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Beta Exam for CompTIA PenTest+ Now Available

CompTIA has a new cybersecurity certification exam to verify the knowledge and skills of would-be penetration testers. The fortunate few who take the exam during its beta period will get a fat discount.

You can take CompTIA's PenTest+ exam for just $50, while supplies last.Usually when you see something exciting and new in the world, you can expect to pay full price, plus whatever "new cool thing" markup has been applied, to get it. That's just the way things work.


In the middle of last week, the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association unveiled a new jersey design (courtesy of Nike), along with a new court design and some new team logos and colors. One apparel item available to fans is a sweet red hoodie that features a new team logo.


You can't get the sweet red hoodie for what you might normally expect to pay for a good hoodie. Whereas the average logo hoodie might go for $49.99, the sweet red hoodie with the new Jazz logo currently has a price tag of (gulp) $74.99. Because when something is new and cool, and everybody wants one, you can charge more for it.


This impromptu lesson in economics helps explain why the beta exam for CompTIA's brand new PenTest+ cybersecurity certification is such a screaming deal. PenTest+ is the latest addition to CompTIA's suite of cybersecurity certifications. It's slick, it's exciting, and it will probably be approved by the Department of Defense very soon.


Now, full-price CompTIA certification exams cost a decent-sized chunk of change. The similarly new CSA+ cybersecurity certification exam, for example, will set you back $346. So it ought to be pretty exciting that the beta release of PenTest+ will set you back just $50. That's right, only 50 clams. Just half a Benjamin.


Beta releases are a little rough around the edges at times. But you'll be just as certified if you pass PenTest+ while it's in beta and costs just $50 as you will if you wait and pay six or seven times that amount for the finalized exam.


Participation in the beta is limited to just 400 exams, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. And the beta period (which officially begain Jan. 31) will end on April 25 whether or not 400 people have taken the test. So you do need to act quickly. And you won't find out whether you passed the test until May or June at the earliest.


These are minor inconveniences, however, if you've already been working in penetration testing for a while and know the basics. There are up to 110 questions on the PenTest+ exam, and you'll have 165 minutes to answer them all. It's recommended that participants have "Network+, Security+ or equivalent knowledge. Minimum of 2-3 years of hands-on information security or related experience."


You can get exam objectives and practice questions from CompTIA by registering (requires name and e-mail address) to further your preparations. Or you can just jump on the beta while it's still available.


Sure, maybe there will be a discount available on PenTest+ in a few years from now. It's never going to be just $50 again, though. The time to take action is now.