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Review Boson Security+ Practice Exams

Discussion in 'Articles, Reviews and Interviews' started by chuckles, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. chuckles

    chuckles Kilobyte Poster

    Is this the correct place or format for this? I didn't see any other way to post it. :rolleyes:

    Review of Boson’s Security + SY0-201 Practice Exams

    First I must give a disclaimer. I have personally met “BosonMichael” and had lunch with him. I found out that he was passing near my home last summer and I invited him for a meal. As most of you know he works for Boson who markets the exams of which I am about to provide a brief review. He is a very likeable chap. I enjoyed our meal. However, this in no way will influence this review.

    I have been reading about Boson exams for many months but never had the opportunity to experience one. When they asked for reviewers for their Security + exam I gladly volunteered! Prior to taking their exams I have used ones from PrepLogic, uCertify, Transcender, MeasureUp, various free ones (such as ProProfs.com), and ones included in the references I have studied. I’ve used practice questions from Sybex books, ExamCram books, McGraw Hill books, etc. I’ve seen a vast variety of sample questions, explanations, tests, etc. I have seen bad grammar, bad spelling, poor explanations, wrong answers, (and good stuff too). In short I’ve probably seen it all! My comments will be drawn from comparisons with all these other products.

    I can sum up my experience with the Boson S+ exams by simply stating that they had the most uniformly high quality explanations and grammar of any of the vendors I have previously used. Without a doubt they rock! The grammar and spelling was superb. It really helps you in understanding an explanation when it is stated in correct English. I generally can look past the spelling and grammar problems seen with other vendors (although occasionally it is difficult). Some of the other vendors listed above do a pretty good job most of the time. But the Boson explanations were well written all of the time. They really do have bragging rights about this! I only remember finding one misspelled word in all the explanations I reviewed. That is quite amazing. So, they have a quality product.

    The testing environment (i.e. screen layout etc.) is very pleasing. My graphic design wife might call it attractive. It looks good on the screen and is easy to read. I’ve experienced less than pleasing eye candy with other vendors so I do appreciate what they’ve done on the screen.

    I think their practice exams must also do a good job of simulating the actual exam. My scores for the first try of their exams A, B, and C were 83%, 86%, and 89%. When I took the actual exam a few days later, I scored the equivalent of a 94%. So, these exams did give a realistic feel for the actual test. After experiencing their S+ I definitely think I’ll be looking at some of their other products in the future. I’d definitely recommend them to someone else.

    Now, what didn’t I like or would like to change if I could? All these comments deal with their testing engine because I can not possibly disparage the questions or explanations. I realize that some of this is just personal preference.

    The explanations contain many good internet references. I learned many things while examining them. However, I felt disadvantaged because all the book references were to the Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide by Gregory White which I did not use. There were no other book references! I’m sure it is a good book. When I started studying for S+ I researched on Amazon and found 6-7 times more reviews (all of which were very good) for the book Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead by Darril Gibson. So that was my main reference. I suggest that since Darril’s book is so popular and well liked (and therefore will be well used) that reference to it be included with the Gregory White references.

    I’m not thrilled that the scores of tests had to be uploaded to their site in order to review them later. I don’t care if they know how well I’ve done. In fact that might help them improve their exams (assuming they can look at that). However, if you lose your connection you can not see how you’ve done in prior attempts (which happened to me once). Most other vendors store your test result locally which makes it easy to see them later. With Boson, when you look at your submitted results you only have the date and time, number of questions, etc. If you took multiple exams, you may not be able to tell them apart since you are not allowed to submit the result and add a title or description. There is no way to go back and take or review a prior custom or standard exam, either. My favorite test engine (which is a competitor’s) allows you to review any prior test and retake them if desired. Also, with Boson it is not possible to save an exam once you have graded it. The save feature apparently is only meant to allow you to stop your test and resume it later. You cannot save it after grading it. My dream practice exam would be using the Boson questions and explanations with the other exam engine.

    So to sum it all up, Boson rocks! :rocks
    Certifications: '07/'09 A+, N+, S+
    WIP: maybe something Apple
  2. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    very nice review mate, thank you Chuck :)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    It is difficult with CompTIA exams to come up with good Internet references that aren't heavily laden with advertisements. Microsoft and Cisco, by comparison, are far easier, as each have their own knowledge base articles that we can reference.

    Prior to your mentioning it, we had never heard of the book by Gibson - it's not published by a well-known IT book publisher, so it was totally under our radar. Thank you for mentioning it!

    Very helpful suggestions! I will be sure to forward all of these comments to the management and programming teams.

    Thank you for the review, Chuck! We appreciate you taking the time to put our exam under the microscope! :)
    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!
  4. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

    Thanks for the review!

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