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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, active versions of CompTIA Security+ exam are:

CompTIA Security+ SY0-501. This exam was launched on October ​4, 2017 and retires approximately 3 years from its release date.
CompTIA Security+ SY0-401. Retirement date for the English version of the SY0-401 exam is scheduled for July 31, 2018. Other versions (Japanese, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese) are set to reitre on December 15, 2018.

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

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). Both, SY0-501 and SY0-401 exams are 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, are considered as 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).

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).

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.

Exam Resources

CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 Exam Domains
CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 Exam Domains
Professor Messer's Free CompTIA Security+ Video Training Courses