Security Plus Certification

Posted by in Security+ | 4 comments

Are you considering the Security Plus Certification (CompTIA Security+)?

If so you’ll find there are many study resources available.

People often study differently, and over the years, many people have asked me for different resources based on how they learn best. With multiple methods available, you should be able to find one or more that work for you here. This post introduces:

  • Security Plus Study Guide
  • Security Plus Practice Test Questions Book
  • Security Plus Online Resources

Security Plus Certification SYO-401 Exam Details

Security Plus Certification Exam Details

Some of the details on the exam include:

Number of Questions:Maximum of 90
Question types:Multiple choice and performance based
Exam format:Traditional—can move back and forth to view previous questions
Time to complete exam:90 minutes (does not include time to complete pretest and post-test surveys)
Passing score:750 (on a scale of 100 to 900)
Price:$302 Discounted vouchers available here
Exam prerequisites:None required but Network+ is recommended
Exam test provider:Pearson Vue
Study Guide:CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide
Practice Test QuestionsCompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Practice Test Questions

Since CompTIA began adding in the new performance based questions, they rarely give you the maximum number of questions. Instead, you can expect to get somewhere between 70 and 90 multiple choice questions and between three and ten performance based questions.


Security Plus Certification Study Guide

The best way to prepare is with a Security Plus study guide that covers all the objectives. After a comprehensive review, ProCert Labs certified the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide as CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) stating that it covers every aspect of the SY0-401 exam.

CAQC is an important seal to look for on any CompTIA study guide.CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study GuideCompTIA Authorized Quality Content (CAQC)

Includes over 400 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations. The explanations help you understand why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

  • 100 question pre-test
  • Questions at the end of each chapter
  • 100 question post-test

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

I’ve included many of the same analogies and explanations that I honed in the classroom to help students master the Security Plus content. They can help you too.

Security Plus Study Guide Reviews

Security Plus Study Guide Reviews

If you’re looking for a Security Plus Certification Study Guide to help you pass the first time, see what other people are saying about the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.

Studied this Security+ Study Guide for a Month and Scored 841!

I was nervous about testing for this because I hate the whole idea of testing in the first place. But I decided it was necessary for my future. I got this book and studied like crazy for one month. I also got the kindle version of Darril’s test questions and went through them about a dozen times. I used his online questions too. After all my preparation, I take the test and score 841 of 900!!

Read it Cover to Cover (almost) & Passed with Flying Colors

Great book. I read it cover to cover (okay, I skipped the index and the acronyms section, but everything else!), studied the rote memorization parts like port numbers, took all his practice tests twice, and passed the CompTIA exam with flying colors…. He writes well, includes practical examples and stories from “the real world”, and covers all the material you’ll need to know. It also includes a discount for the exam that’s almost as much as the book, so if you don’t have access to another discount then this is effectively a free way to study for your cert.

See more reviews here.

Hyperlinks in Kindle Version Security Plus Study Guide

Hyperlinks in Kindle Version Security Plus Study Guide

In the Kindle version (only $9.99), the table of contents has hyperlinks for almost every subsection throughout the book. This allows you to browse the table of contents and click to get to the topic you want. Click back to the table of contents and find your next topic.

Or, you can read through the book from front to back.


Security Plus Certification Practice Test Questions Book

If you’ve used a different study guide and want additional questions to study from (or you just want the questions organized by domain), the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Practice Test Questions book may be for you.

It includes 307 Security Plus Certification questions derived from the study guide with in-depth explanations.

The book is organized in six chapters aligned with the six Security Plus Certification domains. Each chapter includes at least two sections:

  1. Practice test questions without answers. Created for readers that want to go through all the questions without seeing the correct answers or explanations.
  2. Practice test questions including answers. Each question includes an in-depth explanation so you’ll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

The Kindle version also includes 274 flashcards.


Online Security Plus Certification Study Resources

In response to various requests, I’ve created the site. It includes audio, flashcards, and practice test questions derived from the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide, plus more.

1) Online practice test questions

  • The first set of 420 practice test questions are derived from the study guide but presented in an online test engine allowing you to study from almost anywhere.
  • The ten sets of performance-based questions (57 questions total) were created after the study guide was published. Set 10 includes 20 separate performance-based questions that many people have raved about. Check out a demo here.

2) Audio from the book. Almost six hours of audio in downloadable MP3 files. Check out a free sample from this page.

3) Flashcards from the book. Hundreds of online flashcards derived from the study guide.

4) Extra test bank. The extra test bank includes 9 extra questions added after the study guide was published.


  1. I wanted to show everyone that even people who do not specialize in Information Technology can pass the test if they put forth the effort without being born a savant. Living in a Military community and working on a Military Installation there are many additional requirements that government employees and contractors must meet before being granted any type of elevated or administrator privileges. Without going into specific details, one of those requirements are to pass the Security Plus certification exam.

    Going back to 2011 when I first attended a Security Plus boot camp and became a certified security practitioner, I had no relevant background in Network Security or Information Technology. We have all at some point in our lives become victim to the “Hey you” scenario. Hopefully because our Leaders hold some level of confidence in selecting us to be their first line of defense in network security. I took the course seriously, I listened to all the rumors on how challenging the test was and that there is a lot more to it than just memorizing study pool questions. I spent a week at the boot camp listening to every word that came from the Instructors mouth. I listened to every comment from the *actual* IT Professionals surrounding me in the classroom. Once class was over each day, I went back to my room and reviewed all of the study materials and homework assignments. No site seeing, no visits to the hotel bar, no long phone conversations with the significant other and no TV! All of this you can do once you are back at home and you are certified.

    Every day should be the same routine, class – study – eat – sleep – repeat. Over and over again, which is why I guessed they call it a “Boot Camp” to begin with. You are loaded with a tremendous amount of information within a very short period of time. To date, everyone I haven’t talked that has either been through a course and that has taken the test has said that the Security Plus exam was definitely one of the hardest courses of study they’ve experienced to date. Shouldn’t it be! If you stop and think about it ask yourself, “What am I being asked to learn to help safeguard?” We as a society have become so reliant on technology to electronically store almost every facet of our lives to include; personal information, account numbers, taxes and even secrets therefore the answer to the question should be *EVERYTHING*.

    Several years later after changing career paths, I was asked once again to become re-certified in Security Plus. Mistakenly, I had let the certification lapse thinking, I’m not the “IT Guy” so I won’t need that anymore in my tool box. Looking back, it would have been very beneficial to just go ahead and enroll in the CEU program and keep current. You never know where you are going to be in 5 years. Once again, I took the exact same approach as I did the first time and was a two time success. All you have to do is put forth the effort.

    • Great comment Michael. Congratulations. Perseverance always wins.

  2. Want to ask you Darril, Last year I bought the Sec+ 301 book and didn’t get the chance to do anything with it. Now we are asked to get the CompTIA 401. Do you suggest that I get the 401 book or will the 301 book still do it? Please advise. Thanks, Tim

    • Hi Tim,

      You are always best served by using study materials for the exam you’re taking. The Security+ exam is a tough exam and there are many differences between 301 and 401. If you want the best chance to pass the exam the first time you take it, get the 401 study guide.

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