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How did you find self study without a training provider??

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by MrZiGrishenko, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. MrZiGrishenko

    MrZiGrishenko Bit Poster

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    hi all,

    im thinking of doing my A+ and N+ by myself the slf study way with no training provider - how hard is it to learn on your own, set yourself your own targets etc....im guessing its so easy to get distracted when your learning at home - tv,pc games, video games etc....

    how did you find it??

    thanks
     
  2. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    I find it hard to stay focused and get distracted easily. It is usually a bad day at work or a thought about my future which spurs me on to a hardcore session... probably not healthy but its just how I do. I also pre-book the exam to set myself a target, because I know if I didn't have a 3rd party target, I probably wouldnt stick to it. I've recently found that if I take my laptop into an area which I don't associate with using the computer, eg. the dining room, I stay focused as it's not my usual place to be on the pc and messing about. Kinda like going to work :p
    They're just little things, and all psychological but it's just how I can study; I need to work on self discipline.

    Self studying can be done though!
    Good Luck!
     
    Certifications: MCP (271, 272, 270, 290, 291, 621, 681, 685), MCDST, MCTS, MCITP, MCSA, Security+, CCA(XA6.5)
  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    All those things distract you when you're with a TP too!

    Setting targets isn't so hard.
    If you're reading a book, aim to finish a chapter before getting a coffee.
    Finish a subject before spending 15 mins on the games console.

    Try to alternate learning methods.
    Read a chapter in a book then watch a related webcast or read an article on a website.

    Make sure you do the review questions at the end of each section (if there are any).
    If something doesn't make sense, read it again.

    :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  4. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    AS JohnnyMX said, whatever study route you take you're still going to have to do most of it at home, surrounded by all these distractions.
    I set myself different targets as well.
    Short-term- e.g. finish this chapter before watching the footie.
    Medium term- e.g. Finish these three chapters by the end of the week
    Long Term- Get this cert passed in 3 months.

    One of the good things about self-study is its flexibility. If your life gets completely turned upside down, like mine just has, you can put the books down while you sort things out. If you decide you no longer want to continue, you've only lost the cost of a book, not £x,000
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  5. crazy horse

    crazy horse Byte Poster

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    I made the decision to do the 70-271 via self study and after reading a lot about TP's i'm glad I did. As all I spent out on was two books, practice exams and using my old Windows XP PC. All in all I spent about £100 - 130 and then my employer paid for the exam.

    I sometimes found it hard to revise when there was something good on the TV or wanting to play on my xbox. I think the best thing to do is to ensure you give yourself enough downtime to do all the other things but still able to do enough revision per night.

    It also depends on the type of learner you are, some people can revise for hours and some for 20 minutes, working this out will mean you don't get too frustrated with it.
     
  6. beaker

    beaker Bit Poster

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    It can be difficult, particularly if you work full-time but its just a case of motivating yourself. Remember why you're doing it and that the sooner you get it done the better - try and think what you can do once you have them to give you motivation.

    The best advice i would give is to do it as often as possible. When i did it I'd do a few hours one night and then again about 5 days later and then again maybe a week later. Its better if you try and do a bit almost every day, even if just for half an hour, maybe on your lunch hour in work. Also, I found it useful to go down to my local library of a Sunday morning when i had nothing better to do and get a few hours in then

    good luck!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, Linux+
    WIP: MCSA
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Yep I do the same as Soundian.

    I found out about self study as enquired on here about the A+ and asked about doing the A+ online through distance learning.

    I wasn't aware that you could take the exams without some sort of course. I am glad I did find out though what a waste of money a TP would have been.

    In essence all a TP does is give you some books and tell you to read them and you get support from someone who you never meet so you never know if they are actually certified or not whereas on here you can get advice for free and you do know if the people are certified.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. brizzoluk

    brizzoluk Kilobyte Poster

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    Unfortunately i didnt know you could self study for these certs and only stumbled upon this site after paying a training provider a lot of money for an online course which to be honest isnt as thorough and easy to read as the books i have since bought!
    I do find it very hard to find the time to study as i work full time and am knackered when i get home and then i have to look after my 1 year old son as my partner is at work, so my study time is usually between 8-10pm and im pretty tired by then! :rolleyes:
    But doing a job that i hate is enough to keep me motivated to get into my study! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: ECDL, A+
    WIP: Network+
  9. free-advice

    free-advice Nibble Poster

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    As an old salesman who used to work for many Training Providers. I would always make sure the student does their own research on a TP, to see what they are getting for their money, and to visit the premises before enrolling.

    Self Study is an option, but as a negative it could take 6 times longer.

    Using a TP I know of students who have completed their A+ & N+ in 3 months.

    How long does it normally take you guys who self study?

    FA
     
  10. brizzoluk

    brizzoluk Kilobyte Poster

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    How do you figure that it can take 6 times longer self studying??
     
    Certifications: ECDL, A+
    WIP: Network+
  11. crazy horse

    crazy horse Byte Poster

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    Agreed. I think it depends on the person taking the certification. It took me 6 weeks to do the 70-271, i expect there are people who took less time and some that took more. But 6 times longer, is a little bit exaggerated IMO.
     
  12. brizzoluk

    brizzoluk Kilobyte Poster

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    I think it will take a certain person X amount of time to complete a course, whether that be through a TP or self study.
    I was offered my course through a TP and paid a lot of money for it, i searched a lot of different TP's after a lengthy phone conversation with the salesman agreed to buy it.
    Now at no point did the salesman (and im sure this goes for all salesmen) tell me that i could buy the books and self study (and why would he, thats his commision).
    The difference in completion time, well i dont see how it can be any different, as the course i bought was an online course to do at home in my own time, and now im studying from books, in my own time.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, A+
    WIP: Network+
  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Complete and utter hogwash. If you want to throw out made-up statistics, self study *can* take 6 times shorter. I've *always* learned quicker than training classes, which typically cater to the slowest student in the class.

    Plus, not only can you learn at your own pace with self-study methods, you have complete control over the entire learning process - YOU get to choose the learning materials YOU want to use (typically the same as or superior to what TPs provide), and YOU get to choose the hours you get to study (ALWAYS more flexible than the schedule they offer).

    But let's assume for a moment that you are correct in that self-study can take 6 times longer than, for instance, a 5-day training class. I guarantee you that you'll can learn and retain a WHOLE lot more with self study (where you can take the time to let the material soak in) than with a class that crams your head full of temporary information just so you can pass an exam in a short amount of time.

    Factor in the relative costs, and to me, it's a no-brainer.

    Sorry, FA... we will simply have to agree to disagree.

    Far shorter than 3 months, dude.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
    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. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    you are either still a salesman, or have some other vested interest in people using TP.
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  15. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Couldn't agree more based on the comments in this thread.

    FA,

    Do you work for a TP, or freelance in the training industry? If so, you need to say so.
     
  16. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    To be fair, perhaps FA has simply bought into the sales pitch he used to give. Any salesman with half a conscience believes in what he sells. Otherwise, he wouldn't be a very good salesman.

    Still, facts are facts, and myths are myths... and I'm not gonna let false data and made-up statistics influence the good people of this forum.
     
    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. free-advice

    free-advice Nibble Poster

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    Hi Guys

    Maybe I was a bit hasty with my posting.

    No I do not have a vested interest as I am well and truly retired, but yes, I guess I am still a salesman at heartn:D

    I am just pointing out the fact, with self study you do need a lot of willpower as you are on your own. (with help from CF of course)

    But with a TP, the ones I worked for had workshops and tutors on the end of a phone who you can call with any question about the course. With this in mind the course (in theory) shouldn't take you as long.

    Ok, I can't vouch for all types of TP's, just the ones I used to work for.

    FA
     
  18. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I know, but then I read his reply in his visitor messages about the £5.5k outlay for TP versus self-study. :dry That is one heck of a lot of investment for training that would cost, say, a tenth with self-study.
     
  19. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    And with a TP you need a lot of willpower. You're not gonna just automagically get the knowledge transferred to your brain through osmosis simply by sitting in a classroom environment. You're STILL gonna have to have the diligence and willpower to study at home.

    That's what online forums are for.

    Keep in mind that your advice might influence people to take a training provider based on that advice. And if your advice causes them to choose a bad TP that doesn't have workshops and tutors, then you've irresponsibly caused them to become saddled with debt that they absolutely didn't NEED to take on.

    On the other hand, if they choose my advice to self study, and they find that it doesn't work, my advice has caused them to purchase training materials that they can still use if they decide to go with a training provider.

    Sure, they CAN choose self study if they want. But please, don't throw out salesman-like claims that simply have no basis in reality. You affect people's careers and financial situations with the advice you give. Please, be sure you're on the side of truth before you make statements, 'k?

    Just my opinion.
     
    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!
  20. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Yes, but FA... a lot of the people investing in those courses often do not have the money to hand - they're often unemployed - and have to borrow it, and are often blinded by the promises of jobs that can give them £30k plus per year...

    Today, I had one woman I work with telling me one of her family had signed up for a course that would give him a Microsoft certification and teach him all about spreadsheets. The certification? MCAS 2007. The cost? Over £1k. They must be having a flipping laugh! Surely? :dry My undertstanding is that the guy was at a low ebb, and was looking for something that would make him more marketable... No shame in that, but MCAS 2007? Seriously?

    IMHO the whole industry needs better regulation. For a start, get rid of the guarnateed job **** that is seen and mentioned on here so often.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009

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