The SY0-301 expiration date is December 31, 2014.
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.
- Get the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide.
- Buy a voucher and schedule your exam for December 31.
- Take the 100 question pre-assessment exam.
- Start studying the book.
- Supplement your studies with online materials such as blog posts.
- If desired, supplement your studies with additional quality practice test questions.
- Take the exam and celebrate!
Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 1 of 7
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)
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.
Beat the SY0-301 Expiration Date Step 7 of 7
Take the exam and celebrate!