By: The Cengage Computing Team
You’d be surprised at the variety of answers you would get if you asked a group of professionals about the best way to prepare for certification-test preparation. Some would respond with “Take a class,” while others would reply, “No, just do you own self-study.”
Others might add, “Be sure you take a practice test.” Others may say, “No, just read the material and don’t get lost in practice exams.”
Who is correct when it comes down to which certification-test preparation strategies work? This question has been largely unanswered.
CompTIA now has the answer.
The Statistics Behind the Certification
CompTIA studied over half a million test-takers to determine their A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. CompTIA asked certification test-takers what training method they used to prepare for the exam. There are usually several questions at the end. CompTIA then looked at the pass rates of those individuals based upon their training methodology.
Security+ CompTIA reported these results on how test-takers prepared to take a certification exam. This is known as the distribution of training methods.
51% – Self-study Computer-based
48% – Self Study Textbook
43% – Practice Exam Taken
25% – Instructor-led Live Training
19% – Virtual Instructor-led training
14% – On the job Training
11% – Self Study Group
CompTIA used logistic regression to compare how test-takers prepared and how many passed certification exams. The four most effective preparation methods for Security+ were:
Practice Exam Taken
This data provides a wealth information for anyone who is studying for the Security+ certification exam. Although on-the-job training is the best preparation, it would be the most difficult to attain. The test-taker must be employed in an enterprise that is actively fighting attacks and learning “in the trenches.” However the rest of the preparation activities are easily accessible to most test-takers.
Preparation Strategies That Pass the Test
Although some people claim that practice exams are not beneficial, data shows that they are the second most effective preparation. However, only 43 percent of test takers use them. A textbook for self-study is the third-most effective method.
One of the most obvious inconsistencies is studying with other preparers. The fourth-highest technique was to form and use a self-study team.
Anyone who has ever been part of a group preparing for an exam knows that everyone has the same level of knowledge. This means that they can quickly learn from each other. If one person doesn’t understand something, the rest of the group can explain how they learned it. Only 11 percent of Security+ test-takers said that this was how they prepared for the exam.
Future Cengage security titles like Security+ 7e or CySA+ 2e will emphasize group activities, while offering strong practice exam questions and stressing the importance of learners.
IT, Networking, and Cyber Security Instructors – Take a deep dive into the Live Virtual Machine Labs at MindTap. Watch the recording of our recent webinar: Just In Time Training for Live Virtual Machine Labs.