Help! Study strategies... Please

pieceofwork91pieceofwork91 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, Im new to the forum and Looking for Study strategies for the compTIA A+, My current study material is Exam Cram and then i plan on moving to professor Messer's videos. the reading is going great but im not retaining all the details, i thought i knew computer's pretty well until i picked up this book. its quite detailed, im going to start writing out flash cards in hope to memorize the details. As for Practice exams i plan on getting exam cram practice questions but i would like other sources? Free would be awesome!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated !! Thanks


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    BloomBrightBloomBright Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    What I did to pass the Comptia A+

    1. I got the Comptia A+ Exam Objectives
    2. The book I used was the Comptia A+ All-in-One Exam Guide by Mike Meyers
    3. Whenever I needed a bit more clarity on something I watched the Professor Messer Videos on Youtube.
    4. I used examcompass.com and crucialexams.com for practice tests

    I found the Mike Meyers book to be the most helpful. I had a look at Exam Cram by David L. Prowse but the content felt too thin.
    The only problem with Mike Meyers is that he goes into too much detail. Once I was done summarising for both the Comptia A+ Exams I had printed literally two reams of paper (not kidding). But now I've learnt how to take proper notes :)

    For example from Mike Meyers’ books about equipment racks:

    “Equipment Racks The central component of every telecommunications room is one or more equipment racks. An equipment rack provides a safe, stable platform for all the different hardware components. All equipment racks are 19 inches wide, but they vary in height from two- to three-foot-high models that bolt onto a wall to the more popular floor-to-ceiling models. NOTE Equipment racks evolved out of the railroad signaling racks from the 19th century. The components in a rack today obviously differ a lot from railroad signaling, but the 19-inch width has remained the standard for well over 100 years.”

    When you make notes it should be:
    Equipment rack; located in telecommunications room, 19 inches wide, varies in height.

    In my experience Comptia just wants a one sentence basic overview of that particular technology.
    Professor Messer gives you a good idea on how deep you need to go for the exam but I do still recommend Mike Meyers’ book. I’m being a bit of a dick taking something like that as an example but that is just what it is – an example of how in depth he goes.

    To do heavy memorization work I tried to relate it somehow to the real world.
    For example the wireless networking standards of 802.11 a/b/g/n;
    Instead of memorizing like a parrot:
    802.11a = 54 Mbps > 150 feet > 5Ghz > Compatibility 802.11a
    802.11b = 11 Mbps > 300 feet > 2.4 > Compatibility 802.11b

    I rather went:
    802.11a (Andrew) Ran at a speed of 54 Mbps at a distance of 150 feet at 5 Ghz. He ran the race with Andrew (802.11a - Compatibility)
    802.11b (Brian) Ran at a speed of 11 Mbps at a distance of 300 feet at 2.4 Ghz. He ran the race with Brian (802.11b - Compatibility)

    Another example The Troubleshooting Theory:
    Instead of memorizing it word for word for word for word. I just got a general idea about the sentences and then I just repeated, while counting my fingers:
    Problem, Theory, Theory, Action, Verify, Document.
    The exams are multiple choice so they actually refresh your memory but the short keywords remind you about the amount of steps and the order.

    Another one I memorized with also pulling out key words in sentences and combining visualization (which my Girlfriend gave me the idea for) was the Best practices for malware removal. I imagined that I’m treating and scanning someone for Ebola to make it fun and memorable.
    Identify malware symptoms (identify ebola),
    Quarantine infected system (quarantine infected person),
    Disable system restore (Disable the person),
    Remediate infected systems (Remedy the infected person),
    Schedule scans and updates (Scan if the ebola is still there after the remedy) etc..

    For the Different Classes of Fire Extinguishers I imagined a work bench from the ground up to the shelving that contains the different materials that Class A and Class C etc can extinguish.

    For RAM, Resolutions, Ports, Sizes, etc. I just had to repeat that stuff word for word for word icon_sad.gif and try and figure out patterns.
    Retype port numbers and Ram numbers in an excel document and then print it. Then hold a blank page over the answers and try to recall.
    I wouldn’t waste time trying to memorize the EXACT location of components. You should just generally know where they are located.
    Separate your study material per chapter. When you take a break to make coffee, think about what you studied and try and recall everything.

    Hope this is useful...
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    pieceofwork91pieceofwork91 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey BloomBright,

    Thanks for the detailed response it is very helpful and im going to use some of your strategies! Today i was taking notes from Exam cram and i barley finished reading chapter 2 and i have well over 3 pages of notes. Im not sure if this is necessary, im assuming there is so many notes because the chapter is all about motherboards?
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    ashevillemikeashevillemike Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is what I'm doing:
    Got these books:
    1. GTS learning book (from professor messer's website) ($35 I think)
    2. Professor Messer's study notes ($20 for both sets)
    2. Mike Meyers passport A+ book (Not the all in one)
    3. ExamCram test book

    I'm watch the videos on professor messers website while following along in the GTS book (they go together and follow the objective list from CompTIA)
    Then read the Passport book (which has additional material in it but most of it is in the videos)
    Take the exam cram tests (three levels so I take the first, review weak areas, take the next, review, etc.)
    I've also taken practice tests wherever I find them (The CompTIA android app, another android app, etc) Whenever I have a few minutes I take practice tests.
    I've scheduled my first test for next Tuesday. I still have a couple of weak areas that need some attention but am consistently scoring 90% on all of the practice tests. I'm saving the most difficult for last and will cover it over the weekend after some reviewing.
    I've found that I get bogged down with the books so the videos are a better choice for me to start with.
    Good Luck!
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    pieceofwork91pieceofwork91 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Ashevillemike!!

    As of now im going to continue to read the exam cram, but im not going to take many notes. Im going to highlight key points such as specs, My main focus will be the videos and practice exams. I don't have much of an IT background but i do have a Network Administration diploma and a lot of A+ material was covered in the course. Its been a while since i picked up a book and im letting my mind get the better of me, when i do practice test i score very well but when i pick up the book i feel as if there is many details. Im going to take the advice give in this thread and see how it goes, as for you i want to hear your success and i wish you the best of luck during your exam!!

    Thanks again :)
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    ashevillemikeashevillemike Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I passed the 801 last Tuesday with a score of 845 (94%) after studying for about 3 weeks or so then crammed (because I wanted to get it on a resume for a job that closes tomorrow) for a week and took the 802 today. Didn't feel as comfortable with the material and was lost on a couple of questions but scored 858 today (95%). I took the last 2 tests in the exam cram yesterday and today and scored poorly (78 or so) on both of them the first time through.

    Good Luck!
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    pieceofwork91pieceofwork91 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations! Im currently going through Professor Messers videos and plan on finishing Exam cram then focusing on doing a lot of practice exams. Those are some pretty high scored for 4 weeks of study, What would you say your previous experience was before starting to study for CompTIA A+?
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    ashevillemikeashevillemike Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I worked on hardware for 8 years and help desk type stuff for a few years, so I'm not a newcomer by any means but I haven't worked in 11 years (stayed home to raise my kids) and have only gotten a couple of interviews I think because I've been out so long. Hopefully this will help me get into the doors of some places. I will say that even though much of the information that I studied is out of date and/or practically useless I did learn quite a bit. Virtualization in particular is a whole new concept that has changed radically since I last worked.

    Best of luck!
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