Security+ resources [updated 2021]
Prepare for the CompTIA Security+ exam
Are you thinking about taking the CompTIA Security+ exam? If your answer is yes and you want to get started gathering resources to prepare, look no further. This article will detail what study resources (materials and training) to use to pass the latest version of the Security+ exam, SY0-601. The CompTIA certification is an internationally recognized, vendor-neutral certification that demonstrates competency in securing infrastructure, hardware, applications and more.
Security+ serves as a baseline certification for professionals wanting to build a career in IT-related security, but also provides a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs. Candidates will be tested on what is generally assumed to be the knowledge and hands-on practical skills held by today’s professionals whose job roles include securing systems, software and hardware. With SY0-601, released in November 2020, CompTIA has reworked the Security+ curriculum to cover risk assessment and management, incident response, forensics, enterprise networks, hybrid/cloud operations and security controls. Passing the exam and being certified demonstrates the technical know-how and ability to perform such core security functions.
The test includes a maximum of 90 questions divided up between multiple-choice and performance-based questions. For professionals thinking of pursuing the certification, CompTIA recommends at least two years of experience working with networks and adept knowledge of security concepts. Here are tips on how to prepare for and pass the Security+ certification exam.
1. Study books
It should be prefaced that while study books for Security+ can be very helpful, they should be just one method of preparing for the examination. You will find that many questions involve the application of knowledge and not knowledge alone. Practice test questions will be key to passing Security+.
Mike Meyers’ “CompTIA Security+ Certification Guide, Third Edition (Exam SY0-601),” which will be released on May 7, 2021, is the new work of information security expert Mike Meyers and certification expert Scott Jernigan. This book promises to be a highly effective study resource featuring accurate practice questions.
The newly-released “CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: Exam SY0-601 Eighth Edition,” has been written by security experts Mike Chapple and David Seidl. It walks readers through the knowledge needed to face the five domains covered by the SY0-601 exam. It is a great resource to prepare for the practical portion of the exam as it “comes with the Sybex online, interactive learning environment that includes a pre-assessment test, hundreds of review questions, practice exams, flashcards and a glossary of key terms.”
Look for updated material like the “CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide, Fourth Edition (Exam SY0-601).” This will cover most material professionals will be challenged with on the exam and shows how to better prepare for the test. It is set to be released on August 22, 2021, and it promises to provide 100% coverage of all test area objectives.
The new “CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Exam Cram Premium Edition and Practice Test” will be available in digital form and is a combination of an ebook and Pearson IT Certification Practice Tests.
2. Online study groups
Another good way to prepare for the Security+ exam is via an online study group. One example of this is offered by CertMike featuring Mike Chapple. He has helped thousands of students earn their certifications through his books, courses and practice tests. Best of all, it is a free study group with a weekly practice schedule, exam tips and access to a community of fellow Security+ candidates. Join the free CertMike Security+ Study Group here.
Another Security+ study group that is popular and widely used is offered by an organization known as Professor Messer. This too is a free resource, and a candidate can sign up here to register now for the live Security+ study group. The organization offers other types of study material for members, such as access to the free SY0-601 CompTIA Security+ training course videos, which can be found here, or the SY0-601 Security+ course notes that are available immediately as a digital PDF download, which can be found here.
3. Online study forums
Another resource to use with other Security+ exam candidates is an online forum. You can post a question or get any other help you need to get the material clarified by other individuals. One of the more widely used forums, for example, is offered by TechExams, a popular online resource available to help its members prepare for their test while utilizing a network of industry contacts. You can sign up and post questions and comments here.
Want a few preparation hints and test tips? Then you can also visit a forum where members of the CompTIA Instructor Network (CIN), a worldwide community for instructors who provide CompTIA certification training, share their expert opinion.
4. Online study blogs
Another way to find answers to your questions is via online blogs. Here, a security expert writes on various topics on the areas of domain that are covered by the Security+ certification exam. In this regard, a comprehensive blog site that can be used is Get Certified Get Ahead by Darril Gibson, a technical author, trainer and holder of many certifications, including Security+. The study materials can be found here. Be sure to check out the page outlining available study resources for the certification.
5. Online study questions
Normally, when you purchase study material, practice exams and questions come with it. But there are also free Security+ practice questions/answers/exams you can get online, and via the use of their forum, you can even get your questions answered. Here is a sampling of the most popular and widely used sites that a candidate can access for free training, or purchase:
- Free Practice Tests for Security+ | CompTIA
- Security+ related practice questions from Infosec Skills
- Security+ video training course with practice test Q&As by Exam-labs.com
- Security+ certification practice tests and skill assessments by Cybrary
Use all of the sources available
Security+ is a broad IT security exam that tests you on the skills generally held by a professional working in the field for two years. While this amount of information may seem daunting to some, preparation for the exam does not have to be. By using some of the books and other online sources listed, or a combination of both, you will be well-positioned to pass the exam and accelerate your career.
For more on the Security+ certification, view our Security+ certification hub.
- Security+, CompTIA, Inc.
- Exam Objectives for Security+, CompTIA, Inc.
- Free Practice Tests for Security+, CompTIA, Inc.
- Free CompTIA Book Samples for Security+, CompTIA, Inc.
- The NEW CompTIA Security+: Your Questions Answered, CompTIA, Inc.