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Please help me?

Discussion in 'A+' started by Danmurph, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Danmurph

    Danmurph Byte Poster

    Hi everyone,

    I have been studying very hard for about 3 and a half months now, (on average 4-5 hours a day around my job) for the a+ essentials and although I feel I am taking alot in the transcender software just knocks me back down and makes me realise I still know very little.
    I have read the big book supplied by my training provider, aio by mike myers, passport by mike myers along with articles for the internet, cram sheets and notes. It seems I am averaging around 65% on the tests and I just cant seem to get passed this. I know quite a bit about each of the objectives in general but not the finer points (e.g. remembering data rates, cable lengths), can anyone suggest anything that could help ( I have also tried creating flash cards),
    I am trying so hard and it feels that I am getting nowhere, its starting to get me really down as I feel if I do anymore trancsender tests I am going to start remembering the answers,

    Any advice would be much appreciated


    Certifications: MCDST, MCP, A+
    WIP: Everything!!
  2. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

    Who's your training provider?
    And can't they not help you more?

    Sometimes it's case of going through what you dont know.
    Getting as much info as possible & trying to progress that way.

    Each person has a different way to study, i prefer tutor led coupled with looking through books & practical tasks.
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  3. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    I buy index cards and write out my own questions based on the material I'm covering. So as I go through 'Chapter One' I make sure I write out a number of questions on the cards covering the key facts of that chapter. On the back of each card you can also write the answers for self-testing.

    This helps me in two ways:

    1. The act of writing down each question helps to knock it into my brain
    2. Going over a few of the cards each morning, lunch time, and before bed helps to keep the information fresh as I progress through the chapters
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Maybe you are over studying, it can happen. People can burn themselves out trying to cram and remember too much information all at once.

    Work out which area or areas are your weakest and concentrate on one topic at a time until it sinks in.

    Remember its not a race to become certified unless you are with a training provider and they've given you a time limit.

    When I am studying I do 1 - 2 hours per day, if I do anymore I find I loose intrest slightly and forget what I was previously reading.

    Hope this helps, maybe do a post on what you are finding hard to understand and hoepfully you can get some good info from the people on here.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    There are about a billion different ways to study for an exam. The first thing to consider is how you learn. Not everyone learns the same way. Some people learn best when they are lectured to while others need to be able to see or touch what they are learning. Everyone has a particular style or styles of learning (I tend to be a very visual learner, for instance). It might help if you could figure out what your preferred learning style is. Chances are, you are using a method (at least some of the time) of learning that doesn't match your preferred style.

    Also, make a list of the areas or information that you are finding it challenging to learn. Make a separate list of the areas or information that you found easy to learn and retain. That should tell you what to focus on and what to just lightly touch upon in future study sessions.

    Usually "dry" information is the hardest to learn and retain, such as IRQs. I/Os. CPU sockets, cable lengths, and the like. Unfortunately, this information is all fair game on the exam so you need to know it. The use of flash cards is good but you can also spend time memorizing and immediately testing what you memorized over and over to try and basically "drill" the info into your brain. Take plenty of rest breaks. Trying to memorize dry information when you're tired won't be very effective.

    As was previously said, this isn't a race. Each person learned differently and at their own rate. Pay attention to how you learn and how much time you need to take in order to learn. You'll probably just frustrate yourself if you let someone else set those limits for you. Good luck.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    GBL is right... 4/5 hours a day is maxing it... and if you don't take regular breaks, my personal opinion is you won't take that much in. I also think 2 hours is the most in one night, with, say, a 20 minute break in each hour...

    If it helps, what I tend to do is read a chapter, then re-read it. Then I make brief notes about a specific subject, let's say USB. I also put the stats down - USB1.1 is max speed 12Mbps, USB2 is 480Mbps, and I can have maximum 127 devices daisy-chained.

    I never do the test questions at the end of the chapters until I have completed the book - I save them for later, so to speak.

    If that chapter takes me 2 hours, that is my reading for the night.

    Next night, I look at my notes from the night before, and quickly 'test' myself on the stats I wrote down. No big deal if I don't get 'em right. Make it fun. I say that, because I have been as guilty as anyone of getting so involved in trying to get through the books, and get all questions right, that I lose sight of why I am doing this. OK... to get a job I will enjoy, but also because I enjoy learning about all things 'IT'.

    I know it is easy to get disheartened... just remember that a lot of us are or were in the same boat, and that is why forums like CF are excellent for helping you to study.

    All the best in those studies! 8)
  7. Danmurph

    Danmurph Byte Poster

    Some great information here guys,

    You know I think I have spent just as much time rushing and worrying as I have actually learning and this is the problem, Im going to go back to the beginning and start from scratch, reading through quickly the stuff I understand straight off and making notes on the stuff I do not understand too well. As for the transcender its actually ok, I just done another test and its quite clear that the things im getting hung up on are networking and security, if I can get my head around these two parts I think I will be averaging an 85% on the tests,

    I know your all going to shout SELF STUDY IS THE WAY but alot of this stress i feel is due to the fact that my training provider (advent) has given me two years to do this course and its been four months and Im still not ready to sit the first exam (1 of around ten to get to MCSE level). I definitely learn more if I am taught by people and I can observe and listen rather than reading (I remember everything I learned on my 2 day workshop), its such a shame that there are no colleges that specialise in this kind of thing (two years full time study) it either seems to be distance learning, self study or boot camps!!

    anyway thanks again for putting my overloaded mind at rest people, im going to rest for the evening and start again fresh as a daisy in the morning!! :biggrin
    Certifications: MCDST, MCP, A+
    WIP: Everything!!
  8. anniemac

    anniemac Bit Poster

    You don't say what your work is, is it iT related? A lot of studying should be 'hands on' do you have a PC you can take apart and put together? I was always doing this and passed both A+ exams on the same day. If you can 'play' around it all will become clear, I promise.
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Network +
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Yep... it's not a race. The goal is to retain information, not to "get through it". After all, this is information you'll use in your career... it's not simply a test you need to pass just to get a grade, like in school. :)
    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!

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