I recently received an email from Moe* complaining about the CompTIA Security+ exam. He closed with “I am honestly heartbroken… what do I do?”
Six Steps To Pass Security+
Jaena, one of my assistants, answered. She gave some advice that I’ve provided in the past for people using the online materials.
When people tell Darril that they’ve failed after using the materials on the site, he typically sees one (or more) of the following issues:
– They didn’t use all the materials.
– They didn’t get the recommended scores of 90% on all the materials.
– They memorized the questions and answers.
Darril encourages you to check out the “How to Pass” section on the Member Home page (the landing page after you log on) for key steps to take when studying.
It includes six steps and Darril encourages you to read it (and follow the advice).
Step 1 is to Use all the materials.
Step 2 aims to Get scores of at least 90% on all the quizzes.
Step 3 is highly relevant.
Memorizing questions and answers is not a path to success.
Step 4 is Read the explanations.
Step 5 tells you why this is so important.
Ideally, you should be able to look at any practice test question and not only know why the correct answers are correct but also why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This gives you the best chance of accurately interpreting the questions on the live exam no matter how CompTIA words them.
Step 6 gives you a way to evaluate your progress and see if you are ready.
Many people have told me that they passed the exam by following those six steps.
If I Fail Your Practice Tests, Will I Pass the Live Exam
Because Moe sounded so distraught, I looked at his quiz history to see if there was anything else we could point out to him.
The answer was obvious.
– He didn’t use all the materials.
As an example, we have five sets of extra questions in the package he bought. However, he only took one set which included only 20 of the extra questions.
– He didn’t get the recommended scores of 90% on all the materials.
As one of many examples, he took the Test Your Readiness quiz (a random set of 75 questions) once, scoring only 62%.
This reminded me of the fictitious question I wrote about in this post:
“If I fail all of your practice tests,
will I still be able to pass the Security+ exam?“
– He likely memorized the questions and answers.
As an example, he took one quiz twice in the same day. His first score was 67%. He immediately took the quiz again, finishing 15 questions in six minutes. This equates to about 24 seconds per question.
That’s enough time for someone to pick the correct answer for questions they just saw. However, 24 seconds isn’t enough time for most people to review all the answers and remind themselves why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.
Additionally, his quiz history showed that he only took quizzes on five days, and only over eight days total. For most people, this isn’t enough time to absorb the material.
You can’t hire someone to do your pushups.
– Jim Rohn
With this in mind, I tried to get Moe to do some self-evaluation. I asked him to honestly answer the following questions for himself:
- Did you use all the materials?
- Did you get the recommended scores of 90% on all the materials?
- Did you use study practices that encourage a healthy mind to memorize the questions and answers?
Unfortunately, Moe chose not to address these questions. Instead, he wrote:
“Again I am not asking for help with the information I need help in understanding how to comprehend what CompTia questions are asking bc overall this is my 5th CompTia test My 5th failure.“
My attempt to encourage self-evaluation failed.
I’ve been here before. It’s apparent to me what Moe can do to increase his score and pass the exam. However, it’s not necessarily easy to get Moe to hear this. Maybe he’ll read this blog post.
Three Habits of Success
Successful people typically develop the following three habits:
- Figure out what works and keep doing it.
- Figure out what doesn’t work and stop.
- Try new things.
Unfortunately, some people are unable to recognize what isn’t working and they are unwilling to try new things.
Here are some additional blog posts that Moe might like to read:
* Moe isn’t the actual name of this person.