SY0-301 (Security+) is Expiring

The SY0-301 expiration date is December 31, 2014.

Note. The SY0-301 exam is now expired. However, the SY0-401 exam is live and the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is helping people pass it the first time.

You can beat the SY0-301 expiration date

In other words, the amount of time you have to take this exam is running out. Don’t worry though. If you’ve been planning to take this exam, you still can.

Here’s a plan that you can use to take and pass the SY0-301 exam before it expires.

  1. Get the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide.
  2. Buy a voucher and schedule your exam for December 31.
  3. Take the 100 question pre-assessment exam.
  4. Start studying the book.
  5. Supplement your studies with online materials such as blog posts.
  6. If desired, supplement your studies with additional quality practice test questions.
  7. Take the exam and celebrate!

Note: The Security+ certification isn’t expiring. Test takers have been able to take either the SY0-301 exam or the SY0-401 exam for many months now. However, the SY0-301 exam is being phased out and permanently replaced with the SY0-401 exam. While there is some overlap between the exams, if you’ve been pursuing the 301 exam, your best bet is to take it before it is phased out on December 31.

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 1 of 7

Get the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide.

If you had unlimited time, I’d say get any Security+ study guide. However, because time is limited, your best bet is to get one that is regularly lauded as being clear, concise, and focused on the content you need to pass the exam.

This book has helped thousands of people pass the exam the first time they took it and it can help you too. It’s received more than 500 five star reviews on Amazon. I love this quote from an Amazon reviewer:

I made it all the way to page four before I had to roll my eyes. In the ‘Set a Goal’ section, Darril Gibson writes that he recommends his students set a goal of planning to take the exam forty-five days from the first date of study. Just coming off of eight months of studying for the Network+ exam and another five for the A+ before that, I found this plan to be a bit farfetched.

Turns out I was right. It only took me thirty.

It’s available as both a paperback book and a Kindle book. It’s enrolled in the Kindle MatchBook program so if you buy the paperback book, you can get the Kindle version for only $2.99. This way you can start studying immediately.

You don’t need to have a Kindle to use Kindle books. Amazon has developed free applications for just about any platform that you can use to read Kindle books. Check them out here.

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 2 of 7

Buy a voucher and schedule your exam for December 31.

Purchase a Security+ certification voucher for the exam. These are typically good for a year, and purchasing it early provides some motivation to you to keep you studying. You can get a code for a 10% discount on all CompTIA vouchers here.

You use the code on the CompTIA site so there isn’t any risk. In contrast, many people have purchased vouchers through sites such as eBay only to learn that the voucher isn’t valid.

When you have the voucher, contact a Pearson Vue testing center and schedule your exam for December 31.

You can reschedule the exam to an earlier date if you’re ready sooner than December 31. However, if you wait until December 30 to schedule the exam, you might have trouble finding one with an open seat.

If a major life event prevents you from taking the SY0-301 exam by December 31, you can still use the voucher for the SY0-401 exam. At least, I know this is true if you purchase the voucher through the CompTIA Marketplace, but I’m not sure if that’s true if you purchase the voucher through other sources.

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 3 of 7

Take the 100 question pre-assessment exam.

The 100 question pre-assessment exam at the beginning of  the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead SY0-401 Study Guide can help you gauge your understanding of key topics.

At this point, your score isn’t important at all. However, take note of the questions you got wrong and the chapter where that content is covered.

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 4 of 7

Start studying the book.

Read, read, read.

Some Amazon reviewers have mentioned they read the book in a weekend. Others report reading it in a week. To me, that’s amazing, but it does speak to the readability of the book. You don’t have to restrict your reading, but can instead read as much as you desire.

When studying, it is good to occasionally take a break. For example, after studying for an hour or so, get up and take a walk or do something else to rest your mind for about ten minutes. Then back to the book. You’ll find this much more effective than forcing yourself to keep your head in the book for hours at a time.

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 5 of 7

Supplement your studies with online materials such as blog posts.

When a topic isn’t clear, look for more information on the topic online.

I regularly post blog articles about Security+ and other topics on the Get Certified Get Ahead blog site.  This page includes a comprehensive list of blog articles including several on the newer performance-based questions. Readers often post their comments on the pages too so it’s worth reading their comments too.

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 6 of 7

If desired, supplement your studies with additional quality practice test questions.

Practice test questions help you gauge your understanding and the ability to pass the actual exam. Ideally, you should be able to understand why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way, you can answer the questions correctly, no matter how CompTIA words them.

Many people use the questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide and that’s enough for them.

Other people want to practice with an online testing engine. The Get Certified Get Ahead Premium site includes a wealth of additional resources including:

  • Online practice test questions (including simulated performance based questions)
  • Flashcards
  • Audio

Beware of questions without explanations.

Many “braindumps” have questions and answers but the majority of the questions don’t have any explanations. Worse, many of the answers are incorrect. The result is that people using these end up memorizing inaccurate information without understanding the content. When CompTIA modifies the questions just slightly, they fail the exam without understanding why.

It’s worth repeating an important concept here. When you use questions with explanations, you’ll understand why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. When you do, you’ll be able to answer the questions correctly no matter how CompTIA words the questions.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 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 - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 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 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 7 of 7

Take the exam and celebrate!

You can beat the SY0-301 expiration date

 

 

 

Read More

Free A+, Network+, and Security+ Apps

Free A+, Network+, and Security+ Apps

If you’re pursuing one of these certifications, make sure you enter the contest before midnight (EST) on July 26th.

To enter:

~~~Are you studying for A+~~~
~~~Are you studying for Network+~~~
~~~Are you studying for Security+~~~
Each of these were posted on the Get Certified Get Ahead Facebook page on the morning of July 24th.

  • Like the post
  • Let us know when you plan to take the exam.

Winners will be announced by midnight July 29th.

 LearnZapp Apps for Your Mobile Devices

 Security+ A+ 801 and 802 Network+
 Get Certified Get Ahead LearnZapp Security+ App Get Certified Get Ahead LearnZapp A+ AppGet Certified Get Ahead LearnZapp Network+ App

 

Read More

Will This Certification Get Me A Job?

Will the Security+ Certification Get Me a Job?

Here’s a question I often receive from people: “Will this certification get me a job?” It’s sometimes worded a little differently. Here are a few variations.

Here’s the Short Answer

No.

Long Answer

A certification helps you land an interview but is only a small part of a larger picture. Most companies are looking for someone that will be a good fit in the job within the company but they are interested in much more than just what tests you can pass. However, if you can’t pass the test, you often never get the interview.

Here’s the typical process for someone pursuing and being offered a job:

  • An organization advertises for a job
  • You submit a resume (with or without a cover letter)
  • Your resume is picked as a possible candidate
  • You might be asked to complete one or more tests
  • You are asked to do one or more interviews
  • You are given an offer
  • You start your new job

Your certification and the underlying knowledge is important when your resume is reviewed, when you complete some technical pre-interview tests, and when you’re interviewed. However, it is isn’t the only important element.

Get Certified Get Ahead - Certification Get Me A Job

Rare Exception

With very few exceptions, you need more than a certification to get a job. Here’s an example of a rare exception.

Imagine someone named Joe who recently left the U.S. military with a security clearance. Joe has very little IT experience but decides to pursue the A+ certification and earns it.

A contractor (called Acme of Wiley E. Coyote and Road Runner fame) has a contract with the U.S. DoD. One position recently opened up. It requires someone with an A+ certification and a security clearance. Normally, Acme gets $50 an hour for every hour a person is working in this position and they pay $30 an hour to someone working in it. Acme is losing $20 an hour (or about $800 a week) for every hour this position remains unfilled.

If Joe applies and can prove he has an A+ certification, the clearance, and a pulse, he has the job.

Your goals

When pursuing a new job, you often have two short-term goals.

  • Get an interview. The first goal is to get an interview. You have the best chance of success here if your resume has the certifications and the knowledge/skillset required for the job. A cover letter (or email introduction) also helps.
  • Shine during the interview to get an offer. You need to demonstrate that have the knowledge/skillset required by the job and you are a good fit on the organization’s team. This is often much more than your technical ability.

If you’re not getting interviews, improve your resume and introduction process.

Check out this article: Skills mismatch hinders the hiring of new graduates, survey finds. It mentions that “Forty-nine percent of human resource officials polled by the professional organization said this year’s college graduates lack basic English skills in grammar and spelling.” This is often reflected in applicant’s resumes. A single typo can get your resume thrown in the rejection pile.

If you’re not getting jobs after interviews, improve your interview techniques. Check out this article for five tips to help you during your next interview.

Elimination Phases

Hiring managers often have a very short time to look at a resume. When a job requires a certification, resumes without the certification are quickly eliminated. A hiring manager might have 100 resumes to fill a single job and this job requires a specific certification. He looks through them and sees that only about 10 incl