Thoughts on study time

ospreyosprey Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
First of all, I passed today (yay me), though with only a 772 (passing is 764). This didn't surprise me, considering the very little studying I did.

I've been reading a lot of recommendations for using lots of study guides and taking weeks or months to study for the Security+. I have 3 years experience in the field and this test completed my MCSE. Maybe thanks partly to that, or maybe not, I was able to pass after studying a single Sec+ book (Exam Cram 2) over the course of 4 days. So, it can be passed quickly with a single book if you know some of the material from experience already.

I don't want to to mislead anyone into thinking that this is a safe way to go about it. It's a $225 exam, afterall. My point is to provide the other crammers (like me) out there with a viewpoint a little contrary to the majority ones that recommend more books and more studying than most exams. I passed all of my MS exams on single books and Security+ is doable this way, as well.

I have a job interview tomorrow (I'll be able to tell them I'm MCSE and Sec+ now instead of just MCSA), so that was the main reason why I crammed. If I had had more time, I would've used it, especially in hindsight.

Regarding the Exam Cram 2 book, it covers 95% of what's on the exam. If you buy it, I recommend getting the bundle that includes the practice exams book (700 extra questions). It's only $6 more at than the book, alone.

Anyways, if there are any others out there who have experience, have taken at least a few network-oriented certs, and just need or what to pass in the least amount of time necessary, that's how I did it. Remember that I came close to failing, though, so consider my approach to be the bare minimum required (unless you're already a security expert).

Good luck.
MCSE 2k3 & 2k, MCSA 2K3 & 2k, Security+


  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin

    I think it is wise to use at least two products (books, cbt, practice exams) for any exam, but I agree being an MCSE and having experience as one (and all the other things you pick during the job) makes Security+ a lot easier.
  • janmikejanmike Member Posts: 3,076
    Congratulations on the pass, and on completing MCSE!
    "It doesn't matter, it's in the past!"--Rafiki
  • ospreyosprey Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks, guys.

    BTW, my Security+ studying came in really handy during my job interview the other day. I was being "paneled" by four people and one asked me "Describe the security features of telnet and FTP." I was able to immediately and assertively say "almost zero" and suggest SSH and SFTP as secure substitutes. The fact that I knew it was trick question and answered it so well impressed them more than anything else.

    Another question I got was "Describe the effectiveness of various forms of communication." Again, I drew on my Sec+ studying and explained (with the example of educating users as to security policy, just like the exam) that e-mail is often ineffective because people ignore them and one-on-one interaction is more effective. I then went on to describe a few other forms of communication, but still emphasized that personal interaction is most effective. I didn't quite hit that question out of the park, but at least I had an answer that was much better than than the "uh... umm..." worthlessness that I would've given had I not studied for the Sec+. I answered a few other questions by drawing on Sec+ material, as well.

    So, on top of the benefits of certification, I found that the Sec+ gave me a better idea of what business issues the job interviewers see and therefore how to better impress them. For someone who gets really nervous in interviews, it was priceless. Security is really important to businesses these days and I highly recommend that people (especially unemployed ones) absorb the Sec+ material, not just for the exam, but for opportunities beyond it.
    MCSE 2k3 & 2k, MCSA 2K3 & 2k, Security+
  • ospreyosprey Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    BTW, I bought a VUE voucher for Security+ that I ended up not using (because it didn't come soon enough and I re-paid). I can't return it due to return policy, so I need to sell it. If there's someone here who will be scheduling their test (with VUE) soon and who has a PayPal account, I'll offload it at a loss for $125. If interested, use the PM button to send me a private message.

    Webmaster, I apologize if this happens to be against posting policy. I would go to Ebay, but thought I'd try to help a guy out here first.
    MCSE 2k3 & 2k, MCSA 2K3 & 2k, Security+
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