I recently received my CompTIA Security+ ce certification (SY0-201), and like my A+ certification post, below is my experience with the Security+ exam:
To study for the Security+ exam, I used the following three resources:
- CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-201 Study Guide
- Mike Meyers’ CompTIA Security+ Certification Passport, Second Edition (Mike Meyers’ Certification Passport)
- MeasureUp Security+ Practice Test Questions
Unlike my A+ exam, I did take a 1-week bootcamp training course. I simply read the materials and reviewed all the practice questions. Really, that was it.
The first book mentioned above is very good. It covers the primary areas of the exam very nicely. The language of the book is well written, and very descriptive. There were a few errors in the text; however, there is an errata page online with the corrected information. The book also contains a lot of practice questions, which are always very helpful. Unfortunately, the practice questions are not on an accompanying CD-ROM, so you will be doing a lot of page-flipping back and forth between the answers and the original questions when you do your review. This is certainly not a deal breaker, but just something to keep in mind.
The Passport book mentioned in item number 2 above was only used as a quick review. I didn’t read the whole thing, since the first book covered most of the material very well. I would recommend doing the practice questions in the book and reviewing any answer you get wrong in the residing chapter. I found that to be very helpful at reviewing material you may have missed. This book also contains an accompanying CD-ROM with extra practice questions, and allows you to obtain 50 more free questions if you register on the publisher’s site. The questions are pretty good and are helpful in your review.
The last study aid was the MeasureUp test questions. I also used their practice questions to study for A+, and I found them to be very effective. The same is also true for Security+. Generally speaking, practice questions are perhaps the best study tool for taking a certification exam, as they help you get a feel for the type of questions you will encounter.
The test itself was quite fair. Many questions were easy, but many were also tricky. In the end, I did very well on the exam and the material referenced was of great assistance.
Unfortunately, the one area that the material above did not cover as much as I would have liked it to was Digital Forensics. Make sure you know the process of responding to a security incident and also inform yourself on some of the tools used. That is fair game for the test.