Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pass the Security+ Exam in 30 Days or Less

Several Amazon reviewers of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide have mentioned they have passed the Security+ exam in 30 days or less.

In response, many readers have asked me for a day-by-day schedule they can use to take and pass this exam in 30 days or less.

If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse."

- Jim Rohn

If you really want to earn this certification, and you have some IT experience, you can pass the Security+ exam and earn this certification. Here are seven simple steps.

1) Get a Good Study Guide to Pass the Security+ Exam

The first step to pass the Security+ exam in 30 days or less is to get a good study guide. I hear from people almost daily that have passed the exam using the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.
Don't take my word for it though. Check out these reviews on Amazon.
  • "Well written. After 3 weeks of study I passed with an 816."
  • "I got this book and studied like crazy for one month....After all my preparation, I take the test and score 841 of 900!!"
  • "This Book is simply amazing....I was required to take this for my job, and was only given 9 days to study. I am happy to report that I managed to score an 841."
  • "I read a chapter and a half a day for two weeks, took my test and passed."
  • "The information is provided in a clear and concise fashion that highlights aspects of the text that need to be remembered for the test. Bottom line I read this in three days, took the exam and passed with an 885."
The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is available in both a paperback and Kindle format. Because it is enrolled in Amazon's Kindle Matchbook program, you can get the Kindle version for only $2.99 if you buy the paperback book from Amazon.
You can also get supplementary materials for the study guide including:

2) Do the Assessment

As soon as you get the book, do the Assessment exam at the beginning of the book.
When doing practice test questions from the book, write down your answers on a piece of paper instead of marking up the book. This way you can take the questions again later without seeing the answers circled.
Alternatively, you can use purchase the online practice test questions. The 60 day packages include the questions organized by chapters.

3) Schedule Your Exam

Schedule your exam for 30 days after you do the assessment.
This extra commitment is enough to keep most people going when they get to a challenge. You can always reschedule it later if you need to. 

4) Start Studying

Read half a chapter a day for four days in row.
  • After reading, review the Chapter Review topics for what you read.
  • After the review, do at least 10 of the practice test questions for the chapter.
  • After doing the practice test questions, take the time to read the explanation.

5) Mix Studying with Review

After four days of studying new material, take one day for review.
  • Reread all the chapter reviews from chapters you've finished.
  • Do all of the practice test questions that you've finished previously.
  • Look at blog articles for any topics that interest you or you want to dig into deeper.
Some blog articles that might interest you are:
After the review day, spend the next four days reading new material followed by another day of review. The last set of studying days will be only two days of new material.

6) Do the Post Exam

Do the post exam at the end of the book.
  • After doing the practice test questions, take the time to read the explanations.
  • Review any material that isn’t clear to you.

7) Take the Exam and Celebrate Your Success

On test day, review key material. This includes:
  • Chapter Reviews from each chapter
  • Key tables within the book such as:
    • The Ports table (Table 3.1)
    • OSI topics (Table 3.2)
    • Wireless standards (Table 4.1)
    • Algorithms (Table 10.1)
    • Symmetric encryption protocols (Table 10.2)
This post includes five success tips for the Security+ exam, including some strategies you can use when answering the questions.
After taking the exam, take time to celebrate your success. You deserve it.