January 4, 2021

Just passed CompTIA Sec+ 501 about an hour ago….here is what I did….

I passed with a 788, so nothing to brag about but i only studied seriously for about 3 weeks. I just finished up my Associates at college and am going for this cert to expand job opportunities. I have plenty of high level job experience in other fields (Construction and Aviation) but no IT work. So, I’m trying to beef up my resume and prove to any company willing to take me on they can trust me to figure shit out.

Pre-test Set up) I did the PearsonVue online. It was easy as hell, I purchased a test and a time slot which was super easy on their site, checked in 30 min before the test, used my phone to take pictures of my messyass bedroom and sent them in. You cannot have a watch, paper, pencil, phone, other monitors, anything on your desk or any posters or written text hanging on the walls or anything. they will monitor your voice and webcam, and I could not have my headset on or within arms reach and I did get yelled at for putting my hand over my mouth during the test. (I do the thing where I rest my elbow on my desk and put my hand on my jaw when i’m thinking or reading hard). As long as you’re cooperative they’re cool. about stuff like that.

1)I took a 2 month class over the summer which focused on CompTia’s 501 book which was helpful. My teacher there gave me the best advice which was “Read the question”. He’d say it constantly and in a serious voice and damn if he was right.

1.5)READ the QUESTION….. SPECIFICALLY WHAT THE LAST SENTENCE IS ASKING! IM PRETTY SURE I ONLY PASSED BECAUSE I DID THIS!

2)The questions will range from a quick sentence to about a paragraph at max. the pattern I noticed was that most were 3 to 4 sentences with about the first one to two being filler to a scenario, the second to last having a big clue to the answer (sometimes) and the final sentence being the Question asked. ALWAYS REREAD THE LAST SENTENCE AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING ASKED. I caught the test multiple time using the first three sentences to lead you in a direction you think it is going….then go somewhere completely different. so yea READ THE QUESTION!

3) the first 5 question are Performance based and *may* stress you out. I read about a lot of people who took too much time on these and didn’t finish because of it. Skip them. You will have time at the end to go back and do them and they make it hard to exit the test without clicking a shitload of buttons with multiple warnings, so don’t worry. I skipped them and went back and suddenly they seemed so much easier. Also 3 of my 5 were VERY similar to this sites:”[https://passcomptia.com/comptia-security/](https://passcomptia.com/comptia-security/)”

4) Again with the questions on the test, Some situations have a list or order of “best to worst” I got a quite a few questions that were “this scenario happened” and in my head I automatically knew the best answer, but the question at the end was “Pick the best option below” and my answer was not there. So, ya gotta know the next best option. If there is a list, pro or con or order, know it forward and backwards. I’m sure this is where I lost most of my points.

5) I have experience with Linux, Programming and Networking. you’re going to get questions with a wall of text from a scan or program and might have a “what is going on here”. having just some basic knowledge of these subjects help me identify things like IF statements…which is a give away to a logic bomb, or port numbers which let me know someone is trying to use port 3389 to Remote in, stuff like that. I also saw posts where people complained about that. I’m not sure the solution to this but the GCGA premium test bank game me some exposure to this.

6)Know the Acronyms……..you just have to. Yes there is alot and they are huge but when you can spell out the acronym in your head it helps eliminate answers. plus give you an idea of what the function is and what is going on.

7) I studied hard for about 2.5-3 weeks over the holidays using [https://gcgapremiumpass.com/](https://gcgapremiumpass.com/) for maybe 3-6 hours a day. I only bought the Test questions package for like 40$ i think and It was totally worth it. that site out of the 4 or 5 I found had the most accurate representation of the PBQ’s and the actual test questions I got. I also Identified the areas i was the weakest in knowledge (Wifi security options and Cryptography) and went through the book I got from my summer class the day before on those chapters. Also expose yourself to a lot of questions and tests. get the same question from different angles and approaches and understand the concept behind what and why the answer is the way it is. they have a HUGE test bank but have to put certain information in there for the answer they’re looking for to be correct, eventually you learn to identify these nit-bits of info and the patterns.

8) What I didn’t see:

I expected more cloud questions, only got one.

Port numbers: not a huge deal but helped me figure out some questions quicker

Financial stuff: only one question on things like ALO and RTO

It was mostly focused on types of attacks and their identifiers, hashing knowledge, cryptography, network defense and a slew of scenario based stuff. This may not mean it won’t be in your test though.

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9) now off to get my CCNA! feel free to AMA if you’re studying for this right now, the two links I posted were the *most useful* I think for the test but use whatever works for you and Good Luck!

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