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How to Pass the CEH Exam First? - Syllabus & Exam Format

How to Pass the CEH Exam First? - Syllabus & Exam Format
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In today’s digital age, almost all systems have been ported to the online medium, from home devices, such as televisions, remotes, speakers, and lightbulbs, to even appliances like refrigerators and microwaves. The availability of these devices on an online network poses a real threat to our society. Intruders and field specialists, who have enough domain knowledge about these systems, can penetrate through these networks or systems and can cause harm.

Organizations or individuals who frequently access their finance platforms or have highly confidential data in their databases, such as user data or sales data, possess a much higher risk if their systems are not secured from external or internal attacks. The process involved in these attacks, disruptions, or intrusions is called hacking.

Regardless of how strong the information security practices of an organization are, given the right amount of time and access, a notorious hacker will almost certainly be able to hack into the network. Due to the prevalence of this particular issue, companies and employers are looking for Cyber Security experts who can counter such threats. The predominant job role available for this task is the role of a ‘white-hat hacker.’

Now, who is a ‘white-hat hacker’?

A white-hat hacker is somebody who hacks his employer’s own system, with the employer’s permission, to find out all possible security vulnerabilities. This has to do with the fact that if the white-hat hacker is able to hack into the system before an attacker does, he can effectively document the steps taken and the flaws exploited, and the security team can patch those flaws up.

Ethical Hacking is a measure taken to be a few steps ahead of any potential attacker. This job role is of an Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester. Additional positions include the roles of Information Security Specialist and Security Analyst.

Now, there are various ways to apply for these positions, but the most effective way is to get an industry-accepted certification in this domain. There are about a couple of such certifications for starting positions that have worldwide industry endorsements. One of them is the Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH certification given out by the EC-Council. 

Passing this exam is a real challenge as it will be difficult for applicants who are not prepared enough. The probability of a candidate’s success depends on the preparation resources he/she has utilized.

Let’s further go through the various aspects of preparing for this exam and check out where these study resources can be obtained.

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A Few Things You Need to Know About the CEH Exam

The CEH exam is an MCQ test composed of 125 questions in total. There is no fixed passing percentage, and the passing criteria tend to differ with each consecutive examination. To elaborate, the certification passing criteria is sometimes directly stated. Otherwise, the test requires the candidates to demonstrate the key skills related to the syllabus of the examination. It all depends on the difficulty level of that particular iteration of the exam. The difficulty level of each of the questions is decided by a panel of experts from the Ethical Hacking domain. This level determines how many questions a candidate has to answer correctly to crack the examination.

This essentially means that if you answer a fewer number of high-difficulty questions and some easy questions correctly, you still have a higher chance of passing than somebody who took a lot of time with the easier questions but was unable to correctly answer more difficult questions due to the lack of time.

The duration of the test is 4 hours. You have to keep in mind that you have to answer all these 125 MCQ questions in just 4 hours. With good enough preparation, you can immediately evaluate the difficulty level of each question and decide to give more time to it, if required. Additionally, before signing up for anything, you can take a sample assessment on the official EC-Council website to check your current knowledge base and expertise in this particular field.

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CEH Exam Pattern

The CEH exam syllabus is carefully designed by subject matter experts to cover each fundamental facet of Ethical Hacking. It includes various Ethical Hacking concepts, Vulnerability Analysis, Malware, Sniffing concepts, Social Engineering techniques, Web Server Attacks, Wireless Encryption, IoT concepts, cryptography, etc. The exam is divided into multiple domains based on these CEH exam topics.

DomainTopicNumber of Questions
Domain IInformation Security and Ethical Hacking Overview8
Domain IIReconnaissance Techniques26
Domain IIISystem Hacking Phases and Attack Techniques21
Domain IVNetwork and Perimeter Hacking Sniffing18
Domain VWeb Application Hacking20
Domain VIWireless Network Hacking8
Domain VII
Domain VII
Domain IX
Mobile Platform, IoT, and OT HackingCloud Computing

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CEH Exam Eligibility Criteria

There are two conditions set by the EC-Council that determine whether a candidate is eligible for the CEH exam registration. If a candidate meets either of the two conditions, he/she will be eligible. Let’s talk about these two conditions now.

The first condition stipulates that the applicant needs to have at least 2 years of experience in the Cyber Security or Information Security domain. This experience should be backed up by experience letters or any other form of proof. The academic background of the individual should also indicate the same. With all of the aforementioned requirements met, the candidate is directly eligible to give the exam.

Now, the alternative way is to get official training for this exam. This official training has to be provided by an EC-Council accredited training center. If you don’t have the required experience qualification for this exam, you can come to Intellipaat, which is an accredited training center with an incredible certification training course for the CEH v11 examination. We’ll get into the details of this course at the end of this blog, after discussing the exam syllabus in detail.

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CEH Exam Cost

For professionals with two years of experience in the information security domain, who are confident enough to attempt the exam directly, the ceh exam cost with respect to the application fee is US$100. For candidates who are opting for training, the cost may vary depending on the accredited training center. The CEH exam application is bundled, free of cost, with Intellipaat’s CEH certification training course. Please read through to the end of the article to find out more about enrolling into our programme. 

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CEH Exam Syllabus and CEH v11 Study Guide

Based on the previously discussed exam pattern, let’s understand the syllabus of the CEH v11 exam in detail

Domain 1: Information Security and Ethical Hacking Overview (6%)

  • Introduction to Ethical Hacking

Domain 2: Reconnaissance Techniques (21%)

  • Footprinting and Reconnaissance
  • Scanning Networks
  • Enumeration

Domain 3: System Hacking Phases and Attack Techniques (17%)

  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • System Hacking
  • Malware Threats

Domain 4: Network and Perimeter Hacking Sniffing (14%)

  • Social Engineering
  • Denial-of-Service
  • Session Hijacking
  • Evading IDS, Firewalls, and Honeypots

Domain 5: Web Application Hacking (16%)

  • Hacking Web Servers
  • Hacking Web Applications
  • SQL Injection

Domain 6: Wireless Network Hacking (6%)

  • Hacking Wireless Networks

Domain 7: Mobile Platform, IoT, and OT Hacking (8%)

  • Hacking Mobile Platforms
  • IoT and OT Hacking

Domain 8: Cloud Computing (6%)
Domain 9: Cryptography (6%)

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How to prepare for CEH Certification?

As we can see, the syllabus to be covered for this exam is extremely extensive, with the subject matter containing topics from multiple domains. With relevant experience in the Information Security domain, one can directly attempt the exam. However, most of the aspiring candidates need to prepare for the certification test through an accredited training program.

If you don’t have enough prior experience to ensure your eligibility, enrolling in a course from an accredited training center will be the fastest and simplest way to go about it.

In Intellipaat’s Cyber Security Courses, you’ll receive all the extensive study material required to crack the Cyber Security exams. The course is crafted to guide candidates through the entire syllabus with maximum knowledge retention. With this training, you’ll be ready for industry-oriented Cyber Security projects once you have obtained the certification, post examination. Moreover, learners who sign up for the training course will have exclusive access to EC-Council’s official CEH training material.

So, if you’re planning to get into this career field, be sure to check out the training program and start preparing for the CEH exam!

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