SY0-501 to SY0-601 – Big Changes to the CompTIA Security+ Exam

In November 2023 the Security+ exam will change over to version SY0-701. Learn about the latest changes in our newest blog:

The CompTIA Security+ exam is CompTIA’s flagship certification. The certification is updated about every three years. Each iteration is numbered according to a series: SY0-301, SY0-401, SY0-501, and SY0-601.

CompTIA updates these exams every three years to keep the material current with the latest cyber security trends. With each update CompTIA changes exam objectives, requirements, and adjusts the weight of testable material.

SY0-501 was released on October 4th 2017 and is set to be retired on July 31st of 2021. This exam represented a huge leap in difficulty and depth for the Security+ exam. It introduced numerous concepts and exam objectives and cemented the Security+ certification as the industry’s leading entry level cyber security certification.

SY0-601 was released November 12th 2020 and will replace the SY0-501 exam on July 31st, 2021. This exam introduces new concepts and represents a 25% increase in testable material from the SY0-501 exam. Basically, this exam will be much tougher than the SY0-501 exam.

So, there are currently two versions of the exam available, the SY0-501 and SY0-601 exams. The reason CompTIA provides an overlap between exam iterations is to allow training providers, like Cyberkraft Training, time to develop training materials for the new content.

Students can choose to take either exam but it is much easier to take the SY0-501 exam than the SY0-601 exam. That is because there is far less content in the SY0-501 exam (25% less), which means students need to memorize less concepts. Our Comprehensive Security+ Course will fully prepare you to ace the SY0-501 exam.

We’ve broken out the differences between the two exams below:

Exam Codes SY0-501SY0-601 
Launch Date October 4, 2017November 12, 2020
Exam DescriptionThe CompTIA Security+ exam will certify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to install and configure systems to secure applications, networks, and devices; perform threat analysis and respond with appropriate mitigation techniques; participate in risk mitigation activities; and operate with an awareness of applicable policies, laws, and regulations. The successful candidate will perform these tasks to support the principles of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.The CompTIA Security+ certification exam will verify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to assess the security posture of an enterprise environment and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions; monitor and secure hybrid environments, including cloud, mobile, and IoT; operate with an awareness of applicable laws and policies, including principles of governance, risk, and compliance; identify, analyze, and respond to security events and incidents 
Number of QuestionsMaximum of 90 questionsMaximum of 90 questions
Type of QuestionsMultiple choice and performance-basedMultiple choice and performance-based
Length of Test90 minutes90 minutes
Passing Score750 (on a scale of 100-900)750 (on a scale of 100-900)
Required ExperienceNo experience is required to take the examNo experience is required to take the exam
LanguagesEnglish, Japanese, Portuguese and Simplified ChineseEnglish, Japanese
Retirement July 31, 2021November of 2023
Testing Provider Pearson VUE
Testing Centers Online Testing
Pearson VUE
Testing Centers Online Testing
Exam Price$370 USDCompTIA Store Price $392

Cyberkraft Price $345 USD
Self-Paced Video Training Price$398 USD
(Includes the Official CompTIA Learn+Labs Environment, priced at $764)
Instructor Led Training Cost$1,980 ($392 exam fee included)

The focus of the exam has changed significantly in the new iteration. The SY0-601 exam had introduced new exam domains, to include “Operations and Incident Response”. “Technologies and Tools” has been replaced with “Implementation” and “Cryptography and PKI” and “Identity and Access Management” have been eliminated entirely and replaced with “Operations and Incident Response”. “Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities” has also been expanded to include more attack trends.

CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Exam DomainsCompTIA Security+ SY0-601 Exam Domains
Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities (21%)
Technologies and Tools (22%)
Architecture and Design (15%)
Identity and Access Management (16%)
Risk Management (14%)
Cryptography and PKI (12%)
Attacks, Threats and Vulnerabilities (24%)
Architecture and Design (21%)
Implementation (25%)
Operations and Incident Response (16%)
Governance, Risk and Compliance (14%)
Exam ObjectivesExam Objectives

So what this means is that Security+ hopefuls will have until July 31st to pass the SY0-501 exam. So now is the time to seek quality training that will help you ace the exam on the first attempt.

Our Security+ Bootcamp will teach you everything you need to ace the exam and earn your Security+ with 40 hours of instructor led training. You are guaranteed to pass with our bootcamp or we’ll pay for your second exam attempt with our Second Shot Guarantee!

If you’re interested in training at your own pace, our self-paced video course includes the official CompTIA Learn+Labs Environment as well as 25 hours of high definition video lessons. You’ll also be able to work with real-world security tools with over 30 custom built lab exercises. Plus, we provide you with six full exams and 12 quizzes so you can be fully prepared for test day. This course comes with a 14 day full money back guarantee, so you can try it risk free!

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