Should I Take 401 or 501 Security+ Exam?

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If you’re planning to take the Security+ exam, you might be wondering if you should take the SY0-401 or SY0-501 Security+ exam. I’m starting to get queries asking which one to take. As an example, here’s a snippet of a recent query.


“…I plan to make a career change and move into cybersecurity. … I want to complete security + certification… what exam would you recommend me to take SY0-401 or the new SY0-501”


Here’s the short answer: SY0-401.

You might like to know why.

Get Certified Get Ahead

Wealth of SY0-401 Study Materials

The SY0-401 exam has a wealth of study materials available and these are helping people take and pass the Security+ exam the first time they take it.

As an example, I hear from people almost every day (including today) telling me that they passed the SY0-401 exam using the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide and/or study materials on the gcgapremium.com site such as this package.

The online materials include about 470 multiple choice practice test questions, over 70 performance-based questions, over 4 and 1/2 hours of audio, and over 750 online flashcards.

Plenty of Time

While CompTIA released the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam on October 4, 2017, you still have plenty of time to take the SY0-401 exam.

More specifically, you have until July 31, 2018 to take the SY0-401 exam.

I strongly recommend people set a goal to take the exam within 45 days of starting to read the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.

People regularly tell me that they passed the exam after studying the available materials for one month. This blog post lists seven steps anyone can take to pass the exam in 30 days or less. If you want a day-by-day study plan to pass the Security+ exam in 30 days or less, you can use this one.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-501 Practice Test Questions Now Available

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SYO-501 Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Materials

It’s possible that you must take the SY0-501 exam. For example, you may be a trainer, instructor, or teacher and you plan to teach a Security+ course covering the SY0-501 objectives. It’s also possible that you really want to take the newer version, just to say you did so.

If so you might be interested in the currently available materials that I’ve published.

We are actively working to create additional materials for the SY0-501 exam. This includes:

  • Online flashcards
  • Downloadable audio
  • Full online Security+ Course
  • Additional practice test questions and labs
  • Mobile device app with my partners at LearnZapp

Newsletter subscribers are the first to hear when new materials are available.

Full Security+ (SY0-401) Course

Full Security+ Course Now Available

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including types of questions and strategies for performance-based questions)
  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Basic Network Security (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Identifying Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Managing Risk (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Preparing for Business Continuity (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Operational Security (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

 Full Security+ Course Now Available


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
  • 280 Security+ acronyms flashcards to help you master the required acronyms
  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over three hours hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
  • Identify how many hosts a subnet supports
  • Identify valid IP addresses within a subnet

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

Can I Use SY0-401 Materials for SY0-501?

Some people ask if they can take the SY0-501 exam after using materials for the SY0-401 exam.

Sure. However, it isn’t a formula for success.

Ideally, you should use materials for the exam you plan to take. If you’re going to take the SY0-401 exam, use SY0-401 materials. If you’re going to take the SY0-501 exam, use SY0-501 materials.

While there is some crossover in the topics, the SY0-501 objectives have plenty of new topics that just aren’t covered in the SY0-401 study materials.

Summary SY0-401 or SY0-501

If you’re trying to decide between taking the SY0-401 or SY0-501 exam, I recommend that you stick with the SY0-401 exam. You have plenty of time to study and take it.

There are two exceptions.

  • First, if your job requires you to take the SY0-501 exam or you just want to, than take it.
  • Second, if you’re reading this close to July 15th, 2018, you should study for the SY0-501 exam (remember the SY0-401 exam retires on July 31, 2018).

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CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

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