How did you do it!!! A+ studying techniques.

snipzasnipza Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all. I am currently studying for the A+ 801 exam. I used a voucher to set up my exam appointment, which I have rescheduled twice already due to the fact that its SO MUCH INFORMATION!

Study sources:

-Currently reading Mike Meyer's All-In-One 4th edition (On chapter 24)
-After finishing Mike Meyer's, I'll be hitting the Exam Cram eBook I have to solidify the Mike Meyer's material.

I am fairly familiar with computers. I would say 80% of the A+ material I have experience with or at least know what's going on when it is mentioned.

I am a senior in college (just have summer and fall quarter left) majoring in information systems and technology. After taking my networking security and advanced networking security classes, I have decided that I really want to get into networking. Many of the jobs in my area, including networking, are asking for the A+, so that's why I am pursuing it. I will next pursue Network +.

I actually took a computer hardware class that I breezed through, unfortunately, there was more depth in less subjects than there was breadth over many subjects.

The issue I am having is that I am worried that I will not retain the massive amount of information presented. Mike Meyer's book is 1400 pages long. Does anyone have any study tips for me that will help me hash out the 801 and 802 within the next month? I have experience with this stuff so it'll be a bit easier for me than it would for a person off the street. I just need a more efficient way to tunnel through all the unneeded info and really get to what is relevant. Aggressive study plans welcome!

Did you bother studying 802 material when preparing for only 801? How soon did you take 802 after 801, assuming you didn't take them on the same day?

Thanks a million!


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    PlantwizPlantwiz Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    First welcome!

    Second, the exams are geared toward candidates WITH experience and with that experience it is implied the type where the candidate actually uses much of the content covered in the objectives. The more the technology is used, the easier it becomes to recall. So, if you have some experience, spend your time on your weaker areas and you will likely perform well.

    CompTIA exams are straightforward, no tricks. A+ is has one of the lowest passing scores required to consider oneself certified.

    Meyers' text has been an industry standard for that exam since the first edition was published in the 90s. It is a great text and, I think, it prepares folks well. Now the comment that it is 1400 pages is sort of pointless once one looks at the objectives required for this certification. I am surprised Mr. Meyers covers all the material in only one text of that as size. This is also a reminder (especially to new folks) that IT is a career. Not everyone enters in and stays in the hardware side, but that there is a TON of information one needs to know to be consider a professional and be considered proficient. There are NO short cuts!

    A+ is usually a warm up for folks and the other areas of IT require a ton more study.

    Meyers outlines that a candidate with experience could be ready for the test in about 40 hours of study. Folks brand new to the material will require more time.

    My guess is you have first exam jitters and this will pass once you pass ;). Hang in there, schedule your exam and prepare your review schedule. I would lay off the practice tests personally, those are a tool to assess ones knowledge before and after study, not to memorize q&a. You want your clients to trust your ability, right?

    Good luck
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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    DonM34DonM34 Member Posts: 139
    I would say, the ones you have issues with try doing some lab work. Honestly the book MCTS Guide to Microsoft Window 7 by Byron Wright. This is a lab book that will simplify any issues you have with troubleshooting, command-lines, imaging you name it. I took a course in college using this book and it made studying for the A+ so much easy because of the lab work.
    2014 Goal [ ] CCENT [ ] MCTS (Active Directory) [ ] CompTIA Security+
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    OhsupOhsup Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Every morning briefly read through a few chapters. Focus on the exam objectives and areas the author stresses. Then through out your day think about everything you read. One of the best ways to learn things is to teach things. If you really know something then you should be able to teach it to someone else. So I would often in my head pretend I was explaining it to my brother, or mom etc.

    Most important is just relax, more than likely you could walk in there and pass it with no problems. How many times were you worried about something, but after doing it you said well that was way easier than I thought.
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    ImYourOnlyDJImYourOnlyDJ Member Posts: 180
    Sounds like you have a good amount of experience and education. I passed both exams with just two weeks of studying Mike Meyers all in one along with my experience working with computers. Make sure you know the hardware components and different types of cables. Also make sure you read the exam objectives.
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    ataitatait Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I recently passed the 801 and 802, scoring in the high 800s for both. My exam prep consisted of the following:

    1) Reading the Mike Meyers All in One text cover to cover like a novel.
    2) Re-reading the Mike Meyers text, much more carefully and slowly, filling up a notebook with notes.
    3) Reading the A+ Quick Reference book by Soper.
    4) Reading the A+ Rapid Review book by Gibson.
    5) Making flash cards for the rote memorization tasks, i.e. DNS uses port 53, DDR3 uses 240-pin DIMMs, a SATA power connector is 15-pins and has 3.3V, 5V, and 12V wires, etc.
    6) Taking a couple practice exams for each test.

    In all honesty, steps 2 and 3 were probably a waste of time. The Quick Reference book just isn't very good, and the amount of time I spent taking careful notes on the Mike Meyers text was unnecessary. As long as you read carefully the first time through, and review the sections you struggle with on practice exams or the Rapid Review text, then reading the Mike Meyers book twice is unnecessary, imo.

    Flashcarding the rote memory information is essential however. You will encounter questions that absolutely depend on you knowing pin-count, voltage, port numbers, transmission ranges, bandwidth, etc. In the 801 exam you will be asked to produce that kind of info on command, and in the 802 exam, you'll be asked troubleshooting questions that don't directly deal with such information, but such information is required knowledge to figure out the correct answer.

    Furthermore, I would recommend playing around with every command line program in the objectives until you're comfortable with them and their most common options -- the practical application, i.e. simulated, questions won't always let you use /? to get an option summary. Likewise, spend some time really exploring Control Panel, to include Administrative Tools. Anyone who is sitting for an A+ exam will surely be able to find their way around if they have Control Panel open in front of them, but will they be able to pick a path to an option from a multiple choice list without being able to look at Control Panel? Also, be able to visually identify hardware, cables, and connectors, without having to look anything up.

    Finally, when you take a practice exam, don't just read the explanation for the questions you got wrong: go back and reread the relevant material from the Meyers text. Don't just use the practice exams to assess your readiness; use them to figure out what you're shaky on. As others have pointed out, here and elsewhere, you're learning this material to pass a test, yes, but more importantly you're learning this material so that you can go into a job interview with a ready command of the knowledge you'll need on the job. The A+ certification just prevents your resume from being thrown in the trash; it's the knowledge you display in the interview which actually lands you the job, and that means knowing the material backwards and forwards, with the exam merely being a formality.
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