How To Prepare For The CEH Exam

How To Prepare For The CEH Exam

With the global cybersecurity industry on the rise (expected to reach a market volume of $211.7 billion by the year 2026), certified ethical hackers are in high demand. The CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) exam is a popular choice for those looking to enter or progress in this cybersecurity field, but it can be challenging to pass.

The CEH exam was developed by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) and is designed to test an individual’s knowledge of hacking techniques and tools, as well as their ability to think like a hacker. The exam covers a wide range of information security topics, from network security, penetration testing, and cryptography to social engineering and malware threats.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of self-study vs instructor-led training, how to find the right study material, and some general tips on how to prepare for the CEH exam.

Self-study vs instructor-led training

There are two main ways to prepare for the CEH certification exam – self-study or instructor-led training.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each approach:

Self-study

Studying on your own involves buying (or somehow acquiring for free) study materials (e.g., books, online courses, practice exams) and working through them at your own pace.

One of the main advantages of self-study is that it’s generally more affordable than taking an instructor-led course. Instructor-led courses can cost several thousand dollars, whereas study materials for self-study are often available for less.

Another advantage of self-study is that you can study at your own pace and in your own time. This can be beneficial if you have a full-time job or other commitments that make attending regular classes difficult.

On the downside, self-study can be more difficult and time-consuming than taking an instructor-led course. This is because you won’t have anyone to ask for help when you’re stuck, and you’ll need to be disciplined in order to make progress.

If you’re someone who thrives on structure and hates working alone, self-study is probably not for you.

Instructor-led training

Taking an instructor-led course involves attending classes with a qualified trainer. These classes can be in-person or online.

In-person training means you’ll have to attend classes at a specific time and location, which can be difficult if you cannot find classes near you or have a full-time job. Online courses give you more flexibility, at least in terms of where you’re attending them.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, because of all the social distancing rules, online classes have more or less become the norm. However, now that things are starting to open up again, in-person classes are an option too.

The main advantage of an instructor-led training course is that you’ll have someone to guide you through the material and answer any questions you have. This can make learning more efficient and less frustrating than self-study.

Additionally, you will have fellow students to study with, making the whole process more enjoyable.

The downside of instructor-led CEH training is that it’s generally more expensive than self-study. As we mentioned, courses can cost several thousand dollars. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of travel and accommodation if you’re attending an in-person class that isn’t local to you.

Which option is best for you?

As mentioned above, all of this really depends on what kind of a person you are and, more importantly, what kind of a learner you are. If you’re someone who is self-motivated and can stay disciplined when working alone, self-study might be a better option for you. If you prefer structure and enjoy working with others, instructor-led training could be a better fit.

Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer here – it ultimately comes down to what works best for you.

Finding the right study material

If you’ve decided to go down the self-study route, the next step is finding the right study materials. This can be a daunting task, as there are literally thousands of different options out there, from textbooks and online knowledge bases to video courses and practice exams.

The best way to narrow down your choices is to read online reviews and ask for recommendations from people you know who have already taken (and passed) the Certified Ethical Hacker exam. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential study materials, take some time to compare and contrast them to find the best fit for you.

Keep in mind that the free material you come across may not be as comprehensive as the paid options. Yes, you will save money, but you might not get the depth of knowledge you need to pass the exam.

Additionally, make sure the study materials you choose are up to date. The CEH exam is constantly evolving, and you need to be sure you’re studying from material that covers the latest version of the exam, which is the CEH v11 exam at the time of writing this blog post.

Preparing for the CEH exam

Now that you’ve decided on the best way to prepare for the CEH exam, it’s time to start studying! Here are some tips and techniques that will help you get the most out of your exam preparation:

Understand what you need to cover

Before you dive into the material, it’s a good idea to take some time to familiarize yourself with all of the exam content. The EC-Council has published a CEH exam blueprint that outlines all of the topics that will be covered.

By knowing how the exam is structured, you can better focus your studies and make sure you’re covering all of the material you need to know.

Create a study schedule

Once you have an understanding of what you need to cover, it’s time to create a study schedule. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed by the material.

Start by breaking down the topics you need to study into manageable chunks. Then, create a schedule that outlines when you will study each topic. Finally, make sure to give yourself some flexibility in case you need to adjust your schedule as you go.

Do not get overwhelmed

In an exam as comprehensive as the CEH, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of material you need to cover. The key is to take things one step at a time and not try to do too much at once.

If you find yourself getting bogged down by all of the information, take a break and come back to it later. You may also want to consider finding a study buddy who can help you stay on track. (If you’re not studying with a group, that is.)

Practice, practice, practice

One of the best ways to prepare for the CEH exam is to get some hands-on experience. This will not only help you retain the material better, but it will also give you a better understanding of how to apply the concepts you’re learning.

There are many ways to get hands-on experience, such as setting up your own test lab or taking part in online hacking challenges. Whichever route you choose, make sure you get ample practice before taking the exam.

Don’t forget about the basics

In all of the excitement of studying for the CEH exam, it’s easy to forget about the basics. Make sure you brush up on your fundamental knowledge before taking the exam. This includes things like networking, operating systems, and basic security concepts.

By taking the time to review the basics, you’ll be better prepared for the more advanced material on the exam.

Make use of practice tests and sample questions

As you’re studying, make use of practice exams to test your knowledge and gauge your progress. This will also help you get used to the format of the CEH exam, which consists of 125 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in four hours.

In addition to practice exam examples, there are also many sample and practice questions available online. These can be a great way to test your knowledge and see where you need to focus your studies.

Apply only when you’re ready

The CEH exam does not come cheap. And, if you don’t pass, you’ll have to pay the fee again to retake the exam. So, make sure you’re confident in your abilities before applying to take the exam.

At the same time, don’t worry about being perfect. The goal is to get a passing score, not to get every question right.

Final thoughts

By following the tips and techniques in this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to passing the CEH exam. Just remember to take things one step at a time, focus on your studies, and get plenty of practice before taking the exam.

Which study method you go for in your CEH exam preparation is ultimately up to you. Some people prefer self-study, while others find that an instructor-led course is a better fit for their learning style.

If you do decide to go the self-study route, make sure you’re using high-quality study materials. There are many resources available online, but not all of them are created equal.

Do some research and read reviews to find the best study materials for your exam prep. And, if you get stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend or colleague for help.

If you’re serious about becoming a certified ethical hacker, don’t hesitate to reach out to the I4 Group for more information about our courses. Our team of expert instructors can help you prepare for the Certified Ethical Hacker certification exam and give you the skills you need to start your cyber security career in ethical hacking.