One of the best strategies for passing the Security+ exam is to skip performance-based questions.
That’s not a typo. Skip performance-based questions.
I’ve repeated this advice before, such as in the 5 Success Tips for Security+ post, but many people don’t hear it. I’ve included a few snippets from people I’ve heard from recently that did not skip performance-based questions.
“I’ve bolo’d this test once already.. ran out of time and missed 15 questions. Though I didn’t run into anything I found foreign I spent far too much time on the scenarios at the beginning. Bit me in the rear end later on. At least at this point I know what I’m dealing with so I’ll be watchful of the clock and manage time better.”
Skip Performance-Based Questions That Don’t Make Sense
If a question doesn’t make sense to you, mark it and skip it. If it isn’t clear, it’s entirely possible that the question is a poorly worded beta question that doesn’t even count.
You can come back to it when you finish the rest of the questions. Additionally, you might find that the answer to the question comes to you as you’re answering another question.
Skipping questions that don’t make sense is especially true for the performance-based questions, which you’ll probably see first. They take much longer than typical multiple-choice questions.
If the answer is clear to you, then by all means, take the time to answer it, but if the question isn’t clear, mark it and skip it. You can come back to it later. However, if you spend 45 minutes on a performance-based question, you might run out of time before you finish the multiple-choice questions.
“The first questions were simulations that only a network engineer could perform. I shouldn’t have wasted time on them. They totally surprised, shocked and demoralized me…. I thought I failed. I got caught short and didn’t finish 3 questions.”
No Penalty if You Skip Performance-based Questions
You are not penalized for marking or skipping any questions. You are penalized for any questions you don’t answer simply because you ran out of time.
If they don’t make sense to you or seem overly difficult, skip them and come back to them later.
“Incidentally, the simulations were presented FIRST in the exam, and because of the difficulty, took time. By the time I finished them, I only had 40 minutes remaining for the rest of the exam.”
“I know I can master the exam but I got side blinded by the 5 simulations that I got from the actual exam I just run of time in the end.”
“You know I saw Performance Based Mentioned but I guess I didn’t connect that it was something on the test I would actually encounter. Guess I wasn’t looking hard enough.”
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