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What to revise???

Discussion in 'A+' started by robotnic, May 18, 2012.

  1. robotnic

    robotnic Bit Poster

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    Hi everyone.

    After posting sometime back asking about the best way forward to get into IT support, I was recommended the A+ qualification. I bought the Mike Meyers book and have read all the way through it finally. :biggrin

    Now I am coming to revise the essentials for the exams and am a bit confused on which parts to focus on.

    For instance, I am in the chapter on CPUs. It goes on and on through all the dozens of models and details all the specs. Then I read on here that cramming those specs into my head for the exam is almost pointless, as they will maybe ask about socket types maybe at most.

    Now I find myself looking at the exam objectives and wondering if I need to memorise eg. speculative execution and out of order processing. They are not listed in the objectives like hyperthreading is.

    I appreciate that having a good general knowledge of these things will be useful in the long run, but at the moment, passing the exam is my focus and I am worried that half of memory will be wasted on irrelevant facts.

    I have heard good things about the Prof Messer videos, which seem to work through the objectives. Would they be a better option at this stage?

    Any advice would be great!

    Thanks

    Nic
     
  2. BB88

    BB88 Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

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    The Meyers has a LOT of information inside. It is a brilliant reference book after it has been read through. Like you have said, there can be some stuff that may not be relevant to the exam, but helps you understand it more. The Exam Objectives are the best way to know what you will be tested on.

    I would get the CompTIA A+ 220-701 and 220-702 Exam Cram and use that in conjunction with the Professor Messer videos.
     
    Certifications: AS Computing, A+, Network+, 70-680, 70-410
    WIP: MCSA: Server 2012
  3. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    It's difficult to answer this, having taken it. There's an NDA for a reason, so I can't wink and nudge and say focus on this or focus on that. The objectives are the only real gospel.

    My other advice is think like an examiner. What's easier to test: overall understanding of abstract concepts and ideas, or names and numbers? For that reason, I'd recommend paying special attention to numbers, names, lists, and facts. And whenever you learn something, try to imagine what questions they could ask you on it.

    Meyers does a great job of highlighting stuff to remember. Messer is also fantastic. Meyers got me through the A+, Messer got me through the 70-680. They're both great at what they do. Wouldn't hurt to look at both.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  4. robotnic

    robotnic Bit Poster

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    Thanks guys.

    I suppose what I am saying is that Meyers' book is massive! I am not a fast reader and it has taken quite a few months to read throught it all. I had a plan to read through it again and make concise revision notes but that could take me just as long I expect.

    I had a scan at the Exam Cram on Amazon's preview tool and it doesn't mention 1/2 the stuff that's in Meyers. Prof Messer also is a lot more succinct from what I have looked at.

    Now I have read through Meyers, would Exam cram + Prof Messer be sufficient to prepare for the exam do people think?

    Thanks again
     
  5. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster Forum Leader

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    The problem is it depends on you. I don't know what you know already, your technical background, or how quickly you learn. Does Meyer's book still ship with practice tests? My advice would be to have a go at them and see where you are.

    My big mistake with the A+ was thinking that understanding Meyer's book as I read it would be enough to get me through the tests. Until you've tried a couple of practice tests it's hard to gauge whether your picking up all the stuff you need. Try the practice tests - study the bits you score badly on.
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  6. robotnic

    robotnic Bit Poster

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    Yeah the book had a practice test CD. I took it and fell 3% short of the pass rate. I pretty much knew which questions I couldn't answer too. It was mainly the numbers, facts, lists etc such as the speed of USB transfer, the different backup types- The things that you just have to memorise. I chose to leave off memorising these things until starting my actual revision so I was surprised I did so well without these facts.

    I probably will go with Exam cram + messer, then try a few more practice tests and aim for 90%. If I can't get 90% then I can go back to Meyers for my weak areas.

    It was good to talk it through with you guys and to hear that I wasn't making any huge mistakes.

    Cheers guys!
     
  7. shadowwebs

    shadowwebs Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    It's a hard one to give a pure answer on as I could say to you to study a certain area more but then when it comes to the exam you may find that area does not come up at all.

    The way I did my revision was to print out the objectives and against each of them write as much information as I could remember from my own head, if there was an area that I felt that I struggled to remember much, for example the troubleshooting process and the printing process on a laser printer then I would go back and recap from either my study notes that I had made or the Professor Messer video's.

    Good luck to you.
     
    Certifications: compTIA A+, Apple Certified Technical Coordinator 10.10 (OS X Yosemite, Server and Support)

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