Practice tests come in many different forms
Practice tests come in various forms: From a PDF with a long list of questions to sophisticated software that will simulate to complete exam experience.
The value of practice tests can be divided in two main attributes: 1) Content and 2) Form. Both are important in getting you ready for your exam.
Under content falls the questions and explanations; how they are written and how closely they follow the exam objectives. Let’s take as an example CompTIA’s A+ certification exam. Like most exams, it has its exam objectives published online. Any serious developer of practice tests will make absolutely sure the practice tests A) very precisely reflect the exam objectives and B) that their authors are themselves certified. This is important because the questions need to be:
- Relevant to the exam i.e. address all the main topics potentially addressed at the exam
- Calibrated right i.e. be precisely at the exam difficulty level: no more – no less
- Of the same type as the questions asked at the exam i.e. MCQ – Fill in the blank etc.
Most of the above you can get in a PDF although not point 3. In the example used above, CompTIA’s A+ certification exam there are performance-based questions and those can only be replicated in software.
The various question types
When it comes to CompTIA’s A+ certification exam, the performance-based questions are of drag and drop type as well as list and reorder, bull’s eye, etc. However, the most technologically advanced questions are CompTIA’s simulator-based questions. In those, the candidate has to perform a task in a Windows simulator or commands in a simulated command-line interpreter. These types of questions also exist in CompTIA’s Network+ and Security+ exams, click here for more on the CompTIA question types.
For the A+ 220-1001 and 220-1002, the maximum number of questions is 90 with a timer set at 90 min. On top of the timer and number of questions, the distribution of questions matters too. CompTIA has defined the A+ exam objectives. These matter a lot as they define the universe of knowledge you may be questioned on, study these very carefully.
|Domain||Percentage of Examination|
The way we need to read that is that we will see, at the A+ exam, the following distribution of questions per exam objective:
|Domain||Approximate# of questions|
Any good A+ practice tests need to reflect the number of questions per objective as shown above. This is to ensure that you prioritize your test preparation according to CompTIA’s priorities such as say spending a lot of time on “PC Hardware” and comparatively less on “Operational Procedures”.
Practice test software
Because the A+ exam is taken at a PearsonVue testing center on computers, practice test software is really the only way you can simulate the actual exam experience.
How do CertBlaster practice tests for CompTIA A+ certification simulate the actual exam?
- Timer set for the actual exam duration
- Question mix same as per the exam objectives
- Question content aligned with the exam objectives
- Question types reflecting the ones on the actual exam
- Exam software navigation features that replicate the ones available on Pearson’s software
When in the CertBlaster practice tests whether for A+, Network+ or Security+ you can, in the comfort of your home, be exposed to the exam experience as seen at the Pearson Vue testing center. This will help you not only to prepare for the knowledge of the content but also prepare for optimal usage of the exam software features and time management as per the actual exam.
Well-designed practice tests will help:
- Prepare for questions similar to the ones at the exam
- Make you comfortable navigating in the testing software environment
- Help you improve exam day time management
In addition to sharpening your knowledge, this all builds confidence on exam day and so should help you succeed in your quest for certification.