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CompTIA Security+ SY0-301 Exam Cram (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0789748294
ISBN-10: 0789748290
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Diane Barrett is the director of training for Paraben Corporation and an adjunct professor for American Military University. She has done contract forensic and security assessment work for several years and has authored other security and forensic books. She is a regular committee member for ADFSL’s Conference on Digital Forensics, Security, and Law as well as an academy director for Edvancement Solutions. She holds many industry certifications, including CISSP, ISSMP, DFCP, PCME, and Security+. Diane’s education includes an MS in information technology with a specialization in information security. She expects to complete a PhD in business administration with a specialization in information security.


Kalani Kirk Hausman is an author, enterprise and security architect, ISO, and consultant with experience including medium- to large-scale globally deployed networks in governmental, higher-education, health-care, and corporate settings. Kalani’s professional certifications include the CISSP, CGEIT, CRISC, CISA, CISM, GIAC-GHSC, PMP, and CCP. He is active within the FBI InfraGard, Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and ISSA. Kalani is currently employed as the assistant commandant for Strategic Communications, Information Technology, and Public Relations at TAMU and as an adjunct professor of InfoSec at UMUC. Kalani can be reached at kkhausman@hotmail.com or followed on Twitter at @kkhausman.


Martin Weiss lives within a triangle of sales, engineering, and marketing, providing information security solutions for organizations of all sizes. He is currently most interested in governance, risk, compliance, and how to secure elastic cloud environments. He is also an adjunct professor with the University of Maryland University College focusing on security classes. Marty is the author of several other books. His work has been compared to literary greats. His mother, upon reviewing a recent book, described it as riveting as anything by Dostoevsky. Marty holds several certifications, including Security+, CISSP, CISA, and CCSK. He received his M.B.A. from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts and currently lives in Connecticut with his wife, three sons, and iPhone. Marty can be reached at martyweiss@gmail.com or stalked on Twitter @martyweiss.



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Product Details

  • Series: Exam Cram
  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson IT Certification; 3 edition (December 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789748290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789748294
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I used the "Companion CD" that came with this book every night for at least three hours for nearly two weeks and it helped me pass with an 848. I was also enrolled at a local school and that helped as well. I'm the type of person that really get's a lot from a timed practice test that is designed to mimic the actual test and that's what the "Companion CD" offered. The CD did a great job at presenting the practice tests in such a way that when I sat down to do the actual CompTIA Security+ test I felt at easy with the format and that helped me feel some what relaxed with the test. I would turn on a 100 question test, set it to study mode, turn on the 90 minute timer and press start. At the end, or even during the practice tests you can review the answers. The detailed explanations of each question helped my out a ton. Another resource that helped is actually found on the CompTIA website. Go to the CompTIA website and hover your mouse over "Training & Testing" tab near the top middle of the page and in the drop down menu select "Exam Objectives." Next, fill out that short form (name, e-mail, country) and also make sure you select the "CompTIA Security+" exam objectives and you will then be given access to the SY0-301 exam objectives. I created a word document using ALL of the outlined exam objectives and I filled out every definition for each term, acronym and the details for each concept provide on the CompTIA SY0-301 exam objective sheet and let me tell you... That was the single biggest factor for my success. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it and there is no short cut for hard work and hard study. If you want to pass the CompTIA Security+ certification exam you have to work hard. So use your energy on studying properly and not on trying to find short cuts because in the end you've worked just as hard either way so why not just better yourself and learn the material so you can further your education and build your character.
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Format: Paperback
The Exam Cram book is an excellent resource for preparing for the Security+ exam. This is not a book for learning the material. I would recommend thoroughly working through the Security+ SY0-301 Certification guide first, to get all the information. Then I would work through this book to reinforce concepts and correct any misconceptions. The Exam Cram book doesn't just give questions and answers. Questions are given, then the answers are explained as to why they are correct. And the incorrect answers are explained as to why they are incorrect. No matter how many times the incorrect answers appear. This reinforces the learning process. Many questions have answers which 'Sound like' they are correct, but they are not. Although some people might think of this as repetitive, it works to help learning why the answers are correct and the 'close' answers are incorrect. All in all, this is an excellent book. Well organised and well written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently switched jobs from software engineering into an IT position for the first time. The job required a Security+ certification so I looked at the Comptia website to see what study materials they recommended. This particular book showed up on their list of authorized study materials and as it was one of the least expensive study options, I gave this book a try. I read through the entire book twice and took the practice exams (included in the CD) about a dozen times. After about 2 weeks of studying only this book, I took the SY0-301 exam and passed with a score of 843 (out of 900).

The book itself is easy to read and the information is easy to digest. Compared to the other books I've seen, this book is also relatively thin and may be good for one that doesn't have a lot of time to read through a phone book sized study guide.

What I found really useful was the included CD containing 200 questions (2 Practice Exams worth). Although the questions included did not match any of the questions I encountered in the exam, the materials covered by the book and the CD allowed me to pass the exam. It is noted that in the actual exam, there were a few questions that I encountered that I don't recall ever studying about but I expected that from reading about the nature of the exam.

The reason that I am only giving 4 stars is due to the errors I encountered in the study material (including the CD). For example, there was one practice question where 2 of the 4 multiple choice answers were identical and the correct answer was nowhere to be found. After answering that question incorrectly, the answer explanation did not match what was highlighted as the correct answer. It's little errors like these that mar an otherwise great study guide.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in February 2012 to prepare for the Security+ 301 Exam. I didn't want to read through hundreds of pages of fluff material I wanted to get to the nuts and bolts. I read through the book only once and after each chapter I would take the exam for that chapter from the CD that is included. The night before the exam I read through the Cram Sheet (Included) only on areas I wanted to make sure I grasp. I passed the exam on the first try with a 854.. I recommend this book to anyone who understands security concepts but needs a quick refresher before taking the exam.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Couple examples on stuff which bugged me about the questions: Why would you set up a question so that one of the characters has to hand over her private key to someone else for the answer to work out correctly? And when you say "last rule you would see on a corporate firewall", do you mean final rule or the rule you least expect to see?

Unless they're prepping you for how dumb the test is going to be, some (ok, quite a few) of the questions are worded nonsensically. That said it'll definitely point out where you should be using Wikipedia to research stuff you don't know.

Also, a shout out to the Professor Messer videos someone else mentioned- those rock.
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