Performance Based Questions?

dbaparexdbaparex Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm planning to take the Sec+ exam in the next couple of weeks. Can anyone who has taken the exam recently share general information about the performance-based questions that have been added?

For example, what type of questions did you see, and how many? What percentage of the test?

I find these new questions a little scary / frustrating. I watched the You Tube video COMPTIA put out on the questions, and their example is changing a file to read-only on Windows at the command line. I could do this from a UNIX command line in my sleep. And I could probably even click through it in Windows. Windows command line? Nope.

Any info you could provide would be helpful.



  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    You might like to check out this blog: Get Certified Get Ahead | Security+ and Performance Based Questions.

    These are causing quite a bit of anxiety for many people but the feedback I'm hearing from people that have taken the test is that they aren't as difficult as they might be as long as you know the topics. I found it interesting that that stressed the use of the command line in that video but people that have taken the Security+ exam aren't indicating that there are any command prompt commands.

    Hope this helps.
  • dbrinkdbrink Member Posts: 180
    My test this past Friday was interrupted due to weather but I had 3 performance based questions at the start of my test before I had to stop. I didn't get a command line question, 2 were dragging items to a list and the last was looking at some log files and then selecting the one that met a certain criteria.
    Currently Reading: Learn Python The Hard Way
  • NOLAJNOLAJ Member Posts: 490
    Best of luck in your studies.
    WGU - MBA: I.T. Management --> Graduated!!

    WGU -
    B.S. Information Technology—Network Administration --> Graduated!!

  • dbaparexdbaparex Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the info Darril and dbrink. (And for the best wishes, NOLAJ.) The blog post was helpful, and I'm feeling better now.

    I bought your Kindle book, Darril, and it was very helpful. I had been through hours of on-line courses that were available to me through the company that I work for, but your book is really focused and makes things very easy to understand and remember. For anyone who's interested, I highly recommend it.

    I'm planning to take the test next week ... I'll follow up after the test with info on what type of performance questions I see.
  • dacetodaceto Member Posts: 63 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I didnt see any command line questions on my exam at the start of December. It was mainly a lot of port questions, wifi and some protocols mixed in. Just be careful because some of the questions are really poorly written and I had to read them a couple times to even figure out what they meant. I think at one point I even said out loud "what the heck are they talking about". I too used Darril's book and did find that a couple of the port questions I didnt remember reading about. Thankfully I knew what ports it wasnt so it was easy to narrow it down.

    Good luck!
  • TechBubbaTechBubba Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I took the Sec+ exam today and had the 3 performance based questions at the very beginning as mentioned previously in the thread. 2 were drag-and-drop and one was reviewing logs to determine which one met a certain criteria being specified.

    If you know your material, the performance based questions will give you no trouble at all.

    Good luck.
  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    Welcome to the forums TechBubba. Congratulations on the pass and thanks for sharing your experience.
  • dbaparexdbaparex Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I took the exam this morning, and passed. I had 3 performance questions. Two were pretty easy, the 3rd was a little confusing.

    [Webmaster: Removed question details, don't disclose what you had on your exam.]
  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good job dbaparex I've heard about these "performance based" questions and didn't know what they were, there are so many ports and port numbers how do you remember them all?
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • dbrinkdbrink Member Posts: 180
    You don't have to remember all of the ports, CompTIA lists in their objectives the ones you should know.
    Currently Reading: Learn Python The Hard Way
  • dbaparexdbaparex Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I just memorized the 24 ports Darril had in his book, plus a couple more that I had seen on some practice tests. 26 Ports total.
  • dbaparexdbaparex Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Let me try again on the performance questions, since I had too much detail in my first post. Three peformance questions: one matching with one-to-one results, one matching where the results weren't one-to-one, and one looking at some logs.
  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    @dbaparex, great information.

    In CompTIAs video about what they planned on doing with performance based questions, they stressed they planned having you perform an action similar to what you'd do on a job. I'm not sure if this just proved too difficult for them to program or if there was something else that caused them to change course, but clearly, they did change course.

    Matching type questions, or questions that requires you to organize answers in a specific order do provide a good variety and require more knowledge than a simple multiple choice question. However, they are easier than performing a complete task similar to what CompTIA showed on their video.
  • dbrinkdbrink Member Posts: 180
    I don't believe they completely changed course with the performance based questions. Not trying to give away too much information, but one of my performance based questions had me configure some "mock" settings on a device given a certain scenario. It was more in line with what I think performance based questions are compared to the matching of ports to protocols, etc.
    Currently Reading: Learn Python The Hard Way
  • KeithJaggerKeithJagger Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you've done the heavy lifting (i.e. study hard) you'll have no issues. I passed today. I don't know what I can share here but, yes there are some simulated/performance based questions that kick off the test. I wouldn't sweat it.
  • KeithJaggerKeithJagger Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    dbrink wrote: »
    I don't believe they completely changed course with the performance based questions. Not trying to give away too much information, but one of my performance based questions had me configure some "mock" settings on a device given a certain scenario. It was more in line with what I think performance based questions are compared to the matching of ports to protocols, etc.

    Indeed. It has many performance based questions. Do Not Freak Out. If you've done the work, you will pass. I thought I was doomed but I passed. Study hard (Darril's book is fantastic) If you comb through his book and go over the chapters and questions over and over again you'll be a certified, made man.
  • mikeah7mikeah7 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello all, I just took the SYS-301 today and passed with 800. I'll give you some personal background real quick so that others can gauge their readiness. Due to a constantly busy schedule and a non-IT job, I had to resort to studying networking/security concepts as a hobby. I mention this to note that I understood basic networking concepts before beginning to study for Security+.

    The material I used to study was Darril Gibson's Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide and the official Security+ Certification Study Guide by Glen Clarke, which I have studied relatively regularly for about three months.

    The week before the test I reviewed Mike Myers' Security+ Certification Passport for supplementary material, as well as Darril Gibson's Security+ Practice Questions (on the GCGA website).

    The performance based questions were what worried me, as I prepared for them only about a day before (I wasn't aware of this modification to the test). I will say this: don't worry. I did not encounter anything related to a CLI, and it wouldn't make much sense as the certification is vendor neutral.

    The performance based questions are explained well on the GCGA website, and I think that it is sufficient to pass the test. Most of my performance questions were drag and drop, but easily could have been formed in normal multiple choice format. If you understand the concepts/objectives that the Security+ exam is testing for, you will be fine.

    There was not an overabundance of questions regarding protocols/ports, but it would definitely make it easier if you have most of them memorized. Before going into the testing center I reviewed a sheet that had all of the topics in which I knew I was weak on. I only knew I was weak on those particular topics because I repeatedly took practice tests (from the material referenced above) and singled out the areas that I consistently needed practice in.

    So, for anyone taking the test soon, I would say don't worry. If you use the material listed above and take a few practice tests to identify the areas you need to brush up on, you should be fine. You may want to decide whether or not you want to flag the performance questions first and come back to them after multiple choice questions first. I had about five performance based questions right away, but decided to work through them because they were fairly simple. I believe that partial credit is awarded for these questions (not sure if this stated somewhere).

    Hope this helps someone.
  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    @mikeah7, congratulations on the pass and great to hear the book and website resources helped. Great post to help put people's mind at ease on the performance based questions.
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