How to Prepare for The Security+ Exam and Pass On Your First Attempt

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You also want to join over 500,000 people who have earned the CompTIA Security+ certification, isn’t it? And you want it right on your first attempt? Crack your knuckles, let’s show you how to do that!

We’ve explained the top tricks and tips regarding what you should be mindful of when preparing for the exam and how to be more effective during the exam in order to bring your cert home on your first attempt.

Test Yourself First. See If You’re Competent

Although, Security+ is an entry-level certification, CompTIA highly recommends you pass both A+ (Core 1 & 2) and N+ before attempting Security+ certification. Just to ensure you’re technically prepared and familiar with basic knowledge such as managing, troubleshooting, and configuring networks.

While it’s not a requirement, CompTIA expects people taking the Security+ cert to have got at least 2 years of previous IT experience in security. That means security tasks such as detecting intrusions, identifying threats, conducting risk mitigation and risk management, and performing penetration testing should not be strange to you.

If you’ve not taken the A+ and N+ cert previously, but you still want to go for Security+, see if you can pass the A+ practice test and the Network+’s.

Make your reading style efficient

  • Have a study plan: Prepare a roadmap for your studying based on the CompTIA Security+ Exam Objectives, it’s the first thing you should start with as recommended by people who passed the exam on their first attempt (your role models… Lol!).
  • Join Security+ online communities: Being amidst the people that have the same goals as you is an excellent way to keep yourself motivated, know the latest updates, share strategies, and get answers to your questions.
  • Take practice exams and review the explanations given to answers you miss: Use practice exams to your advantage. It will help you realize your weak areas so you can focus on those areas. Get a FREE trial practice exam here.
  • Have an excellent study guide at your reach: There are tons of study guide for Security+ exam written by different authors, make your research and choose the best ones. The official CompTIA Security+ Study Guide is definitely at the top list.

A preparation plan in 5 simple steps

Just as we’ve previously mentioned, having a plan sets you up for success. Below is a concise plan you may follow.

  1. Set a Date: After assessing yourself and you’re sure you’ve met the recommended requirements, go for it, pick a date! Don’t wait for a perfect time, the perfect time will never come.
  2. Buy necessary resources: Books, self-paced online classes or instructor-led courses, and practice exams.
  3. Commit yourself to a specific reading time every day: You may set about 2-3 hours daily (or more during weekends) for the self-paced book or class you bought. Self-paced online training or live training should likewise about 2-3 weeks to finish.
  4. Revise your notes: Book notes or class notes often highlights important concepts. We recommend taking notes o index card for areas you think you need to improve on.
  5. Review the note cards often and take practice tests for about one to two weeks until you fully grasp the understanding of the concepts and scoring more that 85% on the practice tests.

Strategies to make you smarter during the exam

  • Always read questions carefully and watch the choice of word: Pay extra attention to words that are capitalized, words such as MOST, BEST, and LEAST. In a case where many answers seem correct, you should pick the option that corresponds to the word in the uppercase.
  • When you are not sure of a question, skip it: Since the exam is timed, you can’t spend all your time on a single question if you are not sure of the correct answer, instead, flag it for review and go to the next question.
  • Get ready for performance-based questions: Performance-based questions require you to solve a problem or perform a task using simulation.

Closing Thoughts

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to preparing for any certification, including CompTIA Security+. You have to look for what’s best for you, what method, what book, and even how long it may take you. However, the guides we’ve given will help you find your own way of preparing for the cert. Stick around the site, make sure you practice.


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