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Studying Methods: Directed Learning or 5-10 Books?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by no1youknowz, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. no1youknowz

    no1youknowz Bit Poster

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    Hi,

    I just want to throw out a question here, I wanted to attach a poll, but I cant do it.

    Lets say you were to enroll on a course. Lets take the Comptia A+ Certification. Yes, I know its basic but its used for the example.

    When on that course, you had the option for Directed Learning:

    You were given notes, documentation or whatever to tell you exactly what you needed to learn for the exam, real-world knowledge and foundational knowledge.

    This isnt a cheat sheet, more a directed learning on what you should know in easy to follow notes and within the duration of the course. Will ensure by the end of the course, you will hit all the objectives of the course.

    Or you had the option for 5-10 technical references/books:

    Packet Publishing, Sams, O'reilly, McGraw-Hill and Safari Publishing. All on the Comptia A+ certification, which you would go in your own pace in the duration of the course.

    With this in mind:

    1. You may never be able to read all books.
    2. Some books may hold conflicting points of view.
    3. Some books may be technically incorrect in what they offer.
    4. Some books may just be a too higher level of difficulty for you to understand some concepts.

    -------------

    Which option would you personally go for and why?

    ------------

    There is also a 3rd option available. Would you want both? To have the directed learning, but able to cross refences with the books that you have. To be able to understand certain concepts that werent clear?
     
    WIP: Too many to mention
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Well I always thought that a course was the way to go and directed learning would be better but this was because I was ignorant to the fact that you don't have to do a course to take an exam.

    So I decided to self study and I am glad in more ways than one. First I could take my time because of financial reasons I havent been able to pay for exams, second its cheaper and third you dont have to wait for any practical lab sessions you can do the practicle stuff when you want.

    Edit I have 2 books for the A+, 2 for the N+ and 2 for the MCDST (but thats just one per exam so I may get more for them).
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Me personally, if I had the option I would do a combination of the above.

    Training + self-study material

    Training (direct learning) to keep you on track with the ability to ask questions face to face with both the trainer and peers. But I would also use 2 other books & CBT's to back-up my knowledge (I'm not including related work experience in here as we're only talking about training).

    If or when (9 out of 10 times it's when) I can't go to training courses I use:

    1. CBT's (either Learnkey, CBTNuggets, Trainsignal, etc)
    2. Only 2 books (not 5 to 10, as that's too many)
    3. Test sims (from Transcender or Preplogic, however after trying out Boson will use them in the future)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  4. no1youknowz

    no1youknowz Bit Poster

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    Hey guys,

    I think i should be more clear in the question.

    This isnt anything to do with the training center or about self study courseware.

    This is all to do with the learning material that you have been given.

    -----------------

    Ok, let me ask another way. You are self studying...

    Would you rather buy:

    1) Reference material that allows you to learn and pass the certification and give you real-world experience. Not a brain dump and not a cheat sheet.

    Or

    2) A collection of books for that course, that you may not be able to read them all. You may only read half a book. You may not understand some of the concepts, etc...

    Or

    do a combination of 1 and 2 ?
     
    WIP: Too many to mention
  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Read the appropriate books, practice the concepts and use google or ask someone with better knowledge to help me learn anything I find difficult to understand.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. no1youknowz

    no1youknowz Bit Poster

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    Thanks, that was a type of answer that I was looking for.

    Any other comments are helpful :)
     
    WIP: Too many to mention
  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You won't gain real-world experience from a book, a lab, or some reference material. You might get hands-on experience... but you won't get real-world experience. You can only get that from DOING it in a real, live, business IT environment.

    I wouldn't do one OR the other.

    I generally use a combination of books, Web references (preferably from the vendor), hands-on practice with the hardware or software, and when I've studied ALL that, THEN I'll take practice exams to see if I'm ready.

    Why make it more complicated than it has to be? :)
     
    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!
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Cheers, Ken. Glad to know you liked them. :biggrin
     
    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!
  9. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    To answer the first version of the question I’d go with Ken’s opinion, although I don’t normally because of scheduling conflicts, and life in general :)

    If only using self-study, I’d use both options that were listed:
    - Read material (2-3 books, anything more would be for specific concepts only)
    - Use test preparation software including sims; and legal practice tests

    Note: this is for studying concepts above having real-world experience.
     

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