In light of this, I'd like to offer a few perspectives on the exam and what you can expect if you're planning on sitting for the SY0-501 version of the test in the near future.
Firstly, let me say these are some fantastic study materials. They covered roughly 90% of the same content between both, but it's great to be able to watch a video course on a topic, then read back through a written summary of everything covered with easy-to-note lists of all the technical term definitions.
Regardless of what study materials you use to prepare for this test, my suggestion is to use more than one study source. This is due partially to how helpful repetition is in nailing a lot of the tested concepts down, but also to offer a different author's perspective on the topics as well as possibly cover things that your main study source didn't mention.
The Skillport course and Sybex book covered about 85% of the questions I saw on the test. You'll find that this is usually the case for most study books and courses - there's always going to be something that will be on the test that your training doesn't cover. The reason for this is that the test vendor is hoping that your real-world experience will fill in some of the gaps in the study materials, hence why CompTIA selects a few questions on the test that are probing into further detail than the others to see how deep your knowledge goes.
Test Topics That I Wasn't Expecting
I'll try and describe what I saw on the exam that I didn't expect to see on it as best I can without dropping spoilers that might be in violation of the NDA I signed:
- Make sure you know basic Linux file structures as well as core system files and config settings. Taking an hour or two to dive into the basics of Linux if you're not already familiar with it will go a long way towards addressing the more Linux-focused questions on the test (and there WILL be some).
- Either play around with, or do some more research into worms, bots, and logic bombs. An understanding of how these work on a "warning signs" level will be necessary to address some of the test questions. The coverage on these topics in the Sybex guide and in Skillport didn't give these adequate justice.
I'm pleasantly satisfied with the direction that CompTIA is going in with their certification tracks, and feel that this accomplishment is beneficial to my career moving forward; if you're planning on sitting for the test, I hope it is for you as well.