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  1. Senior Member
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    #26

    Default I just took Sec+

    I took Sec+ today and passed. I had taken it years ago when it was first developed, but in planning to do CASP I figured I needed the review.

    And I certainly did need the review....I've got years in IT doing system and server administration, not necessarily security focused but a "jack of all trades" to be exposed to a lot of the subject matter. Still, I studied two books, and took tons of practice exams, including the CompTIA Certmaster.

    This exam, and in my experience in the last couple years on other CompTIA exams, is not to be taken lightly and studied for in a few days by most people. The fact you got in the 650s on your score is commendable because the exam is certainly challenging. I found most of the questions pretty reasonable, and the subject matter was much like that which I found in my own studies. There were a couple minor surprises, but out of 70 questions, there's a good chance there will always be something you didn't expect.

    I think many of the CompTIA exams are a bit pricey, especially given the CE and/or renewal requirements and costs. However, I always learn something new -- or relearn something I'd forgotten.
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  3. ProEthicalHacker.com fuz1on's Avatar
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePawofRizzo View Post
    I took Sec+ today and passed.
    Congrats!!!
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  4. Member
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    #28
    I'm just a computer networking student, just passed my first MTA, but getting bent out of shape over a test you think is below you, that you failed, is quite childish.

    Study what you did bad at, and move on. Security+ is a HUGE deal for any kind of real jobs in the security sector, or even just general occupation jobs for IT. In Washington, in my area, good luck finding a job that doesn't require Linux+/LPIC-1, A+, CCNA, and Server+ certifications. On top of wanting schooling in Python, Javascript, C++, and HTML/CSS.

    Seriously, they don't exist where I live. If you're having an issue with the test, study more and get more materials on the subject.
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  5. EC Council #1 fan colemic's Avatar
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    #29
    @=bigdavesolns

    If you worked for me, and I gave you 6 months to pass Sec+, and you didn't bother to even attempt the exam until after that deadline... you wouldn't be working for me.

    While challenging to someone without real-world experience, it also is not rocket science. LOADS of people on this forum have passed, by putting in the effort. It's not a crap cert just because you didn't pass the first time. My dad used to tell me, 'Study long, study hard, and most importantly, study the right things.' Keep plugging away at it, and you will do much better the 2nd time around.

    The good news is, you're kind of seeing the disconnect between the education/computer science industry, and the actual IT industry, and why experience is king, regardless of education (with very few exceptions.) Your GPA is not an indicator of your IT knowledge, just your comp sci theory knowledge, which isn't really useful most of the time in the real world for fixing immediate problems. You'll find that as you progress in your career, your certs and work experience are a better reflection of your knowledge than your GPA.

    Just my .02
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 02-19-2015 at 11:14 PM. Reason: incorrectly quoted
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  6. Network Engineer Hondabuff's Avatar
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    #30
    The Gibson book is the way to go. I passed it 5 years ago and I happen to open the book recently and start flipping through and was amazed at the material that I once thought was dry and uninformative is now really interesting and I can now relate to it. If I remember I had classes at New Horizons for a week and then 3 weeks of 8hrs a day to cram. Sat the test and halfway through I thought there was no way I was passing. I passed in the low 900's and was pissed when I passed it. Myself and a buddy took it at the same time and both passed and both agreed that the exam experience sucked but the knowledge we gained from the book was excellent.
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  7. Junior Member
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    #31
    I'm amazed that you thought that you only needed a matter of days to study. Thought weeks would have been more appropriate if you were gambling with your own money. Maybe you should have bought another book and made sure you went through the test questions on the CD time and time again.

    Of course CompTIA are there to make money. Hardly going to be running a non-profit making organisation.
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  8. EC Council #1 fan colemic's Avatar
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    #32
    REMOVED UNNECESSARY QUOTED REPLY FROM PREVIOUS POST
    But they ARE a non-profit trade organization.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 02-19-2015 at 11:15 PM. Reason: clean up quote
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  9. Senior Member
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    #33
    To OP,

    I took the Sec+ and passed. From the exam that I had some time ago, I can actually say that they are trying to trip you up. Work on your weak domains so when you take the exam, you will be better prepared.
    I used the Gibson book and the Security+ Study guide. If you just use one resource for the exam, you may find it difficult to pass.

    Good Luck!!!
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  10. Member
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    #34
    I'm using different study questions to study for the security+, and to me, what's hard is some of the answers are so similar to each other; in some cases it seems there's got to be more than 1 correct answer to choose from.
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  11. R's child has far to go thatguy67's Avatar
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    #35
    Ouch, I feel your pain, especially because it's your first cert exam. I failed my first exam, but it was a Microsoft so I was out $150. But $350, damn that does leave a bad impression. I think your first cert exam is a lesson in itself, whether you pass or fail so at least you got something out of it. The cost is one reason I study so hard, simply because I can't afford to fail.

    But when you pass your first exam (and that is a "When", not an "if", provided you keep trying) you will find some satisfaction. The second exam I failed was the CCNA and I wanted to die afterwards, but I thought to myself "Well at least I got the experience, and I was only out 120-odd bucks (I had a voucher)". The prices force you to take it seriously. I guarantee you are a little wiser now, so look at it that way.
    2017 Goals: []PCNSE7 []CCNP:Security []CCNP:R&S []LCDE []WCNA
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  12. Senior Member
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    #36
    I didn't see any questions where CompTIA was trying to trip anyone up when I took the exam last week. I found the questions straightforward, some difficult some easy, but not really any scenario where I thought the exam writers were trying to confound and confuse the test taker with half-truths and unclear questions. The questions I ran into in which I "tripped up" was simply material that I was not clear enough on before taking the exam.
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  13. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #37
    CompTIA exams are probably the most straightforward certification tests you can take.
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  14. Member
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    #38
    @=colemic

    I'll remember this.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 02-19-2015 at 11:18 PM.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by bigdavesolns View Post
    I will take advantage of the retake, but it will be on my terms, and not the company's. According to company policy, one has 6 months to obtain their Security+ cert from their hire date. Well that 6 months ended just before I took the test the first time. Since it's already overdue, and I doubt they will fire just because I don't have the cert yet, I will take my time before I retake the test. I have loads of schoolwork and work-work, so it could be a while. But oh well.
    You are very lucky. I work as a defense contractor, and am a site lead. I've had to fire a person for not obtaining the Security+ within six months.
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  16. Senior Member MTciscoguy's Avatar
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    #40
    I had to relieve many people over the years because they didn't get the required certifications in the allotted time specified for the position. When you are told, you are required to have it done in a certain amount of time, it is best to start working on it the day you find out it is a requirement, not at the end of the time period. This gives you the maximum amount of time to study and get it done before the chance of being relieved of your position.
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  17. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #41

    Default Just took test 8/27/16, and failed....

    Just a warning to whomever is planning on taking the Security+ test, WATCH OUT FOR THE PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS !

    I am a B.S., MSCE, Novell CNE, have 30 years experience as a computer consultant, built hundreds of machines, and have years of hands on networking experience with just about everything you can imagine, and recently, I decided to try to get a job at a company in IT Security and after several extensive interviews, was told that I needed to get my SEC+. So I downloaded everything I could find, purchased a couple of books, and have studied for the past 3 months at least 3 full days every week religiously, and got a real eye opener yesterday.

    The first three questions of the 2016 exam are performance based, and I had NO IDEA what to make of them, as there was a screen that was in the center that I could not get rid of without closing out of the question ! It was complicated and confusing, and I could not for the life of me figure out what to do. I tried way too long, and wound up barely with enough time to finish the test. I had no time to go back and review/fix.

    All of the study material I have was from 2014 and earlier, and they have RE-WRITTEN the exam several times over. The practice questions on the Internet are far too simple. This test had long winded questions, elaborate detail, and many I had to read over several times. I found the entire experience very demoralizing. I had gone through two different lecture series on the Internet (Cybrary.it (John Oyeleke) & Lynda (Mike Chappel), as well as ExamCompass.com's practice tests. All of this info is OLD and out of date. I downloaded the flash-cards & practice-test from Wiley Publishing the publishers of the primary book I studied "CompTIA Security+ Study Guide SY0-401, 6th Edition" on August 12th, 2016, and all the files were dated from February-April 2014. I didn't think anything of this, until I failed the test with a score of 722 (80%) even though I was scoring between 96-100% on every test I could find.

    You cannot go with any of these books, there all OLD, I looked at Amazon today, and most are 2014, a couple 2015, and the 2016's are still not out yet. The only thing you can truly depend on is to pay the ransom and get the CompTIA or Pearson ONLINE materials, especially the tests.

    On top of everything else, the examiner could not print out my report indicating what my score or detail, because his USB inkjet printer wouldn't work. Some technical organization huh ?

    This whole experience has left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

    John525
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  18. Senior Member
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    #42
    @John525

    I remember those first few questions being pretty rough. I spent a little time on them before I decided to just answer them, go through the rest of the test, and then return to them if I had enough time. It wasn't until I came back to them that I was able to grasp the questions and realize which answers were right. I pretty much just used the Pearson book/e-book and the practice tests that came with them.

    @OP

    Certifcation exams can be a bit harder than college especially when you don't have a grad student doing a review for you telling you what you should study or have the professor saying things like "you should know this" or "this is important", although there are bootcamps out there where the instructors probably do that.

    As far as universities contributing to the industry goes, all I can say is it must be nice for universities to charge exorbitant tuition fees and for professors to get access to cheap labor through grad students, get paid to do research and then start a company and profit from said research.
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  19. Senior Member stryder144's Avatar
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    #43
    Darril Gibson recommends skipping the performance-based questions until after you've answered the multiple-choice ones. That is sound advice. If you don't, you might find yourself agitated and too worked up to properly concentrate on the multiple-choice questions. If you have time after answering the multiple-choice questions, you go back and answer the performance-based ones. Just remember to flag them first so you don't forget.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  20. Senior Member BerkshireHerd's Avatar
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    #44
    That is exactly what I did last Thursday, marked all 6 performance questions for reviews and skipped them until the end.
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  21. Junior Member
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    #45
    I failed 24 Aug 2016 with a 690 and totally agree with John525. One or two of the performance based questions threw me for a loop simple because the instructions & GUI were terrible. Those PBQ's took a good chunk of time and I highly recommend flagging and coming back. eriously hoping I can find some GOOD performance based examples through Professor Messer or Gibson because i won't re-take the test until I do.

    I blame myself because I used Gibson's book and did not use any videos or online tools such as Gibson's premium content.

    So you're thinking ok no problem...let's press on to multiple choice. This was absolutely the case:
    "The practice questions on the Internet are far too simple. This test had long winded questions, elaborate detail, and many I had to read over several times. "

    I immediately came home and looked over the practice questions in Gibson's book. These questions were far too easy compared to the actual test. No flash card set will prepare you for those scenario questions.

    Please feel free send me an email if you have suggestions for up-to-date study material. Not all of us are IT experts because a lot of times "if it isn't broke, don't touch it". This has been my experience in the Air National Guard and my last job in Afghanistan. Therefore, much of what we need to learn has to come from books/videos too keep our DoD jobs.
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  22. Senior Member joelsfood's Avatar
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    #46
    I have no suggestions for up to date material (I used the Lynda videos and experience myself), but I think if you guys look at the actual exam objectives, rather than the training material (most of which is NOT from Comptia), you'll see that the test lined up to the objectives given. It was not an easy test to pass, but it is definitely doable. Make sure you know ALL of the acronyms on the exam objectives, and then research each of the topics on there. If the study materials you use aren't up to snuff, that's not Comptia's fault, that's the writers of that material.
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  23. Censorship is Un-American JockVSJock's Avatar
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    #47
    Everyone's experience with this exam is going to be different based on what they studied and their work experience background.

    The only book to use for this is the Darill Gibson's book. Make sure that you are using the latest and greatest book for it.

    I've worked with folks who have years of experience with Routing/Switching/Voice/Oracle Databases and they struggled thru the material and barely squeaked by.

    The 1st time I took the exam back in 2010, I got the book studied for a few weeks and passed. All questions were multiple guess.

    The 2nd time when I was forced to re-take the exam, I got the book and reviewed for around 60 days and then went and passed again. There were more simulations and scenarios then multiple guess questions.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

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  24. Senior Member
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    #48
    I am studying the Sec+ now. 20+ yrs exp mainly in Support, can do anything with a computer. I thought the A+ was freaking hard ! but passed with out any problems. I did not think it was a entry level test
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  25. Senior Member
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    #49
    This is a funny post and I had a good laugh. but I can say I honestly know how you feel but not to the extent you do. I failed my first attempt a few months ago and was bothered. I took A+ and Net+ two weeks apart and passed without issue. Figured this one wouldn't be much different, as previously noted by brownwrap this is a DOD requirement which I am currently getting by on a waiver but have been studying on and off since I received my 731 out of 900. Yup, came up just a tad bit short. I was bothered because as I was taking the test I felt like you that there were things I had not seen or studied before, and yes I was a little heated too. But unlike you I will be taking it again and I will be giving it a little more effort this time and come out passing (or so I hope). Don't get down on yourself, hit the books and get back after it!
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  26. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #50
    just read the book again and hit it back.
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