Success!!

redgrenredgren Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
I feel a weight off my shoulders, I passed Sec + today. I have been studying this material for a while. I had been reading through this forum and remember seeing so many people struggling with it. I also noticed what the passing score was and that seemed high. For these reasons I did not want to take this exam lightly.

I used a number of study materials including:

Microsoft Press: Security +
Syngress: Comptia Security +
Exam Cram / Exam Cram 2
MeasureUp and Transcender practice tests
TechNotes

I took a college class in the fall on Network Security, the class used the Microsoft Press book. I wasn't too impressed with it so I purchased the Syngress book as a supplement. So as we worked through the class, I read the material in each book. In addition, I had access to about 60 hours of online video training. I viewed relevant material in the video training as well. Through this process I ended up taking approximately 160 pages of handwritten notes. I also made over 100 flash cards that I carried around with me to study when I had a few free minutes. I put port numbers, key sizes, protocols and other stuff like that on the flash cards because I have a hard time remembering numbers. So with the flash cards I could review that information literally dozens of times.

As part of the class we had to write a 10 page technical research paper, so I chose a topic I didn't really understand from the reading materials: Kerberos. I was glad I did. By writing that paper I had to use at least 5 sources, and it gave me a good solid understanding of how Kerberos works and the components involved. That came in very handy at test time.

The exposure to a variety of study materials and teaching methods helped me out tremendously. I realize that others may not have the time to devote to this exam that all of that takes, but it prepared me quite well. I don't like to take an exam unless I feel very confident that I will pass. Especially one that costs me $250. When it came time to get a voucher, I bought the combo pack that included the Transcender practice tests. I found the Transcender material helpful.

Once my class ended (right before the holidays) I started reviewing for the exam. I spent the last few weeks reviewing my notes and taking practice tests. Then I would focus on the areas I was weakest in; read about those topics in the TechNotes, on wiki or other internet sites and look them up in each of the books I have. It's not a complicated recipe for success: study several sources, review, take practice tests, review weak areas. Rinse and repeat. It may be simple but it takes a lot of effort. Also, I work in network infrastructure so I'm familiar with cabling, switches, routers and such. I also have the Network + certification. I really think it helped a great deal having this existing knowledge and not having to learn that as well.

Like I mentioned, I don't like to take an exam until I'm confident in the material. I felt very confident before the exam. As I was taking the exam for about the first 30 questions I knew the answer before I even saw the choices. I think they started me off with easy questions because just as I started to think "maybe I'll ace this one" i got hit with the OMG questions. I didn't ace it but I did get an 865 which I was very happy with. I had so many OMG questions that I began to wonder if I would even pass. Anyone else hate that survey at the end? Just give me my score!

In my opinion there is no "easy way". Get the exam objectives and make sure you understand all the topics covered. I'll be happy to answer any questions I can, I'm a frequent lurker on these forums but an infrequent poster.

Good luck to anyone taking this exam.

Comments

  • TravR1TravR1 Member Posts: 332
    Thanks for taking the time to type this up. And congradulations! I always enjoy reading the success stories.

    I too, am studying for Security+, I'm working on the new exam. I'm using the new Sybex, the In depth book, and Exam Cram 201. I'm taking the test with my tax return.

    I remember with Network+ trying to get through that survey at the end, my heart was pounding.. I'm not even sure if I knew what I was answering by that point. But then I passed, and I walked outside in to the cool air that blew by which felt really cold since I was covered in sweat from that damn exam.

    But it's a great feeling though, isn't it? Almost addicting, like a rush. Makes you want to do it again and again.

    What is next for you now that Sec+ is out of the way?
    Austin Community College, certificate of completion: C++ Programming.
    Sophomore - Computer Science, Mathematics
  • 1st_ID_Veteran1st_ID_Veteran Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I take SY0-101 tomorrow afternoon. Not necessarily comfortable yet...but I have been reviewing this material for so long that I would not know if I am good to go or not. But hell. If I can learn to take apart a 120mm main gun firing system in an M1A1 Abrams tank; whats Security+ right?
  • redgrenredgren Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    TravR1 wrote: »
    Thanks for taking the time to type this up. And congradulations! I always enjoy reading the success stories.

    I too, am studying for Security+, I'm working on the new exam. I'm using the new Sybex, the In depth book, and Exam Cram 201. I'm taking the test with my tax return.

    I remember with Network+ trying to get through that survey at the end, my heart was pounding.. I'm not even sure if I knew what I was answering by that point. But then I passed, and I walked outside in to the cool air that blew by which felt really cold since I was covered in sweat from that damn exam.

    But it's a great feeling though, isn't it? Almost addicting, like a rush. Makes you want to do it again and again.

    What is next for you now that Sec+ is out of the way?

    Trav,

    Thanks and good luck in your studies. It is a rush but I'm not sure I want to do it again and again. I am taking 3 college classes that start next week so I will be taking a break from the certification thing for a bit. I would like to tackle CISSP but like I said I'll be taking a break.

    1st ID Veteran,

    Taking them apart is easy! I was very good at taking apart 20mm M61A1's but not so good at putting them back together. Good luck on your exam and hopefully you will be posting your success story real soon!
  • janmikejanmike Member Posts: 3,076
    Congrats for passing!
    "It doesn't matter, it's in the past!"--Rafiki
  • mamonomamono Member Posts: 776 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! :) Nice writeup!
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Member Posts: 1,186 ■■■■■■■□□□
    not to rain on your parade but getcertify4less is a braindump site.
  • impelseimpelse Member Posts: 1,236 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats
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  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    That's odd, I don't see anything on the site that would get it marked by certguard. It's also been recommended quite a number of times here as a place to get discount vouchers. I've gotten a couple vouchers through the site as well.

    To the op, congratulations!
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • TravR1TravR1 Member Posts: 332
    I didn't know it was a **** site either. You can get some vouchers for really cheap - the ones that are near expired.
    Austin Community College, certificate of completion: C++ Programming.
    Sophomore - Computer Science, Mathematics
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Certguard isn't flawless, so it might just be a mistake. It seems like they sell vouchers and STS/Transcender software, so I'm not sure what's not legitimate. Has anyone seen anything that has been?

    Congrats to the OP!
  • mamonomamono Member Posts: 776 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Same here, I'm a bit surprised. I used them for exam vouchers, but that's about it. I understood they sold packages with exam prep material, but I usually prepared on my own so didn't look into those any further. I currently check ebay first then look toward other sites for the best deal on exam vouchers prior to scheduling it.
  • redgrenredgren Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Kriscamaro68,

    I wasn't aware that there was an issue with that site. I purchased a voucher and a registration code to use with the Transcender test engine that I downloaded from the Transcender site.

    I'll remember this in the future when I'm looking for a voucher.
  • kadshahkadshah A+, Network+, Security +, MCP & CCNA From NYC but currently living in ThailandMember Posts: 388 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hey man Congrats. How long did you study for this exam?
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 912 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrat, too easy right.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Member Posts: 1,076
    not to rain on your parade but getcertify4less is a braindump site.

    Hmmm....Weird. It was probably mistakenly put on the naughty list. Techexams links to that site on the left hand column when you click on 'Exam Vouchers'. I know that link's been there for a long time because I bought 1 voucher from them a year 6 months or so ago.
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
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