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A+ with Advent

Discussion in 'A+' started by Dougydug, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Dougydug

    Dougydug New Member

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    Hello! This is my first post but I have been lurking(!) for a while. Apologies in advance for the length of this post.

    First of all I'd like to say thanks to the community at CertForums for helping me pass my A+ Essentials (today) - the advice and materials given in this forum were invaluable.

    I am with a training provider, Advent, and I have concerns about the course material they supplied (which is a textbook made by Advent). I think that while it covered all the CompTIA objectives it didn't flesh out some of the topics enough (i.e. some were a tad vague and provided little of the information likely to be asked in the exam). Some parts seemed superfluous, and often terms were thrown into discussion without explanation. I felt I didn't know the topics well enough and so spent a great deal of time research topics/terms online off my own back. Basically this made it difficult and frustrating to study from, and it has taken me a long time to get it done.

    Additionally, a very useful Transcender Practice Exam was not sent to me until a reply to an email from them mentioned it (and even then I had to specifically request they send it to me). It was not until I did the mocks I realised just how lacking the textbook was and how much extra study I would need to do to pass.

    I became that there were commercial textbooks available that may well have sped things along, and I could have asked Advent 'mentor service' about any topics I didn't understand. However, while I was given additional study materials on their workshop days (practical lab, quiz etc.), Advent never indicated that the textbook alone would be insufficient to understand the material and I was rather reluctant to buy anything out of my own pocket to make up the difference.

    That said there were other contributing factors to how long it took me to complete the course - work, motivation problems (not just because of the book), holidays etc.

    My concern now is that the textbook that comes through the door from the A+ Technician course will be just as lacking.

    I would like to hear from anyone who would like to respond, but particularly those who are with Advent (at any stage). Have you had similar problems? What is your advice? (I have read other posts by Advent customers but never heard from anyone past the Essentials stage.)

    Soz again for length!
     
    Certifications: A+ Technician
    WIP: MCDBA
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome :)

    Whilst I am not with a training provider hopefully I can give you some good advice. If you are finding the topics are not covered well enough perhaps look into extra reading material. The twoo books most recommended for the A+ (cover all aspects) are: compTIA A+ all in one exam guide by Mike Meyers and PC Technician Street Smarts by James Pyles.

    Those two books cover everything you need to know.

    Good luck with your studies.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I don't have any experience with Advent... but the concerns you raise are some of the reasons why many of us recommend self-study methods... where you control the pace, you control the schedule, and you control what books you use to learn from.

    If you are concerned about their books, buy the ones that GBL mentioned. I wholeheartedly recommend them. (Note: The latest version of the Meyers A+ AIO is the Sixth Edition - make sure you get that one).

    A high-quality practice exam is certainly a good way to find out if you're ready. Stick with the high-quality ones, and you'll be well prepared on that front.

    Welcome to the forums! Glad you spoke up!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    Some 'training providers' just dont come up with the goods, sadly.
    They tell you a good story, sell the course for loads of money & then say you will earn £££ when you get the qualification.
    It's all a great sales ploy!
    I took Cisco IT Essentials 1 at a local college (cost £150) & got a couple of good A+ books (£55) and between what i was taught on the course & self study i was able to pass both hardware & software & got A+ in 2006.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  5. asje1

    asje1 Byte Poster

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    I am with advent, to be honest i agree with you. I was reading the mind numbing book advent sent through the post before i got mike myers, which is 100x better! As you said about the book, its not explained very well - theres no interaction, whereas mike's book is like your speaking to someone, much easier to understand.

    I'm currently now re-studying the A+ i was 3/4 through the advent book before i was either going to not finish the book or needed some new materials.

    Advent have been ok with me, there service is good. However the though of how much i am playing for this TP looking at it now, knowing what i know... is a waste of money.

    They explain they can get you a job at the end, they have a database with emplyers enroled, as jobs come they help get you a job with them... i want to see how effective this is.

    Only decent thing i can foresee is free retakes on exams. And '24 hour' support, but hay, this forum is all ive needed, quicker and often more helpful. (see signature lol)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+
  6. IIIusion

    IIIusion Bit Poster

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    Hi ,

    Im sorry to hear that your expectations are not being met !!

    I am with advent and thankfully am really happy with what I have recieved for my money.

    Communication has been consistant and very helpful , materials always available. Yep there will always be other books and materials available to use during the course but advent for me personally have delivered everything that they said they would.
    In that respect I have nothing but positives for them.
    Hopefully your experinces with them will get better and as you move through your course you will understand how they work and as a result be slick with what to expect next etc.

    Good luck !!!
     
    Certifications: A+ , MCP , MCDST
    WIP: 70-270
  7. kidrock182

    kidrock182 New Member

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    It's more convincing if you conceed some of the more minor complaints.
     
  8. spy22

    spy22 Byte Poster

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    hello dougydug

    I am with advent training and i passed the essentials in october time and have been on the IT Tech workshop (to which i found very enjoyable and informative and it was good to move on to the next level).

    I did have very similar problems to you in the start and bought the mike meyers 6th edition that everyone here raves about which is an excellent tool in addition to the material advent give you! Dont be disheartened with advent just because you struggled on the first one (as i did too) and any queries, just jot them down and take them to your next workshop and ask the tutors.

    I shared the annoyance of buying an additional book when you have paid all the money out but i have just looked at it as...what they maybe lack in course material they make up for in help support, the workshops, career advice etc and although it is wrong i bought the book for my own study advantage.

    Also some advice i was given is that when it comes to IT there are so many things you will come across that
    will either be beyond your expertise and you will have to either ask someone else or research for yourself and troubleshoot so i am seeing the research side as experience as to when i am qualified i am used to searching for problems etc....and last thing, if there was one big fat book that covered absolutely every aspect of IT then that would be one hell of a book haha

    happy studying hope this helps?

    SPY22
     
    Certifications: Its who you know not what you know!!!
    WIP: CCNA?
  9. MrX

    MrX New Member

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    Hi

    I've just signed up to Advent and received my first package; IT Fundamentals. Not what I expected but then it's just a basic introduction. Looks like I'll be more out of pocket as the course goes on.
    Can anyone tell me how are the classrooms, are they worth attending and would I need to attend all of them.
    MrX
     
    WIP: Comptia A+, MCSE
  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    if you have paid money on a course then why not get some of your monies worth by doing the classes.

    What did you expect to recieve from Advent?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. MrX

    MrX New Member

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    The reason I ask is that it's a long way to go for me and was told when signing up that the session before each exams would be enough.
     
    WIP: Comptia A+, MCSE
  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Well that depends on how experienced you are, not for the A+ but for the MCSE you should actually have a years experience in administering operating systems on servers before doing that cert but a salesman isn't interested in that only your money.

    What experience do you have?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    What's the point of paying for classroom training if you don't attend the classroom training? You don't have to take ANY classes for the A+... anyone can just pay the hundred-and-something in exam fees for each exam and take them, if that's all you're interested in.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. cgmarchant

    cgmarchant New Member

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    I have been with @dvent training for about 6 months now and on the road to completing my A+ technician unit. All I can say is from doing this course and talking to the people I have meet on going up to do the workshops is use the books as a base and buy other books from Amazon.co.uk such as Dummie's and such the the internet to get as much information as you can.

    Also use the mentor service as they have given me help along the way and go to Kiddeminster for the workshops as you will meet really helpfully people from @dvent and others who are learning the same course.

    All in all I am relly pleased with the help @dvent have given :D
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia A+ & MCDST & MSCe
  15. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    A+ for dummies is supposed to be really really crap, you should get compTIA A+ all in one exam guide by Mike Meyers 6th edition and PC Technician street smarts by James Pyles.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I can vouch for that. A co-worker used A+ for Dummies and failed twice. Turned her on to Meyers, and she passed easily... and said that the two books were night-and-day different in their usefulness and accuracy.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  17. Dougydug

    Dougydug New Member

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    IT Fundamentals is a very quick course for anyone with experience using a PC - no matter how basic. The test they give you at the end is just by email - nothing to worry about if you get a few wrong. The next unit is A+ Essentials which is where the learning really begins for anyone who isn't already an IT technician. There is a single 2 day workshop for each exam (i.e. 2x2days for the A+: Essentials and Technician). You need to attend this to get:
    -the (excellent) Transcender practice exams
    -pass those and Advent give you a code for a Selftest Software online mock exam. This is also good.
    -if you fail that they will simply give you advice on revision and recommend you attend the workshop if you haven't already
    -you must pass the Selftest Software exam before they will pay for your exam.
    -hopefully you will pass but if not the process repeats itself for no extra charge.

    I personally recommend you attend the workshops as they:
    -allow you to do practical labs with all the equipment and advice on hand you may not have at home
    -give you a chance to ask the tutors questions
    -provide you with the Transcender mocks and other quizzes
    -give you an opportunity to meet other students

    As an addendum to my original post, I have now started the A+ Technician course with Advent and am honestly finding it much better. The textbook is much more concise and has none of the issues I complained about with the previous book, except that the chapters are still too long. I just wish I'd had it when studying for the Essentials exam since there's a lot of stuff there that wasn't in the Essentials textbook but comes up in the mock/real exams!

    I am also more used to self study and have a wide range of online materials and contacts to assist me. My advice is to use every resource at your disposal now - then make up your mind what is most useful to you.
     
    Certifications: A+ Technician
    WIP: MCDBA
  18. Deadhead

    Deadhead Bit Poster

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    I am currently studying for my A+ essentials exam (220-601) with advent. I have a friend who has passed the exam (not with advent) and recommended cbt nuggets to revise from. Just wondering if anybody else has used cbt nuggets before and are they effective?

    Cheers
     
    Certifications: A+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: 70-642
  19. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Yes it is supposed to be good, other people on here have used it to help them pass.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  20. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

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    They are quite useful, I've used them. They certainly help although nothing replaces getting your hands dirty taking a PC apart!
     
    Certifications: BSC (Hons), A+, MCDST, N+, 70-270,
    WIP: ITIL V3

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