Five tips for passing Security+

So, you think you are ready to take Security+. You have spent months studying material, quizzing yourself with flashcards and memorizing more acronyms than you thought existed.  You can easily define HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, and give their port numbers, all while explaining the precepts of risk management.  Good, but keep in mind, despite being an entry-level examination, Security+ is not easy.  The questions are worded in such a way as to require critical thinking and the subject matter is vast. Here are five tips (from someone who has taken and passed Security+) to help increase your chances of passing Security+.

1. Read the questions carefully.

Security+ questions are deliberately designed to require the test taker to thoughtfully consider them. If you rush through the test you will miss key tells in the questions. The test isn’t particularly long, and 90 minutes is plenty of time to pause and consider difficult questions.  Oftentimes you will find that it takes a few read-throughs of the question to discern what it is really asking.

2. Narrow down your answers.

If you don’t know for sure but you know two aren’t right you have a 50/50 chance. Even if you don’t know the answer immediately don’t panic. Also, always answer every question. If you simply have no idea give it your best guess. Make sure to make use of the review screen at the end if you have time to review questions you were uncertain about.

3. Always buy the retake.

If you aren’t entirely sure you will pass (and I mean 100%) buy the retake package. The retake is only an extra $70 and will provide you with invaluable peace of mind while you take the test. Knowing that you won’t have to shell out another $300 if you fail will allow you to take the test with less stress and focus on what matters: passing.

4. Don’t use brain dumps.

Just don’t do it. First, they are incredibly unethical. Secondly, a huge part of the value in gaining a certification like security+ is the process behind it. The innumerable hours of study and review that go into passing it provides the test-taker with valuable knowledge that can be applied to future jobs. Braindumps rob the prospective security+ holder of the opportunity to learn the material and earn the certificate while also devaluing the certification for the people who did study.

5. Take practice exams and review mistaken answers

Before I took the exam took over 1000 Security+ practice questions and reviewed all the ones I got wrong and learned why my answers were wrong. Practice exams give you the benefit of identifying areas of weakness which you can brush up on later.

There you have it. Hopefully, these tips can help you succeed at passing Security+ but remember the goal should be learning not passing. Study hard and use these tips! Remember the certification isn’t supposed to be easy, it takes real work to earn it. The cert also isn’t where the value is; the value comes from all the knowledge you gain while you are preparing to take it. Good luck, we’re rooting for you!

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