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Question on studying...

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by techzero, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. techzero

    techzero Bit Poster

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    Alright guys, my MM All-In-One A+ Exam Guide book came in yesterday and this thing is massive. I honestly thought I was going to get away with just reading the passport edition... pffffft.

    Anyway, on to the question. For the ones who read this monstrosity of a book, did you honestly read it word for word, cover to cover? After reading 40 pages of the Microprocessor chapter my brain is killing me! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love learning everything in-depth but it seems impossible to retain every bit of information. I know this book goes beyond the objectives covered in the exam but it seems like this will take me months to get through.

    I know the key things to remember for the exam are the basics of cpu slots, ram types, i/o's, irq, dma's, etc. A couple of people I've talked to who took the test said they barely read a book to study. I've also taken tons of practice questions and exams and done fairly well on all of them. So back to my main point.

    What was your main method for studying? Just reading? Reading and taking notes? And did you really read this whole entire book, if so how long did it take you?
     
  2. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Read the first chapter of MM all in one it tells you how to study and how many hours if study you need.

    I am also studying A+

    I also was shocked by the size of the book when I bought the All in one book. I felt a bit like Arthur Dent from Hitchhikers guide to the galaxcy, when he finds out the earth is blown up and he's on an alien vessel and Ford gives him a book with the words "DON'T PANIC!"

    I guess it depends on your situtation, but I try to study 2 hours theory with All in one MM book then in the evening I do 1 Hour practical with Mike Meyers A+ hardware Lab Book, then on the weekend I refresh my knowlede by going over concise reading using the Passport book and doing the questions at the end.

    You should take it in small steps, don't run before you can walk!!

    Try and do a minimum of 5%, don't focus on anything more, you will fail and lose hope and also your motivation goes out the window!

    If you read CH1 on All in 1 you will see you probably need 135 -155 hours of study time, break this up by the number of months you want. Most people do it in 6 months, 12 months and even 24 months! Some are on the fast track course and can do it in 3 months or 5 day's (boot camps - v.expensive)

    I hope this answers your question and gives you some hope!

    There is light at the end of the tunnel :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  3. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I read it once cover to cover making notes as I went. which took a while, I then used my notes for studying (as they were quite a bit shorter) and hardly went back to the book.

    The CPU chapter is a bit of a coceptual nightmare, don't worry. It will probably make more sense once you've gone through the chapters on RAM and buses.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I read the book from cover to cover.

    I have a nearly hour-long train journey to work, and I tried to do a chapter every two days.

    It helped hugely that I had been learning and dealing with hardware and OSes for twenty years, so I didn't have the difficulty of learning new concepts. If you don't have that background then obviously it is going to take longer - particularly as you should be researching the chapter subject matter on the 'net to get a better rounded knowledge.

    The main notes I took were on the processor types/pins/etc and RAM types. I normaly have problems remembering them all, so usualy have a crib-sheet to hand. Obviously that approach won't work for the A+ exam!

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  5. Lord Deckard

    Lord Deckard Byte Poster

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    I used it as a backup to cover gaps in my knowledge. A lot of chapters got a quick skim but others were read through 2 or 3 times, notes made, read again, I even ended up taking it along to my OS exam so I could have a quick read in the car when I got there.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCDST
    WIP: N+ and CCNA
  6. techzero

    techzero Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the insight guys. But please tell me... It's not normal to get 4 comptia certifications in less then one year including A+, Net+, Linux+, and Server+? I just can't understand my friend pulled this off in such sort amount of time...
     
  7. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    If your friend was already *in the picture*, then yes. As Harry has said, it really depends on your experience. From what i have read Linux+ is the hardest of the Comptia certs.
    I never think of certs and the clock at the same time. I might scrape through the 270 now. But why should i? When i book my exam i want to feel confident about all the topics covered, not just concerned about if a make a MCP.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  8. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    This depends on quite a few things. Whether he had a lot of background in the field, whether or not he just brain dumped his exams, whether or not he has a photographic memory, whether or not he's a genius, etc.... If you know he's not a genius, that he doesn't have a lot of background, and he doesn't have a photographic memory, then you know he most likely brain dumped his certs.

    Brain dumping is just taking practice tests over and over again until you have all the answers memorized. It will get you a piece of paper that says you're certified, but you won't learn anything that way. You'll just have a piece of paper that has no correlation to your knowledge of the subject at hand. You certainly won't be able to do the work that the certs say you should be able to do, and that means your certs won't help you get, or keep, a job.... They will just be a waste of money, and you'll lose them for the rest of your life if you're caught brain dumping.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Well - depends on his experience. The 3 CompTIA certs I claim were done in under a year. I haven't managed to add the 4th because of pressure at work.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  10. techzero

    techzero Bit Poster

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    Yeah I think he just has the ability to retain everything he reads forever. I actually sat down today and read straigh through a couple chapters and the one on BIOS and CMOS was amazing. I had no ideas what the northbridge and southbridge actually did... just goes to show ya.

    The main thing I am concerned about is just getting my cert before the objectives change and having to restudy. But as you guys said, the new objectives won't take place until March of next year then I think that gives me plenty of time.

    I'll stop boring you guys now, thanks for all the help!
     

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