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CompTIA Security+ Certification Overview

The CompTIA Security+ Certification is a vendor neutral credential validating foundation-level security skills and knowledge. The current version of CompTIA Security+ exam, launched in May 2014, is labeled SY0-401. Previous release of the exam based on the 2010 objectives and coded SY0-301 retired on 31st of December 2014.

Click here to view our list of free online Security+ practice exams

CompTIA Security+ Certification Exam Details
Exam Code: SY0-401
Exam Type: Computer-Based Test (CBT)
Question Count: 90
Question Types: Multiple choice / Performance-based
Time Limit: 90 minutes
Passing Score: 750 (on a scale 100-900)
Languages: English (other languages to follow)
Other Versions: JK0-022
Exam Booking: Pearson VUE (Online Registration)

The educational version of the SY0-401 certification exam is coded JK0-022. This release is available exclusively for the CompTIA Academy Partner Program (CAPP Academy) training partners and their students.

The educational version of the SY0-401 exam is identical in all aspects, except for the exam code and the fact that it can be accessed by using discounted vouchers provided by the CompTIA authorized training partner.

Security+ Certification Renewal Policy

Security+ bridge exam scheme retired on 31st of December 2010 (along with all other CompTIA bridge exams which are no longer available). The SY0-401 exam is a part of the CE (Continuing Education) program under which lifetime certification status granted previously by passing the Security+ exam is no longer offered by CompTIA and periodic renewal becomes mandatory in order to be able to hold a valid certification document.

Starting from 1st of January 2011, all new CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications are valid for three years from the date the candidate is certified. After three years they must be renewed either by passing the new release of the exam, or by fulfilling units from the CE program.

Individuals certified in CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ on or before Dec. 31, 2010, will be considered certified for life. For individuals certified on or after Jan. 1, 2011, these certifications can be maintained by passing the most current CompTIA exam prior to the three-year expiration date or enrolling in CompTIA's new Continuing Education (CE) program. This initiative allows participants to keep skills and certifications current through a variety of activities that show an understanding of relevant industry knowledge.

Starting from 9th of July 2012, CompTIA exams are available only through Pearson VUE testing centers (exams are booked online at the Pearson VUE website).

Exam Retake Policies

CompTIA does not offer any free re-tests nor discounts on exam retakes and candidates must pay the exam price each time they attempt the exam. There is no waiting period between the first and second attempt to pass the exam, only before the third attempt or any subsequent attempt there is a mandatory wait period of at least 14 calendar days from the date of the last attempt.

Security+ Exam Credentials

CompTIA Security+ certification fulfills the U.S. Department of Defense’s Directive 8570.1. Department of Defense (DOD) approves CompTIA Security+ to fulfill certification requirements for Management Level 1 positions. CompTIA Security+ certification can also help in demonstrating compliance with government regulations under FISMA (the Federal Information Security Management Act).


CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Exam Domains
Free Online Security+ Practice Exams
Professor Messer's CompTIA Security+ Video Training Course