GIAC Experienced Penetration Tester (GX-PT)  icon

GIAC Experienced Penetration Tester (GX-PT)

Applied Knowledge Certification

The GIAC Experienced Penetration Tester (GX-PT) Certification demonstrates that a candidate has seasoned, hands-on red team and purple team skills. Certification holders will validate their ability to map networks, identify vulnerabilities, and exploit hosts in various environments, through a diverse set of tasks, in a time-restricted environment under testing conditions.

Areas Covered

  • Environment reconnaissance
  • Network and vulnerability scanning
  • Password attacks
  • Vulnerability exploitation
  • Privilege escalation
  • Command and Control (C2)
  • Active Directory attacks
  • Linux and Windows penetration testing tools

Who is GX-PT for?

  • Security professionals who excel at complex challenges and would like to:
    • Expand their portfolio
    • Demonstrate their next-level skills
    • Validate their superior hands-on capabilities compared to their peers
  • GPEN certification holders who have gained additional experience in penetration testing
  • Offensive operations professionals who want to continue their journey to becoming an expert in their field

Exam Format

  • 1 proctored exam
  • Open book, open notes
  • Time limit 4 hour
  • 25 CyberLive - hands-on, real-world practical testing. CyberLive testing creates a lab environment where cyber practitioners prove their knowledge, understanding, and skill using:
    • Actual programs
    • Actual code
    • Virtual machines

    Find out more about CyberLive here.

    NOTE: GIAC reserves the right to change the specifications for each certification without notice.To verify the format read the Certification Information found in your account at


NOTE: All GIAC Certification exams are web-based and required to be proctored. There are two proctoring options: remote proctoring through ProctorU, and onsite proctoring through PearsonVUE. Click here for more information.

GIAC certification attempts will be activated in your GIAC account after your application has been approved and according to the terms of your purchase. Details on delivery will be provided along with your registration confirmation upon payment. You will receive an email notification when your certification attempt has been activated in your account. You will have 120 days from the date of activation to complete your certification attempt.

Exam Certification Objectives & Outcome Statements

  • Command and Control (C2) Communication and Evasion
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of communicating with a C2 framework and avoid detection.
  • Enterprise System Penetration Testing
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of evaluating entire enterprise systems for vulnerabilities, weaknesses, exploits, and misconfigurations.
  • Lateral Movement and Privilege Escalation
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of accessing hosts through lateral movement in a network and escalating privileges to gain access to otherwise inaccessible areas and objects.
  • Linux Penetration Testing Tools
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of using the Linux OS for penetration testing concepts and tools.
  • Network Access Exploitation
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of using tools to exploit vulnerabilities in a network to gain access to previously inaccessible hosts and segments.
  • Network Scanning for Pen Tests
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of scanning networks for information including hosts, software versions, vulnerabilities, and infrastructure for use in an offensive operation.
  • Offensive Operations Reconnaissance
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of gathering both sensitive and non-sensitive information from a variety of sources such as metadata, open-source intelligence, infrastructure documentation, and tool-based recon.
  • Password Analysis and Cracking
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of using password guessing and cracking tools to bypass authentication mechanisms and identify policy non-compliance.
  • Penetration Testing of Domain Environments
    The candidate will demonstrate mastery of applying penetration testing techniques to Microsoft Active Directory environments.

Other Resources

  • Affiliate Training - SEC560 (Primary fit course*), SEC401, SEC501, SEC503, SEC504, SEC542, SEC565, SEC580, SEC617, SEC660, SEC670, SEC760
  • Practical work experience can help ensure that you have mastered the skills necessary for certification.
  • Get information about the procedure to contest exam results.

*Courses that include a "primary fit course" designation have the most closely aligned content but do not include all of the content, tools, and platforms that could be included in testing on the Applied Knowledge exam.

Demo Questions

  • These questions allow a candidate to experience the exam style and complexity in the environment used during the certification exam.
  • Demo questions are never included in the actual certification exam.
  • The demo question set includes 3 questions, and the student has 45 minutes to complete. Note that the average time per question is not as fast paced as the actual exam attempt.
  • Limited demo questions per exam are available so you will receive repetitive questions if multiple Demo Questions are purchased.
  • Demo questions are nontransferable.
  • Purchase GX-PT demo questions here.
  • GIAC recommends leveraging additional study methods for test preparation.

Find Affiliate Training

Explore affiliate training options to prepare for your GIAC certification exam.