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How to Prepare for the PEN-200 (PWK) Course and Exam

How to Prepare for the PEN-200 (PWK) Course and Exam

If you are interested in becoming a certified penetration tester, you may have heard of the PEN-200 (PWK) course and exam offered by Offensive Security. This course is designed to teach you the skills and techniques required to conduct realistic and professional penetration tests, and to prepare you for the challenging OSCP certification exam.

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However, before you enroll in the PEN-200 (PWK) course, you may wonder how to best prepare for it. What are the prerequisites? What topics are covered? How difficult is the exam? How can you maximize your chances of success?

In this article, we will answer these questions and provide some tips and resources to help you get ready for the PEN-200 (PWK) course and exam.

What are the prerequisites for PEN-200 (PWK)?

The PEN-200 (PWK) course is not intended for beginners. It assumes that you have some prior knowledge and experience in information security, networking, Linux, and Windows. You should also be familiar with basic scripting and programming languages, such as Bash, Python, Ruby, or PowerShell.

Offensive Security recommends that you have at least two years of experience in IT security or a related field before taking the PEN-200 (PWK) course. You should also be comfortable with using Kali Linux and its tools, as well as conducting web application attacks, password attacks, privilege escalation, and exploit development.

If you feel that you need to brush up on some of these topics, you can check out some of the following resources:

  • PWK: 2020 Update: This blog post provides an overview of the updated PWK course content and labs, as well as some sample exercises and videos.

  • PEN-200 (PWK) 2023 Update: This blog post explains the changes that will be implemented in the PEN-200 (PWK) course in 2023, including new modules, exercises, and labs.

  • TryHackMe: This platform offers interactive learning modules and challenges on various cybersecurity topics, including an Offensive Path that covers many of the skills required for PEN-200 (PWK).

  • Offensive Security Proving Grounds: This platform provides access to realistic lab environments where you can practice your penetration testing skills on different machines and scenarios.

What topics are covered in PEN-200 (PWK)?

The PEN-200 (PWK) course consists of several modules that cover different aspects of penetration testing. Each module contains learning units, learning objectives, module exercises, and capstone exercises. The modules are:

  • PWK: General Course Information: This module introduces you to the course objectives, structure, and expectations.

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity: This module covers some fundamental concepts and terminology of cybersecurity, such as threat actors, attack vectors, risk management, and security frameworks.

  • Effective Learning Strategies: This module teaches you how to develop effective learning habits and strategies that will help you throughout the course and beyond.

  • Report Writing for Penetration Testers: This module explains how to write clear, concise, and professional reports that document your findings and recommendations during a penetration test.

  • Information Gathering: This module covers various methods and tools for gathering information about a target system or network, such as passive reconnaissance, active scanning, OS fingerprinting, service enumeration