CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Practice Exams with Simulations

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All questions are based on the Exam Objectives for the SY0-501 exam for all 6 domains of the exam, so you can take and pass the actual CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) certification exam with confidence.

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Jason Dion • 200,000+ Students Worldwide


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0 posts • 33 mentions • top 32 shown below

r/CompTIA • post
60 points • Delete-Reddit
Passed Security+ on my first attempt with a score of 834/900

Today I passed on my first attempt with a score of 834/900. A pass is a pass but the score, in my opinion, proves that the resources below work.

I am a software developer with no real hard IT background (switches, routers, networking, etc). This is my first (and last) cert... no A+ or Networking+.

Resources used, in the order provided: 1. Professor Messer video series

  1. Darril Gibson's book, including all quizzes and tests from his book

  2. Jason Dion's Udemy practice exams

  3. Mike Meyers' Udemy practice exams

I studied for 4 weeks with the last week being more relaxed and just a general refresher of all topics covered.

I found the practice tests from the resources above to be more technical and ambiguous than the actual test. If you are passing the tests from the above listings you are ready for the test. The performance-based questions from the test were straightforward and fast to complete.

Darril Gibson's book is by far the absolute best primary resource to study. Professor Messer's videos are a good introduction to each exam topic and for a general baseline knowledge prior to reading the book. The Udemy practice tests were worth it for me just to get experience from a broad set of differently styled questions.

I am happy to answer any questions. Thanks to this subreddit for giving me the resources needed to be successful.

r/CompTIA • post
18 points • bugroth
Passed Sec+: A horrible procrastinator's anecdote

I'll keep it sweet and straightforward; I value simplicity, and I hate tests. I scored 800/900

Wat do:

  1. I scheduled the exam 4 weeks in advance; Didn't start studying until a week before.
  2. I used only 2 resources: Darrel Gibson's Get Certified Get Ahead ($10 eBook), and Dion's Practice Exams (got a 77, 81, 77, 78, respectively - I didn't do all 6. I probably didn't need it, quite honestly)
  3. I spent a week reading GCGA. Front to back. Read an avg of 2-3 chapters per day, from 7PM till 6AM (I get bored and easily distracted so it took quite a while).
  4. My method of studying involved having one half of the eBook on one side of my screen and the other half on OneNote. I took notes as I read; I basically just re-wrote the whole book, but condensed. Slow and painful, but good for comprehension.
  5. I did the end-of-chapter exams. Averaged an 80%. I took the final exam at the end of the book. Got an 80%.
  6. Took the exam today. I was baffled at how much more difficult the questions were than the ones that I had practiced. That was the case for me, at least. Probably not others.
  7. Every question was met with trepidation. I felt like I didn't know anything, as though all that studying was all for naught. I ran out of time at the end, and panic-answered the questions I had missed with an educated guess.

How do:

  1. My study methods probably weren't the most efficient, but they were certainly effective for me. Reading a paragraph and typing a few lines of paraphrased notes served me towards comprehension and understanding. Flash cards simply remind me of cramming for a college exam the night before, so I don't do it.
  2. I dislike reading textbooks. Too dry. But the way I got through it was to visualize all the concepts in the textbook to help with consolidation. It made me put a mental image to a concept (e.g., CHAP - I picture a literal handshake, or Asymmetric encryption - I picture two individuals sending each other mail and using physical keys)
  3. It's one thing to understand the concepts, but it's another thing to take tests. I genuinely had a good feeling about the material to the point where I could teach someone about any topic they chose on the study guide. However, test-taking is a completely different beast. You really have to read the question, and read the answer. It was like playing a detective game - seeking out clues and holes in a person's narrative. I spent a lot of time reading the question, hence why I took up the whole time. Even so, I felt pretty hopeless in each answer I chose.
  4. I studied at my own pace. I would read for a few hours, then take a break. Sometimes I would read as little as a paragraph, get bored, and take a break. Thing is, you gotta put yourself in the proper mentality to want to continue and learn. It certainly helped. I wasn't rushing.
  5. I'd say the book alone was sufficient for me. The only time I went to external resources was to take the practice tests that everyone swore by, and looked up a list of port numbers on Google because I was too lazy to write them all.
  6. I went over the answers I got wrong. I read the reasoning as to why the answer was wrong and why the right answer is the correct answer. It really just ended up helping me reason through questions much more easily. It helped me deduce a more correct answer during the exam.

From 0 to 100 in a short time. I'm still suspended in disbelief. Honestly didn't think I wouldn't pass. But if a lazy procrastinator could do it, then so can you.

r/CompTIA • post
67 points • sventekisalive
Security+ passed with 865

First, thanks to this subreddit for the great information. It helped me a lot in my prep!


Been working in different capacities in IT for the past 20 years, starting with basic desktop support, administering Linux servers, networks in a small company environment and working the last years in software development. I have a MSc in Computer Science. I have no in-depth networking or Linux knowledge, just the basics.


Looking for a new challenge in IT and always been interested in the security aspects of it. This is my first certificate of any kind, btw. Wanted to spend as little money as possible and do it in the least amount of time.

Prep material

Darril Gibson book, $10:

Excellent book. Well explained, covers it all. Only a few points are not explained in-depth enough, I googled those.

Darril Gibson app, $15:

Practice exams on-the-go plus flashcards. I was too lazy to write those myself.

Jason Dion practice exams, $14 or so:

Good to practice some of the basics, helped me to build my confidence. Explanations are short and not very good.

Boson Practice Exams: $85 with a coupon:

These had the best explanations by far. I still consider this purchase a mistake as quite a few questions were referring to subjects that are not part of the 501 syllabus and I spent too much time trying to figure this out. Also, this is a Windows-only software download, a hello from the 1990s.


Spent around 12 hours a day learning.

Day 1-7: Read Darril's book, making notes along the way in Notability. Did all the practice exams in the book as I went along.

Day 8: Read all the notes again, went on Google to clarify a few points, started doing the practice exams with Boson.

Day 9: Practice exams all day, from 9 in the morning until midnight.

Day 10: Exam in the morning. Passed, thankfully.


After some connection troubles (use a wired connection!) everything went fine. I had to show that a TV in the same room is disconnected. Customer service was helpful and patient.

The exam contains quite a few hands-on questions that the Darril book won't teach you. The best way to prepare is to play around with some network equipment at home, set up a firewall in a VM for example, set up a small linux server and become familiar with the shell etc. You can probably pass without any hands-on experience but it will make it MUCH harder.

As far as exam tactics, this has been mentioned a few times before: skip the PBQs in the beginning and come back to them at the end. Otherwise you'll spend way too much time on them and mess up the rest of the questions. Also, read the questions super-thoroughly, all the hints are in there.

Wish all of you the best of luck, you can do it!

r/CompTIA • comment
3 points • what_is_breakfast

This the course?

r/ccna • comment
2 points • phabeon

>I checked Udemy for Jason Dion's stuff, but it was $94.99 for the Course+Exam and then $99 for his practice exams.

FYI my friend, the Jason Dion stuff is on sale again for the $14 v/s $95

Jason Dion Sec+ Practice Exams

r/CompTIA • comment
2 points • Ryu_101

Awesome! I’ve been preparing for past 3 months. It’s been a Trip!! Finished and summarized Sec+ all in one exam guide. But there is soo much theory and pointers to remember. Now practicing test dumps. Seems it actually questions from the exam. i really don’t want to buy Daryl Gibson’s book when I’ve just finished 600+ page book. Even after finishing that when I took those questions I didn’t do well. I realize I need to get better at answering the exam questions because knowing the theory is just not enough. I def want to take my exam soon now. I feel like I’ve went thru the same ups and downs . It’s giving me more motivation to take it and pass it. Got the A+ and Net+ which was the hardest imo. Also working in the IT field for 5years now. Did you use the below link for the udemy practice quest? And have you used gratisexam website before?

r/AirForce • comment
1 points • newpurp

I've been out of tech school for like 2 months so I can't answer all those questions but I'll try.

As far as the main coursework I don't think you really need to prepare. Even for me with no prior experience it wasn't crazy hard , just study and Bryan Hall should be cake.

For Sec+ on the other hand I would start trying to watch Professor Messer videos right now. Don't let them distract you from your main course work but I'd suggest going through his whole video series at least once before you get to the actual sec+ class.

Also buy the udemy practice tests

If you can make an 80+ and up on those you should be able to pass sec+. Don't take them all at once tho

It would be really hard for me to speak on the civilian marketability aspect but most people in my shop say that if you get CCNA you can make some decent money.

Can't speak on the last aspect since I've really only been in the capital A Air Force for like a month and a half

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • Thefinancehobbyist

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • CyberArsenal

If you can spare 12 dollars you can get the jason dion practice tests, they are on sale right now which they are often, it may even be cheaper because you would be a new user. It comes with 6 tests the simulations are interactive. This along with Professor messor’s free youtube videos and the darril Gibson gcga security+ book is what I used to pass security+. I passed and I am also a student and it is really doable good luck.

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • _V3rax

I just checked, they’re $13.99

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • kdeep5643

Thanks, idk but when bought them they were on a huge discount. It should have 6 practice exams. Here is the link anyway:

r/CompTIA • comment
2 points • Tokomuru

I suggest focusing on studying for the simulations. Those have the heaviest weight. Here's a link for some practice tests and simulations -

r/CompTIA • comment
2 points • baghdaddy1245

Here's Mike Meyers udemy course:

And heres the udemy course for those practice exams:

r/CompTIA • comment
8 points • ovalfears

I used the Glen E. Clarke CompTIA Certification Study Guide, but honestly I'm not a big book learner, more of a visual. So I did the Mike Chapple course on Linkedin Learning first and went all the way through those. That gave me a good overview.

Then, I did Jason Dion's practice tests on Udemy which I can't recommend enough:

I'd do one exam (there are 6 total I think?) every few days or so, then see what sections I did worst on and identified my knowledge gaps that way. Then I'd go back to the book and review those in more depth. I also got Professor Messer's Security+ Study Guide and watched some of his videos as supplemental material as well.

r/CompTIA • post
2 points • Burningswade
Passed Security+ SY0-501 with a 825/900

After passing my Network+ in December of 2019, I started studying for Security+ about a month after. Studying slowed down just a bit when I landed my first IT job at a CSP in February, but I slowly chipped away at it until I felt very confident. Like many posters suggest, I used several different sources of material to help me study, which mirrored almost exactly how I studied for Network+.


I started with Darril Gibson's CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. After reading through the entire book, I then watched Professor Messer's CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Training Course, taking notes and highlighting things that didn't click right away.

After studying my notes and watching the videos that covered topics I felt I was weak in, I purchased Jason Dion's CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Practice Exams with Simulations from Udemy. For the practice tests I scored in this order: 70%, 77%, 81%, 82%, 80%, and 82%. The practice tests prepared me well for the multiple choice section of the exam, however the PBQ's were significantly harder on the actual exam. Also, my father is currently studying for Sec+ and has had great things to say regarding Professor Messer's practice exams, so those are definitely worth a shot as well.

Lastly, I did a TON of Q&A using Professor Messer's study groups. He holds a Security+ study group every single month that includes 1 PBQ and 5-6 multiple choice questions, and then \~1 hour of viewer calls/questions. Additionally, he has a Security+ pop quiz on his Twitter/Instagram every week that helps a bunch. /u/professormesser Thank you from the bottom of my heart. After "spending" all this time with you through your video series on Network+ and Security+ along with your study groups that date back almost 2 years for each exam, I feel like we're great friends, even though you have no idea who I am. You are a saint, and I can't thank you enough for the content you create. Please keep doing exactly what you're doing.


With all that being said, I am talking a small break to rest my brain, and then it's onward to the CCNA!

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • Grey212

At the time of this comment

CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Practice Exams with Simulations from Jason Dion on sale for $13 USD but the sale blurb says it is ends in a day, should I immediately panic buy this?

r/CompTIA • comment
3 points • NHFilm

What's up u/iamnotacrook36,

I do have a few tips...

  1. Keep it simple. I read through CompTIA Security+ Exam Objectives and then read the textbook, CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition. As I went I took detailed notes and made sure I didn't miss anything in the exam objectives. There was on the exam that I did not see in the textbook. Everything was accounted for.
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice. I purchased these 6 CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Practice Exams with Simulations. These exams are great because when you review your results you get really detailed explanations about the correct and incorrect answers. I used this same exam brand for my Network+ and it was the balls (whiskey is kicking in).
  3. Take the test when you are ready. Setting a hard deadline on this is hot trash. I originally had my exam scheduled for August 30th. On August 28th I knew if I went into the exam room I might as well just light my $350 on fire and call it a day (whiskey is really kicking in). Do you! You want to go into this exam feeling wicked nervous, but also knowing you have it in the bag. I just thought about all the early mornings I put in to studying for this thing and the rest took care of itself.

I had five simulations and two of them kicked my ass. They are not as intense as you think. One of the simulations was really odd and I am still not sure what it exactly wanted from me (sometimes the questions just suck). The other one that killed me had to do with creating a few firewall rules. If I had a better understanding of Firewall ACL format I probably would have been fine.

But here is the thing. Just because your practice simulations are difficult doesn't mean the Security+ exam ones are going to be difficult. One of my simulations involved a picture of a device and all I had to do was drag a few specific keywords under it. It was nothing serious.

All you need to do is make sure you understand the CompTIA Security+ Exam Objectives and you will be fine. Best of luck!

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • isfco

I bought two: Udemy Sec+ 501 exam practice. (NO study material). Contains ONLY 6 practice exams,produced by expert, Jason Dion. Those six practice tests I did like a lot. The actual learning course, Dion full Sec+ 501 course, with one practice exam caused me to be delayed & that stressed me out, this constraint! I never would have dreamed that a customer HAD to go through the entire darn, dang long course sections completely, IN ORDER, just to be able to use/study the few sections I had bought the material for, to begin with. It Killed me that I couldn't go directly & instantly to the three domains I Needed! Oh no, I had to set the video play speed to 2x, & let the entire bloody course run along on it's own, then take dumbed down section quizzes, each time the course stopped playing, as it arrived at the quiz piece. 😤😡 All that time & effort, to complete a LONG course, just so I could FINALLY view, on demand, the few sections that I had actually NEEDED to drill down INTO, deep. The other thing that PEEVED ME, is that you CANNOT print out or capture the entire MISSED questions review list in a single motion. I agree that you can scroll up and down and view your MISSED questions (or even the correct ones), but what I wanted was to quickly capture or print my misses, as I have been compiling all my challenging material into 'my gotcha' review file. It's just a word document where I paste or embed everything that I had a bit of trouble with. (YES, I know WHY all these study/cert prep content owners now make it hard for us regular IT students to get what we need; DUH, it's due to the cheaters & thieves who want to swipe the owner's material, questions/answers!) But, since there's no way to prevent them from buying the course & snapping images of every question / answer choice set and then use those snips, so they can manually write up copies of the high-quality questions, that are written with great skill, by security experts. I feel bad for these Pros, but it's the paying students that are being impacted by the constraints that are put in place; the bad guys don't care if someone makes it harder, they'll do whatever they have to do to rip off what they want.

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • CharmingBluejay

I recommend Dion's 6 Practice Exams with Simulations

To do well on the simulations, I recommend really knowing your concepts rather than memorizing vocabulary.

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • Professional-Dork26
r/cybersecurity • comment
2 points • Howl50veride

I studied 3-4 hours every day and 5-6 hours on the weekends for two months. Watched Udemy course, made notes, read the book, it has exam highlights throughout the chapters highly recommend reading those. Then spent at least 3 weeks taking the practice exams till I was getting 95%+

Used theses resources

Darril Gibson

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

And Jason's Dion udemy course and practice exams

The books questions were the most accurate to the test and Jason Dion's test were great but not as accurate but still amazing.

r/CompTIA • post
5 points • htmlgirl
I passed Security+ with a 837!

tl;dr Study materials: Professor Messer videos, CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide" by Darril Gibson, practice tests (CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Prep, Jason Dion - CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Practice Exams with Simulations (Udemy). Tip: Schedule the exam asap.




I graduated with a BS in IT in 2008. Since then, I have been mostly working as a web developer. I started developing an interest in security and I figured studying for this exam would give me an overview.

This was my first certification. I didn't take a+ or network+ even though that seems to be the typical order of things. My main goal in all of this was to learn and I really had no interested in the a+ material or networking. I do think that it may have been helpful to learn the networking material first, as it seemed to overlap with the material for security+.

My biggest issue with this process was probably self-confidence. Even after studying for months, I didn't feel like I had everything down pat and I was scared of taking the test and failing. What helped with this was:

  1. buying the voucher for the test, this way I was limited by how long I could actually let myself keep studying.
  2. being an impulsive type - one day I just scheduled the test without thinking about what I was doing
  3. My coworker and husband both were helpful. They are both in IT and have the certification. They would answer questions and especially with my husband, I felt like I had a private tutor who could answer any questions I had (especially network related things). He knew how much I had studied and he would keep encouraging me to "just take the test already".

I also have ADHD and struggle with being overwhelmed with things. That is where breaking down the chapters and scheduling them for certain days really helped.

Another worry of mine, was that because of covid, I couldn't take the test at a testing center unless I wanted to keep delaying it, so I scheduled an online exam. This was a new thing with Comptia and I was really worried about something going wrong during the test. Luckily I had no issues with anything. I recommend getting everything prepared the day before if you are going to do it online. I had a whole todo list of things, including using the bathroom, because you cannot take a break for any reason.


Study Resources

  • Professor Messer videos
    I started with these videos, I would watch them while walking on the treadmill at the gym. It really helped that there are captions to the videos, as I usually have trouble retaining information from audio. For me, these videos gave me a good overview of all of the topics. I'm sure they would have been even more helpful if I had taken notes while watching.



  • Practice Tests

  • CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Prep app.
    This app had similar questions as the book, but the repetitiveness of the app flashcards helped me solidify my knowledge and see where my gaps were. I would just use this app causally as I was watching tv/relaxing for the night or waiting for an appointment. I really liked how I could do small amounts of questions at a time because even if I had only 5 minutes, I could still study. I did the tests on here over and over until I was at 100% in all topic areas.

  • Jason Dion - CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501) Practice Exams with Simulations (Udemy)
    I took each of the 6 tests until I scored above 95% in all categories.


My advice is to create a list of things you want to do to prepare for the exam. My todo list looked similar to this:

  • Read book
  • Read chapter 1
  • Read chapter 2
  • Watch videos
  • Watch videos 1.1
  • Watch videos 1.2

Once you have a study plan, schedule the test.


I started studying for this test over a year ago, but once I finished the videos and reading the book, I should have scheduled the test. I kept putting it off because of self-confidence issues, so I highly recommend scheduling the test asap.

r/CompTIA • comment
2 points • DigitalSlim

Yes, sir.

  • Sec+ Get Certified Get Ahead:

  • Professor Messer Sec+ video course:

  • Mike Meyers Sec+ course on Udemy:

  • Jason Dion's practice exams on Udemy:

Hope this helps. Good luck!

r/CompTIA • post
2 points • Kilown
Udemy - Which one

So I been directed by my job that i must take the test for SYS -501 Sec + by the first of September. I am NOT a IT type of person, but due to lack of math in my college I was placed in IT. With that out the way I have been doing a good amount of Reddit to see what to study where to get resources and lastly (what this post is about) what I should purchase to get additional study material.

I have been blessed with taking The Learning Tree Boot camp, when I finished this Boot Camp I left more confused than educated. The good thing about the boot camp is they gave me a Book, all the power point slides and even a site that has \~ 200 questions (to include ports and acronyms). This does not help me honestly, I am aware this would be perfect for some , but its not for me.

I seen a vast amount of people talking about udemy and Jason Dion class, he has 2 of them, and i am wondering which one is better for someone whom is more a visual learner not a book learner.

Here are the two i was looking at:




Last question: if I get the monthly from Udemy can i take both of these or am i locked into the single class / program ?

Thanks a lot to all

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • RecordHigh

Here is what I used:

I liked Professor Messer's Tests the best, and then the ones in the Darrill Gibson book. The Dion ones were just OK, but there were 7 of them, so they made up for being a little sub-par by having volume.

In addition to reading the Gibson book, I also watched all of Professor Messer's videos once and a few of the videos twice. And then I did a bunch of Googling to get things like port numbers and for other odds and ends.

I've actually been doing software development for almost 30 years, but I was surprised by how many gaps I had in my knowledge. I knew encryption and the vulnerability issues really well going in, and the physical security was common sense to me, but a lot of the network hardware, software and tools; authentication protocols; and intrusion detection and intrusion prevention I knew embarrassingly little about, so those were the hardest parts for me. I've walked through plenty of server rooms and data centers, but never had to touch much network hardware and software.

I was in a position where I was changing jobs and everything was set up before the pandemic hit, and then everyone went into hiding at home once the stay at home orders happened. About a week before I started, they said "you have Security+, right?" And I didn't have it, so I had to get it ASAP. I crammed for about 2 weeks and still didn't feel 100% confident, but I figured I'd go for it and keep my fingers crossed. I had a pretty good feeling that I would pass it, but you never know.

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • AWS_2019


Dion training always has the courses on sale, they redirect to Udemy with a coupon applied.

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • JT_Chavez

There are several that cover topics on the exam, I personally feel as though Jason Dion's do a decent job in giving you the same feeling as the real thing, his PBQs are definitely the highlight of his exams as they give you a very accurate representation of what to expect.




Jason Dion:

r/ITCareerQuestions • comment
1 points • kushtoma451

2-3 months of study should be more than enough and that's speaking of someone with no prior IT at all. You get a huge discount on CompTIA certs by buying the vouchers using your college .edu address.

Some popular study material for security+:

*Prof Messer (YouTube) - Link

*Jason Dion (Udemy) - Link

*Jason Dion practice exam set (Udemy) - Link

*Darril Gibson Security+ course (highly recommend) - Link


Good Luck!

r/CompTIA • comment
1 points • Beergogs

You got this! Do some more studying and make sure you grasp the core concepts, which is like from A+ and Network+. I really liked the practice tests on UDemy ( I feel like I got mine for like 20$ I dunno why it says 99$) but it has REAL questions from the test as the performance-based-questions mine was almost identical except for a few things.

I am not a huge fan of boot camps, because they just shove so much data in your face and if you don't take the test right after you lost it. I would recommend Professor Messer on YouTube it's free and very good. He also has notes you can download for 20$ which are basically the slides from YouTube. He does study groups where you get real questions live with him once a month as well. Check out his Security+ Playlist, as well as those Study Group Playlists for Sec+

Another big one is to know your ports and what services they run and what those services do.

You'll get it next time. If you have an EDU account you can get the test at 50% off, or a friend can get you a voucher through their EDU account for 50% off :P. (Most colleges give you an E-Mail as you register, but you won't have to enroll in classes). I even think there's a web service that will give you the EDU pricing as well.

Good luck! :)

r/CompTIA • comment
2 points • Kirkm96

Hey! I'll break my experience down from start to finish:

So originally I started with just the Darril Gibson: SY0-501 Get Certified Get Ahead Study Guide. This piece of material is daunting when you first pick it up, it looks like a big giant textbook, and it is, but the content inside it is brilliant. Everything is broken down into a really clear and concise format, the diagrams are detailed and well explain and the analogies and style of writing means that is not a grind to pick it up and read 40-50 pages at a a time. A really worthwhile investment. All in all, I'd say to full study this and take a lot of the key topics from this book took me about a month, back to front.

Link to Darril Gibson Study Guide:

I also get a bit of time to study in work and usually kept my textbook at home, so I found Mike Chapple's video course online. The entire watch is around 17 hours, but it's detailed and provided a little something different/more relaxed than reading and note taking. 1 topic (6 in total) averaged at around 2.5-3 hours I'd estimate, so you could cover a topic an evening if you were feeling motivated. Definitely worth looking into.

Into the week before the exam, I recapped with some, not all, of Prof. Messer's quick videos on Youtube. These were really useful for a quick recap, but not as detailed as Chapple's. They were especially useful if I had a 'oh crap, what is this again' or 'is this a scenario where I use this? Or use a different technology'. I personally didn't attend any of his live study classes as the times didn't suit, but I've heard good things about them too from others.

Link to Professor Messers SY0-501 course:

So yesterday, the day before the exam, I was ready for a big day. I had the day off work, the fridge was stacked with food, the laptop was ready, books out. I made the decision to buy Jason Dion's examination pack of 6 practise tests on Udemy (£11) and I really think this paid off and may have pushed me over the line. Exposure to mock PBQs will help tremendously as they're different from the standard multiple choice questions you'll be used to from other resources.
I was averaging around 82% on these the day before the exam and they were great for a confidence builder and very easy to use.

Link to Jason Dion's Practice Exams:

My tips:

  • Keep going: Once you start, just keep going. There will be nights you're tired and the last thing you want is to pick up a book, or make flash cards, or anything to do with the course, but I cannot stress enough how important this is. Forgetting key topics is very simple, and many topics are related to others once they first appear. Even reading your notes from the night before to keep it fresh is a massive step in the right direction.

  • Familiarise yourself with command line experience: Get into your computers CLI and have a poke around, see what makes what tick, be inquisitive and you'll learn. I was not prepared for the amount of command line questions and log reviews I had to perform during the test, and this definitely left me feeling uneasy. Some of the resources I used didn't seem to place as big an emphasis on log reviews etc, but you will get questions regarding this.

  • Keep asking questions, always: Don't suffer in silence and think: "this will be fine, it won't come up". This happened me and I had two questions that I knew the vague concept, but didn't dig deep enough to fully grasp the question. Sometimes you'll need to follow your curiosity to gauge a deeper understanding. Ask yourself 'why' from time to time, e.g. 'DES is a weak algorithm for encryption. Why?'. If you're not sure to the answer, the chances are CompTIA will have a question lined up surrounding this.

Exam Experience:

The exam experience I had was very different to anything I've experienced in school/university. It's a basic room, 3-4 computers and that's it. The stress is horrible, I had butterflies in my stomach, you've paid for the exam, you think you're ready but you're also barely confident you know how to spell 'cyber security', never mind sit an exam in it.

After 25-30 questions I had resigned myself to the fact that I had failed, I wasn't focused, I wasn't confident I'd even answered a single question right, but I kept going. I've read of multiple people having this issue, but it's like a marathon runner hitting the wall, just push past it, flag questions, use your time wisely and keep going. You'll feel a sense of relief when you finish.

I'd also like to note I rescheduled my exam. I found I wasn't on top of my resources, I'd forgotten half the information I'd learnt in the priors weeks and I wasn't ready. I think this was the smartest decision I made in the entire journey. I'd recommend booking the exam, see how you feel 2 weeks out and ask yourself are you on target? Sit a practise exam and see if you need to. Rescheduling takes all of 5 minutes and could save you a couple of hundred shiny coins down the line.

Any more questions, fire ahead. I took so much from this community when studying, it's only right I give back.

r/UMBC • comment
1 points • cjayspeed

Passed Security+ in January. Here are the main resources I used:

-Prof. Messer Videos:

-Darill Gibson Book:

Jason Dion Pracice Tests:.


The kindle edition of the book can be bought for 10 dolllars on amazon and the udemy practice tests fluctuate in price but udemy is having a sale through tommorow where the cost is 12 dollars . Practice questions were critical to passing the exam imo.

Feel free to pm me if you have anymore questions.