Leading up to it, I had doubted myself. I didn’t think I was going to pass because my study habits weren’t perfect. But I remembered that I had made a commitment to myself from the beginning of this cybersecurity journey, to pass this exam even if it takes me multiple times to do it.
Last month, I’m happy to share that I finally earned my very first cybersecurity certificate: CompTIA Security+ SY0-601. Passing this exam truly affirmed my decision to begin a career in this field. The learning never stops.
Although everyone has their own way of studying, I want to share with you the resources and tips that have helped me successfully pass this exam. I cannot guarantee that you will pass the exam as what I’m sharing is based on my own experience, however, with the amount of time and work you put in, your success and efforts will show in the results. I hope that what I share helps you in any way.
The first thing I did was research and find the appropriate study material for Security+ that worked for me. This took some time until I finally decided which courses and practice exams to stick to. There are a lot of free/affordable resources available out there, especially on Youtube and Udemy. It can get overwhelming. Know your learning style and choose accordingly. Check out this page to learn about different learning styles: thepeakperformancecenter.com/educational-le.. For myself, I learn best by doing all three: learning by seeing/writing, listening, and doing. I made sure to use resources that would aid me in my learning. I chose multiple resources to ensure each topic is fully covered in-depth and explained in different ways to help me understand the concepts. Most of the courses listed include additional hands-on labs that are not a part of the exam but are there to reinforce your learning.
Here are the resources that have helped me:
For visual/auditory learning (learning by seeing/writing and listening)
- Jason Dion’s CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) Complete Course and Exam: udemy.com/share/101Wj83@noGWRfZbJ_CmQBnm9O5..
- Darril Gibson’s CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead Sy0-601 Study Guide: getcertifiedgetahead.com/about-security-sy0..
- Professor Messer’s CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Training Course: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG49S3nxzAnkL2ul..
For kinesthetic learning (learn by doing)
- Jason Dion’s CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601) Practice Exams & Simulated PBQs: udemy.com/share/103z0w3@caZXub7_snvgGLE91XE..
- Professor Messer: professormesser.com/sy0-601-success-bundle
- DojoLab - PBQ practice exams: dojolab.org/labs/comptia-security-sy0-601
- CompTIA Security Exam Prep App (iOS)
Here are other highly recommended resources that you may also prefer:
- Ian Neil’s Security+ Study Guide: securityplus.training
- Mike Meyers and Dan Lachance’s Total CompTIA Security+ Certification (SY0-601): udemy.com/course/total-comptia-security-cer..
- Mike Chapple’s Security+ resources: certmike.com/securityplus
- Pocket Prep’s Security+ Practice Exam: pocketprep.com/exams/comptia-security
- LearnZapp’s CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Prep (iOS and Android): learnzapp.com/apps/securityplus/index.html
- CompTIA Official CertMaster: comptia.org/training/certmaster-practice/se..
- You can use multiple study materials. It might be better as some instructors provide in-depth information and examples about a topic whereas others briefly go through it. But if one is enough, do what works for you.
- CompTIA Security+ lists out all the objectives and acronyms for the exam. Use this to your advantage. You can find it here: comptia.org/training/resources/exam-objecti..
- Create a study schedule/timeline. It’s okay to fall off the tracks when it comes to studying. Having a timeline will help you get back on track and stay consistent.
- Check for discount vouchers included in the courses/study material you purchased. Most authorized instructors will include a discount voucher for your exam.
- Schedule your exam ahead of time. This will help you stay accountable in your studies. If you don’t, you might not end up doing it. Depending on the organization, you might be able to reschedule if the original date you set no longer works for you.
- The exam is composed of multiple choice questions (MCQ) and performance-based questions(PBQ) (i.e. matching, fill-in-the-blanks, etc.). Many suggest doing MCQs first and leaving all the PBQs last as they can be time-consuming. More information about the exam will be available on the official CompTIA website.
- You’ll see others recommend taking the exam after 1 month of studying. Some recommend 9 months. Everyone has their own pace. Focus on your path and choose a timeline that works best for you.
- Stay focused and believe in yourself.
- Want to study with us? Subscribe to Cybersecurity Central on Youtube and get notified for our #SecurityFriday videos: youtube.com/c/CybersecurityCentral
Are you thinking of taking the CompTIA Security+ certification? Let us know how you do on our LinkedIn post: linkedin.com/company/cybersecuritycentralorg
Good luck with all your studies!