You will earn the CompTIA PenTest+ certification by passing one exam that includes both multiple-choice and performance-based questions. Read on for some advice that can increase your chance to succeed in your exam and achieve CompTIA PenTest+ certification status.
In its very basic nature, the CompTIA PenTest+ exam is not that much different from any other written test that you may have taken to-date. The exam uses various question types to verify your knowledge in of the following areas:
Being well-prepared remains your best bet to score a positive exam outcome, namely passing the test and being awarded the CompTIA PenTest+ certification.
While individual preferences on how to prepare for a test may differ in detail, there’s a simple strategy that can get you started and help keep yourself organized during your exam preparation process.
Step 1: Understand What’s Expected of You
Not knowing what’s on the exam is like driving blind into a snowstorm. A better approach is to spend some time reading about CompTIA PenTest+ and what it takes to pass the exam. The more details you know about the questions you will have to answer, the better you will be able to judge what you already know and what you still need to learn.
The following will help you to get a general understanding of what’s on the exam:
Step 2: Understand the Gap Between What You Already Know and What’s Expected of You
CompTIA PenTest+ exam takers come from all walks of life with various experience levels in IT and cybersecurity. Although there are no prerequisites for CompTIA PenTest+, we recommend a minimum of three-to-four years of hands-on information security or related experience before taking the exam. CompTIA PenTest+ is intended to follow CompTIA Security+ or equivalent experience and has a technical, hands-on focus.
The degree of experience and the quality of experience in pen testing you’ve already acquired has a substantial impact on the knowledge gap between what you know and what you’re expected to know. While some exam takers may have very little additional knowledge they need to acquire, others who have little offensive cybersecurity, or red team, experience may have to invest significant time and effort in their exam studies.
Regardless of experience, it’s worthwhile to take inventory of the exam areas that you don’t know or know little about. Being honest with yourself will help you focus on what you need to learn and, ultimately, make your studies more effective.
Step 3: Understand How You Can Close Your Knowledge Gap
Our CompTIA Learning and Training offering is a set of comprehensive learning resources to support our certifications like CompTIA PenTest+. This portfolio of products includes books, eLearning, labs and exam prep software and is developed in-house by CompTIA based on feedback we hear from learners like you. These resources provide you with a variety of ways to acquire all or some of the knowledge that is outlined in the CompTIA PenTest+ exam objectives.
Self-Study and Test Preparation
The self-study guide will teach you the fundamental principles of penetration testing and how to identify, exploit, report and manage vulnerabilities on a network. It will prepare you to take the CompTIA PenTest+ exam by providing 100 percent coverage of the objectives and content examples listed on the syllabus. Browse our store or visit the Official CompTIA PenTest+ Study Guide page to learn more.
Another great way to get an idea of what questions you can expect is to download a set of practice questions. Keep in mind that these practice questions are not questions that will be on the actual test and that there are different kinds of questions.
The CompTIA CertMaster brand is now a family of products that helps candidates learn the skills needed for a career in technology, and to prepare for their exam with confidence.
For some, self-study isn’t the way to go and classroom training is either available to them, or simply the better choice to learn. CompTIA PenTest+ certification training is offered by many public academic institutions, such as colleges, as well as private academic institutions, such as professional training centers.
The cost of classroom training depends on your choice and can range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. You can find classroom training in your area on your classroom training page. For organizations looking for instructor-led training, CompTIA offers Classroom Training for Organizations.
In short, there’s no simple answer to this question because it all depends on how much you already know, how much you have to learn, how quickly you will learn and when you feel confident enough to take the exam and pass it.
For example, some classroom training teaches all CompTIA PenTest+ material in a matter of one week, while others stretch over several months. If you choose the path to learn on your own, you may, similarly be able to acquire the necessary knowledge within a few days, weeks, or months – depending on how much knowledge and security experience you already have.
While we cannot tell you how long it will take you personally to get your CompTIA PenTest+ exam, we do recommend that you invest enough time in your exam preparation and ensure you know what gaps exist instead of racing through the curriculum.
Our high-stakes exams are proctored at a Pearson VUE testing center or online in a highly-secure environment. Visit Pearson VUE to find a testing center near you. Here’s what you should know about the testing process and what steps you need to take.
Step 1: Buy Your Voucher or Voucher/Training Bundle
When you’re ready to take the exam, purchase your CompTIA PenTest+ voucher from the CompTIA Store. A voucher is a code that will enable you to sign up for your exam. Not sure what cost to expect? Read more on our What does CompTIA PenTest+ cost? page.
Keep in mind that you can also purchase a bundle and combine CertMaster Learn, CertMaster Practice and the CompTIA Official Study Guide in one package and save a good chunk of money on the way to your CompTIA PenTest+ certification.
Step 2: Schedule Your Exam
Next, you’ll need to take your CompTIA PenTest+ exam from an approved location or online. As mentioned above, CompTIA works with Pearson VUE testing centers that has locations around the world and online where you can schedule an appointment to take the exam. Members of the U.S. military may be eligible to take the CompTIA PenTest+ exam from an on-base testing center.
We frequently get questions from test takers on how long they should plan for their exam to take. The allotted time for the exam is 165 minutes. Everyone is different and passing the exam is not about speed. Go into your exam with confidence and answer the questions at a pace that you feel comfortable with, while remembering that the CompTIA PenTest+ exam consists of a maximum of 85 questions.
CompTIA now offers a number of exam training options for CompTIA PenTest+ to fit your particular learning style and schedule, many of which may be used in combination with each other as you prepare for your exam.
There’s a wealth of information to take you from deciding if CompTIA PenTest+ is right for you, all the way to taking your exam. We’re with you every step of the way!