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:
Professor Messer’s Security+ Youtube Videos:
(Videos – Free | PDF Notes – $20)
Pocket Prep Security Plus ($10):
MeasureUp Practice Exam ($119 – Not Required):
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.