3ish weeks with mismatch prep, sat LX0-103 today.

Andy from SactownAndy from Sactown Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
For the TL;DR version, just read the emboldened. Cheers! -Andypants

In order to prepare for the Linux+ exams I signed up for an online, instructor led, week long Linux+ prep course. This thing was fscking useless. 8 hours a day Monday through Friday for an organized class should have been moderately fruitful. Instead all I got was a glorified Introduction to Linux. Many of the people in the course were there for the "one week a year training my employer pays for" and had no, and I mean absolutely no intention of sitting for these exams. Which is a good thing, because it only covered about 60% of exam 1 in a "so here's a command called xyz, here's what it does, there's a table in your pdf/ebook with a two sentence description and 4-5 of the most commonly used flags aaaand moving on" triage. Oh, they had a few click-click follow the instructions "labs" that taught you absolutely nothing.

So the time spent the whole first week was almost completely a waste of my time. It would be a good intro for anyone with no Linux experience what so ever, but I'm kind of coming from a 'used to be a Linux power-user (non-admin)' background. I'd ran Linux as my primary OS before, built a gentoo system that ran a kernel I built with then experimental preemptive scheduler patches and the newly released nVidia proprietary driver when it came out to run World of Warcraft in WINE 'WAY back in the day (tm)', but a lot had changed in the last 8 years or so.

The text they provided didn't really have a name.. the title page read, "CompTIA ® Linux+TM Powered by LPI(Exams LX0-103 and LX0-104)" Part Number: 093005 Course Edition: 1.1, written by Jaron Rubenstein with copyright notices from Logical Operators, Inc. Needless to say this thing is completely inadequate. This is doing the word completely a disservice.

The parting gift from the course were vouchers for the Transcender online preparation software/exams and the CompTIA exams themselves.

Thinking, I used to be pretty Linux saavy, that course was a joke, I'll just take a Transcender practice exam and see how well I do. Scored a 70%. Thought, that sucked, maybe messed up and went too fast, too confidently; I'll just cruise through the answers on the first one and have it explain the few areas I didn't really have to do before (non-admin) or just didn't exist back in the day (systemd, etc.) and take another practice exam. Do that and I surely must get like 80% and be in pretty good shape, since 500/800 is easy-sause, right? Scored 65%.

Then I started googling. Quickly found this site and read just about every thread on the first four pages of the Linux+ sub-forum here. Then I got a little depressed. Then I spent the next four days on a bender, which was the most successful thing I'd accomplished since I'm used to California alcohol procurement; not this dry county, liquor only sold at liquor store non-sense. It took effort, but I didn't form another coherent thought about Linux+ until Tuesday of week 2.

Now realizing this thing is no walk in the park, I started studying with the Transcender software. Their flashcards don't give you explanations for the answers, but hey, they're flashcards and there's a good sized pool to go through. I found the practice exams, much more helpful. A note on Transcender's exams: There's only 2 preset exams, A and B, as well as a generate random exam ability. You can generate a practice exam on a single section/objective, custom mix, random exam length (60) or just say gimme all of them. While I found focusing on a section at a time helpful, the real quality of use in Transcender is the exam question review explanations. I was very surprised to see that there were questions that had complete paragraphs to explain 1) why the correct answer is correct, and even more impressively similarly detailed explanations for why the wrong answers were wrong (sans the 'this syntax is incorrect' shorties). I saw my scores steadily climb and eventually I was able to get 100% consistently. Now obviously, this is a product of just knowing all the questions in a small test bank/pool eventually, but that's not really the point. If you're using Transcender correctly, you should should be scoring 100% every time and not just know the answers, but why they are correct and the others incorrect. So it's a good speed solution to jump start your studies. You'll need to google/man page/good textbook flash card answers you don't know, but not too shabby a start. Also, in no way shape or form going to get you ready on it's own for a pass.

A friend of mine hooked me up with the CBT Nuggets LPIC-1 / Linux+ videos, which I thought were really good and entertaining, but more conceptual (albeit effective and subsequently easy to remember). I wont really say anything else about those, since that pretty much covers how I feel about them, except to say I'm going to steal, "oh cat biscuits!" as an exclamation the next time I'm around a member of the opposite sex I want to endear myself to. And also that I liked putting them on in the background on the TV while I went through a combination of googling / man paging and referencing texts while using the Transcender material and also practice tests online some of which I got from a post here:
zesty2016 wrote: »
Hi ITRascal, I passed the the LXO-103 on Sunday and have now started on the LX0-104 to complete my LPIC1. These are the online resources that I used to help me through...
gnosis.cx - very limited number of questions icon_sad.gif
debian-tutorials.com - AWESOME (they have an assessment test to see what level you are currently at & then they have a 70 question exam that you can do)

I like these because they all explain the answers so if you get something wrong you can at least find out why it is wrong & you get to learn the correct answer. I found these in the week between my first & retake exams &, like I said, a few questions actually came up & I was much better prepared after doing these.

The pool of questions is limited so you'll probably have to do them all & a couple of sites have 101 & 102 questions chucked in the same test but I was very happy with the results having done these.

I I hope they help everyone cos they really did help me. (They're free too.)
Reading these forums, I knew I needed to really hammer down the command line and switches (both short and long form) and needed a proper text focused on these exams and their objectives and I thankfully came across Learn Linux, 101: A roadmap for LPIC-1 , A Roadmap for LPIC-1 from IBM developerWorks. It was started in 2009, but is being updated for 2016, is completely free and extremely in-depth. Probably more so than most if not all textbook/guides, which I imagine are a little bit "friendlier". They're not finished, as a series, but has about the first 75% of the LPIC-1/Linux+ objectives covered. Sooo thankful for these little killers. It was right about the time I had found these that week 2 came to a close.

Started really feeling the pressure to get this thing in the bag, since I'd still need to do LX0-104 and am starting a month long Network+ in class training in another week. Continued to watch the occasional CBT Nugget video or two, follow along objectives on my ubuntu laptop with the free IBM docs, but by mid-Wednesday I felt like I needed more if I wanted to keep my accelerated schedule a reality. I'd only watched about half of the CBT Nuggets and a few more sections than that with my IBM note tinkering and Transcender experience banked. Oh, and also some time trying to learn and memorize vi. Goddamn I wish I learned vi back in the day, but noooo. I had to hate it immediately and spend the next ten years using emacs. I digress; so having read good things, I signed up for the free week of Linux Academy Wednesday night. So for probably, 6 hours that night and all day Thursday and about an hour this morning all I did was Linux Academy on the areas I had not covered or really wanted a new/different/better perspective on. Mainly grep, sed, extended regular expressions, command line tools I wanted more in depth flag usage knowledge of, etc. So it wasn't linear. I didn't need most of it. I cherry picked 23% of the videos, lab/exercises and quiz/exam materials (as the completion indicator dealio tells me). I don't know how much time that was in under 2 days, even though it says the whole course is 24 hours and I did nearly a quarter of it, but I know it was 4.5 pots of coffee. As well as speed reading every course notes page 3 times over on my drive in to sit for the exam at high noon today.

Much harder than I expected. I don't know why I expected that. I've heard it all before here that the potential answers are all very close / 'feasible' and it means you need to know your stuff forwards and back, but boy wasn't that the case. I expected it to be pretty fast as well. Wrong again. I suppose it was the "you either know it or you don't attitude" that is a little reinforced by the practice exams I'd been exposed to, but they really make it hard to just pick. Instead of being fast I took my time, flagged 11 questions for review and after changing one of those, submitted my exam with 12 minutes left.

Scored 580 and passed. Mixed emotions there. I was disappointed in my score, but that was tempered by the fact I had passed. I committed the 11 questions I had flagged to memory and after reviewing them I got almost all of them wrong. Goes to prove, you either know it or you don't and CompTIA makes it very hard for you to make intelligent guesses. They're all intelligent wrong answers. Only one question I got wrong that I really should have got right. I thought about the solution and promptly called myself a dumb.. person.

For LX0-104 I think I'll just start / stick with the Linux Academy and make sure to spend all the time I need doing all the exercises / labs. Why people skip those I cannot understand, just short changing yourself. Then I'll use the Transcender afterwards (since I still have it) as supplemental material. Maybe pull up the IBM docs in conjunction with a CBT Nugget if I'm going to have a long lunch or have some time where I have more distractions.

Still not out of the woods. Wonder if I can study all weekend, weekdays before Network+ class 5:30-9:30pm next week and all the next weekend and be ready for LX0-104. I can take more time since I have much more of a networking background than a Linux one and I essentially did this in 2 weeks since the first week was a complete waste for LX0-103. I just don't want to combine the last half of Network+ with studying for LX0-104. Arrrrgggg! Need moar coffee!! (As the length of this post clearly indicates)

Signing off for now,

P.S. Anyone who has had prior Linux experience and also 'speed prepared' for LX0-104 would be greatly appreciated.
cd /pub; more beer


  • si20si20 Senior Member Posts: 471Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass. As I mentioned in my thread about the LX0-103, I studied for around 2.5 months in total for the LX0-103 and got a score of 540. I don't think it fully reflects my knowledge of Linux but the fact you can't use the man pages for the exam, along with the fact you get questions with similar answers and you simply have to know the exact answer to score makes it very hard. Best of luck for the LX0-104. I'm planning to take about 8 weeks to revise for the 104 because I am in a position where I (literally) cannot afford to re-take it. I have to pass first time. Keep us updated on your progress!
  • shochanshochan Senior Member Posts: 866Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    You might try taking the edX.org - Intro to Linux...I started it back over 1yr ago and finally finished the online (self paced) class back in April. I thought it was pretty through, but it was an intro class, so probably not enough for the Linux+ exam. I am ready to get back on board with my Linux+ studies, but I gotta stick out this Project+ Beta exam first since it is scheduled. Cheers w/java shots!
    2019 goals -> CySA+ (b4 end of 2019)
    "It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good" ~ Danny Carey
  • Hammer80Hammer80 Posts: 207Member
    Brought to you by makers of Adderall!

    Congrats on passing the Exam, now step away from the coffee pot and get some sleep.
  • Andy from SactownAndy from Sactown Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks all! I'm actually sitting in my Network+ class now and studying for LX0-104 at the same time. I look up about every 10 minutes to see what they're talking about (presently the difference between bus, star, mesh, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz). The instructor is totally fine with it since we had a pow-wow on break the first day and yeah, we coo. I'm hoping that 2 weeks (all 7 days) will suffice. I work on my exam prep about 5-6 hours a day on week days and roughly 10-12 on weekends. Ironically, in all my IT travels I'd never had to mess with SQL. Just one of those things. I've administered the servers they've ran on and been responsible for the daemons health, security, connectivity (up-time, QoS, routing, etc.) and data back-up, but actual SQL commands? Nooope. I'm actually having a bit of fun working on something I hadn't worked with a lot before for a change in all of this.

    Setup an Apache2 daemon and am practicing my SQL by manipulating my mariadb database via PHP (yay for C code for the web!). So, like I said, just having fun today! I'll put the foot back down on the peddle when I get back to familiar territory tomorrow.

    Thank God for LX0-104, because this Network+ material is clown shoes. If I could plan my certification track over, I'd skip it. Stupid employers and their need for civilian pieces of paper.. supplanting my Naval Education Codes (2735 Network Administrator and 2779 Information Assurance Manager) and experience with Linux+/Network+/Security+/CCNA Routing & Switching/MCSE back-to-back-to-back-to-Christmas-to-back-to-back.

    [email protected]_hotness# more coffee > sqlprep.brain
    cd /pub; more beer
  • Andy from SactownAndy from Sactown Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sat for LX0-104 tonight. Holy balls that was rough. Got 19 write-ins out of the 60. 26 minutes to spare; scored a 670 and got my Linux+/LPIC-1!

    Compared to that this Network+ looks like a cake-walk. PHEW!
    cd /pub; more beer
  • si20si20 Senior Member Posts: 471Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sat for LX0-104 tonight. Holy balls that was rough. Got 19 write-ins out of the 60. 26 minutes to spare; scored a 670 and got my Linux+/LPIC-1!

    Compared to that this Network+ looks like a cake-walk. PHEW!

    Congrats on the pass! Can I ask how you managed to study it so quickly? Any tips would be greatly received. I've been slacking but the reason (at least in my head) is because the LX0-104 covers so much material. It's a bit overwhelming, even if you understand it. Having to remember all of that info just in case it pops up in a question is rough icon_cry.gif
  • shochanshochan Senior Member Posts: 866Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Sat for LX0-104 tonight. Holy balls that was rough. Got 19 write-ins out of the 60. 26 minutes to spare; scored a 670 and got my Linux+/LPIC-1!

    Compared to that this Network+ looks like a cake-walk. PHEW!

    Cheers! very very nice, HI5! ~ Borat
    2019 goals -> CySA+ (b4 end of 2019)
    "It's not good when it's done, it's done when it's good" ~ Danny Carey
  • junilinuxjunilinux Posts: 43Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulate on passing the LPIC 1 exam :D

    It would be a good idea if you are going to move forward to LPIC 2 ;)
  • Andy from SactownAndy from Sactown Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    si20 wrote: »
    Congrats on the pass! Can I ask how you managed to study it so quickly? Any tips would be greatly received. I've been slacking but the reason (at least in my head) is because the LX0-104 covers so much material. It's a bit overwhelming, even if you understand it. Having to remember all of that info just in case it pops up in a question is rough icon_cry.gif

    Well, if you're going to pass an examination that encompasses this much technical data in as short a time as I did it really helps to have experience. While I've heard from some people's opinions that LX0-104 is easier for them, LX0-103 was easier for me since I didn't have to learn as much of it. I had a lot of, "yup, yup, okay that's still the same" and "huh, okay so they changed that a bit" moments, so I only had to "learn" probably about 50% of the material. That being said my process was:

    1) Linuxacademy videos -> exercises -> quizzes with me taking my own notes. If there's a command, I'll pause the video and look up it's man page to get the command line switches for my notes. If there are too many of them to reasonably commit to memory (over a dozen), I'll google the command and find a "Howto" type page that usually has a dozen or less of the switches used in most case scenarios. This helps me commit things to memory. I rarely ever read my notes, only when I don't know an answer on a practice quiz, I'll check my notes (after quiz, not during). Also as a final review, right before sitting the exam, I'll review all my notes (a fast skim, my notes were 32 pages for LX0-104 and I write small and use margins).

    2) Only when I was 100% done with linuxacademy did I use the transcender exam prep software. Basically used it over and over until I could get 100% of the questions in the test bank correctly. If I didn't know the answer and got a question wrong, I'd review their explanations (which were great) so I wasn't just memorizing the question. I can look at any question in their bank and tell you why the right answer is right, and why the wrong answers are wrong.

    That's basically it. I used the CBT Nuggets videos a bit for LX-103, but that was before I purchased a month of linuxacademy. I didn't use it for LX-104, just the above.

    Oh, and for 2 topics I didn't have any experience I kind of took a "play day" for each. For SQL I setup an Apache server and programmed some simple database interactions with a mariadb database in PHP (but I created the initial database from the mysql command line) so instead of 1-2 hours in it, it wound up being more like 6-7, but was fun!

    Probably utilized about 60 hours of study for LX0-103 and 80 for LX0-104, but there's a lot of videos in there.

    Glad to be done with it though, it's just so goddamned much stuff. It probably helped a bit to do everything on an accelerated time table to keep that volume in memory.

    Oh, and lots and lots of caffeine.
    cd /pub; more beer
  • Andy from SactownAndy from Sactown Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    For anyone who's in the Linux+ boat and still needs to get their Network+, I just sat Network+ (exam N10-006) tonight after getting my Linux+ on the 8th of this month (see rest of thread) and it is MUCH easier than Linux+, but the test is a bit different.

    Relative to Linux+, the Network+ exam takes more time. Lots of paragraphs to read prior to questions eat up exam time. Not a very technical exam. Wasn't asked about many ports, line speeds/ranges or sub-netting, even though I was prepared for them. Had 3 minutes to spare. Scored 810 and passed (100-900 scale, 720 to pass).

    Just used Professor Messer videos, CompTIA objectives as a checklist, notes (43 pages, whaaaa?) and Transcender exam preparation software. And wikipedia by way of google (didn't think something was covered enough/at all-- google that shiz). Didn't crack a book, but I have lots of enterprise level networking experience (didn't really lean on this too much for exam).

    I'd rate Linux+ difficulty @ 6.5/10, Network+ 3.5/10.

    Pick her up if you're not jumping right into CCNA Routing & Switching after Linux+.

    cd /pub; more beer
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