The Ten Commandments of IT Cert Prep
1. Thou shalt master the Exam Objectives – This is the Genesis of your prep. You have to make sure you download the Exam Objectives and study them very – very carefully. Whether it is CompTIA, Microsoft, or any other, this document limits the universe of knowledge and skills you will be questioned on. The flip side of that is that you can be quizzed on any part of it…
2. Thou shalt assess yourself honestly – Here there is no room for denial, delusion or excess optimism! “Remembering” the question one Nanosecond after seeing it does not count! This is where software comes in handy as it won’t let you cheat yourself …
3. Thou shalt learn the whys and hows – When you see a question and the correct answer don’t focus on remembering the answer. Focus on understanding 1) Why this question even matters to the given, 2) What exam objective it belongs to, 3) Why is the correct answer correct, and are there other answers that could be correct too (even if they are not in the answer alternatives)?
4. Thou shalt follow a Study Plan – make sure to have an organized study plan that step by step takes you down the exam objectives and sub-objectives you need to focus on. If your studies are not organized and focused you will end up with too many blind spots.
5. Thou shalt study the incorrectly answered questions – All questions you answered incorrectly during any practice test need extra attention on your part as you have proven your ability to mess these up. If it’s pure knowledge see below but if it’s something about how it’s phrased that throws you off then analyze it from all angles till you figure it out as these formulations may happen at the exam too…
6. Thou shalt Drill again and again – Drill questions should be organized by exam objectives to enable you to follow an organized approach that is focused on your weaknesses as they relate to the exam objectives (see Commandment 1 above – this is all you care about, remember?).
7. Thou shalt Google – Anytime you are not absolutely certain about an answer and you feel you need more than the explanation you have handy, go deeper: Google it (IT is pretty well represented on the net), or YouTube, or pick up a book if you have to. Make sure that whatever you are looking at (that could be on the exam) is fully mastered.
8. Thou shalt never memorize answers – Little birds can be taught to do that and they never get certified! Each question should be treated as an example of the knowledge you are acquiring. The practice questions are the levers you use to enhance your knowledge. This will enable you to be comfortable with the exam even with the minor changes there will be to the questions.
9. Thou shalt score 95% or better – By scoring consistently at 95% or higher in certification mode at the CertBlaster exams (without memorization, see above) you will know you are ready for the test.
10. Thou shalt be ready – On exam, day leave extra early, do whatever it takes to get you (somewhat) relaxed, and bring two forms of ID one of which should be with a photo ID.
6 thoughts on “The Ten Commandments of IT Cert Prep”
I sat for and passed the 220-801 and 220-802 exams thanks to the help of the Certblaster test prep software. I can also testify that these 10 commandments are so true. While the software was a great asset for me, it was not the only resource that I used. I googled A LOT, was able to consistently score above 95% in certification mode, and passed the 220-802 with a score of 726 (whew!). I did much better on the 220-801 because of prior hands on experience.
At any rate, for those of you just starting out in IT like I am, certification is tough. Give yourself plenty of time to absorb the knowledge, follow these “commandments”, and you’ll be fine.
Thanks for sharing George and we are glad CertBlaster and the The “Ten Commandments of IT Cert Prep” worked for you! And yopu are right, don’t let anyone undersestimate the challenge an A+ certification that comes with 52 pages of objectives! Those 52 pages are essentially a very, very long list of stuff CompTIA can ask you on the exam.
George: CONGRATULATIONS! Let us know how useful the cert will be for you either on the job or if it helps you find a job. You may want to look at our las blog, its on pay levels for these certs: http://www.certblaster.com/pay-comptia-a-plus-network-plus-and-security-plus/
i will be giving A+ exam 902 in october.i want to have
questions for practice. Kindly send me the details.
Hi Ankur, here is a link to our free practice questions: http://www.certblaster.com/certification-learning-resources/free-a-plus-practice-test/. For more info regarding our premium software-based exam simulator: http://www.certblaster.com/product/a-bundle/. Best of luck in your quest for A+ certification!
I have a question on number 6.”Drill questions should be organized by exam objectives to enable you to follow an organized approach that is focused on your weaknesses as they relate to the exam objectives”
I also read the “How should I study with CertBlaster practice tests?”
They say take the exam in assessment mode, and then after you go to drills and focus on the ones you go wrong and make sure you understand the objectives you missed. However when you go to drills the only thing you can pick is how many questions you want to do, not which objectives you want to practice. So I’m either missing something or that study plan is not doable. I’d have to do the whole drill for each network domain but then I’d basically be studying the entire certblaster question bank, and it might skew the other practice tests since i already saw all the questions. Or are we expected to just skip questions in the drills that are not an objective we got wrong?
Yes, you are supposed to skip the questions addressing sub-objectives that are not referenced in the “Personal Testing Plan”. You will see that the Drills mostly sequence the sub-objective in order from lowest number to highest. Another way to work weaknesses is to generate the “Incorrectly Answered Questions” report and work on those questions which are numbered which enables you to navigate to just those questions by using the navigation features in the left panel of the CertBlaster desktop.
We are actually working on a feature that will allow you to select your Drill questions down to the sub-objective level. This will be part of our CertBlaster version update that will be rolled in about 4 – 5 weeks.