Failed my exam :(

maestro9maestro9 Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all,

I took my security+ exam this past weekend. I've got 3 years of working experience in the industry along with a bachelor's in IT. Pretty embarrassed that I managed to fail this exam. It was the first cert exam I took in 3 years, so my testing skills were a bit rusty.

For study material, I used CBT Nuggets videos (only watched about 1/2 of them) and ALL of the transcender questions(~800 of them). I've studied passively for about 3 months, and seriously(about 2-5 hours per day) for about 2 weeks before the exam. I've made several notecards. In addition to that, I took several free online practice tests that I could find via google. I made sure I received a score of 90+ on every practice exam before taking the actual exam. Ultimately, I got a 640 which would lead me to believe that I was just a few questions short of passing.

The tricky part for me? Definitely the interactive questions. CBT nuggets had a few interactive questions, but NONE of the interactive questions I did in CBT nuggets were like the ones on the exam. In addition to this, they make almost every question on the exam have almost 2 answers that could be correct, but you have to choose the better of the two (critical thinking).

All in all, this was a very frustrating and discouraging experience for me.

Next steps?
-From what I've been reading on this forum, it seems like Professor Messer's youtube videos are good. I will give that a whirl. I'll also end up purchasing Darril Gibson's book or practice questions (not sure which is better - i'm not much of a "book reader." Any other recommendations?

Thanks in advance all!

Comments

  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    Did you read Darril's book? Thats the best advice I can give someone trying to take Sec+.Go over it, go over cbt stuff once more (100%) and you'll be fine.
    Remember that success is about who perseveres.
    meh
  • maestro9maestro9 Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    kurosaki00 wrote: »
    Did you read Darril's book? Thats the best advice I can give someone trying to take Sec+.Go over it, go over cbt stuff once more (100%) and you'll be fine.
    Remember that success is about who perseveres.

    I haven't read Darril's book. But that was next on my list of things to try.
  • psiursuspsiursus Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Darril gibsons website is what I used to passed. I studied that site 3-4 hours a night for 2 weeks and passed. Its pretty dang close to the real deal right now. I would say read his book front to back (should only take a week) then do his website which covers the same stuff.
  • ThePawofRizzoThePawofRizzo SSCP, A+, N+, Sec+, CySA+, Cloud+, CWTS Member Posts: 389 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That stinks. Many of us have failed a test or two. When I retook Sec+ a couple years ago, those simulations surprised me....because for some reason I'd miss the memo that there would be some simulations...I passed, but the sims rattled me through the exam.

    At least with a 640 the consolation is that you aren't that far off-base, so with a little more polish you should be ready. I'd study what the others suggest, and try to go retake it ASAP while everything from previous studies is still fresh.
  • cdxcdx Member Posts: 186
    Hi Maestro,

    Pick up Darril Gibson's Book (comes with practice questions) and check out his simulated questions on his website. Gibson is a MUST resource for Sec+ exam. If you review his practice tests you should be good.
    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology - Security
    Associate of Science - Computer Information Systems
  • TacoRocketTacoRocket Member Posts: 497 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Feel like I'm harping on you with the same advice as above. To change it Ill say this: For any exam do not rely on one source alone. It allows for gaps of coverage in the material. I understand all of us want to minimize the spending on an exam to get it done however, there is a difference between nonsense spending and making sure you cover the material in its entirety.
    cdx wrote: »
    Hi Maestro,

    Pick up Darril Gibson's Book (comes with practice questions) and check out his simulated questions on his website. Gibson is a MUST resource for Sec+ exam. If you review his practice tests you should be good.
    These articles and posts are my own opinion and do not reflect the view of my employer.

    Website gave me error for signature, check out what I've done here: https://pwningroot.com/
  • amuricaamurica Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey, like everybody else said, Gibson, Gibson, Gibson. Im not sure if his book has similar questions to his Learnzapp questions, but I used that on my iphone (like 7 bucks or something) and it had very similar questions to the test. Also, I think failing these tests is honestly not anything to be ashamed of. I failed Net+, took it again and passed it on the mark only, but I studied way less for SEC+, took it, and passed it with an 800 first time so there is not necessarily a rhyme or reason to it. Dont get down on yourself. Instead, get Gibson and crush it on this next go around. Good luck.
  • particle1particle1 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Got an 824 this afternoon using Gibson's book and paid for his premium offerings. That and Professor Messer did the job. Now CCNA Security with my CCNA CyberOps scholarship starting in the fall!

    Read the book and take Gibson's tests until you consistently get 90%
  • greg9891greg9891 Member Posts: 1,189 ■■■■■■■□□□
    You will get it next time for sure man! keep pushing
    :
    Upcoming Certs: VCA-DCV 7.0, VCP-DCV 7.0, Oracle Database 1Z0-071, PMP, Server +, CCNP

    Proverbs 6:6-11Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
    When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep, So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler And your need like an armed man.
  • ultm8mindultm8mind Member Posts: 111
    Shoot me your email in a message and I'll send you some stuff. Nothing proprietary or anything like that just stuff I used I thought were helpful...
  • joshuamurphy75joshuamurphy75 Senior Member Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Whatever you do, don't give up on it now. You already put in this much work. Might as well finish.
  • maestro9maestro9 Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So I went ahead and purchased the test questions from Darril Gibson's website for 60 days. WOW! - literally, the first batch of performance-based questions were exactly like the ones on the exam, the ones I definitely got wrong. Now I'm kicking myself for not doing this sooner. CBT Nuggets alone was DEFINITELY NOT ENOUGH! For anyone reading this that's in a similar situation, or in the process of studying for the Sec+ , Definitely get these practice questions. I wish I had done so earlier. icon_study.gif
  • maestro9maestro9 Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ultm8mind wrote: »
    Shoot me your email in a message and I'll send you some stuff. Nothing proprietary or anything like that just stuff I used I thought were helpful...


    Shoot me a private message. It wont let me PM you!
  • advanex1advanex1 CISSP, BSCSIA, CASP, MCSA 2016/2012, CCNA, CySA+, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+, A+, ITIL Member Posts: 365 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey - this is the advice I give everyone. Helped to get 14 people certified this last year, just takes time and effort.

    Take all of the exam objectives as well as their terms and define them (including ports/protocols). Learn them front and back. Then learn about how things work in regards to PKI and certificate exchange, etc. If you can define all the terms and know all the ports/protocols, you will be able to piece together almost any question the test is asking you.

    Works for me every time. Even if you had brief instruction on something that it's asking you on the test, you can almost always piece it together based on your knowledge of the terms.
    Currently Reading: CISM: All-in-One
    New Blog: https://jpinit.com/blog
  • KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
    David L Prowse Cert Guide Sec+ Academic Edition is the real winner. It costs $80, but so worth it. I outlined the entire book, did every single chapter review, and used everything on the CD. I did all of the CDs practice labs and practice exam engines (straight from PEARSONVUE). Additionally, I used MeasureUps extensively until I memorized the explanations to the answers. I passed Sec+ first time with an 841.

    https://www.amazon.com/CompTIA-Security-SY0-401-Guide-Academic/dp/0789753634/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487790101&sr=1-1&keywords=security%2B+cert+guide+academic+edition
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,179 ■■■■■■■■□□
    advanex1 wrote: »
    Hey - this is the advice I give everyone. Helped to get 14 people certified this last year, just takes time and effort.

    Take all of the exam objectives as well as their terms and define them (including ports/protocols). Learn them front and back. Then learn about how things work in regards to PKI and certificate exchange, etc. If you can define all the terms and know all the ports/protocols, you will be able to piece together almost any question the test is asking you.

    Works for me every time. Even if you had brief instruction on something that it's asking you on the test, you can almost always piece it together based on your knowledge of the terms.


    That's exactly what I did for Security+ and SSCP. I can't stress enough that you need to follow the exam objectives to the letter.

    And YES to Darril Gibson's practice test questions.
  • ultm8mindultm8mind Member Posts: 111
    Advane what Airborne unit is in Phoenix? Just curious, 173rd, 82nd, and 18th Abn Corps Alum here...
  • advanex1advanex1 CISSP, BSCSIA, CASP, MCSA 2016/2012, CCNA, CySA+, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+, A+, ITIL Member Posts: 365 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey bud, I'm no longer in Phoenix. I was stationed at Bragg for 3 years between the 82nd/18th ABC. All the way!
    Currently Reading: CISM: All-in-One
    New Blog: https://jpinit.com/blog
  • Eddie8930Eddie8930 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well I'm just starting to study for this. I have the David Prowse book, but based on this and other threads (I'm new here to the forum) I ordered the Gibson books. The study guide and question book. They'll be here tomorrow. Thanks all!
  • ultm8mindultm8mind Member Posts: 111
    advane, cool man. What's your MOS? I'm down here at Gordon, retired. Ex 94D, 33W/35T, and 948B...got out last year...

    Maestro, they must have shut off people being able to message me. Since I've offered to help people out in the past. Had to be a moderator to deny that to me because I can't send you a message either bro. You can email me at [email protected]
  • Boy_WonderBoy_Wonder Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Maestro9,

    Thanks for sharing this. My experience was pretty crazy with the Security+. I failed it twice but passed it on the 3rd run. The way they worded the questions were insane! I would definitely recommend reading this book CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead by Darril Gibson | 9781939136022 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble®.
    Darril literally gives you everything you need for the exam. He doesn't beat around the bush like most of these books. Before my 3rd try, I went through his book for a review and it helped me tremendously. Also look into https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.learnzapp.securityplus&hl=en. This app on my phone helped a lot as well. When ever I was on the go and had time to study, I opened up this app and went to town. Taking my exam on the third run was very different than the last two times (thanks to Darril's books/questions). I made sure I read the question in its entirety and matched it up with each answer before selecting one. I also recommend looking into some CISSP studies/youtube videos to help with the policy stuff.
    - hope this helps!
  • Moon ChildMoon Child Member Posts: 183 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You have 3 years work experience in the field? You know way more than me. I am trying to get what you have now which I find way harder than passing any certification, work experience. Currently working as a laptop technician and it has been a steep learning curve, learning way more than any degree or certification taught me. Everyday learning something new didn't know before. I passed the Security+, but I found the Network+ and MTA - Networking certs really made it much easier to pass the Security+. There was a rehash on the Security+ exam that the Network+ covered. So going from the Network+ to Security+ wasn't that bad for me just because I already had studied most of the material from the Network+ exam. So don't feel bad 3 years of work experience in the IT field is way more valuable than any certification, I wish I had 3 years of work experience.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • hellolinhellolin Member Posts: 107
    I have no idea how long Gibson's premium testing materials can stay up, since some of his interactive questions are almost exactly the same ones on the exam, that in the long term eventually Comptia is going to find out and ask him to change them. Without those questions on his site, I would not passed the exam, they were very hard in the real exam indeed.
  • advanex1advanex1 CISSP, BSCSIA, CASP, MCSA 2016/2012, CCNA, CySA+, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+, A+, ITIL Member Posts: 365 ■■■■□□□□□□
    25B currently, have been for the past 8 years.
    Currently Reading: CISM: All-in-One
    New Blog: https://jpinit.com/blog
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,179 ■■■■■■■■□□
  • maestro9maestro9 Registered Users Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Boy_Wonder wrote: »
    Maestro9,

    Thanks for sharing this. My experience was pretty crazy with the Security+. I failed it twice but passed it on the 3rd run. The way they worded the questions were insane! I would definitely recommend reading this book CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead by Darril Gibson | 9781939136022 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble®.
    Darril literally gives you everything you need for the exam. He doesn't beat around the bush like most of these books. Before my 3rd try, I went through his book for a review and it helped me tremendously. Also look into https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.learnzapp.securityplus&hl=en. This app on my phone helped a lot as well. When ever I was on the go and had time to study, I opened up this app and went to town. Taking my exam on the third run was very different than the last two times (thanks to Darril's books/questions). I made sure I read the question in its entirety and matched it up with each answer before selecting one. I also recommend looking into some CISSP studies/youtube videos to help with the policy stuff.
    - hope this helps!

    Was the exam the same all 3 times? Slightly different? Way different? Give me some feedback on how the retakes went. icon_cheers.gif
  • ultm8mindultm8mind Member Posts: 111
    They change the exam everytime you take it.
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