The Security+ exam is an essential stepping stone along any IT security career path. As companies move to the cloud and continue to need to keep their data protected, Security+ certified technicians become more in demand than ever. Here are some important things to know before you sign up for the test:

What is the format of the Security+ exam?

The format of the Security+ exam is much like other standardized tests, as it entails multiple choice, multiple response and fill in the blank; during this part of the exam you will be able to see a clock indicating how much time you have left. But a key part of the exam are performance-based questions, or PBQ, that require you to make split-second decisions in a simulated environment. These occur at the beginning of the test and you will not be able to see the timer.

Therefore, it’s important to manage your time wisely. You can either skip a question you don’t know or do some work on it, click the “done” box, then mark for later review. At the end of the test, you will be able to return to flagged questions before your final submission.

Security+ In-Person Examination

If you live in the United States or Canada you can choose to take the Security+ online exam, which is available 24/7 and requires a PC or Mac, camera and Adobe Flash. If you are in another country or would prefer to take the exam in person, you can find the nearest Pearson VUE Testing Center and schedule an exam.

On the day of the exam, you are not allowed to bring any laptops, computers or tablets. You will be asked for two forms of identification and are required to leave devices like smartphones and watches outside of the testing area. During the test you will have access to an online calculator.

There are six domains covered:

  • Network Security (20%)
  • Compliance and Operational Security (18%)
  • Threats and Vulnerabilities (20%)
  • Application, Data and Host Security (15%)
  • Access Control and Identity Management (15%)
  • Cryptography (12%)

How many questions are on the Security+ exam?

There are 100 questions in the exam.

How long do you have to take the Security+ exam?

You have 90 minutes to take the Security+ exam. This means you have less than a minute per question.

How is the exam scored? What score do you need to pass?

The exam is graded from 100-900 marks, with a minimum of 750 to pass.

How will I know if I passed? What happens if I fail?

Immediately after the exam, your score will appear on the screen as well as instructions for keeping your report emailed to you. If you’ve passed, congratulations!

If you fail the test, don’t despair. Your report will show you the areas you need to focus on.

Are there any exam pre-requisites?

CompTIA, the company behind the Security+ exam doesn’t have any official prerequisites. However, they suggest their Network+ certification as well as two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus.

Sec+ Training – Resources (InfoSec)

What are CompTIA’s Certification Exam Policies?

CompTIA complies with all local disability regulations to give as many people access to their tests as possible; requests are handled through service provider Pearson VUE. Citizens of a particular country are allowed to take Security+ exams within that country, but if a non-citizen wants to take the exam, they must first receive permission from CompTIA.

CompTIA does not allow for advance review of the Security+ exam. If there are any questions or concerns after the exam, you must submit a ticket which will then be reviewed. CompTIA does not respond directly to individual requests.

CompTIA manages the integrity of its Security+ exam by continually monitoring the performance and outcomes of exams. Occasionally, due to a variety of factors, an exam outcome will be classified as indeterminate and the candidate will not be given a certificate but will be allowed to retake the exam free of charge. If it is determined that the candidate breached their conduct policy, additional actions will be taken as outlined in the Candidate Agreement. To further ensure integrity and prevent cheating, all Security+ candidates must bring valid photo identification as well as be photographed at the test site; failure to do so will disallow you to take the test.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your Security+ exam date, you must give 24 hours notice (ADA applicants must give three days); otherwise, you will forfeit your fees.

Exam questions and passing rates are subject to change without notice.

InfoSec Security+ Resources

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. Security+ is a demanding exam, but with proper preparation it will be remarkably easy to pass. This is where InfoSec Institute comes in. We have a whole section of free resources including articles, ebooks and whitepapers covering essential security concepts you need to know.

If you’re ready to start prepping right now, jump into one of our Security+ Boot Camps which has a 95% pass rate, the highest in the industry. Don’t fall behind in your career goals, get Security+ certified today!

Be Safe

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