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 flipside 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 nor 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 in assessment mode…
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, 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 from 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 do 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 at 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 of which one should be a photo ID.