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  1. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    169

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    CISSP, CISM, CCSP, CCSK, CASP, CEH, SEC+, NET+, A+, AWS CSAA, AWS CDA
    #1

    Default Passed Security+ SY0-401

    Passed on Saturday with an 832.

    Background

    20 years experience in the IT industry performing a wide variety of roles - system admin, consulting, developer, management. The last certification I held was for NT 4.0. I realized that I wasn't content with what I was doing and decided I wanted to get back to doing interesting things again. My goal is to move into a more security focused direction - application and network security, PEN testing, etc... I figured this cert would be a good place to start - both from a getting my head into studying and the objectives are similar in scope to what I have done in the past. I have a bit of journey ahead, changing directions, and want to wade into the waters at the shoreline rather than attempt to dive into the middle of the sea.

    Study Material
    Darril Gibson's CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide
    Darril Gibson's Get Certified Get Ahead Website - Practice Tests
    CompTIA CertMaster
    CompTIA Security+ Certification Practice Exams, Second Edition

    Preparation
    Darril's book showed up in most every list I saw looking for study material recommendations, so I went with it. Took about a month and a half to prepare. I work long hours and have to budget my time accordingly. I read through the book and did the end of chapter tests. Once I got through the book I went back and created a condensed study guide with the key concepts listed, periodically reread it (ended up being about 15 pages). I went through the practice questions and performance-based questions several times.

    I tried using the CompTIA Security+ Certification Practice Exams, Second Edition exams but I found them poorly worded and some of the text was incorrect which led to some issues selecting the correct answer on a some of questions.

    The test
    The test had 66 questions and 7 simulations. 6 of the sims were pretty simple so I did them first and flagged the one I hadn't seen before. To put it politely, the questions were unclear at times. A few of the questions were very close to the practice questions, the rest took a few rereads to figure out what they were asking.

    Thoughts and recommendations

    Darril Gibson's book and website -
    The book is a good read, as tech books go. You should be able to pass with the book and practice tests on the website, which is very reasonably priced, as your only source of material. A few of the multiple choice were pretty close to the practice test questions. The performance-based questions are dead-on. By test time, I'd typically average 95-97% on the multiple choice tests and 95-100% on the simulations. Don't get caught up in learning the answers and whizzing through the test. Understand why a correct answer is correct.

    CompTIA CertMaster - It came as part of the bundle I purchased, it is way more in-depth than the actual test. It's actually not bad, in my opinion. But I also don't think it should be depended on for taking the exam.

    CompTIA Security+ Certification Practice Exams, Second Edition - As soon as I got the first multiple choice question, I thought of this practice test CD. The practice questions on the CD are as difficult to read as the actual exam. In hindsight, this would have probably been a good option to get me used to the way the questions would be worded / presented in the actual exam. I don't feel like it would appropriate for actually learning the material though.

    Finally, the main thing I would recommend is to know the material as well as possible. When answering a question, be able to recite to yourself why an answer isn't correct or why an answer is correct. Carefully read the questions. You can get tripped up if you try to go too fast.
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  3. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    306

    Certifications
    MS in Security Information, Sec+,A+, Server+, Network+, Certified Network Defense Profesional (CNDP), Certified Cybercrime Forensic Investigator
    #2
    Thanks for sharing your advices!
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  4. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    402

    Certifications
    CCNET, CCNA R&S, ITIL, MCP, Security+
    #3
    Congrats!
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  5. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Gielinor
    Posts
    444

    Certifications
    CompTIA A+ Net+ | Sec+ | MCTS: Win 7 MCP | MTA NF | MTA OSF
    #4
    2018 Goals: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697) MCSA: Windows Server 2016 (70-740, 70-741, 70-742), RHCSA

    "There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't." - Anon
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  6. Senior Member DAVIS NGUYEN's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    1,444

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    CASP, SEC+, NET+, A+, NST, CST, ACE...
    #5
    Congrats!
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  7. Senior Member ed_003's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Location
    Florida\NYC
    Posts
    216

    Certifications
    A+, Net+, Mac Integration Basics
    #6
    Thx for the info.. congrats !
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  8. Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    19

    Certifications
    A+, Net +, Project +, Sec +
    #7
    Gongrats!
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  9. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    177
    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DR650SE View Post
    ^ Dumps are absolutely stupid. Every dump I've ever seen was worthless with half the answers correct. Your "experts" don't know flip. Take that trash suggestion somewhere else.

    Dumps are the absolute WORST way to "prepare." They teach you nothing.

    An employer worth his salt will probe your actual knowledge of the subject in an interview.
    How can you talk about someone who has viewed them when you admitted to viewing them? So, if half the answers were correct you had a guaranteed 50% more of a chance of passing than the person who never viewed them. You and him/her are in the same boat.
    I am confused.
    Last edited by GirlyGirl; 01-26-2018 at 12:37 PM.
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