Security+ Resources

January 26, 2018 by Greg Belding


Are you thinking about taking the CompTIA Security+ exam? If your answer is yes and you want to get started gathering resources to prepare with – look no further. This article will detail what study resources to use to pass the latest version Security+ exam, SYO-501.

With Security+, you will be tested on what is generally assumed to be the knowledge and skill held by an Information Security professional with two years of full-time, day-to-day technical Information Security work experience.   This breaks down into a maximum of 90 questions divided up between multiple choice and performance-based questions. It should be noted that Security+ is the only baseline cybersecurity certification exam that features performance-based questions, so if you have another cybersecurity certification, then you will want to modify how you approach your exam preparation for Security+.

1. Study Books

It should be prefaced that while study books for Security+ can be very helpful, they should be just one method of study, not your bread-and-butter for test preparation. Security+ is not an exam that simply forces candidates to regurgitate information. You will find that many questions involve the application of knowledge and not knowledge alone. Therefore, practice test questions will be key to passing Security+.

The CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead SY0-501 Study Guide by Darril Gibson: This book is a top selling and top-rated study guide that is updated from the previous Security+ versions (SYO-201 through SYO-401). This study guide offers coverage of all the important, relevant portions of the exam without burdening the exam taker will excess needless study information. 300 practice test questions are included along with questions at the end of every chapter. Get Certified Get Ahead SYO-501 also features a 75-question pre-test and a 75-question post-test. Detailed answers are provided for the questions in this book along with a plethora of additional practice questions and other resources/online content. This book should be a go-to for any Security+ exam taker.

This resource can be purchased here.

CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition (Exam SY0-501) by Wm. Arthur Conklin and Gregory White: This book promises 100% coverage of all Security+ exam objectives. Included are 200 practice questions that simulate real-time exam questions in difficulty, format, and question style. Included with questions are in-depth answers and exam tips. CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide also features a cd filled with other study resources including a secured PDF version of the book. Buy this book here.

Mike Meyers’ CompTIA Security+ Certification Guide: Written by Information Security expert Mike Meyers, this book takes a slightly different approach than the books listed above. Aside from offering complete coverage of exam objectives and hundreds of practice questions, this book also features over 20 lab simulations and video training. This will prove invaluable for the performance-based exam questions and may make the difference in passing for some.  The author does a thorough job in breaking down the information into small, absorbable pieces that are easy to understand for even beginners in Information Security. This resource can be bought here.

2. Online Study Groups

Another good way to prepare for the Security+ exam is via an online “study group.” Obviously, when one thinks of this concept, images of meeting with friends at a local café to review concepts and materials is often conjured. But in the virtual world, you really do not meet with others directly in the physical sense, but you can interact with others in real time. One such primary example of this is offered by “CertMike.” Best of all, it is a free study forum, and a candidate can sign up here.

Another Security+ study forum 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 interact with the various study groups. This entity also offers other types of study materials in which you can interact with others as well,

  • The course notes can be purchased here.
  • The live labs can be purchased here.

Finally, useful tips in making the most out of your Security+ study group can be viewed here.

3. Online Study Forums

Another resourceful to use in which to interact with other Security+ exam candidates is the online forum. In these scenarios, 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 is currently offered by Tech, and a candidate can sign up and post questions/comments here.

4. Online Study Blogs

Another way to find questions to your answers to your questions is via the usage of online blogs. Here, a security expert writes on various topics on the areas of domain that are covered by the Security+ cert exam. In this regard, a comprehensive blog site to use can be found here. There are in total 16 main topics that can be accessed, and after clicking on any of those links, there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of other links in which you can access further information and content. Best of all, it’s free.

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 as well that you can get online, and via the use of their own forum, you can even get your questions/areas of uncertainty cleared up. Here is a sampling of the most popular and widely used sites that a candidate can access for free:


Security+ is a broad-based Information Security exam that tests exam takers on the skills generally held to be the skills that an IT professional working for two years would acquire. 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 free online sources listed above, or a combination of both, exam takers will be well positioned to pass the exam and accelerate their Information Security careers.

Posted: January 26, 2018
Articles Author
Greg Belding
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Greg is a Veteran IT Professional working in the Healthcare field. He enjoys Information Security, creating Information Defensive Strategy, and writing – both as a Cybersecurity Blogger as well as for fun.

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