CASP: exam details and process
CompTIA has created the CASP (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner), which was developed for IT professionals that wish to pursue a career in cyber security and pentesting. It goes into great detail about hacking best practice as well as techniques that are commonly employed by systems specialists as they perform pentesting operations. It is a good follow up certification after the Security+ exam.
The need for such specialized skills stems from the fact that cybercriminal activity is on the rise, and threatens the ability of companies, government departments and organizations to operate their IT infrastructure. Sensitive data is also a primary concern for such entities, and safeguarding these systems is therefore of the utmost importance.
The CASP certification allows candidates to test their knowledge and to gain an internationally recognized qualification. CAS-002 was launched on January 20th 2015, and is being retired in 2018 (October 2nd) to make way for the newer CAS-003 version of the exam. CAS-003 will be launched officially on April 2nd 2018.
How many questions are in the CASP? How long do you have to complete the exam?
The CASP exam is an 80-90 question test that operates on a non-scaled, standard pass exam format. It is multiple choice and is performed-based, and candidates are given a maximum of 165 minutes to complete it.
Performance based questions (PBQ) create a simulated environment that offers unparalleled realism for practical hands on Operating Specific tasks. You can try a sample PBQ here. These questions obscure the clock, so be sure to manage your time carefully. A full explanation of PBQs can be found on ComTIA’s website here, as well as a list of FAQs relating to PBQs here.
What is the format of the exam?
The format of the exam is multiple choice and performance based, linked to a direct pass/fail score. This means that after the exam has been written there will be no results given to the candidate other than a pass or fail notification. The exam objectives are broken down into the following domains.
1.0 Enterprise Security 30%
2.0 Risk Management and Incident Response 20%
3.0 Research and Analysis 18%
4.0 Integration of Computing, Communications and Business Disciplines 16%
5.0 Technical Integration of Enterprise Components 16%
Where do I take the exam? How often are the exams scheduled?
The exam is taken at a Pearson VUE testing center. With this link you can find a testing center near you. The CASP exam can be scheduled by creating an account and logging in here. The full process to register your exam is as follows:
- Purchase an exam voucher
- Create your account
- Locate a testing center in your area
- Take note of the exam particulars
What score do I need to pass?
There is no set percentage for a passing score, and as such, candidates will only be told if they pass or fail. This can make reviewing your exam results difficult, but with the right learning methods the exam can be conquered without too much difficulty.
How long do I have to wait if I don’t pass on the first time?
If a candidate fails on their first attempt, CompTIA will allow them to rewrite it again within 24 hours, otherwise there are no prescribed waiting periods. If a candidate fails the exam a second time, they will have to wait for 14 calendar days before they will be able to write the exam for the third time.
If you decide that you cannot proceed with the exam, then you have the option of rescheduling, however there are some conditions. Exam rescheduling has to be done at least 24 hours before the exam is set to start. After that, the candidate will have to forfeit the examination fee. If this occurs then the candidate will have to pay again to write the CASP exam.
Recommended work experience
Candidates that wish to certify their CASP are recommended to have at least 10 years of IT administration experience with a heavy focus on IT security, and at least 5 years of hands on technical security experience.
What is the price of the CASP exam?
The cost of writing the exam for American applicants is currently $439 USD. Below is a current pricing table for all global regions:
In order to successfully sit in for your CASP exam, you must produce suitable identification in order to gain access to the exam venue. Failure to produce suitable identification will result in the candidate not being able to write the exam, and they will forfeit their examination fee. It is for this reason that candidates must ensure that they have a valid form of ID. CompTIA has a list of identification that will be accepted on exam day.
- All names on the presented identification documentation must match with the registered candidate’s names.
- Candidates that find themselves outside of their country of origin must present identification that is acceptable to the country in which they are attempting to write their CASP exam. A valid passport may be used in these cases.
- Original forms of documentation may only be presented, and not photocopies.
The types of primary IDs include
- An ITP
- A valid driver’s license
- A military ID
- An identification card (state, province or national)
- Registration card for foreign candidates (visa, permanent resident, green card)
- Any form of identification which contains at least one signature and name full names, or a recent, recognizable photo.
CompTIA has a Continuing Education (CE) program that allows candidates to keep their certification valid and current. This lets IT professionals stay well informed with any changes to the certification, and to the industry as well. Continuing Education also helps candidates to stay current with new technologies and emerging trends in IT security, making it a valuable tool for IT specialists that have already completed a CompTIA certification that requires Continuing Education. In the case of the CASP certification, candidates must ensure that they maintain their certification every 3 years. This can be done by paying $50 per year, or $150 every 3 years.
InfoSec offers a CASP bootcamp
Candidates that want to take the CompTIA CASP exam will find that InfoSec offers a fantastic Boot Camp for aspiring candidates. The InfoSec Institute Bootcamp provides IT experts with one of the most comprehensive learning facilities for the CASP exam and offers award winning training, an exam pass guarantee, and is an analyst recommended course.
CompTIA’s CASP certification offers IT security professionals with an excellent means by which they can showcase their knowledge of cyber security. The entrance requirements for this exam means that only practicing IT administrators and cyber security experts can attain this certification, making it highly sought after and a good indicator for potential employers to consider when vetting potential future employees.
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