What Is the Difference Between CompTIA PenTest+ PT0-002 & PT0-001?

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The difference is simple! Pentest+ PT0-002 has ‘2’ as the last digit, while PT0-001 has ‘1’ as the last digit. Just kidding… That’s only the textual difference. Let’s go deeper.

The CompTIA PenTest+ certification is meant to validate the pen testing (or penetration testing) knowledge and skills of intermediate-level individuals. The certification mainly focuses on validating newest penetration testing techniques, vulnerability management, attack surfaces, compliance and post-delivery tasks.

Therefore, PenTest+ PT0-002 is simply a new version of PT0-001, which will be launched in October 2021. CompTIA usually reviews and updates their certifications every three years to keep their candidate ahead of the curve and be familiar with the latest standards against the constant change in the industry.

A bit more details regarding their differences is a scroll away:

Exam code

  1. PT0-001
  2. PT0-002

Launch date

  1. PT0-001: July 31, 2018
  2. PT0-002: October 2021

Exam Description:

  1. PT0-001: The CompTIA PenTest+ certification certifies that successful candidates have the skills and knowledge required to execute penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, scope and plan an assessment, effectively report and communicate results, comprehend legal and compliance requirements, analyze data.
  1. PT0-002: The description is quite the same except that the PT0-002 tests not just your ability to communicate results but also to produce a written report with remediation techniques.

Retirement date:

  • PT0-001: April 2022
  • PT0-002: Usually 3 years after launch

Similarities in CompTIA PT0-001 & PT0-002


  • Multiple choice and performance-based. 85 questions.

Duration of exam

  • 165 minutes

Passing score

  • 750 (on a scale of 100-900)


  • $370

Areas Covered in The CompTIA Pentest+ Exam

  1. Planning and scoping

PT0-001: 15%

PT0-002: 14%

  1. Information Gathering

PT0-001: 22%

PT0-002: 22%

  1. Attacks and Exploits

PT0-001: 30%

PT0-002: 30%

  1. Penetration Testing Tools

PT0-001: (17%)

PT0-002: will be referred to as Tools and Code Analysis (16%)

  1. Reporting and Communication
    PT0-001: (16%)

PT0-002: (18%)

Should I wait for PT0-002 or should I take PT0-001?

The answer is to take the version you are ready for, if you are ready to take the PenTest+ between now and the end of the year, go ahead, take the PT0-001, there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are going to start taking an exam, say January-February next year, you are advised to probably take PT0-002. At that point of January-February, you can probably take either one.

As you start getting to February-March-April and getting closer to the end of PT0-001, you should definitely switch to PT0-002. This is because of what CompTIA has been known for; the first or two months to an exam comes out, the questions are often all over the place, some are really good, and some are terrible, after about month two or three, the exam stabilizes and it’s usually a very good exam from about three months to about two and half year.

The last three or four months of an exam, when you have both exams out and there is that overlap circle, that tends to be when things get hard, right now Security+ is going through that with Security+ 501 and Security+ 601.

The Security+ 501 is a lot harder right now than it was three years ago. Security+ 601 seems to be harder now than it was 3 months ago, so it’s recommended for people to take Security+ 601 right now, the same recommendation can happen with PenTest. Meanwhile, don’t forget, the difference between version 1 and version 2 it’s not a whole lot of difference.

IT Jobs You Can Get As a CompTIA PenTest+ Holder

  • Penetration Tester
  • Network Security Operations
  • Vulnerability Tester
  • Security Analyst (II)
  • Vulnerability Assessment analyst

Closing Thoughts

Whatever version you’ve decided to take; the aim is to be PenTest+ certified, which requires appropriate training, taking practice tests, and a lot of commitment. If Penetration is in your future, which is a nice thing at the moment and even for the future, having PenTest+ certification may help you land your dream job faster than your peers who are yet to validate their pen testing skills with a certification.

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