Have you heard about CompTIAs recertification exams* (such as the RC0-501 for the Security+ certification). Not many people have.
It is similar to the older “bridge” exam that CompTIA implemented for some certifications. The objectives PDF* includes this paragraph:
“The CompTIA Security+ Recertification Exam RC0-501 bridges the competencies measured by the Security+ SY0-401 exam and the SY0-501 exam. The Recertification Exam (RC0-501) blueprint includes the objectives new to the SY0-501 exam and also assesses the highest weighted competencies that may have appeared on previous exams (i.e., the knowledge and skills rated by SMEs as most relevant for on-the-job performance).”
However, CompTIA has been quietly making them available for eligible people.
RC0-501 Recertification Details
CompTIA launched the RC0-501 exam on December 5, 2017. Here are some key details:
Number of questions: 35 (compare this to a maximum of 90 questions on the SY0-501 exam)
Type of questions: Multiple choice questions (compare this to both multiple choice and performance-based questions on the SY0-501 exam)
Length of test: 75 minutes (compare this to 90 minutes on the SY0-501 exam)
Price: $175 (compare this to $320 USD for the SY0-501 exam)
Delivery: Download to your computer as long as your computer meets minimum requirements* (compare to the requirement to take the SY0-501 exam in a testing center)
How To Register for RC0-501
If you have the SY0-401 certification (and it hasn’t expired) CompTIA indicates that they will automatically notify you via email and provide you with a Private Access Code (PAC). You can then follow the directions in the email to register.
Q. When does CompTIA send this email?
A. They don’t give any timelines, but appear to send out the emails to people with the last certification around the time that the new certification goes live.
Q. I never received an email from CompTIA with the PAC. What should I do?
A. Contact CompTIA. They have a Contact Us link at the bottom of almost all of their pages.
How to Study for RC0-501
CompTIA has published the objectives for the RC0-501 exam here*. The first step would be to download those objectives and review them.
You can then use a study guide such as the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide to study the relevant topics that aren’t clear to you.
If you look at the objectives closely, you’ll notice that many are identical in both the RC0-501 objectives and in the SY0-501 objectives.
As an example, objective 1.1 (“Given a scenario, analyze indicators of compromise and determine the type of malware”) lists all the same types of malware in both the RC0-501 objectives and in the SY0-501 objectives. The reason is that CompTIA considers these objectives highly relevant today.
Some objectives are completely omitted. For example, Domain 3 in the RC0-501 exam only includes two objectives (with multiple sub-objectives).
- 3.1 Given a scenario, implement secure network architecture concepts.
- 3.2 Explain the importance of secure staging deployment concepts.
Domain 3 in the SY0-501 objectives includes nine objectives with multiple sub-objectives in each category indicating that they cut these out of the RC0-501 exam. It’s worth noting that the RC0-501 objectives are identical in words to the SY0-501 objectives, but not necessarily in numbering. For example, the SY0-501 has this listed as objective 3.4.
- 3.4 Explain the importance of secure staging deployment concepts.
Note that it is identical to 3.2 in the RCo-501 objectives.
If you use the paperback copy of the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide to cover the unknown objectives you can use three resources to help you find relevant content.
- Index. The index includes close to 100% of the objective topics and phrases. For example, if you’re looking for sandboxing (one of the subobjectives under objective 3.2). While my intention was to include 100% of the objective topics and phrases in the index, I may have missed something.
- Objective Map. The introduction includes an objective map listing all the SY0-501 objectives and identifies the chapter (or chapters) where the objectives are covered. You can use this to identify where the RC0-501 objectives are covered.
- Table of Contents. You’ll find that many of the headings match the objective topics. By scanning the Table of Contents, you can often find the area where the topic is covered.
If you use the Kindle version of the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide, you’ll find that it has a great search feature that can help you get to any page quickly and easily.
You can also use the online resources available on gcgapremium.com.
*CompTIA has a history of changing their links. If the links are broke, you can probably find the new page by using the Search feature available at the top of most pages. Click on the magnifying glass icon to open the Search text box.