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I want to self-study but...

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by ay5000, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. ay5000

    ay5000 Bit Poster

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    I have spent a long time mulling over the different certifications and which is most ideal for me to begin with. I think being sensible is the best approach and have opted to begin with A+. (I am currently doing Apple Technician self-study but since it is not a serious work in progress, it looks like I will be abandoning that since it's a remnant from my previous employer)

    My question is, how do I know which company is good, reliable and most importantly the cheapest one for me to purchase a "self-study" course from? I'm always skeptical of the companies that appear top of the google searches.

    Any advice would be welcomed!
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, ACDT & ACPT
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Why not save the money and do it yourself? A 'cheap' course provider would be fairly crap, as they woudn't have the resources to back up the study-guides.

    Just buy some of the recomended books, a second-hand PC to experiment on, and away you go!

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I agree with Harry. If you have a basic technical background, and your studies for the Apple Technician suggest this, then just buying a few books and an old PC or two will be just fine. I looked in the A+ forum here at CF in the Books and Resources pinned thread and pulled this post out of it:
    The first book is written by Mike Meyers and is considered *the* classic learning guide for the A+. I have a particular bias for the second book since I wrote it, but it's been reviewed favorably on amazon.co.uk and NewsForge.com. Go to your local bookstore and thumb through a copy to see if it would interest you. If functions like a lab manual so that, plus a PC and a couple of screwdrivers, would give you plenty of practical exercises.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    I agree with Trip - Mike Meyers book was a godsend when I was studying for the A+. I haven't used Trip's book, but always read favourable things about it.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  5. ay5000

    ay5000 Bit Poster

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    Advice has been excellent -- it's lead me to ask the question: can I self-study from the books and then just sit the exam? Is it really that straight-forward? I have a very extensive technical background and I hope that will help in me attaining the A+ to start with.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, ACDT & ACPT
  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Yes, it is that straightforward to sit the exam - you just need the right mentality. Have a gander through the A+ forum at the number of *I've passed* threads. Many of the alumni of that forum self studied.

    Just remember, that the Cert won't guarantee you any job. In a lot of cases, getting certified is the easy first step in your IT career. Nevertheless, it's an important one. I recommend you get the books recommended (Trip's booking is cracking), and get studying.

    If you ever feel lost, lonely, or need a kick up the butt to keep focused, just post here. We're all here to help or heckle, whichever you feel you need :p
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Well...it's not *that* straightforward. Experience helps, but if you ahve a "very extensive technical background" as you say, then you probably already have the experience to back up your A+ studies. A lot of times, in answering questions, you'll take a look at a scenario and work your way through how you'd solve the problem.

    As you get to more involved certs, experience plays a huge role. You'll never pass a certification exam about how to secure Windows Server 2003 unless you've spent a lot of time actually working on Windows Servers securing them from threats.

    If I gave you or anyone the impression that all you have to do is read a book and pass an exam and poof, you're certified, I apologize. Certification exams are designed to establish what you already know. Learning comes from both reading and doing.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. ay5000

    ay5000 Bit Poster

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    I've just purchased the CompTIA A+ Certification ALL IN ONE EXAM GUIDE Sixth Edition from WHSMiths for £34.99.

    When I am ready, where do I book my exams?

    Am I right in my understanding that there are 4 exams, starting with the essentials then 220-602, 220-603 and 220-604? Would I have pay and sit each one separately?
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, ACDT & ACPT
  9. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    No!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't need to do all 4 :) - just 2:
    1) 220-601
    2) EITHER 602 or 603 or 604
    and that will get you your A+ qualification.

    Where to book - I'd suggest going to GetCerify4Less and buying your A+ voucher from there (a lot cheaper than going direct, but they don't have any in stock currently) and then going to pearson vue website - Linky - or Prometric - Linky - and book your exam.

    So, in all - 2 exams, 2 vouchers - about £80 for the 2.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  10. ay5000

    ay5000 Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the reply mate :) I've already started reading and found the answers to those questions, but thanks nonetheless :)

    This book that I have, for this will I have to sit the 2003 exams or can I do the new exams? That's my last confusion really.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: A+, ACDT & ACPT
  11. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I believe the A+ 2003 exams either expired or going to expire shortly. Either way you might as well do the new A+ exam its more up to date and has new concepts.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  12. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    They expired 9 days ago on the 30th June.
    Can only do the 2006 objectives from now on.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293

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