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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #1

    Angry Waste of time and money

    So I caught a deal on the CompTIA website and got the online training, voucher, and the free retake voucher for half price. This test is a requirement for my job, but I'm a poor college student as well. So coming up with the $350 was very difficult! I spent hours and hours on end going through the several hours worth of material on the training program until I got it down.

    Just took the exam today, and there were many questions on there that were worded badly or were misleading. Plus, there were questions on the exam asking about things I never even heard of! Got the test results back..

    642, need a 750 to pass.

    Now, I'm a really good computer engineering student, at least my gpa says so, and I spent days worth of time on this, and I failed it.

    I have never seen such a HUGE waste of time and money! The test was absolutely terrible. The study materials had much to be desired. Don't waste your resources on this. They really need to refund my money for this. I'm absolutely fuming here! F this stupid pile of crap test. CompTIA can shove it all way up theirs. F them, I hope they and all of their money-grubbing elitist partners lose everything and go under. A stupid badly-designed test is no substitute to a degree. No wonder we receive hacking threats from bad security.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Somebody is making money. They can call themselves non-profits. I would love to see who is on their Boards of Directors and what their salaries are. I took and passed Security+. It was supposed to be lifetime. Somehow for DOD that changed. Every question regarding logs and the like were for Windows operating systems. I work Unix and Linux. Same thing with Linux. I passed Linux+, but there were a number of questions on it regarding Debian, which I have never had to support, but again it met a DOD requirement.
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  4. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #3
    Bummer, sorry to hear that.
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  5. Senior Member Vask3n's Avatar
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    #4
    In this thread: Guy finds out college education isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    By the way, if Comptia are elitist money-grabbers what does that make the people who you fork over your tuition to?
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  6. Senior Member ssnyderu2's Avatar
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    #5
    Everyone is a money-grabber! Some are just much better at it than others.
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  7. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bigdavesolns View Post
    I spent days worth of time on this, and I failed it.
    I'm going to just say that a few days is typically not enough for this exam unless you already have a strong background in security.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    You know, I failed the first cert test I ever took way back in 1995. It was for the Apple Certified Server Engineer (ACSE) program, which lasted about six months (seriously) so it would have been a waste of money anyway. I was a full time Apple guy at the time, I didn't really study and I figured I'd pass it. I was swearing up and down like you and ticked off about the whole thing. Well, a few years later I have two CCIEs (very hard) and a JNCIE (very hard also), I have been a question writer for exams, and I know a lot more about the certification racket. They are generally worth the trouble but are often poorly worded and not always relevant to the real world. I'm sure you are a good student and you just got it handed to you on a cert exam. Well, as someone said, spend more than a few days on it if you really want to do it, or if you think Security+ is no good, work on something else. But those of us who have had some success in this area have often had to take exams more than once, or even twice.
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  9. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #8
    Yep! I've failed two Microsoft exams. It happens to people a lot. It's not fun, but at least you know it's not personal.
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  10. Senior Member H3||scr3am's Avatar
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    #9
    Well if you already bought the package with a retake voucher, why not look at your test results which should highlight the sections you were weak/missed questions in, and then add some other materials to your study materials and try again?

    I suggest:
    Professor Messer's free security+ videos

    and the Darill Gibson Security+ book.
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  11. Member cs8400's Avatar
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    #10
    REMOVED UNNECESSARY QUOTED REPLY FROM PREVIOUS POST

    Great advice right here.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 02-20-2015 at 12:16 AM.
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  12. Senior Member Node Man's Avatar
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    #11
    I dont know about everybody else, but I am batting 500 on exams. It sucks, but I sure do love passing them.
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  13. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #12
    You're going to need to spend more than a few hours or a few days on most IT certifications. A few weeks in most cases, sometimes months, is a more realistic time frame for most people if they study a few hours a day. From the sounds of it, you either didn't read the online training material you bought closely enough, or you need to get more resources. It's not uncommon for people to use several books, a book and videos, or some other combination of study materials - as well as some hands-on practice with the concepts whenever possible - in order to prepare.

    The best way is to think of an IT cert test as a final exam, not a pop quiz. In fact, most classes you'd take for CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, or any other certification paths are going to consider the real exam either a final, or even something you'll have to study independently for after you pass the course. My first information systems teacher fully admitted he couldn't cover everything needed for Network+ in the 8-week course I took with him, so he recommended getting a second book and doing more reading before attempting the test.

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  14. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #13
    So you fail an entry level test and the world sucks?
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  15. ProEthicalHacker.com fuz1on's Avatar
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    #14
    Sorry to hear about your results but Security+ is a tough test that incorporates A LOT of stuff which only really becomes more intuitive as you gain more practical real world experience. Think of it this way - you scored 642 by studying for only days which isn't bad; what if you spent a couple more weeks studying? I bet you'd get your score to at least 750! Also, @slowhand's advice is a great way to approach each exam - that's how I go into each test. Plus, Security+ is actually worth 2 semester hrs for college (lower-division IT/CS course equivalent).
    Last edited by fuz1on; 02-06-2015 at 02:41 AM.
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    I have never seen such a HUGE waste of time and money! The test was absolutely terrible. The study materials had much to be desired. Don't waste your resources on this. They really need to refund my money for this. I'm absolutely fuming here! F this stupid pile of crap test. CompTIA can shove it all way up theirs. F them, I hope they and all of their money-grubbing elitist partners lose everything and go under. A stupid badly-designed test is no substitute to a degree. No wonder we receive hacking threats from bad security
    While i'm no computer engineering major....... I too am studying for the Security+ test. I've devoted 2 weeks as of now, and will give it another 2 to go over practice exams and whatnot. Giving this thing a month (if you have no REAL InfoSec experience) seems to be realistic. As others have mentioned Darril Gibson's Book (along with his website flashcards and practice tests) and maybe a video series like professor Messer or CBT nuggets (my favorite) seems to be one of the most popular methods in preparing for the Security+ exam (at least for those attempting the exam who are light on experience)

    Best of luck,

    -Travis
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  17. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #16
    @=bigdavesolns

    I know you're upset, and that's fine. We've all failed an exam in College or otherwise. I get REALLY pissed if I barely pass. Why do you say that Security+ is equivalent to a College Degree? Lose that train of thought, and go find a good primary and secondary textbook (the two suggested previously are good ones). Give yourself a month to cover the material, and use your free retake. I took mine back in 07 with moderate experience in IT and I passed after 2 months solid studying. Its very ambitious to think that you could pass this any sooner than that with little to no experience in the field.

    BTW, I think a few of you need to research what an NPO actually is, and what the differences are between them and for-profit organizations.

    I wish you the best of luck.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 02-20-2015 at 12:17 AM.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    we all have failed a cert at one point or another. The line that draws you as a failure or a bad ass is whether you choose to stop or continue and pass.

    So are you a failure or a bad ass?

    and honestly, i have more respect for certifications then degrees, and so do my supervisors and engineers that i know spent 30+ years in the field. Of course experience is first.

    oh and the test is written to make it hard, its may be "poorly worded" but wait until you boss comes up to you one day demanding you get something done right away and "poorly words" himself. Happens almost daily.

    Get back on the horse, and keep moving forward. When you go for a interview how many people do you think have degrees? Answer, is just about everyone.
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  19. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #18

    Thumbs up Now appreciative.

    I thank you all for your encouraging thoughts and experiences. Honestly I posted this right after I got home from the exam, so I was in the heat of anger. Which of course looking back probably wasn't the best course, but hey I got my feelings across, and I feel better about it after hearing about some of your experiences and advice. I needed it. At home here and among my friends, I'm the only one in a computer-related field, so I can't get too much support there. My friends at school aren't very experienced, of course either.

    I am by no means giving up. I do have the retake, and I'll take advantage of it. You know when you do a Google search on cert forums, the only results that are given are about people passing left and right, and then there's the CertMaster website that's so confident in their offering that you'll pass. So, how is one supposed to think if they fail the test?

    So, my hope is that if someone who is just trying to start out in the industry and feels the same as I, that they'll see this post and see they're not alone. There's nothing worse than feeling like a dumbass when you're not.

    And to those who think degrees don't mean anything.. How else can someone break into the field, especially if they aren't fortunate enough to have an uncle in the industry? And then there's the networking opportunities you have in college, all across the board. Then there are 30+ year brilliant computer industry veterans who teach material to students, some of whom have accomplished way more than most. And THEN there's the filtering out of areas of computer science/engineering and IT, and figuring out what exactly it is that you want to do, and connecting up with opportunities in those specializations. Oh and then there are the Career services section of the college, which prepare you to look your best, get the job, and connect you to hiring companies. Then there's the research part of college. How were computers improved on? Operating systems improvement, imaging, lasers, AI, neural nets, quantum computing, and yes, even security. Industry would not do near so well without the support and development of colleges and universities.

    Sorry about that rant, but, you know. Thank you for the support so far from most of you. Looks like I have a book or two to buy and read. I'll update when I get this thing licked!
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  20. Senior Member H3||scr3am's Avatar
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    #19
    That is one of the biggest things about this forum, it's a great place for like minded individuals and it's a great support network of people who have been where you are now, and where you will be a year from now. Let us know how the second attempt goes
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  21. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #20
    Good luck on the retake!
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    I agree the CompTIA racket is out of control. They market well and develop relationships with government and public sector better than anyone. They don't even have a product to support, just a service.

    Sorry you had to take that test and I am also sorry to hear you failed it and lost out on 350 dollars.

    Any plans to take it again? If not maybe look for a position that doesn't require that certification.
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  23. Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    #22
    OP - hopefully you can look back on this post and learn from it Spend more time on prep work for any exam if you are set on it , and sometimes you can still fail, look at the passing rates for some of the IT certifications like CCIE. It can take HUNDREDS of hours and LAB work.
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  24. Senior Member
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by bigdavesolns View Post

    And to those who think dgrees don't mean anything.. How else can someone break into the field, especially if they aren't fortunate enough to have an uncle in the industry? !
    First off best of luck to you on your next retake test. You will do well.

    Never had a friend or uncle or anyone in the industry, not even a friend. I got the A+ cert and worked my way in to low level tech positions and worked my way up. I was working with guys that just got their Associates spent 2+ years of school and thousands to be in the same position and same pay as me that spent less than a year and $300 to get the cert. But its different everywhere you go, i live in an area rich in tech jobs.
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  25. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #24
    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.

    In other news, I won't be able to stay with the company for very long anyways, because I've been accepted to grad school... FOR FREE, plus a stipend to match what I'm making here at the company! The thing that sucks is I already bought the exam and retake, so I might as well get as much good out of it as I can. So, it might not be until the summer when I retake the exam. But, more time to study, and I get an extra feather in my hat for my resume - assuming I pass, of course.

    It has been a learning experience, at least. I started from almost zero security background to about 100 points shy of a passing score.

    Slowhand said
    The best way is to think of an IT cert test as a final exam, not a pop quiz. In fact, most classes you'd take for CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, or any other certification paths are going to consider the real exam either a final, or even something you'll have to study independently for after you pass the course.
    I think one of my mistakes was I probably treated the exam as a quiz rather than a final. It's a little deceiving with all the multitudes of cert exams available.. I guess the proper view of it would be as a course selection, not as a quiz in one computer course. I did have a course that surveyed many topics, one of them was security and how it related to OS's.

    I'm going to look into @H3||scr3am's suggested materials. I saw some companies selling their learning products for $400-1000, which I thought was a bit ridiculous, especially since my new purpose for this cert is now just resume food.
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  26. Member krucial85's Avatar
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    #25
    I'm sorry to hear that you failed the exam. I'm currently in the Army and before I joined full time I was in information security from 1998 to 2001. I was new to information security back then and didn't know about any certifications. Last year I took the Security+ exam and passed it. I did everything that was recommended to pass because I'm cheap and didn't want to fail. I've since passed the SSCP exam and will take the CISSP next week. I study daily utilizing every resource available to me. These test ARE worded tricky and you really have to pay attention to the questions to do well on the exams but I feel if I can do it then it can be done. I hope you do better on your retest.

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