Passed Security+! What I Used

CertifiedMonkeyCertifiedMonkey Senior MemberMember Posts: 172 ■■□□□□□□□□
I've been lurking around in these forums for a while and a lot of these posts have helped me to pass. So in return, I have decided to pay it forward by writing what I used and what I recommend. I studied for a month and a half and passed with a score of 858 on my first attempt. These are the materials that I used:

Authorized Cert Guide (Primary Resource): 10/10

I HIGHLY recommend this book. If you can only afford to buy one resource, this is it. The additional content that comes on the CD is worth the price of the book alone (in my opinion). The CD comes with labs, videos, and a ton of practice questions. In my opinion, I think that I could've passed with just this book alone. I felt like this book went a little more in depth than Gibson's book, but don't get me wrong, you can still pass with Gibson's book as well. When I couldn't understand something in this book or needed a more dumbed-down explanation, I would read Gibson's book. If you are on the fence on which book to get, I would get this book and the kindle version of Gibson's book.

*Note: If you're thinking about getting CertMaster from CompTIA ... don't. The questions from this book are exactly the same as the questions on CertMaster. I would just use the $139 to throw yourself an awesome party when you pass. icon_cheers.gif

Darril Gibson: Get Certified Get Ahead (Supplement): 9/10

Another great book. There's no doubt in my mind that you can pass using this book. A disadvantage of this book is that it doesn't come with lab simulations or electronic practice tests. I highly recommend that you buy the kindle version of this book and the hard copy of the Authorized Cert Guide.

Darril Gibson Online Resources: 8/10

The online material is great, but the contents on the Authorized Cert Guide is just as good if not better. I'd honestly just save your money.

Professor Messer: 10/10

Great resource, easy to understand, free. What else do I need to say? Some of his explanations (especially the ones on cryptography) really helped bring it all together when I was reviewing. I'd definitely recommend using him when you start reviewing before the exam.

Pluralsight: 8/10

Another great resource. The videos are rich in content but I prefer professor messer over the instructor of these videos. If you already have a subscription to pluralsight then I'd suggest you give these videos a try. If you aren't a pluralsight subscriber, then I'd just recommend using professor messer. The quality and content of both video courses are equal.

CompTIA CertMaster: DON'T BUY

If you buy the Authorized Cert Guide then you don't need to buy CertMaster. The questions are extremely similar and some of them are the EXACT same. It came with the Security+ bundle, so I decided to give it a try. I didn't finish it and instead decided to use the Authorized Cert Guide practice tests.

Note Taking: I used Microsoft One Note to take notes (more like articles). I made a page for each item listed in the CompTIA objectives. Since I used so many resources, I would just add on to my existing notes from other resources. I basically created mini articles for each item.

TL;DR: Get the Authorized Cert Guide hardcover book and the Kindle version of Darril Gibson's book. Watch Professor Messer to review. Make notes on the items listed in the objectives, not on the individual chapters. Use the end of chapter summary/questions instead of taking notes on each chapter.


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