What Are the Best Tips for Certified Ethical Hacker Exam Prep?

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  • Written By: Gabriele Sturmer
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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The Certified Ethical Hacker exam covers a variety of security principles and tools that can help professionals protect computers and networks against attacks. The test requires extensive knowledge of information gathering, operating system hacking, network security and malware, and it expects candidates to be able to use common tools in the industry. The best Certified Ethical Hacker exam prep plan should include comprehensive study guides, practice exams, experience with security tools and an authorized training course, if possible.

Before creating a Certified Ethical Hacker exam prep plan, candidates must determine whether they are required to take a course at an authorized provider. Candidates who don't have at least two years of work experience in an information security role must complete an authorized course online or at a training center. A typical course provides hands-on practice using the hacking tools covered by the exam, live or video lectures, textbooks or study guides and practice lab exercises. These courses are often useful even if they are not required, because they provide an opportunity for hands-on experience and instructor feedback.


Purchasing a study guide is another helpful tip for Certified Ethical Hacker exam prep. For a candidate who takes an accelerated course, books provide a comprehensive review of the topics learned and are a good source for gauging one's strengths and weaknesses. In addition to study guides, there are more comprehensive guides available that include much more information and are especially helpful for those beginning the exam prep process. Books on computer forensics, penetration testing, web applications and operating systems also are helpful for Certified Ethical Hacker exam prep. If the exam candidate would rather use practice questions than read a study guide, then books are available that contain sample exam questions and answers and may even include a CD or DVD with testing software.

Although the exam does not require one to perform simulations or online labs, it's very useful to become familiar with common computer security tools before taking the exam. Some exam questions ask about the best tools to use for a specific scenario and expect the candidate to be familiar with the basic features of these programs. Study guides usually list the tools covered by the exam, and candidates can download many of the programs from company websites. Some online courses include lab sessions that already have the tools installed in a virtual environment and allow candidates to access the system through a remote connection.


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