Passed N10-006. Comparing N10-004 (2009) to N10-006 (2015)

Cert PoorCert Poor Member Posts: 240 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm refreshing my A+, Network+, and Security+ exams in preparation to transfer them to WGU (since it's been more than five years). It's been about seven years since I've bothered with this stuff.

I had read in this forum in a bunch of threads (like the "State of Network+" threads) that CompTIA made the Network+ exam a million times harder and that some test sites had a pass rate of 20% (holy crap!) and that people with their CCNA were failing the new Network+ (again, holy crap!). So that worried me big time. (But maybe those are just rumors?) I didn't want to get overconfident and end up failing, which would suck and be embarrassing since I already passed years ago.

So I wanted to post this thread to give encouragement to those who still haven't taken N10-006 to not get discouraged. Sure, compared to A+ it's a little bit harder, but to the best of my memory, it's not any harder in 2017 than it was in 2009.

But I don't have an apples-to-apples comparison, honestly. When I first took it, I was a newbie to IT, so it was much harder than it was today, so that taints my impression. Plus with more experience and other certifications, it gives a leg up.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Study hard for N10-006, but don't think of this as your Everest. It's not really any harder today than it was back in the day. The simulations are newer, take a lot longer to complete, and they require some more thinking than multiple choice, but the rest of the questions are about the same difficulty.

N10-004 (2009 Objectives)
  • 100 questions in 90 minutes.
  • I took this in 2010 right after taking the A+ (220-701 and 220-702).
  • I had zero professional IT experience at the time.
  • I used Mike Meyers's All-In-One book, and that's it. I don't think Professor Messer videos were out back then.
  • I studied part-time for about one month, reading the book cover-to-cover and taking detailed notes.
  • I thought the exam was hard and annoying, and I was pressed for time with 100 questions in 90 minutes.

N10-006 (2015 Objectives)
  • 84 questions in 90 minutes (3 simulations).
  • I took the exam today. I just passed the A+ (220-901 and 220-902) last week.
  • I've been in IT since 2010.
  • Study materials used:
    -- Watched Professor Messer's entire N10-006 video series on YouTube at 2x speed. Didn't take that many notes.
    -- Did all Professor Messer pop quizzes.
    -- Watched Mike Meyers's N10-006 Udemy video series at 2.5x speed. Didn't take that many notes.
    -- Bought Professor Messer's N10-006 course notes for $10. Great deal. Read through it a few times and scribbled some notes.
    -- Bought Darril Gibson's Network+ app for $7.99. Great deal. Went through all the practice questions 1x.
  • There's a lot more security content in the N10-006 compared to the N10-004. Already having the Security+ and real world experience with firewalls, switches, routers, VPN, IDS/IPS definitely helped.
  • Having already passed the CWTS exam helped me with the WLAN questions on the N10-006. But seriously CompTIA, please stop including garbage material on MAC address filtering or hidden SSID broadcasting as legitimate security measures! They've been obsolete for over 10 years. And disabling SSID broadcast can actually weaken security by placing the burden on the supplicants (clients) to reveal the SSID in probe requests as you go about your day, making it easy to spy on you.
  • Having real-world experience with Change Management helped.
  • Having real-world experience with Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning helped.
  • Having real-world experience with Incident Management helped with the SLA material.
  • Having real-world experience with vendors helped with the SOW material.

Never give up! icon_cool.gif

There's a lot more study materials out today than several years ago. Even if money's tight, I did find value in Professor Messer's $10 course notes and Darril Gibson's Network+ app for $7.99. Pair that up with a good book (I like Meyers's All-In-One book even though it's huge), and you are sure to pass. Obviously make sure you print out the official CompTIA objectives and use those as a checklist as you study.
In progress: MTA: Database Fundamentals (98-364)
Next up: CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ (CLO-002) or LPI Linux Essentials (010-160)
Earned: CompTIA A+, Net+, Sec+, Server+, Proj+
ITIL-F v3 2011 | ServiceNow CSA, CAD, CIS | CWNP CWTS


  • Cert PoorCert Poor Member Posts: 240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Kudos to Mike Meyers for finally teaching the EIA/TIA 568A/B:
    -- I've gone my entire life/career without memorizing the wiring pin-outs. Until a 10 minute video where he basically passed on some nugget bombs.
    -- If the color starts with "B" it stays still. In other words, the Blue and Brown wires are exactly the same in both 568A and 568B. (So the only colors that are different are Green and Orange.) Blue is always in the middle, and Brown is always the last wires.
    -- If the standard is 568A, the color is alphabetized. Since Green comes before Orange, in the 568A standard, the first wires are Green. That leaves Orange left to "surround" the Blue wires.
    -- If the standard is 568B, it's not alphabetized. So the first wires are Orange. That leaves Green left to "surround" the Blue wires.
    -- Going from pins 1-8, it's stripe-solid-stripe-solid-stripe-solid-stripe-solid. No difference between 568A and 568B.
    -- Instead of trying to memorize 8 wires, just memorize 4 pairs (colors). Blue and Brown don't move. Blue's in the middle. Brown's at the end. If it's 568A, it's alphabetical, so Green is first, and Orange surrounds Blue. If it's 568B, it's not alphabetical, so Orange is first, and Green surrounds Blue. Only then separate the stripes and solids, and you're done!

    Kudos to Darril Gibson's app for finally teaching me the math formula 2n-2
    -- I'd prefer to do some quick calculations than memorize a bunch of charts like what Messer advocates.
    -- The number of hosts in a subnet is 2n-2, where n is the number of bits in the host portion of the subnet mask.
    -- Let's take a /24 since we're all familiar with that. We know a /24 usually goes from 0-255, with 0 defining the network and 255 defining the broadcast, leaving 254 hosts. So let's use the formula: n = 32 - 24 = 8. 28 is 256. Subtract 2 and get 254.
    -- Another example. How many possible hosts in a /29? We take n = 32 - 29 = 3. 23 is 8. Subtract 2 and get 6. So a /29 network can have 6 possible hosts.
    In progress: MTA: Database Fundamentals (98-364)
    Next up: CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ (CLO-002) or LPI Linux Essentials (010-160)
    Earned: CompTIA A+, Net+, Sec+, Server+, Proj+
    ITIL-F v3 2011 | ServiceNow CSA, CAD, CIS | CWNP CWTS
  • A+ QuizzicalA+ Quizzical Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats and great post, it's good to have someone with experience from past versions of the exam to compare the level of difficulty and to hopefully help other students to realise not to stress out too much about this exam. Congrats again and good luck with WGU.
  • Thoth_DhwtyThoth_Dhwty Member Posts: 96 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats. Great write-up.
  • NissekiNisseki Member Posts: 160
    Well done!

    Great post comparing new and old versions of the exam.
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