Security+ SY-401 Exam Pass and Review of Exam

ChickenNuggetzChickenNuggetz Posts: 284Member
Just got out of the exam with a pass, 841/900! Here's what I used to study:
  • Darril Gibson's book (specifically for SY-401)
  • Darril's practice tests from his website
  • Darril's flashcard sets from his website
Overall, I thought his book prepared me well for the exam. The practice tests were a great resource, it even covers the performance based questions (there were quite a few on my test). The flash cards were pretty good although I don't think I'd purchase them again; I didn't really find myself using them a whole lot.


Review of the Exam:
Probably one of the worst exams I've taken. Questions were poorly worded and there quite a few grammatical mistakes and some technical ones. The technical mistakes didn't deter me from answering the question, it was more like a "Oh come on now, people are paying for this, you might as well do this right!" kind of mental reaction.

Questions are intentionally tricky. Best advice is to read the questions AND the answers very, very, CAREFULLY. As others have said, with some of the questions, I didn't really know what they were asking for until I read all the answers. There were many questions I had to read a couple of times to make sure they weren't trying to "trick" me.

All in all I'm happy to be done with this. Assuming my employer doesn't make me take any more of these, this will most likely be the last CompTIA exam I ever take!

Feel free to ask any questions, I'll be happy to help out!
:study: Currently Reading: Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator and Engineer by Ashgar Ghori

Certifications: CCENT; CCNA: R&S; Security+

Next up: RHCSA

Comments

  • H3||scr3amH3||scr3am Posts: 563Member
    Congratulations on passing your Security+ exam!
    WGU B.S. IT - Security Progress Start Date: Mar 1 2015 Transferred|Required|In Progress|Completed
    C176 C220 C221 C393 C394 C172 C178 C164 C457 C455 C456 C480 (42 CUs Xfered)
    C247 C299 (12 CUs Required to Graduate)
    C247
    C299 (12 CU In Progress)
    C182 ORA1 C459 C132 C168 C376 C483 C255 C278 C173 C169 C175 C484 C170 C179 C451 C100 C246
    C435 C436(68 CU Completed)
  • balcobullsbalcobulls Posts: 25Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the outstanding score! Not only am I writing you to congratulate you I am also writing you to increase my score by osmosis! Testing for it soon.
  • Rock.SteadyRock.Steady Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm taking the exam next Saturday. I went through the Gibson book, did most of the Professor Messer videos and now I'm starting Gibson's practice tests. So far seem to be getting above 90% on the practice tests but I need to work on the performance questions. Is that normally enough for a passing grade on the cert test?

    Also could you give an example (not from the test of course) about how the questions are worded so I could get a decent idea going into it? Are they using double negatives in the questions for example?
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropePosts: 1,008Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats!
    من طلب عزائم الأمور ، هان عليه بذل النفس فيها - محمد إبن ابي عامر
    www.keyboardbanger.com
  • ChickenNuggetzChickenNuggetz Posts: 284Member
    I'm taking the exam next Saturday. I went through the Gibson book, did most of the Professor Messer videos and now I'm starting Gibson's practice tests. So far seem to be getting above 90% on the practice tests but I need to work on the performance questions. Is that normally enough for a passing grade on the cert test?

    Also could you give an example (not from the test of course) about how the questions are worded so I could get a decent idea going into it? Are they using double negatives in the questions for example?

    Gibson's practice tests are pretty good indicator for how some questions can be "tricky." Best advice I can give is to read each question carefully, probably a couple of times, then read through each answer as well before making a final decision.

    The biggest difference between Gibson's practice test questions and the actual exams was that there were no simple, straightforward questions like "What does XYZ mean?" or "What's the port number for XYZ protocol?" Gibson's practice exams, although they were few and far between, were peppered with easy questions like this. As far as I can remember, all exam questions forced you to apply concepts like "the port number for XYZ protocol" to a scenario.

    Things would get tricky when the question was leading you in one direction but asking you something very different in the end. Again, this goes back to read the questions and answers carefully! This is also why I felt the exam was lacking in properly testing knowledge as it felt like it was more so testing my ability to comprehend what I was reading instead of synthesizing my topical knowledge against a life-like situation.
    :study: Currently Reading: Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator and Engineer by Ashgar Ghori

    Certifications: CCENT; CCNA: R&S; Security+

    Next up: RHCSA
  • Rock.SteadyRock.Steady Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Right on, thanks for answering. Sometimes I tend to read questions too quickly during exams so I'll have to be sure to slow myself down for the actual Security+ test. Most of my incorrect answers were not out of lack of knowledge but by my habit to skim quickly over text and try to knock out the answers as quickly as possible. Knowing that I need to really take my time and be patient will surely help.

    I assume some of the port questions were something along the lines of "You are noticing a large amount of traffic along the network focused on UDP port 88. You want to find the source of the problem without causing significant downtime blah blah blah" instead of "Which port does Kerebros utilize?" like on the Gibson practice exams. Am I wrong?

    Again, thanks for taking the time to answer. I appreciate it.
  • ChickenNuggetzChickenNuggetz Posts: 284Member
    I assume some of the port questions were something along the lines of "You are noticing a large amount of traffic along the network focused on UDP port 88. You want to find the source of the problem without causing significant downtime blah blah blah" instead of "Which port does Kerebros utilize?" like on the Gibson practice exams. Am I wrong?

    Again, thanks for taking the time to answer. I appreciate it.

    Yup, pretty much!
    :study: Currently Reading: Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator and Engineer by Ashgar Ghori

    Certifications: CCENT; CCNA: R&S; Security+

    Next up: RHCSA
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