COMPTIA SECURITY+ SY0-501 OVERVIEW/STUDY GUIDE
I took the CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 certification exam in 2018 and scored (822/900). I want to share my study methodology and provide a study timeline. Security+ is an amazing certification to get for those that want to break into the cybersecurity industry.
If you’re interested in taking the exam, you can view the exam objectives here:
GCGA SYO-501 Security + By Darril Gibson:
CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide
Professor Messer’s Security+ Youtube Videos:
(Videos – Free | PDF Notes – $20)
Professor Messer Security+ Playlist
Pocket Prep Security Plus ($10):
Apple App Store: Pocket Prep Security Plus
MeasureUp Practice Exam ($119 – Not Required):
MeasureUp Security+ Practice Exams
GCGA SYO-501 Security + By Darril Gibson
- This book was the core of my preparation for the certification, try to thoroughly understand the content of the book, and make sure to use active reading techniques.
- As I read the book, I highlighted the book, and I also reread the “remember this” section until I fully understood it.
- For the practice questions at the end of each chapter, figure out why each multiple-choice is either right or wrong.
- After finishing the book, spend some time on extracting all of the “Remember This” and “End of Chapter Summary” onto a word document.
- If you have access to the Kindle/PDF version of the book, use the search function to review any topics quickly.
- I skipped the pre-assessment questions and saved it as a practice exam.
Professor Messer SY0-501+ Videos
- Professor Messer’s videos were a great supplement resource to the content that was already taught in the GCGA book. It allows you to learn the same topics from a different perspective.
- I watched the videos on 1.5x speed and took around seven days to finish all of the videos in the playlist.
- Professor Messer also has all of the lecture slide material available for $20. Read these notes at least twice.
Pocket Prep Security Plus
- The pocket prep security plus app provides practice exam questions for IOS devices.
- The questions were different from the ones on the actual exam but still provided knowledge reinforcement.
Review all of the following Quizlet Flashcards (Use the learn feature)
- FlashCards for each GCGA Chapter
- Quizlet for Acronyms
- Quizlet for Glossary
- Create flashcards on Index cards for hard to remember concepts:
- RADIUS, DIAMETER, TACACS, TACACS+ (Encrypts Process)
- Kerberos (Ticket), Lanman, NTLM, NTLMv2
- PAP (Cleartext) CHAP MS-CHAP
- WIFI: WEP, WPA (TKIP/RC4), WPA2 (CCMP/AES)
- EAP, PEAP, EAP-TLS (Most Secure) (Certs)
- IPsec (AH, ESP, Tunnel Mode, Transport Mode)
- Symmetric & Asymmetric Encryption, Block Cipher Mode, Hashing
- Raid Types, Access Control: MAC, DAC, RBAC, RBAC, GBAC, ABAC, NAC
- All command line in GCGA book and the main function
- Convert multi-step processes into acronyms
- Life Cycle: RADCTO (Requirement, Analysis, Design, Code, Test, Op)
- Incident Response: PICERL (Prevention, Incident, Contain, Etc)
- Order of Volatility: CRTHLA (Cache, Ram, Temp, HDD, Log, Archival)
- Digital Signature, Encryption Key Process (Sender Private, Recipient Public, and Etc)
Total Study Time: ~ 2 months
- GCGA Book and creating notes (45 Days – 1 to 2 hours a day)
- Pocket Prep App (Started around 30 Days in)
- Professor Messer Videos (7 Days – 3 hours a day)
- Reviewing Quizlet and Notes (7 Days – 8 hours a day)
- Practice Exams (1-2 Day Before Exam)
- GCGA End of chapter quiz re-take (80-90%)
- GCGA Pre-Assessment Exam(89%)
- GCGA Post-Assessment Exam (88%)
- MeasureUp (Average 60%-70%)
- Comes with PBQ questions and a testing environment, but quite expensive
- Before the start of the exam, brain dump knowledge onto the paper/dry erase paper that is provided by the testing site.
- During the exam, I skipped the four performance-based questions (PBQ) and left them until the end.
- Throughout the exam, I flagged all the questions that I was unsure about or stuck on. (Around ~15 Questions)
- Constantly pace yourself to complete questions, if you get stuck for more than 30 seconds to a minute, flag the question and move on.
6 thoughts on “COMPTIA SECURITY+ SY0-501 OVERVIEW/STUDY GUIDE”
If you have a good understanding of the questions in the book, you should be fine. The measure up exam felt harder than the actual exam.
Thank you for your sharing your study guide. This has been very helpful. Do recommend purchasing the MeasureUp Practice Exam?
All of this information has helped me structure my study approach and make me feel more confident in what I was doing. Thank you so much for taking the time and document everything to share!
No problem, I wish you the best of luck for the exam!
Thanks a lot for your effort.
Just wondering , do I need to have Network + to pass the Security + exam ?
I did not have the network+ when I passed the exam. However, you should understand basic networking concepts like IP addresses, Subnets, and Ports.