How to Get a CompTIA Security+ Certification in 5 Steps

The CompTIA Security+ certification is the world’s most popular cybersecurity certification.  It teaches you the knowledge needed to begin your cybersecurity career.  For most Cybersecurity practitioners, the Security+ is one of the first certifications they earn when making the transition into cybersecurity.

The Security+ is vendor neutral, which means that it does not focus on any one technology but teaches the skills needed to excel in any environment. It is also required for many positions in the public and private sector. Due to its popularity, Security+ certification holders command average salaries of $85,000 annually.

While you may understand the value of the Security+, you might not have a clear idea of how to get started.  For many, the process of obtaining this certification appears daunting. We here at Cyberkraft hope that this article will teach you how to get a CompTIA Security+ Certification.

1)    Set a goal date to pass your CompTIA Security+ exam

Goal setting is key to successfully completing the Security+ exam and obtaining your certification.  The best goals are clear, obtainable, and time-oriented. 

Begin by setting a firm date of completion.  This is the date in which you will be a fully certified Security+ practitioner. 

It’s important to not just decide on a date but to also set the date in writing. Write this date down in a calendar or set up a special event on your phone.  This will help solidify the idea in your mind and provide you with motivation to complete your goal. 

Once you’ve set a date of completion, plan backwards from this date to create smaller milestones.  For example, by February 3rd I will have completed all of the Security+ labs.  Or, by January 25th I will have watched all of the Cyberkraft Security+ videos.  These smaller milestones will help you stay motivated and give you a sense of progress when you complete each one. 

You can even go one step further and plan out some ways to celebrate once you’ve earned your certification.  Perhaps you would like to go out to dinner, or maybe buy yourself a gift once you’ve earned your Security+.  Planning out these activities will help keep you motivated and on track for your goal.

2)    Identify your learning style

People learn differently.  Some people can simply read a book and retain the material.  For others, reading a book is a chore.  These people lose focus quickly when they pick up a textbook.  They might even get drowsy!  Some people enjoy listening to lessons, while others have trouble following a lecture.  It’s important to identify which learning style works best for you.  Once you understand this, you will be able to select the training materials that are enjoyable and interesting to you.  Using the materials that you respond best to will help you retain the information to pass your exam.

We hear at Cyberkraft believe that the VARK model is a useful tool to determine which style of learning fits you best. There are four learning styles identified in the VARK model, Visual, Auditory or Aural, Reading and Writing, and Kinesthetic. Now, of course, you may respond well to multiple styles, but you may find that one style of learning suites you better than others.


Visual learners learn best with graphics, charts, and pictures. These learners like to see visual interpretations of concepts. Often, these students can vividly recall specific graphics or charts when they remember the information. Still pictures and movies are not the ideal media for these types of learners, rather, they learn best with visual aids, such as arrows, patterns, or diagrams that convey the information.

If the visual learning style is best for you, then I recommend purchasing a video course. These courses often include lots of graphics designed to teach specific concepts. Educational videos are also ideal because a good video course will have the trainer drawing out many of the exam concepts.

We include over 25 hours of high definition video lessons in both our self-paced and instructor-led Security+ training courses. These videos include colorful graphics to explain key concepts in a way that is specifically tailored to the visual learning style.

Auditory or Aural

Auditory learners learn best by listening to someone speak.  These people are able to understand verbal instructions clearly.  They are able to understand a news report after hearing it over the radio.  Auditory learners are very good at understanding chat-like messages, like instant messaging, text, and social media posts.  Anything that uses colloquial terms or common turns of phrase are easy for auditory learners to comprehend.  Auditory learners may find themselves talking things out in their head or out loud to puzzle things out.  Auditory learners learn best by listening to lectures or instructors and discussing concepts in a group.

For these types of learners we recommend our video course or our live training bootcamp.  These courses come with custom built high definition video lessons which explain the concepts in easy to understand segments.  Many of our students even enjoy listening to these lessons on the go through our Cyberkraft mobile app.

Reading and Writing

Some people are able to easily read a textbook or write notes to absorb information.  These people are comfortable sitting down with a book and reading.  They enjoy articles, books, and newspapers.  These people may find it helpful to write their own notes and may gain a deeper understanding of the material simply by writing it down.  Traditional primary and secondary school teaching methods emphasize this learning style. 

If this is a good learning style for you, we advise purchasing a hard copy or digital textbook.  As you read through the text, take breaks to write out notes of each section you have read.  Write out the key concepts or concepts that you had trouble understanding.  The act of writing notes will expose you to the material for a second time and help you understand the concepts which were difficult to comprehend at first glance.


Kinesthetic learners learn best by “doing”.  They will retain information through practical examples.  Kinesthetic learners enjoy practical examples, real scenarios, and personal experiences.  These learners learn well when they have the opportunity to do the work themselves.  They value their own personal experience more than the experiences of others. 

If you are this type of learner we recommend doing lab activities to learn the Security+ concepts.  In both our instructor-led bootcamps and our self-paced course we include over 30 lab activities specifically designed to teach you the concepts included in the Security+ exam.  Each lab has been specially tailored by CompTIA to teach you the tools, command inputs, and configurations which are tested on the Security+ exam.  You will learn everything from using vulnerability scanners to configuring access control policies. 

Others, learn by listening or watching someone speak.  For these individuals we recommend a video course.  Our Cyberkraft Security+ course includes 25 hours of HD video lessons.

Some students learn best by doing.  These are referred to as kinesthetic learners.  For them, it can be difficult to learn a concept without hands-on experience.  For these learners, we recommend practical lab exercises.  CompTIA has create specific labs for the Security+ course to teach you the concepts tested on the exam.  Each lab lasts between 30 minutes to an hour and focuses on a different skill.

Fortunately, in Cyberkraft’s Security+ training we incorporate all three learning styles into our content.  We provide you with a digital textbook, 25 hours of video lessons, and over 30 practice labs created by CompTIA so you can learn the materials in the way that makes sense for you.

How to get a CompTIA Security+ Certification

3)    Select your study materials and training approach

Self-Paced Training

There are lots of training materials available for the Security+ exam.  Some are far better than others and it can be difficult to decide on the best solution.  When considering how to get a CompTIA Security+ certification, you must first decide if you want to study on your own with self-paced materials or enroll in a live class.

Self-paced courses can vary greatly in quality.  With self-paced materials, you get what you pay for.  While there are cheap options available online, these won’t be enough to get the vast majority of people certified. 

The Security+ exam has become much harder with its latest update to SY0-601.  Now, CompTIA tests your understanding of Linux inputs, console commands, and security device interfaces.  The Performance Based Questions (PBQs) will have you perform these tasks during the exam. 

The best way to learn these tools is to work with them directly.  A good training course will provide you with custom built lab activities designed around the Security+ concepts.  Your course should also include practice PBQs to prepare you for the PBQs you’ll find on the real exam. 

That’s why we’ve included over 30 custom built Security+ labs and 28 PBQs in our Security+ self-paced course.  These labs and PBQs were built by CompTIA specifically for the SY0-601 exam. 

Plus, our course comes with a 7 day full money back guarantee.  If you’re not happy for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund within 7 days, no questions asked.

Instructor-Led Training

If you don’t have the time to devote to self-paced study or if you like having an instructor to talk with and ask questions, then a live class is probably right for you.  Live classes are great options for Auditory and Kinesthetic learners and for people who want to ensure that they pass on the first try.

Most instructor-led training course are priced around $2,500 and include 40 hours of training or less.  The exam voucher should be included with the training.  The Security+ exam voucher costs $381.  A good instructor-led course should come with some sort of guarantee.  The best guarantee you can find is a first time pass guarantee.  If you’re considering a course and it doesn’t match these general guidelines, then you may have cause for concern.

Instructor quality can vary as well.  You should always seek to be trained by CompTIA certified instructors who possess the certification for which they are teaching.  These instructors should also be part of the CompTIA instructor network. 

Live classes should have no more than 10 people in each class.  Larger classes mean less individual attention per student and usually lead to poorer pass rates. 

Every Cyberkraft Security+ bootcamp is taught by a certified, experienced, CompTIA instructor.  We keep our classes under 10 people and guarantee a first time pass.  Plus, we only charge $2,270 per enrollment, far cheaper than our competitors.  Cyberkraft is a CompTIA Authorized Partner and we provide the official study materials and the CompTIA Learn+Lab training environment for all of our students.  Plus, we provide each student with our Security+ Comprehensive Course, which includes the 25 hours of videos lessons that you’ll only find on Cyberkraft. 

4)    Start studying and be consistent

Once you’ve chosen your learning approach, it’s time to start studying!  The key to learning the material is to be consistent with your studies. 

Plan a study schedule for yourself each week.  Everyone has a different schedule, so plan around your life accordingly.  Some may find time to study on the weekends, while others will find time in the evenings or morning each day.  The key is to be consistent with your approach.  A good rule of thumb is to devote at least eight hours each week to studying to make progress in learning the course content.  If you can devote more time, great!  Otherwise, shoot for at least eight hours.

Pick a place to study that is free of distractions.  Don’t study where you normally watch TV or relax.  Pick a place that is significantly different from your normal areas of recreation.  A local library might be a good choice, or even a chair set up in the seldom used room. 

Once you’ve chosen where you will study and set your schedule, it’s important to be disciplined.  Even if you don’t feel like studying or you’re tired, it’s important to still go to your study spot and work on the material during your scheduled study time.  Not every study session will be productive, but it is better to attend your study session and get little to no studying done than to skip it altogether.  Showing up to your own study sessions will help you stay consistent and keep that schedule.

5)    Take challenging practice tests

Once you’ve learned the materials, it’s important to practice test taking.  For many Security+ candidates, the Security+ exam is the first time they have taken a formal test in many years.  Younger candidates just out of school usually have an advantage when it comes to the test itself. 

Test taking is a skill and just like everything else with the Security+ exam, it needs to be practiced.  We recommend taking at least three full practice tests (90 questions or more) before your actual exam. Practice questions will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in the course material and will give you confidence on exam day. 

When you sign up for one of our self-paced or instructor-led courses, we provide you with SIX practice tests (each 90 questions long) and 28 PBQs so you will be fully ready for the real exam.

How to get a CompTIA Security+ certification

How to get a CompTIA Security+ Certification

The CompTIA Security+ certification is a challenging certification but is well worth the effort.  Once you’ve become certified you will be recognized around the world as a cybersecurity professional and you’ll be able to command a higher salary in the field. It also serves as a great springboard for other certifications and career training. 

We hope this article helped you learn how to get a CompTIA Security+ certification. If you’re ready to earn your CompTIA Security+, enroll in one of our courses to get started today!

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