CompTIA Security+ Certification

Department of Defence Directive 8570.01-M IAM Certification Level 1. Not the average requirement for a project, however a quick check showed that CompTIA Security+ CE meets this standard, so the question was – spend big bucks and do an intensive course, with the guarantee of a pass, or, because this is what I do day in day out, pay $339 and just sit the exam.

It turns out there is a middle ground, watch Professor Messer’s CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Training Course, which is free and read the CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: Exam SY0-501, which is £22.44.

A quick review of the Professor Messer video’s – they are informative and when combined with his monthly study groups, all the objectives are covered. His recommendation for the exam to skip the performance-based questions at the start and come back to them at the end was valuable advice, its nice to get the feeling of success as you knock off the multi-choice before having to really think about the performance-based simulation questions. On the flip side I did find him a bit mono-tone and as I was watching them in the evening I did zone out on more than one occasion, which reminded me of 20 years ago having to read Concurrent Systems: Operating Systems, Database and Distributed Systems – An Integrated Approach by Jean Bacon as part of my BSc studies when I read the same opening paragraph of a chapter about a dozen times because I just kept dropping off.

The CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: Exam SY0-501 however was a disappointment, I genuinely feel in some places they felt compelled to add irrelevant information to add weight to the book, and there were many errors that made me think the proof reading was done in haste. The online Test Bank for the study guide was pretty much a carbon copy of the questions at the end of each chapter, and the Flash Cards were somewhat disconnected from the book content.

It was noticeable that whilst both resources I used had ‘exam prep questions’ there were very few technical ones, and the exam itself was comprised of a large percentage of technical questions.

The end result – 13’ish hours of video, 4’ish hours of reading and 90 minutes of exam to secure the CompTIA Security+ Certified status.