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Comptia’s New PenTest+ Certification

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By: erussell

March 20, 2018

 I took the opportunity to take the CompTIA PenTest+ beta certification exam. CompTIA intends this to be a new vendor-neutral intermediate certification between CompTIA’s Security+ and the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP). This certification sits alongside the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). Similar to other CompTIA exams, this exam consists of both multiple choice and performance-based questions and my exam had a total of 110 questions and 5 of the questions were performance based. The total test time allotted for the beta exam was 165 minutes. CompTIA plans to release the final exam in 3Q2018, so the makeup may be slightly altered when the exam is released to the public.Be prepared to see questions from these categories:
  • Planning
  • Scoping
  • Information Gathering
  • Vulnerability Identification
  • Attacks and Exploits
  • Penetration Testing Tools
  • Reporting
  • Lines of Communication
The performance based questions rely on the test taker’s ability to analyze snippets of log files and, using that information, to determine the attack. If you are familiar with Security+, these questions are much more detailed and assume hands on experience so prepare yourself and budget your time. The multiple choice questions did not have the typical CompTIA wording flavor. It was similar but the fluff was missing. You will not see the “Joe the admin was asked by the CIO to...” and instead the questions were more to the point.For those who rely on DoD 8570 certifications, I assume this will end up being approved for various job categories. Comptia’s CySA+ was approved for Cybersecurity Service Provider (CSSP) – Analyst, CSSP – Incident Responder, CSSP – Infrastructure Support, CSSP – Auditor, Information Assurance Technician Level II so it is likely that PenTest+ will also be approved.If you would like to take your chance with the $50 beta exam it is still open until 400 people take it or April 25, 2018. If you would like to wait I recommend keeping eyes open for the release of the final exam in 3Q2018.
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