watch a movie, and take a nap. 

I woke up around 4 o clock and went to the other machine to get some extra points and eventually I earned 20 additional points by 6 o clock in the morning. 

I then spent another hour looking through notes and screenshots to ensure I have all the information I need for the report and I double-checked to make sure I sent all the flags in.

Following the exam, I had another 24 hours to finish writing the report, so before I got started I decided to grab breakfast and jog a little bit.

After taking a shower, I spent the rest of the day writing the report. I received the following email 24 hours later:

I thought I had been even more delighted than on my graduation day.