Studying for CompTIA Security+

By: James O’Rell

CompTIA Security+ is one of the most important certifications one can get when working in the field of Information Technology (IT) for government contracts. Many government agencies require a Security+ certification to receive access to government systems.

Studying for the Security+ exam can be a daunting task. Its subject matter is far reaching and rather varied, especially for someone not in an IT infrastructure role. Below are some resources and tips for studying that we employ here at iWorks.


The book we recommend here at iWorks is Darril Gibson’s CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-601 Study Guide. The Kindle edition is inexpensive (currently 9.99 USD as of time of writing). Not only is it a good buy, but Gibson’s book is also very easy and enjoyable to read. For example, for many of his example questions, he uses characters from The Simpsons. These questions tend to cover everything you need to know from the chapter and are great study material on their own. The book can be found here on Amazon.

Professor Messer Videos:

Professor Messer’s website is a great source for information on Security+. He has a great study guide you can purchase for the exam. Most importantly, he has a massive course of free YouTube videos covering all of Security+. Even if you can’t afford the time to sit and watch the videos, they are great to listen to while you perform other tasks. This increases your familiarity with the material as you work with other study resources. You can find his Security+ Training Course website here.

CertMaster Practice:

CompTIA’s own CertMaster Practice is an online exam prep tool. This is a pricier option compared to other study aids listed here, but is a great tool for studying. It provides study material to go through and a set of practice questions to hone your skills. You can find CertMaster Practice here.

Study group:

A study group is a great way to facilitate your progress in studying for Security+. Not only does it give you a forum to talk about the material, but it can also keep you accountable and on schedule with studying for the exam. Here at iWorks, we have a weekly study group where we go through a chapter’s worth of review questions from the Darril Gibson book listed above. This helps the group have a target of getting at least a chapter read each week. It also re-enforces what you read by discussing the material with others.


Udemy courses on Security+ are many and be a daunting just to pick a course. TOTAL: CompTIA Security+ Certification (SY0-601) is a well-reviewed course that would be worth looking into. If your company has a Udemy Business account, you may be able to use these resources for free. Talk to your management to get an account.

Not all resources will work for everyone. The key to studying for Security+ is to find the study method and resources that work best for you. Just keep at it and make sure to set a test date. This way you are forced to study for the exam and won’t put it off. Procrastination is the biggest problem with studying for an exam such as Security+. Good luck!