Should I Take 401 or 501 Security+ Exam?
If you’re planning to take the Security+ exam, you might be wondering if you should take the SY0-401 or SY0-501 Security+ exam. I’m starting to get queries asking which one to take. As an example, here’s a snippet of a recent query.
“…I plan to make a career change and move into cybersecurity. … I want to complete security + certification… what exam would you recommend me to take SY0-401 or the new SY0-501”
Here’s the short answer: SY0-401.
You might like to know why.
Wealth of SY0-401 Study Materials
The SY0-401 exam has a wealth of study materials available and these are helping people take and pass the Security+ exam the first time they take it.
As an example, I hear from people almost every day (including today) telling me that they passed the SY0-401 exam using the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide and/or study materials on the gcgapremium.com site such as this package.
The online materials include about 470 multiple choice practice test questions, over 70 performance-based questions, over 4 and 1/2 hours of audio, and over 750 online flashcards.
Plenty of Time
While CompTIA released the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam on October 4, 2017, you still have plenty of time to take the SY0-401 exam.
More specifically, you have until July 31, 2018 to take the SY0-401 exam.
I strongly recommend people set a goal to take the exam within 45 days of starting to read the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.
People regularly tell me that they passed the exam after studying the available materials for one month. This blog post lists seven steps anyone can take to pass the exam in 30 days or less. If you want a day-by-day study plan to pass the Security+ exam in 30 days or less, you can use this one.
It’s possible that you must take the SY0-501 exam. For example, you may be a trainer, instructor, or teacher and you plan to teach a Security+ course covering the SY0-501 objectives. It’s also possible that you really want to take the newer version, just to say you did so.
If so you might be interested in the currently available materials that I’ve published.
We are actively working to create additional materials for the SY0-501 exam. This includes:
- Online flashcards
- Downloadable audio
- Full online Security+ Course
- Additional practice test questions and labs
- Mobile device app with my partners at LearnZapp
Newsletter subscribers are the first to hear when new materials are available.
Can I Use SY0-401 Materials for SY0-501?
Some people ask if they can take the SY0-501 exam after using materials for the SY0-401 exam.
Sure. However, it isn’t a formula for success.
Ideally, you should use materials for the exam you plan to take. If you’re going to take the SY0-401 exam, use SY0-401 materials. If you’re going to take the SY0-501 exam, use SY0-501 materials.
While there is some crossover in the topics, the SY0-501 objectives have plenty of new topics that just aren’t covered in the SY0-401 study materials.
Summary SY0-401 or SY0-501
If you’re trying to decide between taking the SY0-401 or SY0-501 exam, I recommend that you stick with the SY0-401 exam. You have plenty of time to study and take it.
There are two exceptions.
- First, if your job requires you to take the SY0-501 exam or you just want to, than take it.
- Second, if you’re reading this close to July 15th, 2018, you should study for the SY0-501 exam (remember the SY0-401 exam retires on July 31, 2018).