What You Need to Know About the New CompTIA Security+ 601 Exam

By : TechnoEdge Learning December 29, 2020

The CompTIA Security+ certification is a globally recognized cybersecurity certification and a valuable asset for any IT professional. Earning your certification requires you to pass the CompTIA Security+ exam. The exam is managed by CompTIA and consists of 90 questions.

On November 12th, 2020, CompTIA updated their CompTIA Security+ exam. The last time the exam was updated was on October 4, 2017. You can recognize the new exam by its associated exam code, SY0-601. The previous edition of the exam was SY0-501. We are going to break down what you should expect from the new exam, and how you can prepare for the exam with CompTIA Security+ training from TechnoEdge Learning.

Why Updates Matter

Before we get into what is new on the exam, it is important to understand why the exam changes. Given that cybersecurity is a field that is evolving and changing at a rapid pace, CompTIA needs to update their certification exams to ensure that the exam and certification represent the current state of the industry. CompTIA updates the exams for all their certifications, including the CompTIA Security+ certification and the CompTIA CySA+ certification. On average, each exam is updated once every 3 years.

What Has Changed

One of the major changes to the CompTIA Security+ exam is the domains covered by the exam, and how much weight each section of the exam is worth. Below is what the old 501 version of the exam covered:

  1. Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities (21%)
  2. Technologies and Tools (22%)
  3. Architecture and Design (15%)
  4. Identity and Access Management (16%)
  5. Risk Management (14%)
  6. Cryptography and PKI (12%)

The new 601 exam has reduced the overall number of domains, added and removed several domains, and changed the weights assigned to each domain. Here is the domain and weight listing for the 601 exam:

  1. Attacks, Threats and Vulnerabilities (24%)
  2. Architecture and Design (21%)
  3. Implementation (25%)
  4. Operations and Incident Response (16%)
  5. Governance, Risk and Compliance (14%)

What Happens to the 501 Exam

Although the CompTIA Security+ 601 exam is now in circulation, the 501 exam can still be taken. The official retirement date for the 501 exam is July 31, 2021. Currently, the 501 exam is offered in more languages (English, Japanese, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese) than the 601 exam (English and Japanese only).

When considering which version of the exam to take, you may want to factor in what your preferred language is. Additionally, you may want to consider which test more accurately reflects your cybersecurity knowledge. There is no inherent advantage to taking one version of the test over the other. Passing either test will earn you the same CompTIA Security+ certification.

Preparing for the Exam

Whether you decide to challenge the 501 or the 601, TechnoEdge Learning’s CompTIA Security+ course will ensure you are fully prepared. TechnoEdge is an approved training partner of CompTIA, which means their course is up-to-date with the most current version of the exam. TechnoEdge instructors are well-versed in the CompTIA security+ certification exam and they know the best methods for helping you learn the information quickly. Their 5-day, boot camp style course allows you to learn skills that will help you both on the exam and on the job.

If you have already gotten your CompTIA Security+ certification, then TechnoEdge can help you with their CompTIA CySA+ training course. The CompTIA CySA+ certification is an intermediate cybersecurity certification and the next step for CompTIA Security+ certification holders.

Register now for one of TechnoEdge Learning’s upcoming courses and take your career to the next level with CompTIA certifications.

Read our other blog: CompTIA Security+ 501 vs 601: What Does It Mean?

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