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A+, MCDST.....help!

Discussion in 'General CompTIA Certifications' started by RichUncleSkellington, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. RichUncleSkellington

    RichUncleSkellington New Member


    new poster here (obviously), I'm 25 with about 8 years experience in the industry, a few years in ISP support, the rest working for a distance learning college as a tutor/in housed IT officer (I know, I know!)

    Basically I'd say I have a good grounding in IT support, perhaps to 2nd line level in application support, hardware probably closer to 1st line.

    Anyway, after redundancy from the distance learning college, I've taken a role with a service desk, working as 1st line. Obviously I dont want to be doing this for very long, so I have started the A+, with the excellent Mike Myers book.

    BUT, my question is this. the A+ is very much led by the hardware aspect, I am struggling with all the CPUs and RAM types etc (not the logic, but the memorising of each variant). Now I may be being very ignorant, and if I am I apologise, but the MCDST seems much more based on the using of hardware, i.e using windows and its features to fix problems, rather than fiddling with whats 'under the hood'.

    Really where I want to be in a few years is desktop support, 3rd line here I suppose - the guys we get to do stuff basically! I'm not shying away from hard work, so I do apologise if it comes across like that, I just dont want to spend the next 9 months studying A+, and find that really I should've gone straight to the MCDST (which I plan to do next)

    I'm just looking for guidance to be honest, people have told me A+ is far too novice, but I'm 350 pages into Mikes book and it really isnt for me! Similarly the MCDST has been rubbished, but my company recognise this and its basically all I need to progress.

    Thanks in advance! (and sorry if this is in the wrong place!) :biggrin
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Advanced
    WIP: A+, MCDST
  2. Revolate

    Revolate Nibble Poster

    The A+ is indeed easy and fact based most parts and if you have experience you should be able to do it in a matter of weeks it's just a novice cert after all. I did the 602 first which was quite annoying as it gave you more than one correct answer, the question would state something like 'Choose the best answer' which was quite hurtful at the time! There is a technique to learn the RAM speeds by doing a certain rule, I think it was doubleing the last few digits. (Can't recall exactly, but I know it worked best part however that the rule didn't apply to all) CPU's I don't think I even got a question on them just know the history of the first ones and you will be fine. You can pass it with out remembering all the CPU types and RAM variants, just know the very basics. The A+ also doesn't run out and is easy to obtain so I would recommened that you keep reading and take the exam. :rolleyes:

    I'm currently doing the MCDST (271, 272) and it is how you state using windows, trouble shooting and so forth. MCDST in my opinion is worth more than the A+ however the stuff you may learn from the A+ might benefit you when your doing the MCDST. So it's kind of a win win situation. DO BOTH! :biggrin

    Anyways, i'm 17 I might of just wrote alot of poop. :x
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, NVQ3, ADITP.
    WIP: Server+ and a nice break?
  3. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Don't worry about the specs for all the different CPUs. It doesn't seem likely you'll get any questions on that. If you understand the concepts behind how a CPU works, how caching helps etc that's about all you need to know (except the obvious stuff like don't try to put an intel CPU in an AMD motherboard).
    ***analogy alert***
    If computers were cars, the MCDST would be all about knowing which buttons do what, how to program the sat nav etc. Not much use if the bleedin' thing won't start though, for that you need to get "under the hood" and the A+ is a good place to learn the basics of that.
    However, if you don't see yourself ever having to do any hands-on en route to your goals and your company doesn't give a rat's chuff about the A+ then maybe the MCDST is what you need.

    EDIT: I just realised, I gave you the same analogy a few months ago. I don't think you mentioned that your company values the MCDST then though.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job

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