Well I finally received the CompTIA Security+ certification and it's thanks to O2O (Onward to Opportunity). I took the test on February 18, 2020 and received the certificate in March 10. It was a tough test, but I believe that I only studied for like less than 7-8 weeks (5 days each week, each day was like 1-3 hours of study). Therefore, I barely passed the test. I recommend that you take the Security+ topics seriously as the exam cost about $300. I believe I spent 4 weeks on the videos and maybe like 3-4 weeks on the book.
But first let me describe how I got a free certification from O2O. I just use a search engine and type "free certification for veterans" and Syracuse University pop up and I fill out the online form. I went to a 3 day cohort and by December 2019, I just studied the material. The software that was provided was from Skillsoft. Skillsoft provides online videos and online books for the students. I don't remember how many hours of total videos I watched, but I have to guess like 15 to 20 hours.
I don't like eBooks, but SkillSoft does provide some eBooks that can only view online. The eBooks are decent: Mike Meyers' CompTIA Security+ Certification Guide, Second Edition and Chuck Christy's CompTIA Security+ Practice Tests: Exam SY0-501. I thought there were more, but it looks like some eBooks disappeared overnight. Anyway, these two have good reviews at Amazon. My preference is hardcovers/softcover books, so I can't review those two. I choose a different route and bought a used copy of David L. Prowse's CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Cert Guide (4th Edition) at eBay. I believe I spent $20 for the book, but the best part is that it had unused online code for the online practice exams provided by Pearson.
Before I go any further, I want to talk about the videos that is provided by Skillsoft. Some are short and some are long. Some are interesting and some are so boring (I think I was going to sleep watching those), but they provided the right kind of material that I wanted to learn. In some moments, I just re-watch the video or in some cases I just went to YouTube and watch some videos from other people's tutorials. If you don’t understand a topic, then I recommend that you seek other sources and maybe that will assist you.
The quizzes were easy, but the exam at the end was tough. I just continue to take the exam every 3 days till I got 80-90% correct. After that I register to take the exam.
Let me tell you about the used book I bought at eBay. I bought and read David L. Prowse’s Security+ book. It was easy to read and have mini quizzes on each chapter. The book had an unused code for Pearson Test Prep’s online exam quizzes. There are over 300+ questions and I believe I only did up to 200 questions.
Now there are times when the topic was not clear enough, so there are times when I went to YouTube or Professor Messer’s CompTIA SY0-501 Security+ Course web site and study the topic a bit more. The videos are free, so there is no excuse for you not to check it out. I read many good reviews from Reddit’s CompTIA subreddit say that Messer’s videos are good for study material.
If you don’t want to spend the money, here are some web sites that provide some exams, flashcards, or quizzes that are free to use:
- Quizlet (just use your favorite search engine and look for “Quizlet Security+ 501 flashcards”)
- ProProfsQuizzes’s Can You Pass This Difficult CompTIA Security+ Exam
- CrucialExams.com's CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Study Materials
Well that's it for today and I will once again thank O2O for the free voucher.