How Hard Is SEC+ And The 8 Tips To Pass It (Updated 2024)

Passing the Security+ test and obtaining an IT security certification can be challenging. So, how difficult is the Security+ exam, and how can one pass it? You will find the answers right here!

Updated at April 17, 2024

One of the most well-known and recognized IT security certifications in the industry is CompTIA Security+. The exam enhances security skills and covers fundamental concepts of cybersecurity.

So, how hard is the Security+ exam?

In this article, we will discuss the level of difficulty of the Security+ exam. We will also provide helpful tips for effectively preparing and achieving excellent results. Once you have acquired all the necessary knowledge, nothing should hinder you from pursuing the right professional path.

How Hard Is SEC+?

The CompTIA Security+ exam is a written test that shares similarities with other exams in the IT industry. While it covers the fundamentals of IT security, the subjects covered differentiate it from other exams. There have been debates regarding the difficulty level of various CompTIA tests, with some certifications requiring more extensive study due to their inclusion of theoretical topics.

It is important to note that the difficulty of the CompTIA Security+ exam cannot be objectively measured. This is because individuals have varying experiences with exams, different levels of prior knowledge, and diverse methods of preparation. Ultimately, whether a candidate passes the exam depends on their personal efforts.

Nevertheless, passing any CompTIA test demands a significant amount of effort and study. In other words, the level of difficulty experienced during the exam is influenced by a candidate’s prior knowledge of IT security and their preparation methods.

How to Pass the SEC+ Exam: 8 Useful Tips

Obtaining a Security+ certification is not a simple task, but with proper planning, focused training, and practice, you will succeed and achieve rewarding outcomes in your work and career. Here are eight tips to help you prepare for the Security+ test and pass it.

#1: Know the SEC+ Exam: What Is Included?

The first thing you should do is prepare for the Security+ test by learning what to expect. In addition to ensuring that this is the appropriate test for you, familiarizing yourself with the topics covered will help you assess your existing knowledge, identify areas that require revision, and determine where you need the most assistance.

Each section of the test is referred to as a “domain.” The following is a list of the domains covered in the Security+ exam, along with the percentage of each domain covered in the exam:

  • Domain 1 – General Security Concepts (12%)
  • Domain 2 – Threats, Vulnerabilities and Mitigations (22%)
  • Domain 3 – Security Architecture (18%)
  • Domain 4 – Security Operations (28%)
  • Domain 5 – Security Program Management and Oversight (20%)

Create a list of the domains to review, as well as the specific topics within each domain. For example, you can list a few bullet points for firewalls, IDSs, routers, and other network security devices. Then gather the study resources that are most suitable for your needs. If you have any weaknesses, prioritize addressing them first.

It is generally preferable to begin with the most challenging concepts. Once you have mastered them, you will establish the tone and pace for the remaining domains that you need to learn. Before moving on to the next domain, ensure that you have thoroughly mastered the first one. As you progress through the domains, you will encounter overlapping topics, which can aid in faster learning.

#2: Know Yourself: Knowledge & Experience

Even though Security+ is an entry-level certification, CompTIA highly advises obtaining the A+ and Network+ certifications first to ensure you have the technical abilities you will need, such as configuring, administering, and troubleshooting networks.

Candidates are also advised to have two years of prior experience in IT administration with a security focus, although this is not a requirement. To successfully pass the Security+ exam, you should possess expertise in performing security duties, including identifying threats, detecting intrusions, conducting penetration testing, and implementing risk management and risk mitigation strategies.

Furthermore, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you can allocate more effort to the areas that require improvement. Practice exams are the most effective technique for identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

Taking practice tests enables you to observe your progress as you study. This allows you to monitor your knowledge and skills, as well as estimate the amount of time you will need for preparation. Additionally, practice exams will boost your confidence when taking the actual exam.

Read more >> The Comprehensive CompTIA Security Plus Study Guide

#3: Use a Study Guide

A study guide can assist you in preparing for the CompTIA Security+ exam. It covers the exam topics, enabling you to better organize your study sessions and focus on key areas.

To maximize the benefits of using a study guide, it is recommended to employ various study tactics such as breaking down the content, setting realistic goals, and regularly reviewing and challenging yourself.

Additionally, tactics like summarizing the information, creating flashcards, and explaining concepts to others can enhance your understanding and retention of the material.

The guide includes guidance, illustrations, and practice questions that emphasize the exam material.

By utilizing a study guide, you can assess your progress, identify areas of weakness, and build confidence for the exam.

#4: Take Practice Tests

Many candidates may not be familiar with test-taking methods or how to approach a timed exam, especially since this is an entry-level exam. Taking a few CompTIA Security+ practice exams can help you determine the amount of time you’ll need for each question and assess your overall knowledge level.

A smart initial step is to take practice exams focused on individual domain areas. Once you have mastered all domains, it is recommended to take full-length practice examinations to ensure you are fully prepared for the actual exam. On this website, we provide thousands of CompTIA Security+ practice test questions that are divided into the same 5 domains as outlined in the objectives. Our practice tests offer many interesting and unique features designed to assist you in successfully passing your exam.

Do not be discouraged by the outcomes of the practice exams. It is quite normal for things to go wrong during the first round of questions, especially if you are not an experienced test taker or if you have not completed your reading and preparation course.

Take your time to study and make use of all available resources to clarify any questions you may have. Towards the end of your study schedule, you should aim for consistent results on mock examinations.

One important note is to ensure that you are obtaining genuine, high-quality practice materials. CompTIA advises candidates to avoid “brain dump” websites that claim to provide actual test questions. While there are no real exam questions available on the internet, there are plenty of practice exams that can help you prepare for the exam.

#5: Become a Member of the Security+ Online Community

Studying with a group of individuals who share your interests can help you stay motivated, find answers to your questions, and discuss techniques. Security+ communities are abundant on the internet, providing a platform for exam takers and professionals to exchange their knowledge.

A simple Google search will yield numerous Security+ forums and personal websites where both aspiring candidates and qualified professionals discuss their certification journeys.

It is always a good idea to double-check the credibility of any source you are considering. If you need a formal description of a subject covered in the test, such as books, guidelines, and other official publications, it is best to use official literature. However, if you are seeking general guidance, posting your query on websites like Reddit or TechExams can be highly beneficial.

Many people search for “Security+ success” on internet forums, which can be helpful in preparing for the upcoming exam and providing motivation. If you are feeling courageous, searching for “Security+ failure” posts may also provide useful information, as learning from others’ mistakes is less painful than learning from your own.

One important point to note is that you should avoid engaging with toxic individuals and posts unless you have the time and willingness to help others. Online platforms often have disgruntled exam takers expressing their frustrations, which can be disheartening.

#6: Take a Security+ Training Boot Camp Online

Boot camps enable you to rapidly familiarize yourself with the subjects covered in the CompTIA Security+ test. These training programs are typically intensive, lasting 3 to 5 days, and provide in-depth coverage of the test topics using a variety of course resources.

#7: Use Flashcards

Flashcards are useful for preparing for the CompTIA Security+ exam. They assist students in remembering vital concepts, words, and information.

When making flashcards, keeping them simple with a single question or notion per card is excellent.

Breaking down complicated information into smaller chunks on flashcards can increase retention and comprehension.

Adding questions and answers on the cards encourages active memory during study sessions.

Frequently going over flashcards is essential for effective learning. It is recommended that you review them daily or every few days to recall the material.

Using flashcards in your study routine will help you prepare for the CompTIA Security+ Exam and improve your chances of success.

Read more >> How to schedule a CompTIA exam

#8: Relax and Clear Your Mind

To clear your mind and stay focused during the exam, follow these tips:

  • Be mindful of time. You may experience a high level of concentration during the exam, which is beneficial for problem-solving but can cause you to lose track of time. What may seem like seconds can quickly turn into valuable minutes. Time flies by, so ensure you allocate enough time to review every question on the exam.
  • Take your time with the questions and read them thoroughly. Even though you have a limited amount of time, it is crucial not to rush. Read each question and response option carefully, ensuring a clear understanding of the question. In multiple-choice questions, look for false options to eliminate quickly. Pay attention to phrases like MOST, LEAST, NOT, ALL, NEVER, and ALWAYS as they can significantly alter the meaning of a statement.
  • Relax as much as possible. During the test, remember to stretch and relax your muscles. A calm mind can assist you in answering challenging questions.
  • Remember, there is no need to worry. Maintaining a calm demeanor will help you focus better. If you follow your study plan perfectly, your results will most likely be excellent. If not, you will gain valuable experience for your next attempt!

The Bottom Line

How hard is SEC+? As you already know, there is no definitive answer to the question of how hard it is. Studying for the exam typically requires several weeks or even months of preparation.

Allocate ample time for preparation and exert extra effort when needed, especially in unfamiliar situations. These tips are designed to help you excel in the exam on your first attempt.

Obtaining the certification will be a game-changer for your professional career, and you will realize that the time and effort invested were well worth it.