Congratulations to Racquel Bailey (from Jamaica) who passed her CompTIA Security+ exam just last week!
We asked Racquel to share her experience in preparing for and taking the Security+ exam. We hope you find this article useful and motivational towards taking the CompTIA Security+ exam.
Q: When did you pass and where did you sit the exam?
A: I passed the test on February 5 2020 and sat the exam at Vector Technology Institute.
Q: What was the exam experience like?
A: From I set the exam, I was very nervous and that fact didn’t change on the day of taking the exam. I was ushered into a room, had to read CompTIA’s guidelines and policies and sign as proof that I agreed to them. After this, I had my 2 ID cards and my picture taken then had to sign a document digitally. My items were securely stored and I was taken to a PC. I was given a marker and a mini whiteboard for any jottings I had to make. During the exam, there was a person in the room and I was being monitored via webcam. The questions weren’t that difficult because of my practice but tricky. There was a mixture of performance-based and multiple-choice questions. I finished with basically 45 minutes to spare.
Q: What did you do to prepare?
A: I was in weekly study sessions with other students spearheaded by Gavin Dennis. I used Darril Gibson’s Security+ book, Professor Messer’s videos, practice exams and compiled course notes, Mike Chapple’s Practice Questions, Quizlet flashcards, and online questions from various sites to prepare.
Q: What obstacles/challenges you ran into?
A: This was the first time I’ve ever studied mostly by myself for a major exam, rather than a typical class setting. The material was voluminous and remembering the ports was a task. Since my degree is based in Computer Science, a great load of the content, I was already exposed to.
Q: What is your background?
A: I’m a University student in my final year of studies for a Bachelor of Science in Computing with a major in Computer Science.
Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to earn Security+?.
- If you can take the SY0-501, take it before it expires as there is more material on that exam. The SY0-601 is fairly new and much broader than its 501 counterpart.
- Set a date for the exam mentally and work towards that goal. 3 weeks before that date, set the date for the exam to avoid putting it off.
- Be patient with yourself, especially if the I.T field is new to you. If you’re lost, there are many online communities on Telegram, Twitter and even Discord to answer your questions.
- In Darril Gibson’s book understand the chapters and score at least 80% at the end of chapter review quiz before you move on to the next chapter.
- Be consistent, set a study plan, and try your best to stick to it.
Racquel Bailey is from Jamaica and is a member of our Women in InfoSec Caribbean initiative which is a collaborative chat group on Discord with over 100+ Caribbean women and girls. You can learn more about Women in InfoSec Caribbean (WISC) by visiting wiscaribbean.org.
PS. If you’re a Caribbean woman or girl, interested in a career in Information Security (and Cyber Security), you should join our group. Please visit wiscaribbean.org and click “Join Now”