Skip Performance-Based Questions

Posted by in Security+ | 2 comments

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.

Skip Performance-Based 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.”


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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.”


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“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.”


 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Very interesting advice.

    What’s peaked my curiosity here is that you don’t think the sims count for more than a multiple choice question? When I took the Net+, some sims had multiple “actions” where you arranged devices on a diagram or chose subnetting values. One sim had 10 “actions”–things you had to do. If these sims count no more than a multiple choice question, why doesn’t everyone skip them? One would think, if a sim required 10 actions, that’s the equivalent of 10 questions…5 questions? Something more than one? I guess this begs the question of how much multiple choice questions count vs sim questions.

    Anyway, I have your book for the Security+. When finished, I’m going to do your labs on the recommendation of many, many people who swear by your work. Love your book thus far. Very clear reading.

    Ironically, I wish I’d read portions of your Security+ book prior to taking the Network+ because you presented (as a review of Network+) a few concepts that are clearer than my original Network+ book did! You filled in a few gaps that I missed when studying for Net+, even though I already passed it.

    • Great to hear you’re enjoying the book and that it helped fill in some gaps for you on Network+ knowledge.

      > What’s peaked my curiosity here is that you don’t think the sims count for more than a multiple choice question?

      I read through this again (twice) and I don’t see where I said that. Your logic about multiple actions counting as multiple points makes sense, but only CompTIA knows how many points any question is worth.

      The biggest point I’m trying to make in this post is to skip the performance-based questions. You’ll see them first in the exam, but you can skip them. Do all the multiple choice questions first and when you’re done, go back and do the performance-based questions.

      Good luck on exam day.

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