It happened. After a 20-year win streak, I barely failed my first exam. I take full responsibility for this as I underestimated the breadth of the exam and didn’t fully prepare as much as I should have.

Since I failed, I can no longer use this exam to update my current CE cycle for all other certifications. I won’t have time to retake it before the new cycle, so I will retake it after PT0-002 has been released.

About CompTIA PenTest+

The PenTest+ certification aims to provide a vital piece to the overall cybersecurity strategy. While the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) tests defensive skills and knowledge, the CompTIA PenTest+ tests attack skills and knowledge. Security pros use both security methodologies to successfully defend against attacks and cover vulnerabilities.

Study Materials Used

TryHackMe CompTIA Pentest+ Path

This quality walkthrough was great. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and didn’t finish the path. They also updated the modules within the path. I will be sure to run back through it when I’m ready to take the exam again.

CompTIA PenTest+ by Jason Dion

This course was pretty good except for the list of tools part which was, well, a list of tools. When the new exam version is released, Jason will re-record the lectures to match the updated exam objectives. I’m looking forward to the next release.

Lessons Learned

There are probably a couple of reasons why I failed, but the main two reasons why are that I ran out of time and didn’t adequately prepare for the exam.

When it comes time to re-take the PenTest+, not only will I give it a little more than a month, but I will also dedicate more quality learning time. Furthermore, I will finish all study materials, including practice exams.

Then I will approach the new exam version with fresh eyes within the next 2 years.

Renewing CompTIA CEs

So you’re probably wondering, “If you didn’t pass the exam and you were at the end of your 3 year CE cycle, how did you renew your other certifications?”

Great question. First, I had to pay the renewal fee (my first time). Then I entered proof that I passed the CISSP exam to cover my CEUs. Now, I’m taken care of for the next 3 years.

The Negatives of Failing

It’s kind of funny. The last two exams I passed were the CISSP and the CompTIA CySA+. I found both of these exams to be much harder than the PenTest+, but I passed both of them on the first try without issue.

This means I’ll revisit the PenTest+ at a future date.

So, what did I actually lose here? I lost some time, $370 for the exam voucher, and roughly $200 in study materials. Does it sting a little? Yes. Does it set me back at all? No. I still renewed my other CompTIA certifications and learned what I need to shore up for the next time around.


If you find yourself in the same boat, try not to dwell on it. Surely, you have wasted time and lost a little money before along your life path. If you passed the PenTest+ or failed it, let me know how you feel in the comments below.

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