I just passed the CompTIA CySA+ exam CS0-001 on the first attempt with around a week of study. You can pass this exam as well if you put the time into it.

I bought a book that I didn't use a whole lot, CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification All-in-One Exam Guide (Exam CS0-001). I got to maybe the second chapter but didn't put a lot of time into the book. It's written well and is fun to read, I just went for video guides and practice tests instead of reading this time.

By this point I've done IT work for about 14 years, with the last 4 being specifically in security. I do maybe 2/3 of this material for a living so I was happy to fill in a few gaps and renew my A+, Network+, and Security+. It's interesting that the simple stuff in the unfamiliar areas like incident response and SDLC were the things that were tripping me up on this exam.

I used the following courses to prepare for this exam:

  • Jason Dion's CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001): Complete Course and Practice Exam course
  • Jason Dion's CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) 5 Practice Certification Exams course
  • Keith Barker's CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001) course on CBT Nuggets
    • CBT practice labs
    • Kaplan based testing engine

A day before the exam I made this handwritten note:

CySA+ Handwritten Success Plan

Note Deciphered

You're looking at the new CySA+ certified security professional.

  • Goal:
    • Obtain CySA+
  • Why:
    • Keep CompTIA certs going
    • Have more content for IT Cert Strat
    • Open new career opportunities
    • Create a LinkedIn account
  • Needed Score:
    • 73/85 – 85%
    • Can only miss 12 – Do better than this
  • Areas of Improvement:
    • Incident response plans
    • Risk management terms
    • Frameworks
    • CVSS scoring (v2) and flags

I feel good about the exam. I didn't get as high of a score as I wanted but I was happy to keep the “passing on first attempt on all certifications streak” alive.

Just like before with the Security+ exam, I created study notes. This time though the notes were released before I took the exam instead of after (this website is still fairly new at this time).

Admittedly this exam was harder than I was expecting but since I do a bit of this for a living, I had this one in the bag. The biggest thing is to know your stuff and be sure to practice!

Study Tips

  1. Review the CS0-001 exam objectives if you haven’t already.
  2. Get a good book or video course. If you need to take classes in preparation for the exam, enroll or purchase materials from authorized partners. Unauthorized 3rd party training sites are against the candidate agreement.
  3. Set a study schedule and plan a date for the exam.
  4. Buy the exam voucher from Pearson Vue or CompTIA store.
  5. Schedule the exam through Pearson Vue.
  6. Take practice questions and practice exams.
  7. Review material that's still fuzzy to you. Watch videos, review concepts, and improve.

Have you passed the CompTIA CySA+ exam yet? If so, what do you think of these tips?

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