Obligatory "I passed" thread, plus study and exam thoughts

mgeoffriaumgeoffriau Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
[Thought I posted a thread earlier but it's not showing up. If this ends up being a duplicate thread, my apologies.]

Haven't posted much in this forum but I've read a lot of threads and definitely appreciate all the great information and advice that has been shared here. I knocked out the Network+ this morning.

networkplus_1.jpg




Preparation/Study:


My study method is based on two ideas: I want to cover all the material from at least two different authors or sources, and I want to cover all the material in at least two different media. In practice, this typically means I'll read a couple books, watch a video series, and use app-based practice exams and flashcards. Here are the materials I used for the Network+ exam:


Books:


CompTIA Network+ All-In-One Exam Guide (Mike Meyers) [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071848223/] -- Anyone who has used Mike Meyers' material knows what you're getting. His writing style is engaging (this book was the easiest and fastest to read of the three I used), and the book's level of information is spot on. However, I found it (like a lot of Meyers' stuff) to be a bit uneven. Some sections would go into a lengthy historical overview that might be interesting but not particularly helpful, while other sections skipped quickly over some technical details that I thought were important. I read this book first and very quickly, knowing that I would go back over the same information with the other books. Still, a very good book, and the section headings can be used to skip or skim over the less important sections.


CompTIA Network+ Deluxe Study Guide (Todd Lammle) [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1119021278/] -- If I had to recommend a single book, this would be it. The writing style isn't quite as enjoyable as Meyers', but the layout made more sense to me, and the explanations for certain things were clearer. I also felt it was a bit more comprehensive than Meyers' book. The subnetting explanation in this book was the first one that really clicked for me.


CompTIA Network+ N10-006 Exam Cram (Emmett Dulaney) [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/078975410X/] -- I used this book for a speedy review the last week prior to my exam. I would not recommend it as a single-source study guide, but it's a good book for just checking that you don't have any weak areas. It also comes with 2 tear-out "**** sheets" that summarize a lot of important information. I used these **** sheets the night before and the morning of the exam to give myself one last refresher.


Videos:


CompTIA Network+ N10-006 Training Course (Professor Messer) [https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG49S3nxzAnnXcPUJbwikr2xAcmKljbnQ] -- Professor Messer is a well-known resource and for good reason. I watch these videos at 1.5x speed after reading the Meyers and Lammle books. This was a great "passive" way to review and reinforce what I'd already learned.


IP Addresses and Subnetting (The Networking Doctors) [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs39FWDhzDs] -- As I said, Todd Lammle's explanation of subnetting was the first time it "clicked" for me. However, I was just too slow when actually doing it on my own, so I tried this video on someone's recommendation. It's a fantastic method! Watch this video one time through, following along with pen and paper to copy the examples. Then watch it a couple more times at 1.5x speed. Then go practice a bunch of times until you can do it in your head.


Apps:


CompTIA Certmaster [https://certification.comptia.org/training/certmaster] -- I purchased the exam voucher that includes Certmaster and the exam retake. I went through the entire Certmaster course, probably about half on my phone and half on a laptop. I used it when I would normally be playing a game or scrolling through twitter on my phone, or I'd use it on my laptop while half-watching a football game in the background.


CompTIA Network+ N10-006 Exam Prep (Darril Gibson) [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/comptia-network+-n10-006-exam/id514411688] -- Pretty good app with flashcards and practice questions. I used it some once I can finished the Certmaster course, but not extensively.


Subnetting Practice [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/subnetting-practice/id1124265849] -- Excellent little free app for practicing subnetting on the go.


Quizlet [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quizlet-flashcard-language/id546473125] -- Quizlet flashcards are great for quickly learning things like abbreviations, acronyms, port numbers, etc.


Websites:


San Bernardino Valley College: IP Subnet Practice Page [http://faculty.valleycollege.edu/rpowell/jscript/subnet2.htm] -- Great little page for going through a bunch of subnetting practice questions. I practiced on this page until I could answer correctly within 30 seconds without writing anything down.




As you can see, I used a lot of different things. If you wanted to pare it down, I think you could use the Lammle book and the Messer videos, and maybe a couple apps, and be okay. I like approaching this stuff from a lot of different directions so the concepts really sink in.




Exam Thoughts:


Some of the exam went the way I expected -- I had a handful of sims right at the beginning which I flagged and skipped until the end, for example. I also noted that the user agreement specified that I could not begin writing on my scratch sheet until the exam itself was started, so be careful if you think you're going to sit there for 15 minutes and **** a lot of info on the scratch sheet before you start the exam.


I got through all the multiple choice questions in about 45 minutes, and then took another 30 minutes or so to go through the simulations.


But the biggest surprise to me was the structure of the questions. Prior to this I had only taken the A+ exams. Both the A+ 901/902 ask a lot of straightforward questions: what is the maximum speed of this connection, which protocol is used for this data, a SODIMM has how many pins, etc.


My exam did not have many questions like these. Instead, it was mostly "story" questions. The question explains a scenario, gives you a few parameters surrounding the scenario, and then wants you to select the best answer. Sometimes this is obvious, and sometimes it is not so obvious. In any case, it is definitely much more dependent on careful reading and critical thinking than the A+ exams were.


Unfortunately, almost all of the practice exams I tried mimicked the straightforward questions (like the A+) rather than the "story" questions that my exam featured, so it's hard to prepare for that in advance. Still, if you know your stuff, you should be okay.


I didn't score as highly as I had hoped, but since I had the voucher with a retake, I decided to make my first attempt a bit earlier than I originally planned. I had set a deadline for myself for the end of 2016, but with the retake in my back pocket I decided to take it before Thanksgiving. If I passed, great. If not, then it was a good way to see what I needed to improve for the second attempt. I'm happy enough with the score, and happy to be done with it.
CISSP || A+ || Network+ || Security+ || Project+ || Linux+ || Healthcare IT Technician || ITIL Foundation v3 || CEH || CHFI
M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU

Comments

  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 817Mod Mod
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzJWHxg13hbgVALiE8FD0GzM2RtjMfA703Qycj8mJfIP7sLLfInsoL2VA

    Nah but jokes aside congrats :)
    Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. - Richard Branson
  • Falls_TechFalls_Tech Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats and thanks for posting all those resources. Network+ is next for me.....
  • greg9891greg9891 Posts: 1,174Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    @skyliners92 LMAO, @ mgeoffriau Congrats whats next on your studies?
    Certs Gained 2018: CCENT ,210-255 ( Cyber Security Operations)
    Upcoming: ICND2, CTT, 210-250 (Cyber Security Fundamentals)

    Isaiah 28:10 - For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
  • mgeoffriaumgeoffriau Posts: 162Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Security+ is up next. My Darril Gibson book arrived yesterday, I just purchased 60 days of access to the GCGA premium site, and I've already purchased my exam voucher.

    After that...I'm not sure. I'm torn between the security path (maybe CASP/SSCP/CISSP) and project management (CAPM/PMP).
    CISSP || A+ || Network+ || Security+ || Project+ || Linux+ || Healthcare IT Technician || ITIL Foundation v3 || CEH || CHFI
    M.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, WGU
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