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Exam Profile: CompTIA Security+ SY0-201

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Pearson Certification provides a variety of exam preparation tools to help our customers in their quest for certification. As part of our service to you, we have developed this monthly Exam Profile series. Each profile is developed based on the testing experience of one of our trainers or authors. You won’t get exact questions or answers, but you will get a real feel for the exam. Each profile describes question forms, trouble spots, hints for exam preparation, and recommendations for additional study resources.
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The CompTIA Security+ certification is designed to prove that an exam candidate has competency in computer systems security, network security, access control and organizational security. It is vendor-neutral, which means that the certification does not focus on just one company's products. Instead, the certification objectives range across many technologies, services, hardware and software. It has great value in the marketplace as an introductory security certification, proving to employers that a job seeker has the necessary foundation-level security knowledge and skills.

Exam Details

  • Number of questions: 100
  • The exam consists of 100 questions and is known as a "linear exam". This means that you can go backward or forward within the exam, mark items, and change answers if necessary. It differs from "adaptive exams" in that it has more questions, and the exam does not adapt to previous answers that the examinee has given.

  • Type(s) of questions: Primarily multiple-choice
  • The exam consists primarily of multiple-choice questions, but you might see an occasional matching question. CompTIA reserves the right to change the bank of questions while still adhering to the objectives. The test is administered on a computer within a very easy-to-use program. The majority of the time, you will simply click the letter of the corresponding correct answer. The exam can be taken in English or Spanish.

  • Passing score: 750
  • The passing score is 750 on a scale of 100-900. This equates roughly to a passing score of 81%, though it is difficult to compute exactly. Many candidates will prepare with practice exams and attempt to score 85% or higher in order to be ready for the real exam.

  • Time limit: 90 minutes
  • You have a full hour and a half to take the exam. If you finish early, you can (and should) return to the questions and review your answers.

  • How to register: Prometric or Vue
  • In order to take the exam, you must first register. This is not done with CompTIA, but rather with a testing entity. The two options include Sylvan Prometric or Pearson Vue. Have personal identification (such as a Social Security number) and a credit card ready when registering. Either registering body's website can aid in finding the closest testing center to you. They can also help you by phone if necessary.

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