Passed the Sec+

hxhxhxhx Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
I have been aware of the Security+ exam since it came out, but was never ready to take it on. I passed the ITIL v3 exam in April and it got me motivated to keep going. I am also beginning to focus much more seriously on security. That's where the battle is in the future. About the exam...

6 Sims, 72 Questions. I got an 803. The exam was not far off from the test questions at GCGA, Exam Compass, or Professor Messer. GCGA premium is very helpful when it comes to identifying weak spots and practicing sims. The test was pretty much the same difficulty as the GCGA questions. Some of the exam questions were poorly written. They tried to take simple topic and complicate with poor grammar. But they got their point across and obviously it wasn't an issue for me.

I studied for 7 weeks. I got around a 60 on the pre-assessment exam in the Gibson book, so I had a solid base of knowledge to begin with.

Here is how I prepared...
  • Gibson book. 2 chapters per week
  • Brainscape (AMAZING!) Brainscape is great for studying things that need to be memorized like port numbers. I used it only on my phone. I can't recommend it enough for drilling facts. You can use existing decks or create your own. I had some decks for my weak areas (ports, advanced threats, concepts behind incorrect test answers)
  • Professor Messer study groups for passive learning. I'd turn them on in the background. I found the study groups more valuable than the individual videos. I did use the individual videos to review certain topics. If you watch them on his site, you can read the transcripts. That's helpful. It's a nice supplement.
  • Cybrary: Didn't make it through module 1. It's good for individual topics, but I didn't really need it. I don't think it's possible to pass an exam on Cybrary alone.
  • ExamCompass: Someone recommended it here. It was good for getting extra test questions.
  • Messer Pop Quizzes. Same as Exam Compass
  • Internet searches: Great for supplementing information. Used it to learn more about IPsec ESP, XSRF, etc.
  • TechExams.net: Great advice and motivation
The test is targeted at 2 years plus an I think that's about right. It's difficult to take this on with zero knowledge. The saying "a mile wide and an inch deep" applies to this exam, but it is worth it because you have to start somewhere.

Overall, it was a positive experience. I'm happy to have gotten this one out of the way. I'm apparently about to be crowned an "CompTIA Infrastructure Pro" after all these years. icon_cheers.gif lol. I am likely to get a shot at the GSEC, so I want to start working on my Linux knowledge.

Thanks to everyone here for being so generous with the advice. I'm happy to answer any questions (that don't break NDA's of course). icon_study.gif

Comments

  • BlackoutBlackout CCENT, CCNA-Security, ITILv3, CompTIA S+, CompTIA A+ Raleigh, NCMember Posts: 512 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats!
    Current Certification Path: CCNA, CCNP Security, CCDA, CCIE Security

    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect"

    Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi
  • Thoth_DhwtyThoth_Dhwty A+ NET+ SEC+ UKMember Posts: 96 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats mate!
  • DAVIS NGUYENDAVIS NGUYEN Member Posts: 1,472 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • Akimbjj77Akimbjj77 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hey man, congrats on your pass.

    I recently took the exam and got a 730, so i basically missed it by one question or so.

    How does that GCMA stuff work? Is it paid? I need some fresh references to use to take it again.

    Also, how did you strategize? Did you skip the simulation and take them at the end? Those threw me off big time in the beginning the first time i took it.

    thanks,

    Allen Kim
  • Thoth_DhwtyThoth_Dhwty A+ NET+ SEC+ UKMember Posts: 96 ■■■□□□□□□□
    A.Kim,
    Darril's premium content at 39$ should be enough to pass if you understand the way he teaches. It has simulations, plenty tests and questions are really close to the actual exam. I think everyone here highly suggests it.

    Mark simulations for review and do the at the end. Some of them have long text and might require you more time to do. Questions should be fairly ok to do in enough time (I done test in one hour and english is not even my native language).

    Good luck!
  • IdRatherNotIdRatherNot Per Aspera Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good Stuff! Im currently studying for my Sec+ and its motivating to see others succeed.
  • clarkincnetclarkincnet Member Posts: 257 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats!
    Give a hacker an exploit, and they will have access for a day, BUT teach them to phish, and they will have access for the rest of their lives!

    Have: CISSP, CISM, CRISC, CGEIT, ITIL-F
  • hxhxhxhx Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Akimbjj77 wrote: »
    Hey man, congrats on your pass.

    I recently took the exam and got a 730, so i basically missed it by one question or so.

    How does that GCMA stuff work? Is it paid? I need some fresh references to use to take it again.

    Also, how did you strategize? Did you skip the simulation and take them at the end? Those threw me off big time in the beginning the first time i took it.

    thanks,

    Allen Kim

    Hi Allen. 730 is painfully close. I think the GCGA premium will get you over the top. You probably need access only to the test questions ($39.99).
    https://gcgapremium.com/sy0-401-security-practice-test-questions/

    If I were you, I would make sure you have ports nailed down (including TCP or UDP). Make sure you have a good idea on crypto key sizes and ciphers. Know the hashes and sizes (MD5, SHA-1, SHA-2).

    Take the practice tests. For the ones you get wrong, write down a brief definition of the incorrect item. Possibly enter that item into Brainscape to drill on. Do ALL of the simulations. You will probably get a couple things wrong there, but it will get you in the right direction.

    I noticed that some of the tests have different questions if you retake them. I was eventually testing out between 93-95, so I started to feel a little confident.

    Good luck and let us know how you do.
  • hxhxhxhx Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Turn on your PM's
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