1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Help getting started

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Bananza, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Bananza

    Bananza New Member

    3
    0
    8
    Hi everyone. Im new to these forums and have had a look through several pages for topics on where to start, and the general consensus for someone who works on a IT Service Desk seems to be CompTIA a+, CompTIA Network+, then MCDST. (in that order?)

    I have a few questions though :

    1) Im going for self study as it seems far cheaper, but what books would be best for each of the three courses above?
    2) Roughly how long does it take to study for each exam?
    3) Does anyone know if theres an exam centre near Norwich?

    Any advice or help would be great! Thanks
     
    Certifications: none
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    1) The A+ is changing next year so you will need compTIA A+ all in one exam guide 7th edition by Mike Meyers & PC Technician street smarts by James Pyles. However if you plan to do the A+ before it changes you will need the 6th edition book by Mike Meyers.

    For the N+ you will need Network + by Mike Meyers

    For the MCDST you will need the MS Press books

    2)I can't answer this as it will be based on how much work you do and how much you can take in

    3) when you go to take the exams you need to book with pearsonvue for compTIA exams and prometric for MS exams their sites will tell you where your nearest exam center is.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Trogdor

    Trogdor Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

    268
    11
    76
    Hello and welcome to the forums! In general, the A+, Network+ and the MCDST are the best three cerets to begin with. The order you take them in is up to you and the type of role you are most interested in. I would either go with the A+ or the MCDST to start, as the Network is very focused on networks while the other two certs are more broad but they both have some networking components in them as well.

    The A+ (and all of CompTIA's certs for that matter) is vendor neutral. You get a broad understanding of hardware and OSs and their common problems and fixes. The MCDST is a Microsoft cert so the content is solely Microsoft products (XP and Office). So, it really depends on what you are interested in pursuing. I did the A+ first, then the Network+ and the MCDST last only because I thoughtit would be better to have the big picture before I studied anything vendor specific. The A+ and the MCDST both consist of two exams while the Network+ is one.

    In terms of the time needed to study for the exams, it depends entirely on what you already know and how much time you can devote to your studies.

    Have a look on the Prometric site for testing locations close to you. I had a brief look here and did not find any centres in Norwich nor in the NR postcode. I am not completely au fait with the geography in your neck of the woods, but I am sure there is something in your area.

    Basically, you decide what cert you want to study, get the books (there are tons of threads on this forum discussing the best books for each cert), become confident with the material through the books and with some hands-on work as well, then book the exam via the Prometric website and take the exam. Simples!

    Best of luck on your studies, and sorry about the long response...
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Server+, PDI+, MCDST, HP APS Server, HP APS Desktop / Laptop
    WIP: ITIL, CCNA, MCSA, and BSc
  4. Bananza

    Bananza New Member

    3
    0
    8
    Thank you both for your responses!

    Im in two minds about when to start the CompTIA A+ one now. I really wanted to get cracking straight away but I googled the 7th edition book and its not out until Feb 2010. I'm guessing i'll be best to wait for that to come out?

    Had a look on the Prometric site and I think the nearest centre will be the Cambridge, which aint to far.

    "In terms of the time needed to study for the exams, it depends entirely on what you already know and how much time you can devote to your studies."

    - How much time did you devote to A+, N+ and MCDST? I have a lot of spare time in the evenings during the week so can probably manage 1 - 2 hours a night for mon - fri.
     
    Certifications: none
  5. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

    3,230
    54
    146
    When I did the A+, I read the MM AIO from start to finish twice, and then did some practice tests.
    Then read up on any weak areas that the tests highlighted.
    In terms of time spent - I think it was perhaps 10 - 12 weeks, but I had quite abit of knowledge on hardware/software before I started.

    HTH
    NB
     
    Certifications: 70-210, 70-215, A+,N+, Security+
    WIP: MCSA
  6. Trogdor

    Trogdor Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

    268
    11
    76
    Not entirely sure how long I spent for each exam. I think it was about 3-4 months studying on average 1.5-2 hrs. per day for the A+. I got two books - usually do as you always find things that either were not covered well or just not in a way that is understandable in one, but you understand better in the other. The MCDST was a bit quicker as I already had a lot of experience in XP / Office. I think I only spent about four weeks preparing for the 70-272 exam (one of two for the MCDST). I was not in a huge rush to get the certs as I was already working in the industry. Have you decided what you are going to start with?
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Server+, PDI+, MCDST, HP APS Server, HP APS Desktop / Laptop
    WIP: ITIL, CCNA, MCSA, and BSc
  7. Bananza

    Bananza New Member

    3
    0
    8
    Well, I think i'll probably wait till the new version of CompTIA A+ comes out in February as im not in a rush to get them done.
    I did order the MCDST book however before i joined these forums, and that should arrive tomorrow. So i might give that a light read to keep me occupied until Feb!
     
    Certifications: none
  8. JamesCG

    JamesCG Bit Poster

    20
    2
    3
    Yeah that's a good choice, get started on the stuff you can work on now while you wait for the 700 series. Good luck.
     

Share This Page

Loading...