Training Advice

Discussion in 'A+' started by RoastDuck, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. RoastDuck

    RoastDuck New Member

    Hello all, only discovered this site this morning - already gleaned a lot of useful advice looking through the threads - great site for practical advice.

    If anyone could offer their opinion/advice concerning training toward the A+ exam I would be most grateful.

    My background: Operations manager for a packaging merchant. Part of my duties include the upkeep of 5 PCs. Over the years I have carried out many upgrades and solved many problems but never taken any formal training - all self-taught.

    Well, my employer recently offered to pay for formal A+ training with a view to me taking on more responibility within our group of four companies. Great! I thought. However, my local college cannot offer me a place on their A+ night-course until September (too long to wait). I have read the reviews of the Meyers book and wondered if anyone felt that by immersing myself in this book alone I would be competent enough to sit the exams? Are there any other resources I should invest in or is Meyers book really all I need? Having done a quick recce of on-line training it is amazing that some organisations offer courses for 50 quid whilst others want £300.00+. Any views on which direction I should take? Any courses out their that you would recommend/avoid?

  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Welcome, RoastDuck! Glad you found Certforums. It sounds like you have a good foundation on PC maintenence and repair already. Since I'm in the U.S. (don't worry...the vast majority of folks here are more in your neighborhood) I can't offer any suggestions on where to receive training in your area.

    I can say that the Meyers book should be just about all you need to take and pass both sections of the A+ exam assuming you have a basic understanding of PCs already. I say that because when I first started out my training, I had no technical background whatsoever and tried to learn from the Meyers book alone. It didn't go too well. I ended up enrolling in a two-year program at my local college in "Computer Network Support" and now happily tear into PCs to my heart's content.

    The book contains end-of-chapter quizes and the enclosed CD has a test bank to test yourself against. When I study for a certification, I usually decide on the best tome to study from and base my studies on that plus whatever labs are appropriate. I also purchase a smaller study text such as the Meyers Passport series or CramExam2, just to keep the highpoints fresh as I approach test date. In many cases, I also purchase some mock test software such as offered by transcenders or test out to get another test bank to work with. If all goes well, that usually is what it takes for me to take and pass the exam.

    In addition to the PCs you support at work, it wouldn't hurt to have at least one machine to tinker with at home. Meyers is very "hands on" and often suggests taking a look at the inner workings of the machine when he's giving a lesson.

    The exam is geared for someone with about 6 months experience with PC hardware and basic OS configuration so I most certainly think you're in the ballpark.

    I hope this is helpful. Others will be along in a bit to offer their suggestions. Again, glad you found your way here. Welcome.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

    Hi RoastDusk

    A warm welcome from me too!

    As you have a couple of years experience performing upgrades etc on PC's i shouldnt think you would have any problems with the A+ exams.

    What you need to do is find a good A+ book, something recommended by people in your boat (amazon is usually a good bet). They key is determining the exam objectives and learning what you need to pass:

    (Although a PC at home to tinker with as Trip suggests is a very good idea, as you dont just want to pass the exam, you want to KNOW and feel CONFIDENT with the ins and outs of a PC).

    Depending on how confident you are feeling about your ability compared to the exam objectives, try purchasing a book or looking online for practice tests. A couple of tests with positive results really gives you condfidence!

    One last thing is i found as your read your A+ book and look at the exam objectives, make a couple of pages of notes of key points - IRQ settings etc etc then read these again and again as you approach the exam, even 10 minutes before as your sat in your car waiting for the exam!

    Good luck!! :)

    Feel free to ask for any more advice.

    PS. Remember there are 2 exams for the A+, one software and one hardware, bear that in mind when studying.

    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  4. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Hi RoastDuck, and welcome from me too.

    The A+ was the first IT qualification I got, and although I found it tough at times, as a Tech newbie I coped OK with it and enjoyed doing it.

    It is an excellent qual to have as your foundation for any later exams you might take, as almost any later and more advanced qualifications will almost certainly involve at least some the "basics"

    From what you said above, I would guess you are more than capable of doing the exam with the book on your on, and using the Internet (here first, naturally :wink: )

    Good luck, and keep us up to date on your progress.

    HTH :D
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  5. Nelix
    Honorary Member

    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

    Hi to you roast duck, glad you found the site.

    There's not alot I can add to the above advice, in fact I cant add anything :oops: , there's alot of good advice there especially regarding the meyers book, A copy of the book still sittd on my desk for reference purposes.

    Hope you stick around and good luck with the training.

    By the way, if you study and take the prep tests and you feel you could just take the exams at a local test centre, they cost around about £100 each.
    Certifications: A+, 70-210, 70-290, 70-291, 74-409, 70-410, 70-411, 70-337, 70-347
    WIP: 70-346
  6. RoastDuck

    RoastDuck New Member

    Wow, I really appreciate all of your response - I will order Meyers book today and see how I get along. Hopefully, I have enough experience already as I have built and rebuilt machines at home for my kids and myself.

    Thanks again everyone, I now have this forum at the top of my favourites.

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